There’s no doubt we’ve all done it. You pinned an image on Pinterest and thought to yourself,
“Self – you are going to do that awesome craft/activity/recipe/diet/homeschooling-thing this week! That is just too cool to forget about. We just can’t live another day without doing that!”
And then, lo and behold, the week ends, a new week begins, and that lovely little Pinterest image moves further and further down your feed and eventually, that little project joins up with the zillions of other pinned images that you never get to.
Well friends, if this is you, you are not alone. In fact, if this is you, then you are in the right place and you’re reading the blog of a chronic “pinner-but-never-doer.”
So, now you ask, what does this have to do with the title of this post – Creating a Children’s Garden? Well, you see, we’ve pinned every manner of image related to children’s gardens. We’ve had the best intentions for creating one – a lovely little place for children to play in the dirt and pick flowers without mom’s watchful eye and gentle reminder to not touch and pick things. And you see, folks, after all this time, we finally did it. We created a sweet little space for the kids (and apparently the chickens) to play and dig and pick to their heart’s content.
We started by placing some edging stones in a semicircle to mark an area to make the garden. We picked up a load of compost and dumped a bunch of it in the semicircle. Then we placed some steppingstones in the garden that would allow the kids to walk around without trampling on TOO much stuff (but then again, it IS their garden and if they want to trample, we’re just going to have to be ok with that).
Then we went to Home Depot and picked up a couple of flats of cheap bedding flowers (some petunias in this case). We showed the kids how to plant them and let them go at it. Again, we turned off the “perfectionist” radar and let them do it their own way. We also added some sunflower and squash seedlings that we had left over from the spring garden.
We added in a “teepee” to grow yard long beans on during the hot, hot Arizona summer. Here are some examples of the different “teepees” available on the internet:
1. Hi Suyi Lightweight Folding Kids Indian Teepee Tent Play House for Indoor Outdoor Garden Beach Toys
This teepee by Hi Suyi was designed for children 3 to 6 years old. The tent is made from breathable, non-toxic, eco-friendly fabric. It can be used for indoor or outdoor use. The product is 41.3×41.3×63 inches.
2. LAVIEVERT Children Playhouse Huge Indian Canvas Teepee Kids Play House with Two Windows – Comes with a Canva Carry Bag
The teepee from Lavievert is 45.27 inches square on the bottom, 62.99 inches along the sides, and 53.15 inches high. It is made from 100% cotton canvas and premium pine poles. It is sturdy for long-term use.
The Elfique New tent is 43.3×43.3×55.1 inch as well as a blanket and carry bag. Can be used indoors or outdoors.
The Indian teepee by Buengna has a waterproof floor which makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. It comes complete with sturdy poles. The dimensions are 40”long x 40”wide x 56” high.
Finally, we painted a portion of the fence in a rainbow pattern to add a little interest and fun to the area.
In the future, we hope to:
- Add an outdoor chalkboard by painting a large board with chalkboard paint and leaning it up against the block wall fence.
2. Add a “pounding” table – Perhaps a small wooden table that the kids can bang nails into with a small hammer.
3. Large river rocks that we paint and decorate with the letters of the alphabet – http://pinterest.com/pin/232850243203377598/. (We also think that these strawberry rocks – http://pinterest.com/pin/232850243206547884/ are absolutely ADORABLE.)
- Gretchen, from The Backyard Farming Connection, posted this – http://www.backyardfarmingconnection.com/2013/01/planning-childrens-garden.html great article in January about planning her children’s garden. I need to take a few pointers from her.
- This – http://www.architectureartdesigns.com/30-diy-ways-to-make-your-backyard-awesome-this-summer/ article on 30 Ways to Make Your Backyard Awesome This Summer is a great one.
- These – http://pinterest.com/pin/232850243204572737/ hopscotch stepping stones would be perfect. I think I might have to do this.
- If you want to a birdbath, this – http://pinterest.com/pin/232850243204081119/ one would be fun to make.
Books and Tools:
Written by Molly Dannenmaier, this book offers a wide range of innovative examples of how to create a special place where your children can experience nature at home. With 160 pages, you will find 190 color photographs for 60 enchanting ideas for integrating children’s play into gardens and landscapes.
2. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt: (Nature Book for Kids, Gardening and Vegetable Planting, Outdoor Nature Book)
This book by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal was written for children 5 to 8 or in kindergarten through third grade. Children will learn about plants in the garden as well as the bugs and worms crawling in the dirt among the plant roots.
Written by Joanna Gaines and illustrated by Julianna Swaney, the book tells about the chronicles of Joanna and her children as they started their own family garden. The book shares their failed attempts as well as the obstacles they had to overcome, and the knowledge they learned along the way. The book has 40 pages and was written for 4 to 8 year old children.
Made by House of Marbles, this children’s garden tool set is made for small hands, they are colorful, fun and practical. The set comes with a rake, fork, spade, watering can, and sturdy canvas bag.
5. Fun Little Toy 12 PCs Kids Gardening Tool Set, Outdoor Toys for Kids Includes Shovel, Fork, Rake, Gloves, and Apron
There are 12 different pieces in this Fun Little Toy tool kit. The set includes a watering can, pruning shears, trowel, dual-head hoe cultivator, claw rake, gardening fork, rake, spade, and gardening apron.
The yellow wheelbarrow by PierSurplus is 33”wide x 17”deep x 14.5” high. The tub is 20” wide x 14” deep x 9” high with 6” wheels. It weighs 7.2 pounds.