With spring around the corner, there’s no better time to get kids of any age involved with gardening. Whether they help with landscaping or complete their own small projects, there’s always something to keep them busy.
* Give kids a section to start their own plants from seed. Choose larger seeds for smaller fingers — peas, beans, sunflowers and squash are great choices.
* Plan a themed garden, like a salsa garden, a pizza garden, or one with rainbow-colored plants.
* If nature isn’t cooperating yet, try a countertop eggshell garden to start seeds. Poke holes in the bottom of eggshells for drainage before placing them back into the carton. Then spray the insides with water and fill with potting soil before pressing seeds in and covering them. When the seeds sprout, transplanting outside is easy–just crack the shells a bit and place the whole thing in the ground.
* Find a magic location in your yard for a fairy garden. Choose ferns and other magical plants and flowers and arrange them to allow kids to build tiny stone paths, twig fences or other decorative touches.
* Help them create a solitary bee house that they can watch throughout the year. Visit chicagobotanic.org/plantinfo/building_bee_nesting_block for instructions and options.
* Teach them how to weed. It’s the most essential task of gardening, with no fancy equipment or even much of a learning curve.