With lockdown lifted slightly, we’re able to get out and about more regularly, which is great! But many parents will still be tackling teaching kids at home whilst juggling work. If you can’t or don’t have time to get outside and garden, don’t worry – there are plenty of projects you can do at home with your little growers. We spoke to landscape designer Natasha Hopkinson and landscape architect Lesley Perez to get tips on how to bring gardening indoors. Here are 5 awesome projects you can do with your kids, and the best part is – they definitely count as lessons in ecology and life sciences!

1. Sprout House 

Remember Chia Pets from your childhood? Kids will love constructing these little houses and watching the sprouts grow. Plus, the sprouts can be used to top salads, if your kids are feeling adventurous! 

What You’ll Need: 

  • 4 household sponges
  • Scissors 
  • Toothpicks
  • A plate 
  • Chia seeds 

What to Do: 
Use one sponge as the base. Cut all the other sponges in half to act as the walls and roof. Then connect all the pieces with toothpicks by inserting one end of the toothpick into the edge of the sponge and connecting it to the other. Mix about a tablespoon of chia seeds with water and spread the paste all over the sponge house. Then add some water to a plate, put the house on it… and wait! Make sure you mist the sponge house with water every day, and in a few days the chia seeds will sprout! This is a fantastic way to teach your little ones about the magic of germination. 

2. Fresh Mint 

Ready for a spring tea party? Kids will love the scent and taste of fresh mint, and you’ll have fun sipping the results of your (surprisingly easy) labour! 

What You’ll Need: 

  • Mint clippings or cuttings 
  • A jar 

What to Do: 

This project is super easy and fun to see! Buy some mint from the grocery store, let your kids grab off a bit, place it in a jar with water, and within a week those little mint cuttings will be putting out new roots that grow and grow! Kids will love watching mint’s superpower to regrow without pollination, and it’s a great excuse to make mint tea (or a Mojito), too! 

3. Carrot Top Bloomers

This is a cool way to show kids the transformation of something you’d ordinarily throw away, into something beautiful. It might even be an effective incentive to get your kids to eat more carrots!

What You’ll Need: 

  • The top of a carrot (about 1 inch) 
  • A glass 

What to Do: 

This is one of the easiest plants for kids to grow. Carrot tops will eventually even bloom white lacy flowers, which is especially pretty! Stick a toothpick into either side of the carrot stump and balance it on top of a small glass. Pour water into the glass so it’s barely touching the bottom of the carrot stump. Then set it in a light (but not sunny) place, make sure to top up the water so the stump is always immersed, and watch it sprout! 

4. Avocado Trees

Turn a pit into a pretty house plant and get your little ones involved in the growing cycle with this simple project. Your kids will love seeing the pit slowly grow into a plant with glossy green leaves! 

What You’ll Need:

  • Avocado Pit 
  • A jar 
  • Toothpicks 
  • A plant pot 
  • Soil 

What to Do: 

Insert 3 to 4 toothpicks into a dry avocado pit. Suspend the pit in a jar, and fill it up with water so that about a third of the pit is immersed. Place the jar in a warm spot (but not directly in sunlight), and in about 2-6 weeks, roots should sprout. When the plant sprout gets about 6 inches tall, cut it back to 3 inches to encourage more root growth. Then, once the stem grows out again, plant the pit in a 10-inch pot with soil, and wait for your avocado tree to grow! Remember, though – this isn’t about actually producing an avocado fruit (that takes years). This project is focused on the fun of watching the green tree grow! 

5. Grassy Eggheads 

This activity is perfect for adding some character and personality to your gardening. Make a family of grassy eggheads if you’d like, and give them all different faces and hairstyles! 

What You’ll Need: 

  • An egg
  • Soil 
  • Grass seeds 
  • Googly eyes 
  • A permanent marker
  • A poached egg holder 

What to Do: 

Gently crack the end of an egg, making sure to crack as little of one side as possible. Then empty the egg so you’re left with just the shell. Dry the shell, then help your kiddos to glue the googly eyes to the egg and let them draw a smile with the marker. Sprinkle some soil into the egg until it’s about three quarters full, then add a layer of grass seeds on top. Cover the seeds with another little bit of soil, and water it. Place the egghead in a light place, out of direct sunlight. Make sure to water lightly every day until grass “hair” starts to shoot up (in about a week). Your little ones can even enjoy giving their egghead a haircut when the grass is long enough, or separate the grass and tie it into bunches. 


We hope you and your kiddos enjoy learning about growing cycles in nature and  helping plants thrive. Have fun flexing your green thumbs!


Natasha Hopkinson is a landscape designer in San Francisco, California who came to London to help film the souvenir video/DVD of the Chelsea Flower Show for the RHS for 16 years. She has two sons who still love to garden and remember having a forest of avocado pits growing in the dark under the bathroom sink. For more info, please visit: http://www.natashahopkinson.com

Lesley Perez is a Landscape Architect with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects in New York, designing public and private gardens that help bring people closer to plants and nature. She studied at the English Gardening School and the University of Greenwich in London.