Every winter I hear customers complaining about long gray winter days and bored kids. There are some fun indoor gardening activities you can use to occupy your kids, as well as teaching them a little something about gardening—and maybe even getting them to “know” their vegetables a little more. And, even better, they’re fun for you, too.
Grow Your Own Pineapple Plant
Cut off the top of a ripe pineapple. Peel the bottom leaves off enough to leave a one-inch stump. Place the top in a small class of water in a bright window and it will grow roots in about a month or six weeks. Once it has rooted, put it into a small pot with regular potting soil. As it grows, transplant it up about an inch at a time in pot size. When it’s full grown (about three years), you can get it to bloom and grow another pineapple.
Grow a Carrot Forest
Cut the tops off whole carrots and set them in a saucer of water in a windowsill. They’ll grow more fluffy green tops.
Grow a Sweet Potato Vine
Who knew what a pretty vine a sweet potato can grow? Buy a whole sweet potato and place it, root side down, in a glass of water. It will grow shoots which will turn into vines that will climb happily around a sunny window.
Hint—if you do this in late winter, you can then “snap” off the shoots and pot them into little pots of soil, then transplant them out into your garden in mid-end May to grow your own sweet potatoes. They are crazy viners so give them a little room.
Grow Your Own Salad
The next time you use a head of romaine lettuce, cut the bottoms off. Place them, root side down, in a pie pan with an inch or two of water and place in a bright window. They’ll start to grow new leaves from the middle. Let your kids pick them for their own salad.
A Real Mr. Potato Head
Bake a whole potato. Set out a bowl of cut-up raw veggies (carrots, celery, sweet pepper rings, even black olives) and a small cup of toothpicks. Let kids decorate their potatoes with edible faces—then eat them!
Maybe, if kids get to “play” with their veggies, they’ll be more inclined to eat them later…