Did you enjoy making miniature gardens when you were a kid? They are a great activity to get your kids outside and interested in gardening. So head outdoors singing “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary” and see how your garden is growing.
This week on Rhyme Time we are sharing activities about the nursery rhyme “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary.
We have been spending lots of time out in our garden. The kids have been helping to sow seeds for our vegetable patch and we’ve planted some sunflower seeds into pots as well. We had a bumper crop last year, so the kids are expecting the same again (no pressure then!)
Each morning the kids are very excited to see how much their seedlings have grown. We haven’t planted them outside yet, we are keeping them indoors for a while longer until the last of the frosts have been and gone. Getting them involved with growing their own food is a great way to tempt them to try new foods and another excuse to get them out in the fresh air.
You could also collect Daisy’s whilst you are out for this Water Play Activity.
All of this gardening and singing “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary” has taken me back to helping my granny out in her garden when I was a child. She loves pottering around in her garden and when my sister and I were little, she used to set us on creating our own “Miniature Gardens,” whilst she was busy tending to her borders.
She would send us off around her garden with a big flowerpot to go and collect flower heads, little stones, twigs, leaves and grass. She would then have a seed tray filled with soil ready for us when we came back with our haul. We would spend ages then creating, changing around and playing with our gardens, conjuring up stories involving flower fairies and talking animals.
It was great excitement as well if we managed to capture a poor ladybird to go and live in our garden (although I’m sure the poor ladybird wasn’t quite as excited, as they invariably ended up getting squished!). So I decided to try and re-create this magical activity with my own children and give it a bit of a “Mary, Mary quite Contrary” make over.
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Enjoy Making Miniature Gardens
My kids were very excited to venture out into our garden to gather their supplies. I did have to put a limit on the number of flower heads they collected though, as we don’t have a very big supply to pick from. I am nowhere near the gardener my granny is, so our garden is still very much a work in progress.
Whilst they were out collecting their treasures I quickly mixed up some moon sand (4 cups of plain flour, 4 cups of wholemeal flour and 1 cup of baby oil) to use in place of the soil. I thought this would make the exercise a bit cleaner and we could then use it again in some more of our activities later in the week. I also laid out the all-important silver bells and sea shells to give our gardens a “Mary, Mary” twist.
If it’s too wet to make a garden then why not make a Giant Flower Collage instead.
The kids then trooped back in and laid out their haul over the kitchen table, but making sure that nobody else touched the items THEY had collected for THEIR garden (I can’t understand why they have to make everything into a competition!) I then handed them each a small box filled with some moon sand to create their gardens in. I would have liked to have used seed trays, but when I went to fetch some in from the garden shed, I couldn’t find any, so I had to quickly improvise.
The kids worked really well alongside each other and took real pride in their creations. They managed to cram everything in that they have found in our garden, along with some silver bells and shells and they even added in a Lego mini figure as well (not really in keeping with the theme I know, but they were adamant).
We had such a nice time creating our miniature gardens, we will definitely be doing this activity again.
For even more ideas please pop over and check out what activities my blogging friends have been making and creating for “Mary, Mary quite contrary.”
Grow your own crystal flowers following this fun science experiment from Danya Banya
Practice your numbers in this beautiful Flower Garden from Adventures of Adam
Play this fun Roll a Flower game from Best Toys for Toddlers
See how much your children are growing with this Fabric Growth Chart from Teach me Mommy