I ran the program similarly to the Butterfly Garden program last year where we had different activity stations:
1. Container Planting: I had enough plants/seeds on hand for each child to get to plant at least one. For the soup garden, we planted:
- Tomatoes - Roma, Red Grape, and Yellow Pear
- Peppers - Green and Yellow
- Nantz Carrots (seeds)
- Burpless Cucumbers (seeds)
- Blue Lake Green Beans
- Onions - White and Yellow'
- Spinach (seeds)
2. Rock Painting: Originally, I found this craft and desperately wanted to do it. But after reading the list of chemicals in ready-mix mortar and stepping stone mix (which are quite scary!) and after agonizing over other possible alternatives, I just decided to just let participants paint rocks that they could either take home or leave behind to decorate our library garden. I set a tarp down on the ground, filled some egg cartons with paint, and left the rest up to their imaginations!
3. Bagel Bird Feeders: All you need for this craft are some plain bagels, ribbon, birdseed, and Sunflower Seed Spread (which is safe for both birds and peanut butter allergies).
4. Plant Pals: Kids take a clear cup and decorate it with stickers or markers, add some potting soil, and sprinkle some grass seed on top. I found the stickers on Oriental Trading (nose and mouth stickers found here).
5. Snack/Story: As the families finished up with all of the activity stations, they could come over a get a snack. I provided grape tomatoes, baby carrots, celery sticks, and cucumber slices with ranch dip. (Note: the celery sticks were by far the least popular choice.) We also had cold glasses of water to drink. When the majority of them were having the snack, I read a story or two.
Here are some great choices when you need a vegetable-themed story:
In August, the plan is to have a harvest day where families can take home some vegetables after we enjoy some gazpacho.
For more garden ideas, check out my gardening Pinterest board. Happy gardening!