On the day the first seed catalog arrives, I start getting the itch to garden. Why not get your children or grandchildren interested, too? Planning for a garden and attracting birds to your yard are ideal winter activities.
Make a garden blueprint
Use last year’s seed catalogs to let children cut pictures of fruits and vegetables that they like and that you are willing to grow. Add at least one vegetable you would like them to try.
Help them plan a garden on paper or cardboard by pasting the items where you will plant them. At planting time, take the “blueprint” out to the garden and plant.
During the growing season, it will be fun to compare the paper garden plan to your actual garden. A bonus of creating a blueprint: next year you won’t have to remember where veggies were planted for crop rotation!
Flashcards and matching games
For younger children, you can use seed catalog pictures to make flash cards, a match game, or bingo from pictures of fruits and vegetables. Older siblings will enjoy helping construct these items.
Another great winter project is making bird feeders. The easiest one I’ve seen is made with a pine cone. You’ll need some inexpensive peanut butter or plain suet, and bird seed. Attach a string to the pine cone for hanging, spread the peanut butter or suet over the cone, and then roll it in bird seed. Hang outside near a window so that your family can enjoy watching the birds feeding!
Enjoy the winter with these fun, simple projects. Spring will be here before you know it!
Article written by Nancy Good, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer.