One of the things on my list of 25 Toddler Activities to Try was to create a messy play garden for Miss Genesis to enjoy. I had some large hostas plants to get rid of before I could create the garden so I sold those on Facebook. After they were gone I was able to get to work.
We had some pieces of scrap wood lying around in the garage, so I sanded them and Miss Genesis painted them. Then I added some numbers to create a garden hopscotch. It may not be as pretty as some of the ones I’ve seen on Pinterest, but it works. (And yes, that is her hand and foot print on a couple of the pieces!)
I still had one more piece of wood left over so I covered it in sticky chalkboard paper to create a mini chalkboard block for her garden too. Then I put an old tv stand outside in the play garden and filled it with sensory play and small world items.
Items in our Play Garden
- Washable Watercolours
- Jar of Water with a Paint brush
- Homemade Chalkboard using Sticky Chalkboard Paper
- Basket of Chalk
- Glass Aquarium Rocks
- Small painted pinecones (Try to find your own on a nature walk!)
- Large Potpourri (Includes many shapes, balls, flowers etc)
- A small wooden box (She calls it a treasure chest!)
- Rocks (She can paint them or just build small world play scenes with them)
- A little bird house
- A little castle and wizard figurine set
- Some little toy dinosaurs (we hatched these first)
- 2 potted plants for her to take care of
- Some lace doilies.
- A kid sized rolling pin and a measuring spoon.
- An eye dropper
- A set of plastic tongs
- A pair of wooden chopsticks
- Some plastic aquarium shells
- A flowerpot filled with wooden popsicle sticks
- A little fairy house figurine
I can’t remember if there’s anything else but we’ll be adding to it. There is still a small section of unused garden that I will be planting small flowers and vegetables in with Miss Genesis and teaching her how to look after them with me. I do not know if we’ll get to that this year or not as it is too late for planting most plants, but we’ll see. I’ll update you if we do.
This activity was a huge hit with us! Miss Genesis really enjoyed helping to paint the hopscotch (even though she’s too young to understand the game yet) and she LOVES playing in it. She spends ages out there painting rocks, chalking, planting popsicle sticks, and acting out scenes she imagines with the dinosaurs and wizard.
I am not sure yet what we’ll do with the space come winter, or if the hopscotch will last through the cold rainy winter. I did apply a layer of modge podge over the paint to help a bit, but we can always bring some stuff inside to preserve it when the weather changes and recreate next summer. In the meantime she is having a blast playing, learning, and yes, getting messy.