Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.
We are on day ten in our series on Unplugged Play. Last week one of the activities was to set up a Story Themed Playscape for your kids.
Today we’re going to set up a Garden Playscape.
What is a playscape? A playscape is simply a scene that is put together to inspire creative play around a theme. You are “setting the stage” so to speak. In this case, we’re setting the stage for some kid-sized gardening and harvest fun in the living room.
Supplies and materials
- blankets or towels rolled up length-wise to create ruts and furrows
- play veggies from the play kitchen (or wooden blocks, or balled up socks, or play silks, or something else to act as pretend “crops” to be harvested)
- basket or bucket for gathering the crops from your blanket field
- child-sized rake, watering can, or shovel might be fun
- space in the living room or kid’s bedroom to set up this kid-sized playscape idea
- optional: some books about gardening and farming, gardening gloves and a floppy hat
You and your child can plant the crops (placing them in between the rolled up blanket ruts and furrows) and then practice watering them, letting the sunshine help them to grow, chasing the stuffed bunny rabbits out of the garden, etc.
Later, harvest your crops by picking them from the “garden” and gathering them in a basket or bucket. (Can you tell this play idea evolved from tomato season at our house this year?)
Perhaps after you’ve gathered your crops your child will want to make carrot stew or a tomato pizza with your harvest?
Then, repeat the whole process over again!
When you’re done playing garden, maybe you and your child would like to head to the library for some books about gardens and farming? Maybe you could start daydreaming about the types of plants you’d like to grow in a real garden? Or begin to grow some plants indoors in a windowsill.
Some of our favorite vegetable books for kids:
- Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z
- The Vegetables We Eat
- From Seed to Plant
- The Carrot Seed
Later this week you’ll need glitter and an empty jar or honey bear container. This weekend you’ll need a few pieces of unfinished wood or a decent sized tree branch and a small saw and some minor woodworking skills (minor, I promise). Stay tuned!
Just joining us? Find 31 Days of Unplugged Play here.