Gardening Gals

Fun in The Sun!

A very — VERY — quick idea for an indoor or outdoor activity with a toddler.

She had so much fun and this was an activity that really kept her interest.

Click on “Read More” after the picture to gallivant in our garden.

Elise is recovering from her Aunt’s wedding festivities: 7 straight days of new or new-ish faces, running around to meet family and friends for a tour around Seattle or to nosh on yummy meals, and just activity after activity for her little almost-two-year-old brain to absorb. Recovering is definitely the right word.

Although I had previously planned to start going to the West Seattle library branch for toddler story time this week, I reconsidered after she slept in this morning. She very rarely sleeps in.
I thought it might be nice to hang around the house and have a low key day, so we popped into the grocery for necessities – Mommy NEEDS her half-n-half for the coveted one cup of coffee she inhales each day. Back home, we spent a lot of time reading, coloring and playing with blocks.
Danger took a nap and I used the time to prep for an idea I came up with this morning: a build your own garden. We had everything we needed and even got to incorporate some previous crafting into the fun.
My ‘supplies’ list for this was seriously anything I could pull in 2 minutes. I raided our craft supplies bin and pulled random things off of counters or tables and got
– colored and silver pipe cleaners
– paint chips
– a random piece of yellow craft foam that had been floating around for a week that was driving me crazy
– craft sticks
– coffee stir sticks, courtesy of GiGi, PaPa and the Aunties the day before
– some previous painting activities: a ladybug and two flowers
– some bug stickers
– Aunt Bec’s wedding ‘thank you’ gable box, a beautiful box to repurpose
Because she was napping and because she has the patience of well, a two year old, I prepped some stuff before she woke up. I cut out some grass from a large green paint chip, some leaves from another, and a few flowers. I glued and/or taped them to craft sticks or coffee stirrers, and let them set. I also attached her previous craft activities to sticks so that she could easily move everything around and nothing would get lost in the garden box.
I knew we needed to start with some dirt but I wasn’t going to make my dirt dough recipe because… Because… Well, because I was too lazy, to be honest! I wanted something quick and not too messy because we would be eating dinner before bath. Play sand to the rescue! Seriously, kids love playing in sand and its über cheap to get playground sand at a big box home improvement store.
I whipped out some green food coloring and went to town on the sand for about 30 seconds. If you’re going to do this, use a disposable fork or spoon to mix the food coloring because it will stain anything except the glass bowl.


I reinforced the gable box with clear packing tape and lined it with foil – I don’t really know why i did the foil. I am still sleep-deprived, as Danger woke up 4 times last night. So anyway…
Elise woke up and had a blueberry-spinach smoothie I made. It sounds disgusting but was surprisingly tasty and she drank two full sippy cups of the stuff!
Now that Elise was armed with a full belly, we gathered up our supplies, went  outside, and started building the garden. I didn’t want to tell her what to do or how to play with the materials, so I just laid everything out and set her loose. There was a lot of sand dumped on her legs. I had to intervene or there would have been no ‘dirt’ to hold up our garden!


She began by placing one item in the box, looking it over, taking it out, and then selecting another.


It took her a few minutes to begin stacking the pieces. She eventually made quite a few different gardens, and I believe that taking them out was just as fun for her as putting each flower, bug, and blade of grass in.
Such concentration… That blade of grass goes riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight here!


Don’t you just love that hat? It’s now called the gardening hat around here. I think she had fun with this impromptu activity based on the laughs and smiles.



Have a great day!!
Ruffles and Rain Boots, toddler crafts, toddler activities, fun crafts for kids, rainy day activities, sarcastic mom
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