4 Fun Projects for a Children’s Spring Garden Party

Guest post by Kimberly Burger Capozzi

RedTulips_DanZen_160x150There’s no better time than spring for an outdoor celebration. Join nature’s party with garden-inspired activities that let kids get their hands dirty.

FUN ALERT! These ideas involve water, too, so in the invitation, ask parents to send along rain gear or a change of clothes.

Plant a Party Favor

painted-pots-photolibrarycom-350x230Have the children paint their own pots, plant flowers, and take them home!

What You Need:

  • Small terra-cotta pots and saucers, one for each guest
  • Non-toxic permanent paint, such as acrylic
  • Brushes and water cups for rinsing
  • Small hand spades or sand shovels
  • Potting soil
  • Small stones or pebbles for drainage
  • Fast-growing seeds (beans or sunflowers)

What You Do:

1. Have the kids use their creativity to paint the outside of the flower pots. Have them paint their names on the bottom of their pots. Tip: While the pots dry, start work on the Birthday Garden (see below).

2. When the pots are dry, have the children place a small handful of pebbles in the bottom for drainage and then fill the pots with soil.

3. Plant one or two seeds in each pot and cover with a little soil. For sunflowers, seeds should be planted about ½-inch deep.

4. Tell your guests to give their plants plenty of sun and water at home!

Create a Birthday Garden

girl_gardening_photolibrarycom_300x450Before you start, review this beginner’s gardening how-to guide or read this advice on container gardening. Prepare the garden bed or boxes so the soil is loose and ready for small hands to dig.

What You Need:

• Flat of kid-friendly flowers, such as marigolds or zinnias for sunny spots, impatiens for partial sun or shade

• Craft sticks

• Permanent markers

• Open garden bed, large flower pots, or window boxes

What You Do:

1. Write each guest’s name on a craft stick.

2. Have each child select a flower to plant, dig a small hole, gently remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole. Cover roots with soil.

3. Have the kids insert their craft sticks next to the flowers they planted.

Parents: 16 Tips for Wildlife Gardening with Kids


Critter Chase

Play this springtime version of tag that pits gardeners against hungry visitors.

What You Need:

  • List of animals that like to dine on garden plants (rabbits, chipmunks, groundhogs, beetles, spittlebugs, etc.)
  • Sticks or stones for marking the play space

What You Do:

1. Place stones in a line on one side of the play area to mark the garden gate.

2. Choose at least two gardeners to guard the “gate.”

3. Have the other children line up on the other side of the gate and assign them the animal names. Make sure that at least two children share each animal name, so the chase is fair.

4. Have an adult call out the name of an animal at random. Those players make a run for the gate, while the gardeners try to catch them. Anyone tagged becomes a gardener. Keep playing until all the critters are tagged.

5. For younger children it may be more fun to have as many gardeners as animals, and give everyone a turn playing both.

6. For older children assign some players as bees and butterflies that chase the gardeners when they get called. If they tag a gardener, the gardeners must join the critter team.

Water Races

Party guests sprinkle and pour water in these wet-and-wild relay races. If guests forget their rain coats, hand out garbage-bag smocks. To make one: With sharp scissors, cut a bag down the middle on one side. Cut an arm hole along each crease.

What You Need:

  • Watering cans, or make your own out of empty plastic juice or milk jugs
  • A wading pool
  • 2 empty buckets
  • Glass or plastic food jars of about the same size, one for each child

What You Do:

1. Start with a Watering Can Relay. Fill wading pool on one side of play space. Place two empty buckets about 20 feet away.

2. Divide players into two teams. Give each team a watering can and have them line up at the wading pool.

3. Players on each team race to fill their bucket by scooping up water in the wading pool, carrying it across the play space, and “watering” the bucket. They then run back to their teammates and hand the can to the next player in line.

4. Keep moving through the line until one team fills their bucket and wins.

5. Next, play Careful Pour Relay. Have players stand side-by-side with the opposing teams facing each other. Give each child a small jar.

6. Fill the jar of the first player on each team. On the start, that player should carefully pour the water into the next child’s jar, trying not to spill any. That child pours into the next jar, and so on until the end of the line. The team with the most water in the last jar wins.

Kimberly Burger Capozzi is a mom and freelance writer based outside Pittsburgh, PA. She has written about parenting issues, wind power and military spending programs, and chronicles her family’s efforts to cook wholesome meals at www.chefzi.blogspot.com.
Published: March 11, 2011