A few weeks ago* we visited an indoor garden and started seeing early signs of spring as we went outside. My daughter became very interested in the idea of a garden and wanted to create one of her own. We live in an apartment with no outdoor space, so I decided to set up this creative garden play tray for her to experiment with gardening.

Garden Creative Play Tray

I love using these dollar store trays to set out materials for the kids to create with. Even the most basic materials look so inviting! I included fake flowers, playdough, rocks, pipe cleaners, plastic butterflies, and small stones with ladybug stickers on them.

Planting her flowers

In our ever-evolving play area, I have dedicated our former coffee table as the “creative table.” It’s in a small nook by the kitchen and we use it for drawing, painting, and other imaginative pursuits. I try to set something up and leave it out for about a week. I usually base it on whatever we are learning about or something that has sparked a lot of interest. I hope as the children get older they come up with their own suggestions and ideas.

Garden Creative Play

The kids are always welcome to use the materials or not and often bring in other items tool. If I notice something isn’t being used, I might switch it out for something else during the week to keep things fresh.

Other ideas for garden activity

They sometimes play independently or together and other times I’ll sit with them. There is so, so much learning that happens–counting, colors, verbal and fine motor skills.

Hard at work in her garden

Lego garden


*This was originally posted in early April, but I ended up crashing the blog one night when I was poking around my cPanel. I got everything back except for this most recent post so just I re-created it. 

Garden Activity Tray


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