Grow a Hairy Harry

... and Other Rainy Day Kids' Nature Activities

Growing things like growing a Hairy Harry, cress in eggshells, or sprouts in a jar, grows your child's imagination and knowledge.

It's called windowsill gardening, but of course these little plants can grow anywhere, inside or out... under the bed, behind the shed, in a tent, or on the coffee table!

Kids gardening - Hairy Harry made by Julio

Most of these can be eaten too...crunch, crunch, crunchy lunch.

Like Julio in the photo, have fun with old Hairy Harry and other green weirdos.

Grow a Hairy Harry

2 yrs — teens
Materials:

  • Socks or stockings and decorating materials
  • Lawn or cress seed
  • Container with water
  • Soil

Very young children will need help and older kids can do it all, but this gardening for kids favourite... Hairy Harry, is a hoot.

Take one of those pairless socks or stockings every household has and sew or glue on eyes and other facial features.

Put some lawn or cress seed in the sock end and fill with garden soil, potting mix or compost. Fill the sock until the face is filled out and tie a knot in the sock, making sure the mix inside is packed tightly.

Water the Hairy Harry sock regularly, or prop it on top of a jar or container with water. The loose end of the sock will act as a wick to draw up the moisture. Place in a sunny or warm position.

In a couple or so days, Harry will have a full head of green hair — straight if grass and curly if cress! In about a week, snip the cress and eat, and in a couple of weeks, the grass will be ready for a hair cut or styling makeover!

Growing Cress in Eggshells

Materials:
  • Egg shells (or walnut halves)
  • Cress
  • Pen marker
  • Cotton wool or tissues
Growing cress in eggshells

A variation on Hairy Harry is Eggbert. Even two year olds love to carefully arrange the materials with this idea.

Use the largest eggshells you have and clean out the insides (after breakfast or baking of course).

A funny or smiley face can be drawn on the shells with a permanent maker.

Stand the Eggberts upright in eggcups; an egg carton or even in a mock-up pebble garden bowl, with open tops upwards and poke cotton wool or tissue paper loosely into them. Sand or soil can also be used, but it tends to be messy in such a small area.

Cress seeds can now be sprinkled on top and watered gently. Keep moist by trickling or spraying water in several times a day.

Eggbert's curls will appear in 3 days and soon after you and your child can be munching cress in a sandwich or garnishing a meal. Thanks Eggbert, let's breed more of you!

Growing Bean Shoots

2 yrs and up
Materials:

  • Large wide mouth jar
  • Mung bean seeds
  • Mesh material: muslin, fine hanky, pantyhose.

This is the quickest way to grow edible things. In just a few days, the kids will be able to pop fresh bean shoots in a salad or sandwich or just eat them as they come. This will also work with alfalfa, cress and snow pea seeds.

Put the seeds into a clean, wide mouth jar and place a mesh material over the mouth. It must be a material that water and air can pass through, but not the seeds, or fruit flies if in a warm climate. A bit of discarded pantyhose secured with a rubber band will do.

Soak the seeds overnight in water. Next morning, drain the excess water (use on pot plants) and place the jar on its side in a bright room, near a window. A couple of times a day, re-wet the seeds, drain and return to the bright space. The seeds will sprout and grow very quickly and within a few days will be ready to eat.

Growing sprouts is rewarding and there are many seeds and legumes that can be sprouted and eaten. Have a squizz at more in-depth information elsewhere if you and your children would like to experiment further. Beware many sprouts are super fussy and need exact requirements or they go bad on you.

Build a bottle windowsill portable greenhouse; Sneaker Gardening!

Propagate garden seedlings — cute little containers for cute littlies to grow their own. Go to: Gardening Activities for Kids and read all about these mini gardens under: Propagate Garden Seedlings.

More Kids' Garden Crafts

Gardening for Kids

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