Gardening Ideas for Toddlers
We are thrilled to present the second of our two-part guest series on spring gardening for toddlers from the fabulous Renee at About The Garden.
Grow Sunflowers from Seed
Sunflowers have to be the BIGGEST and happiest flower plants in existence and toddlers just love them. Whilst you can use sunflower seeds from a produce store, just note that the flower heads on these tend to be quite small. For the humongous flower heads (mine were about 20-30cm in diameter), use the Searles Sunflower Seeds. These seeds are a hybrid, so you cannot re-germinate dried out seeds (I’ve tried with no success), however they are just amazing in their size and so much fun to grow. Plus you can use them to make bird treats!
Sunflower seeds can be planted directly into garden, however I prefer to use the recycled toilet roll seed raising method, whereby you fill toilet rolls with Searles Seed Raising Mix, pop in a seed, water and when the seed has reach a mature seedling size (approximately 3 weeks), you plant into the garden.
The thing to remember about sunflowers is they take a long time (especially the hybrid versions) to flower, but it is worth the wait. I’ve planted my sunflowers into the car tyre gardens without a problem in the past.
How to involve tiptoe toddlers in growing sunflower seeds:
- Ask your little person to help you collect the toilet rolls. I have a special box and my children know that our toilet rolls go in that box. It’s a great introduction to recycling.
- Ask your toddler to help fill the toilet rolls with seed raising mix. Give them a little spade and a pair of garden gloves.
- Give them a watering can and allow them to water the seeds every few days (not too often as they can drown!).
- Talk about where you are going to plant your sunflowers, get your spot ready, dig and loosen the soil if required.
- Ask your toddler to help you dig the hole to plant the sunflowers. The awesome thing about using toilet rolls is you don’t have to take the seedlings out of the punnet, you just plant it right into the ground.
It’s easy as to grow from seed using the toilet roll method.
ABOUT ME: Hi, I’m Renee and I’m a self confessed fun maker. Whilst I’m not the world’s best gardener (I’ve killed cactus), I believe that getting my kids gardening is one of the most important experiences I can give them as a parent. It’s my way to teach them about the environment, food production, healthy living, science and sustainable practices in a fun and physical way. I love that they are willing to taste our garden produce and that we incorporate many of our garden ‘treasures’ into our craft activities.
So don’t let past gardening failures burden you, we’ve all killed plants and that’s OK. Just get out there and garden with your kids, because….. well….. it’s fun