Fire up the grill! Make a planter full of delicious seasonings and classic grilling vegetables, great for a Father’s Day gift or for any night of the week. Not only a thoughtful gift or fun start-of-summer craft, this activity works on some serious gardening skills. Bon appétit!
Optional: Plant label markers (purchased or handmade), acrylic paints and paintbrushes
What You Do:
Provide your child with a relatively large planter and potting soil. You can buy the vegetable and herb plants or seeds ahead of time at a garden store, or let your child help pick out plants. Choose plants that all need sun or all need shade so the planter can go in one location.
The ideais for this planter to contain only foods and herbs that work well in barbecue meals. For example, the following herb plants all do well in containers and can also be used in barbecue seasonings: Mint, rosemary, basil, sage, thyme, oregano, parsley, cilantro, chives, tarragon, and lavender. Bell peppers make a good vegetable plant for container pots, as do some smaller varieties of tomatoes. Squash can be grown in a container if the container is big enough. Garlic and onion can also be grown in a container.
Help your child read planting directions for each plant purchased. He can use a garden shovel and potting soil while adding each plant to the container.
He may wish to make plant marker labels. Wine corks or popsicle sticks can be decorated with paint or ink. Your child can write the name of each plant on each cork or stick, or you can purchase plant markers for your child to write on.
If you’re giving it as a gift, an optional final touch would be to have your child use (waterproof) acrylic paints to paint the outside of the pot. He could write “Dad’s Barbecue Plants,” or “Happy Father’s Day,” and paint some garden art or barbecue tools on the pot.
Enjoy eating your homegrown veggies and herbs!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.