Children's projects

Ideas for Spring Break With Your Little Gardeners

It’s well known that spring break is the best time of the school year, after Christmas vacation! And for parents or grandparents, it’s often a headache to find a balance between activities, rest, budget and efficiency!

In order to inspire you, I propose you some activities to do with your young and less young. How to have some good times, not spend a fortune in… and help you a little in your gardening, why not?)

Child playing with a tree branch
Photo: Petra Šolajová de Pixabay.

1. Plan Your Garden

Draw your vegetable garden or flower beds on a sheet of paper or a board and ask your children to help you plan what will be planted where. Cut out a few pictures of vegetables or flowers that they can put in your garden design and use this as an opportunity to exercise their logic (or memory)! Depending on their age, give them more or less difficult directions to plan the perfect garden.

Some examples of constraints to give them:

  • All herbs must be together
  • Garlic shouldn’t be in the same place as in the previous two years.
  • Plants that grow tall shouldn’t be on the south side to avoid shading other plants.
  • Consider good or bad companions (whether you believe in them or not, the goal is to have fun!)
  • Group together plants with different water requirements.

The possibilities for “instructions” are endless and if you have a large garden, it can be a real headache, even for you! Preparing can be a fun game… and useful!

Hand-drawn garden plans
Photo: Audrey Martel.

2. Organize Your Seeds

A great craft project that teaches your kids that tidying up can be fun!

A binder, a box, scissors, construction paper… you know, leftovers from the year before that are lying around somewhere? Pull it all out, and make something to organize your seeds. Take a look online for inspiration, there are lots of great designs. Decorate, label, file: hours, even days, of fun!

3. Identify Seedlings and Plantings

Again, get creative! I’ve always loved crafts, and even if it’s too early to plant some plants, get a head start! Ask your kids what they would like to do: paint seedling pots? Make stick figures out of popsicles and write the name of vegetables on them? Paint rocks? Wood carving (for the pros!)

Stone with vegetable design
Photo: Audrey Martel.

I know, I know, it’s not a child who painted these, it’s me… but I am a child in my heart!

You can outfit yourself for just a few dollars at the big box stores (it’s a kid’s DIY, no need to buy the expensive super products from a craft store!), by digging through your recycling bin, or even by looking outside at what nature has for you!

4. Buy Them a Plant

If your child isn’t that into DIY, they may want to have their own plant.

A child holds a potted plant
Photo: Anna Shvets

If you knew how I would have loved to have a plant in my youth… but I didn’t… so I asked for animals instead. I’m still waiting for my unicorn mom!

Taking care of a living being is a very common desire among young people. Not ready to own a pet? That’s fine. Offer your child a plant! Take them to a garden center and choose with them: make them aware of the needs of each plant and why a tropical that needs 80% humidity might not be the right choice for his room… Although maybe your project will be to build a terrarium…!

Children put plants in bottles

5. Play the Mad Scientist

One week is perfect to do a “scientific” experiment over a few days. 

Show your kids the power of nature and teach them about patience at the same time: what more could you want? Look around the internet and you will find some very simple and fun experiments to do with your kids of all ages. Explain to them what is going on, or find an interesting video that talks about it.

Quelques exemples:

  • Put the stem of a celery stalk in water with dye.
  • Observe a freshly cut leaf in a glass of water in the sun and another in the dark: after 10 minutes, small air bubbles form on the leaf exposed to the light.
  • Grow a fast-growing plant in a box with a hole that lets light in on one side only. Watch as the plant naturally finds its way there. You can even add a few obstacles to work around, or plug up the opening to make another one elsewhere.
  • Plant the seeds you have in your pantry and observe the differences in leaves, stems, time required (sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, lentils, mustard seeds, cilantro seeds… I’m sure you have some edible seeds in your cupboards).
  • Place a plant branch in a glass of water and watch as the roots appear.
  • Plant different fast germinating seeds in a transparent container by sticking the seeds on the wall to observe the formation of the different roots.

Have a great spring break with your plants! Uh… with your kids!!! ;P

Audrey Martel is a biologist who graduated from the University of Montreal. After more than ten years in the field of scientific animation, notably for Parks Canada and the Granby Zoo, she joined Nature Conservancy of Canada to take up new challenges in scientific writing. She then moved into marketing and joined Leo Studio. Full of life and always up for a giggle, or the discovery of a new edible plant, she never abandoned her love for nature and writes articles for both Nature sauvage and the Laidback Gardener.

7 comments on “Ideas for Spring Break With Your Little Gardeners

  1. These are some fantastic ideas for spring break activities! Along with gardening and crafts, another great way to engage the young ones is through interactive and strategic games. For example, Trials of Osiris in Destiny 2 offers an exciting opportunity for older kids and teens to develop strategic thinking and teamwork skills. This high-stakes PvP mode is a fun and competitive way to spend time, especially on weekends. It’s not only about gaming; it’s about building skills in a digital environment. For a smoother experience, you might find this link useful: https://gamingcy.com/en-us/destiny-2-boost/trials-of-osiris. Combining outdoor activities like gardening with strategic gaming can provide a well-rounded and enjoyable spring break for everyone!

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  3. Garden enthusiasts and green-thumbed adventurers, this delightful guide to spring break activities with your little gardeners is a breath of fresh air! Just as you nurture your plants, why not cultivate your gaming skills with a wow boost https://epiccarry.com/wow/? It’s a fun way to grow both in the garden and in the world of Azeroth. Happy planting and happy gaming! ??

  4. What a delightful article filled with creative ideas for spending spring break with young gardeners! I see the connections between these activities and the world of World of Warcraft. Just like planning the perfect garden, players strategize and plan their moves in the game, such as coordinating attacks in the challenging https://wowvendor.com/en-us/wow/buy-wow-pve-raid-boost/aberrus-the-shadowed-crucible/ raid. I always let my kids to play every day in World of Warcraft, as it can be beneficial for kids as it fosters teamwork and collaboration with other players, promoting social skills and communication. Additionally, engaging in the game’s challenging quests and problem-solving activities can enhance cognitive abilities and strategic thinking, providing a fun and educational gaming experience for young players. However I must admit, that gardening-inspired activities offer a perfect blend of fun, learning, and appreciation for nature, making spring break a memorable and enriching experience for both parents and kids.

  5. My grandson loves to garden, dig in the dirt and pot up plants. I often find him at my potting bench potting up Airplane plant babies. He has 2 of his own now at home. Sometimes I think he knows more than his Mom. She is one who gives little sips of water to plants but I’ve taught him to water til it runs out the bottom!
    For Valentines he asked for a plant! I happened to have just separated a Snake Plant (now I have 11 of them) so I potted one up for him and he was happy as a clam.
    Spring break is coming up in March here in Texas and I’ve prepared our former garden (it’s been too hot to grow anything the last couple of years) for Sunflower seed planting. I bought a variety so we will have different colors. I plan to do this with him as we will babysit him that week. I’m saving some other plant projects for when he’s here as well.
    He has learned so much about plants and gardening over the years that I’m confident he can take care of a flowerbed at home if his Mom chose to make one. He’d probably be able to give her advice.

  6. These are great ideas! Making an arrangement with pussy willow cuttings can be fun too (kids love touching them!). You can hang Easter eggs from the branches. Thanks for the reminder of doing this with my own mom!

  7. Good morning, thanks for all the great ideas, I hope other people put some more ideas up. I have another idea. Cut branches of spring flowering shrubs and stick them in water, the next week the kids come the branches will be in bloom! You get two for one as you get out in nature to cut the branches then watching them bloom will be fun, at least for the adults!

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