Sow Seeds with Toddlers using Recycled Materials 12

It’s still cold in this part of the country, but I’ve been itching for spring weather to arrive! I decided one way to help us pass the time until the warmer weather shows up would be to start some seeds indoors. For me, it was important to find a way to do this using recycled materials. I also wanted to bring my toddler in on this project.

start seeds with kids

We had a lot of fun with this simple planting project. I’m sure your toddlers, preschoolers, and other young kids would too. Here’s what we did.

We gathered supplies:

Sweet Pea seeds, egg carton (lid removed and saved for later), cardboard rolls (cut in 2″ lengths, potting soil, plastic wrap. I also included a bowl and scoop to make it easier for Pooky to help distribute the potting soil.

seed materialsThe egg carton looked like a kid-friendly way to sow some seeds, but I was skeptical about how small each section was and doubted it could hold much soil.  I had the idea to add cut up cardboard rolls to each “pod” so I could add more soil and allow the seedlings to grow a bit bigger before transplanting.  The cardboard rolls just happen to fit perfectly!

Then we sowed our sweet pea seeds.


I showed Pooky how to place one Sweet Pea seed into each “pod” of the egg carton.

 (We did this without the cardboard rolls in place to make it easier.)


She repeated this process, so we actually had two seeds in each pod.


Next, I replaced the cardboard rolls.

Then I showed Pooky how to use the scoop to pour the soil in place.


She preferred to use her hands! This was exciting for me because my daughter is always very hesitant with new textures.  I wasn’t sure how she would take to the potting soil.  After a few tentative touches, she got busy moving the soil!


She had a blast with this part!


Once all the “pods” were filled, Pooky went on to play with the soil (insta-sensory bin), while I watered the seeds. (Note: I realized the seeds may have been planted too deeply since we put them in first, so I added another seed to each pod after the soil was in.)


The next step was to cover the egg carton lid with plastic wrap and place it under the egg carton to add more stability since the cardboard will eventually become soggy from watering.


The last step after watering was to cover it with a lid in order to create a greenhouse effect.   My large empty salad container fits perfectly over the egg carton! (Hooray for reusing!)

And now we just have to wait and watch! 

Meanwhile, you can check out my Pinterest board “Gardening with Kids” for more springtime inspiration.

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