Gardening is a wonderful activity for children. Yes, because you have to be outside, but also because there are many great practical life skills to be learned while working in the garden.
Shoveling, scooping, hauling, picking weeds and watering are just a few skills children can practice.
Today, we invite you to get some seedlings planted to prepare for your summer garden. Your child will practice fine motor skills, also known as the pincer grip with thumb and pointer finger working together, by spooning the dirt into egg cups and then carefully placing seeds in the dirt!
Egg Carton Seedlings
- One cardboard egg carton, cut in half
- Potting soil
- Seeds for whatever type of plant you’d like to grow
- Spray bottle to water the seeds
- Cut the egg carton in half so you end up with two halves of 6 egg cups each. Let your child use a spoon to add potting soil to each egg cup to practice fine motor skills.
- Poke a hole in the center of the soil in each egg cup. Place one seed in each hole and cover with a layer of soil.
- Lightly spray soil with water from your spray bottle. Place the carton in a sunny location indoors and keep soil moist (not soaking). Rotate tray if you see sprouts begin to lean towards the light source. Explain to your child that the seedlings lean towards the sunlight to make food for themselves in the process called photosynthesis!
- When the seedlings are big enough, consider transplanting them to your outdoor garden. Begin this process by first placing the egg carton seedlings outdoors to let them acclimate to a different environment. When ready, dig small holes in your garden and place seedlings at a good distance from one another to allow for growth!
Seedlings grow very quickly indoors and it’s fun for a child to track this growth. Think about keeping a “Seedling Journal” or taking photos every day to see the growth over time.
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