We are now in the second week of our kids vegetable garden. At last, the spring onions and carrots have started sprouting in our mini garden! The kids are still super enthused with the hands-on botanical fun. I’m delighted with how well it’s been received – especially as I’m not blessed with natural green fingers!

Kids vegetable garden at 9 days' growth.

Nine days’ growth in our mini garden!

Kids Vegetable Garden; Popsicle Plant Labels

After some enthusiastic watering, we discovered the supplied cardboard plant labels were peeling apart. Not a problem! I found some popsicle stick plant label instructions. So, we cheerfully set about replacing the original plant labels from our Grow Your Own Garden* kit.

Popsicle stick plant labels for our kids vegetable garden.

Popsicle stick plant labels.

We used a black sharpie and some tempera paint (poster paint) to decorate the homemade plant labels. Having whittled down my hoard of school supplies, the kids were taken aback that I only offered the basic primary colours! But, they quickly remembered they could mix the secondary colours themselves.

The last step of the popsicle stick plant labels required a homemade PVA-based sealant. Basically, you mix PVA glue with water to create a water-resistant barrier. To be honest, I haven’t actually tried doing this before. However, I whipped up a batch with some good old Elmer’s school glue*. Fingers crossed, mom got it right as the kids totally love their handiwork!

Kids Vegetable Garden; Custom Plant Vocabulary

The plant labels required several moments of taking turns and waiting for paint to dry. I find it’s generally good to have a secondary activity going on, to smooth the inevitable impatience. In this instance, we created some super cute mini books about plant needs. I really like one sheet printables; the book is created by cutting a slit through the centre of the A4 paper and folding it into 8 mini pages. Without some adaptation, it would have been a tad too young for my kids. However, I opted to encourage them to write some Spanish translations on each page. This turned it into a simple Spanish dictionary, of sorts!

Mini plant books and custom word mats.

Plant Needs mini books and custom Spanish word mats.

To support writing Spanish words in their mini books, I designed a custom Spanish word mat with Twinkl Create. If you haven’t tried Twinkl Create before – and you have a Twinkl subscription – you are really missing out! It is super easy to design custom resources. To make a word mat, you select the layout, enter your chosen words and select optional matching pictures. You can even save it in the fabulous super eco print format, which is great for saving ink.

Kids Vegetable Garden; Muchos Colores

We all know about the “eat a rainbow” healthy living message. Growing vegetables includes the hope that your kids will be persuaded to try the colourful produce! We’ve previously done Spanish colours but I thought it was worth a timely revision. I used my lovely long-arm stapler to bind a delightful Spanish mini book about colours. (There are many items of stationery that I can take or leave but my long-arm stapler is one that I adore!)

Olivia sees lots of colourful birds on a tree. It’s a blackline printable, so you can colour in all the birds to match the descriptions. The story is very simple and easy to read. (Although, my charming rugrats temporarily failed to recognise “ve” as sees. They know ver and veo, etc, no problem. They’ve even used those words recently! But, verb conjugation is apparently an unfair trick. They were fine when I started saying, “ver, to see, yo veo…” with much “go on” gesturing.) There is a funny twist at the end of the story too.

Spanish mini book and fruit vocab fortune teller.

Spanish story books and fruit fortune teller.

While they took turns colouring in los pajaros, they also played with a fruit vocab fortune teller (cootie catcher) paper toy. It features 4 colours and some matching coloured fruits with English translations; verde, rojo, amarillo and naranja. While it was mostly refresher vocabulary, there was also a new word – melocoton (peach). I really like gradual introduction of new words as it makes learning a language feel easier.

There’s just something about toys – including papercraft toys – that kids generally adore. I doubt I could have had them spelling out words so repetitively myself. But, with a paper fortune teller, they were voluntarily chanting V-E-R-D-E as they flip-flopped through the traditional manipulation. Definitely, something to bear in mind for future reference. Then again, the fortune tellers I remember from my childhood were cootie catchers. (You draw black dots on half the inner flaps. When you hold it open in one direction, the paper is white. After you hold it near your playmate or run it lightly against their hair, you hold it open in the other direction to reveal the “cooties”.)

Kids Vegetable Garden; Resource Round-up