Young kids can be community planners when they design their own spring village while nature takes care of the plant life. Placing wheatberries or rye grass seeds in a large drainage tray will sprout within a few days indoors, and with daily watering and lots of sunlight streaming through your window, they'll grow so quickly, your kids will be enthralled.
Here's what you need:
• One drainage saucer for a 10- to 12-inch flowerpot
• Fresh potting soil
• A large handful of wheatberries (sold in bulk at grocery and natural food stores) or rye grass seed
• Plastic wrap
• Spray bottle filled with water
• Miniature items for creating a village, such as nature finds (pebbles, sand, mini pinecones, pods, twigs, etc.), molding clay or dry figurines from craft projects, toys, decorations from birthday cakes and craft supplies.
Here's the fun:
Fill the saucer with potting soil. Sprinkle wheatberries or rye grass seeds over the entire surface of the soil. Lightly spray with water until it is damp, not soggy.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap to retain moisture, and place in indirect sunlight. Keep soil moist.
Once seeds germinate, remove plastic wrap and place tray near a sunny window. Be amazed to see how rapidly the green sprouts grow! Once they are about 3/4-inch high, start creating the village.
Clip some of the growth, sprinkle sand and set pebbles and stones in the soil to construct winding pathways. Then place the small objects around: miniature toys, game pieces, trees made from twigs, tiny flowers cut from bright tissue paper and figures molded from clay.
Keep the growing village green watered using a clean, recycled honey-style bottle with a spout. Direct the water to the soil, avoiding the decorative items.
Donna Erickson's award-winning series "Donna's Day" is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna's Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families." (c) 2015 Donna Erickson. Distributed by King Features Synd.