If the winter cold is keeping the kids away from garden thoughts, try making a garden mural. A garden mural can be as simple as a piece of paper or an elaborate decorative piece. Here are some ideas on building a kids' garden mural.
Garden mural themes
Have kids choose a theme for their mural. Obviously the main theme is the garden, but perhaps they could delve deeper into that and have a vegetable garden mural or a container gardening mural. Look for other garden mural themes in the community. Ask friends and family what themes to include in the garden mural. Try a vintage garden mural with tractors, old watering cans and an old-fashioned arbor. Perhaps the kids want to try a modern garden mural complete with an urban garden and the technology involved. Whatever the chosen theme is, make sure the kids get a say in the final selection.
Build the garden mural
Consider where the mural is going to be. If the kids want an inside garden mural, then they can make it from just about any material. Paper garden murals are great for classroom or family projects. Have the kids depict their favorite parts of gardening on butcher paper or heavy paper. Have each child make several pictures each. Gather the pictures together and put them together like a quilt. If you can, get some cardboard to place all the pictures together to give the garden mural a backing.
Piecing together a garden quilt could be a challenge to many kids, but it might be a great possibility for building a garden mural. Have each child design their piece of the quilt before they begin to make it. Have someone who makes quilts come into the classroom or home to show how to make the quilt.
An outside garden mural should be made from material that is weatherproof or that can be made weatherproof. It should be made to withstand high winds and rain.
You can use concrete to make tiles for a garden mural. Follow the directions on the concrete mix or buy a mix specifically made for making garden stepping stones. Add decorative stones, sea shells and even beads to make the pieces of the garden mural stand out. The kids can also draw pictures in the concrete or stepping-stone mix to show what they like about gardening. Once the mural piece has dried, find some paint that will hold up through rough outside weather and have the kids paint the dried concrete pieces.
Use a primer and a finish coat when making an outside mural. The primer coat of paint allows the paint to stick to the surface, especially if it is glossy. The finish coat will protect the paint from chipping, and some finish products make the final product waterproof.
The garden mural can be lying on the ground horizontally or hung vertically depending on how the kids would like it to look. If you're doing this as a classroom project, have kids vote on which way they'd like to see it. It may depend on how much room is in or near the garden where the garden mural will be placed. Make sure to measure the space available before the garden mural project is started.
It's autumn and the leaves are starting to turn vibrant colors. Soon the New England landscape will be ablaze with hues of red, gold, and green and the leaves will begin to fall from the trees, carpeting the land with easily attainable specimens for a curious child to examine.
Some gardeners keep journals. Kids can keep journals, too, even if they cannot write yet. Here's a few tips on how to get kids to keep a garden journal.