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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

10 Kid-Inspired Garden Activities for Winter

Gardening takes a lot of work, caring, and patience- all virtues every human being should learn while in their youth.  In the high mountains deserts of the Wild West, we can't garden outside easily in the winter. Our winter here is generally below zero, foggy, and a bit dreary (except this year).  Winter doesn't have to be all dreary, though. There are some lovely garden activities you can do now with your kids, while you wait for the weather to warm the soil.  Here's some of what we've done...

10 Kid-Inspired Garden Activities for Winter

#1 Buy some fun seeds!
Maybe you could order something online like watermelon radishes or pineapple tomatillos, like we did.  Winter is a good time to order your seeds so that you have time to plan and start them indoors before spring planting.
Watermelon Radish

#2 Read A Little Garden Calendar for Boys and Girls!It's a classic book that's in the public domain, so it's free to read online.  It's not only an entertaining read, it's educational!

 

#3 Check out some fun books about gardening from your local library to read together.  "Creepy Carrots" was a fun read for us.

#4 Grow an indoor plant and learn to care for it.
Jade and other succulents are hardy, and good for beginners to grow.
We got our jade starts from my aunt.

#5 Grow green onions from the store.  After you use the green tops of the green onions, just stick the white root end into water (we've used a baby food jar) and set in on your windowsill.  You'll have new growth that you can keep harvesting in the weeks to come.
photo from cookingclassy.com

photo from northcarolinacharm.com

#6 Cook together using preserved veggies from last year!  Last night we used the last of our frozen pureed Hubbard Squash to make 2-ingredient "Pumpkin" Bread!  All you need is spice cake mix and 1 1/2 cups pureed squash (about the same capacity of a can of pumpkin).  Mix it until it comes together into a thick batter and put it in a greased bread pan.  Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

#7 Grow alfalfa sprouts! 
 
They only take 3 days to grow, and they taste great in salads or on sandwiches.  All you need is alfalfa seeds, a jar with a lid that allows for good drainage, and a paper bag.

#8 Make cute garden markers!
We simply collected rocks and painted them white.  When they were dry, we used permanent markers to write the plant names.  These won't blow away in the wind!
 

#9 Start a garden blog!
My kids and I enjoy blogging together.  It makes the gardening experience more engaging and the kids get a real sense of accomplishment when they can show and tell.  Sometimes my daughter can be found blogging on our tablet, out in the garden, under the shade of a golf umbrella!

 #10  Get outside and dig out some weeds when a day permits!
We've had an unusually warm winter, and we were able to get out and weed just a couple weeks ago.  If you are blessed with a warm day, make use of it.  If you start digging up weeds before the bugs and the bees are alive and working it's more enjoyable, at least for these three tame dames!

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