Messy kid fun can be had gardening when snow is still on the ground by planting amaryllis bulbs. Amaryllis bulbs grow fairly quickly and they generally flower less than a month from planting so it’s a great gardening experience for children.
boxed amaryllis bulbs which come complete with plastic pot and compressed planting medium (if you have loose amaryllis bulbs, then you will need potting mix and 4-6″ diameter planting pot and a saucer to catch water). Amaryllis bulbs are seasonally available in the fall and can be found deeply discounted once Christmas has passed. I found boxed kits for about $1.00 in the clearance aisle of a local retailer after the holidays.
newspaper to cover table for easy clean up
large kid-friendly spoon or sand tool for moving mix from bowl to pot
water (I use the sink sprayer) to water the planted bulbs right after planting
I am thinking of starting a feature on this blog: recurring posts on the subject of how to include young children in gardening, and cooking, and in making things. Why? Because it’s messy, and it’s fun, and practice makes, well if not perfect than at least… learning and growing in skills and confidence? I am thinking of calling it the Messy Fun feature, with posts on messy crafts, messy gardening, & messy cooking. Messy laundry, messy cleaning, messy dressing, the list could go on and on.
Today, we made Valentines for grandparents, for cousins, for babysitters, and a few others. Simple ingredients: blunt nosed scissors for the toddler and for me, roller ball glue, construction paper, and washable children’s paint, and some brushes. Also, if you will be mailing these, some letter size mailing envelopes. I cut out large hearts and small hearts, and outlined his hands on some paper to use as a template to cut out more. I asked him to paint on the heart shapes, and showed him how to stick hearts in the paint, and use the glue. Soon, paint was everywhere… but no worries, it’s washable! Not sure about fabrics, but the washable paint wiped right off the wooden table. And the wooden floor…
I thought it was neat that if I positioned the cut-out hands just so, the thumbs and forefingers formed a sort of heart.
We made a baker’s dozen over two sessions, and we will be mailing them to the lucky recipients on Monday, so that they arrive in time for Valentine’s Day. It was definitely messy, and a whole lot of fun!
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