One of the sessions I was able to stand outside the doors of at NSTA this year was about gardening with children (or something to that effect). I can’t remember the presenters name right now, but I’ll try to find it and come back and add it. The room was PACKED and I got there just in time to see this idea about Garden Monsters–they are cute monsters, I promise!
Here’s what you need to make them:
1 bag of soil (this is a 10 qt bag and I had plenty)
1 bag of grass seed (I hear rye grass works well)
1 10 x 10 piece of tulle for each child (make sure it has tiny holes not large ones)
roofing nails (2 per child)
glue dots (at least 4 per child)
wiggle eyes (2 per child)
mini zip ties (one per child)
lids (any lid will work, but the deeper the better for watering purposes)
Place the tulle on a scrap piece of paper. Put 1-2 spoonfuls of grass seed in the middle of the square of tulle. Cover with 4-6 heaping teaspoons of soil. Gather up the sides of the tulle and form into a ball. The extra tulle will be on the bottom of the garden monster. Pull tulle tight and secure with a zip tie. Pull tight, snip off the extra. Using glue dots, secure two wiggle eyes to the roofing nails and push into the side of the garden monster’s head, creating eyes. Use the other two glue dots to secure the monster to the lid.
Here’s what they will look like:
The Three Stooges!
I set them on this lid and poured some extra water on the lid so I don’t have to water for a few days. The grass will grow out their heads and then the children will need to give them hair cuts. I made these today (4/2/11) using much smaller pieces of tulle (5 1/2 x 5 1/2) so if you use 10 x 10 yours would be twice as big. I’m also thinking that you could grow different kinds of herbs out of their heads for different looks. Couldn’t you see chives or parsley or even cilantro garden monsters??
I think I’ve spent about $30 for a whole class to make these and will have enough materials left over for next year’s kiddos too (probably even the class after that as well)
($5 for the soil, $7 for grass seed, $1.50 for roofing nails (100+ nails), $2.35 for 100 zip ties (I bought 2 packs), $4.00 for two rolls of tulle (36 yards long each), $2.50 for 124 wiggle eyes (I bought two packs), and $4.99 for 250 large size glue dots (great time to use your Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s 40% off coupons!)
You can see that this is a pretty inexpensive project to make with your students and it takes up very little space. The children can take them home after their first hair cuts. Think of all the directions the conversations could go with these little guys!
Of course, we will be charting their growth in our own Garden Monster baby books (After I create it, I’ll post it for you) to keep track of their hair length and hair cuts.
I’ll try to post pictures as they grow and their successive hair cuts. If you try this out, please send me pictures to post!