Egg Carton Garden
Fine Motor: To continue to master small muscle movements of the fingers and hands that promotes grasping and manipulating small objects.
You don't need a backyard to explore planting with your toddler! Simple tools such as seeds, soil, a spoon and an egg carton lid are all you need to make a little garden grow. Here is a simple Nurture, Explore, and Share activity to help your toddler’s love of gardening start to blossom!
You will need:
- Egg carton lid
- Potting soil
- Flower pot
- Small spoonClick the Accessibility bar below for details on materials that can be substituted to make this activity easier for children with a range of abilities.
- Chive seeds (or other herbs)
- watering can
- Ahead of time, pour soil half way into the flower pot.
- With your toddler, hold a spoon together by placing your hand over their hand (if needed) to fill the lid of the egg carton with soil.
- Support your toddler to sprinkle seeds onto the soil by placing your hand over their hand to hold the spoon. Encouraging words help to keep your toddler’s attention such as “You poured in the seeds we need to grow our herb! Thank you”.
- Model by gently pressing the soil down using your fingers, then let your toddler try on their own.
- Prepare a littler water in a water can and support your toddler to water the seeds by placing your hand over their hand (if needed).
- Repeat steps 1-6 to allow your toddler to practice their skills in sprinkling seeds using a spoon and watering the herb.
- Encourage your little one to water the herbs each day to see the herb grow taller. Tip: Fill the small flowering pot with water (more water means a heavier flowering pot) and say, “Liam, I like when you water our plant”.
- Once the herbs have grown, enjoy them in a salad or on an omelet!
Click Here For Accessibility Tips
Some children find holding materials, such as, crayons and paints brushes, challenging. These tips will help you focus on building your toddlers hand strength.
- Rubber place mat
- Large scooping tool
Use flower pots that are sturdy so your toddler can hold they hold them easily. Place a rubber mat underneath so that the pots don't slip
Use a large scooping tool with a wide handle to help your toddler hold the tool
Support your toddler to scoop the soil and shack the seeds by placing you hand over their hand when holding the gardening tools
After you show your toddler how to gently press the soil down with your fingers, encourage them to do the same by saying "Copy me"
Nurture, Explore & Share
- If you use tools and materials that will help your toddler scoop
- Your child will use their fingers and develop hand strength
- Plant seeds and care for the herb
- Learn to take responsibility in caring for a living thing
- Provide sensory opportunities through touch and sight
- Gain tactile experience in increased knowledge in texture and colour
- Share your gardening routine
- Gain patience in knowing that growing a herb takes time through caring routine (i.e. water and sunlight)
- Provide gardening tools to plant herb
- Gain hand-eye coordination on how to hold tools (i.e. spoon, flowering pot)
Enriching Learning Through the Everyday Moments
- To promote fine motor skills such as holding a pencil or marker, provide your toddler with blank paper and markers. You can prompt the idea of drawing your plant by saying, “Leo, our plant looks bigger today, maybe you can draw our plant for Mommy”. Remember, allow your toddler to expand their imagination by letting them draw however they view the plant to be.
- The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
- From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
Everyday Moments: Play Time