A simple way to celebrate Spring and Easter is to notice signs of new life in nature. You can carry this idea even further, by transforming a traditional Easter basket into personal mini gardens to be planted for spring. You can use wooden wine boxes to make little raised beds and filled them with veggies, flowers, and kid-sized gardening essentials.
Not only are these boxes easy (and inexpensive) to put together, but they provide a project for the little ones that will last all spring and summer. Happy Easter! Happy Spring!
– Wooden wine boxes. Find them for a few dollars from a local liquor store.
– Weatherproof wood stain. This box features Behr solid stains in Slate and Ponderosa Green to get a dark, opaque green. A sample sized can (about $2) was more than enough.
– A variety of spring plants. Head to your local garden store and purchase two combinations that (according to the gardeners’ advice) would grow well together and be fun for the kids. One of these boxes holds two marigold plants, one chocolate mint, and a Roma tomato. The other holds a flowering strawberry plant and a variety of herbs. Pay attention to the full-grown size of your plants — if there are too many, they’ll crowd each other out as they grow.
– Gardening Essentials. Of course, what counts as essential is up to you. These boxes include a kid-sized trowel, shovel, and spade, a pair of gloves, a gardening tool belt, garden markers, a package of seeds, and a few paper pots for starting the seeds. Also included are garden-themed children’s books — Grandpa Green, by Lane Smith, and And Then It’s Spring, by Julie Fogliano.
-Treats to hide among the foliage (like candy and or a toy bunny).
Use paintbrush and wood stain to paint the sides and entire inside of your wooden box. Stain dries quite quickly, so by the time you’ve finished the inside, the outside will be ready for a second coat.
Cover box with a second coat of paint. If using two colors, as I did, use your top color for this coat. Let dry.
Stuff your box! Start with the plants and then nestle the other goodies among them, so that they appear to peek out from the leaves. Hide little treats inside the plant pots and leave the basket in the sunlight for your little ones to find on Easter morning.
And once the surprise is over, it’s time to prepare the gardens! Place your sprouts in the box in a mixture of potting soil and mushroom compost, being careful to position them according to the specifications for each plant. Leave the boxes in the sun, water regularly, and wait for the magic to begin!
Created for Design Mom by Elisabeth of (no longer published) My Growing Home.