Get your green on! In this activity, your child will learn about a style of gardening that uses moss, also called “Kokedama,” to make one of her own for a “hanging string garden.” This gardening trend is a great way to learn about not just plant life, but basic physics concepts as well.
What You Need:
- Small, shade-tolerant plant like a baby fern or certain grasses
- Garden gloves
- ½ cup measure
- Yarn or twine
- Peat soil
- Bonsai soil
- Mixing pot
- Moss, collected from yard, forest, or purchased at a plant shop
What You Do:
- Explain to your child that “kokedama” means “moss ball” in Japanese. It is a way of gardening that covers the plant’s roots with moss and then a ball of soil and moss around that. String can be added to hang and display the finished product!
- To start, help your child remove dirt from the plant by tapping the plant gently, leaving mostly the plant head and the plant roots.
- Help her combine two different soils by measuring 3 ½ cups of peat soil and mixing that together with 1 ½ cups of bonsai soil. She should mix the soils well and add about ½ cup of water to wet the mixture.
- Next she’ll form a ball shape with the soil, as if rolling up cookie dough into a ball. She can add more water if needed to hold the soil together in a ball shape. The ball should be big enough that the plant roots will fit inside of it.
- Using collected or purchased moss, she should wrap some moss around the plant roots.
- Next, have her poke a hole in the soil ball and insert the plant roots inside, then reform the ball shape around the plant roots.
- She can also decorate the outside of the soil ball by plastering moss all around it.
- Finally, she’ll wrap her twine around the ball several times to help attach the moss. Leaving a length of yarn above the ball allows her to hang and display the finished “kokedama.”
- Hang the ball in a shady place. Water it as needed by spraying mist on it. Enjoy your unusual hanging garden!