When it comes to teaching children to care for the earth, it’s best to let them dig right in. That’s why conservation lessons at Primrose schools include our Primrose Patch gardens, where students get to help plant, water, and watch flowers and vegetables grow.
Families can keep the fun going at home with an upcycled mini garden as a way to teach children about conservation. This lesson is twofold: Find a new purpose for a beverage container rather than throwing it away and see how the earth can produce wonderful things when we show care and attention.
In the classroom, Megy® the pig is the Primrose Friend who champions conservation, teaching children simple actions such as turning off the faucet and lights to save water and energy. We’ve included a Megy printable at the end of these instructions so that our favorite planet-loving pig can help oversee your child’s garden.
Follow these easy steps to get started with your little gardener.
- Empty milk or juice carton
- Soap and water
- Scissors (grown-up use only)
- Nontoxic paint or markers
- Potting soil
- Flower seeds
- Optional: Megy printable and craft stick
- Wash carton with soap and water.
- Grown-up step: Lay the carton on its side and poke a small hole in one corner with scissors.
- Grown-up step: Poke your scissors through the hole and cut along the edge, removing one long side of the carton while leaving a narrow frame for the soil.
- Decorate the planter with nontoxic paint or markers.
- Fill the carton with potting soil, patting it down as you go.
- Add a little water to dampen the soil.
- Using your fingers, poke holes in the soil and put a seed inside each one.
- Grown-up step (optional): Use scissors to cut out the Megy printable, then fasten a craft stick to the back using eco-friendly glue. Plant her among the seeds to watch over your garden!
- Place your planter outdoors or inside next to a window. If placing outside, poke a few holes in the bottom of the planter for drainage.
- Watch the beautiful flowers grow! Encourage your child to check regularly for sprouting plants.
For more on conservation lessons at school and home, check out:
- How to Teach Conservation to Children
- Why It’s Beneficial to Let Kids Play in the Dirt
- Meet the Primrose Friends
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