Rain or shine, warm weather or cold, gardening indoors is always fun and it can be done during any time of the year. Indoor gardening activities are a great way to keep kids occupied inside while also allowing them to learn a bit about plants and biology. The next time you want to share your passion for gardening with your kids, try one of these activities together and add a little more greenery to your home.
Indoor Garden Kits for Kids
Indoor garden kits are always so exciting to set up, even the ones that are intended for adults. There are tons of indoor garden kits for kids out there that will keep your little apprentice gardeners engaged for weeks. Some kits supply you with everything you need to grow your own pizza party ingredients, others walk you through setting up a fairy garden, and others still will really break down the life cycle behind the plants being grown. There are different indoor garden kits for kids that can suit any type of interest or age level.
Create a Cactus or Succulent Garden
It’s no surprise that kids always seem to love cacti and succulents. They come in every shape and size, they can look incredibly gorgeous or just completely wacky, and they’re so easy to care for. You can put together a cactus and succulent garden with your kids by picking out a container for the plants, grabbing some cacti or succulents from your local nursery, and arranging a nice home for them with some cactus soil, pebbles, and desert themed accents. If you’re kids have any little plastic cowboys or desert animals, their cactus garden will make a wonderful new home for them.
Because cacti and succulents are so easy to take care of, letting your child be in charge of their garden’s care can teach them about responsibility without overwhelming them with too many complicated care techniques. These plants are usually very drought tolerant so if you forget to water them for a while it’s not going to kill your entire garden.
Create a Fairy Garden
Even for adults, fairy gardens can be one of the most fun and interesting indoor gardening activities. The number of accents and houses that are available for fairy gardens is just ridiculous and you could make your own fairy garden universe if you had the space or desire. Picking out the most delicate looking little herbs and plants, selecting the perfect fairy friend to live in the garden, and supplying your fairy with a few benches or toadstools to lounge on can be a whole day unto itself.
You can then pot your small plants into the container you’ve selected, add a little bit of moss or some interesting stones, and then encourage your child to check in on their fairy and her garden every day to ensure they’re both doing well and getting all the sun and water they require.
Build a Terrarium
Like a cactus garden or a fairy garden, putting together a terrarium is both simple yet exciting. Use any enclosed container, such as a fish bowl, a mason jar, or any old, large vase. You can put anything you like in your terrarium, such as gravel, moss, driftwood, plastic dinosaurs… your child’s imagination is the limit. You can even go completely soil free if you’d like and get some Ionantha Tillandsia air plants for your garden.
Regrow Vegetables with Scraps
You can teach your child a bit about recycling by learning how to regrow new vegetables using just the scraps of old veggies. You can regrow so many different kinds of vegetables, especially the leafy green ones like lettuce and celery, by simply taking the stump, placing it in water, and waiting for new stems and leaves to sprout. Once you’ve got some new growth happening, take the stump, plant it in some soil, and place it in a sunny area. Kids are usually pretty impressed when they see new life growing from something they had assumed was just bound for the trashcan.
Decorate Plant Pots
Terracotta pots are usually pretty cheap, they’re easy to find, and they are perfect for painting, decorating, and making your own DIY custom garden decor. You can even use old terracotta pots you’ve had sitting around in the garden, just be sure to give them a good wash in warm, soapy water before getting to work.
Any water based acrylic paints will work to customize your terracotta plant pots. You can paint it on with a brush, use a foam roller, or use stencils to create awesome designs, patterns, and letters. Try accents like glitter and stick-on gems to give your pots some extra pizzazz. Once your work is complete and is fully dry, spray a coat or two of clear, water based acrylic sealant on to keep your masterpiece waterproof and chip resistant.
Start a Seedling Greenhouse
Growing seedlings and starting your own mini greenhouse is one of the best ways to teach your child about greenhouse conditions, how weather can affect seeds and crops, and how to optimize growth. You can use any jar, clear plastic lid, or plastic wrap to create a warm and humid environment for your seeds. This exercise can be used to discuss the similarities to greenhouse growing on a larger scale and the different environments that certain plants need to thrive.
To start your seedling greenhouse, choose a container to grow your seeds in, such as an egg carton or a seedling tray. Fill the cells with soil and press the seeds gently into the soil. You can use a heating mat under the seed tray to speed up the germination time. Cover your tray with a plastic lid or plastic wrap but be sure to leave a few inches of space above the plastic and the soil. Mist the soil gently with water when it starts to get a little bit dry. If the environment is getting too moist, lift the plastic to let some heat and moisture escape.
Watch Them Grow
Coming up with new indoor gardening activities for your kids is a great way to teach them about plants and nature, inspire an appreciation for gardening, and spend time with them sharing what you love. What’s great about gardening activities is that the fun doesn’t end once the planting is complete. Your kids get to care for the new plants, watch them grow, and feel the pride that comes with seeing something you put into the ground grow into a strong, healthy organism.