What You’ll Need
- Small flower pots (one per guest)
- Flower seed packets (one per guest)
- Planting soil (enough to fill one flower pot per guest)
- Kids gloves (one pair per guest)
- Small Shovels (one per guest)
- Mini watering cans (one per guest)
- Shoe boxes (one per guest)
- Outdoor table and chairs
- Plastic tablecloths
- Gather old pairs of kids’ gloves (the wool, stretchy kind) from around your home, look for clearance sales on winter gloves, or ask each guest to bring an old pair of gloves. Of course, gloves aren’t a necessity, but do help to keep little hands cleaner.
- Use spoons instead of plastic shovels
- You don’t actually need one seed packet per guest, as you can sprinkle a few seeds from one packet into two or three pots. If you choose to share seeds, divide them into plastic baggies ahead of time or place one seed packet between every two planting kits on the table.
Create a planting package for each party guest to set up for the activity.
- Cover the table with a plastic tablecloth if you wish to protect the surface from water and dirt.
- Fill zipper-close plastic bags with enough soil to fill each flower pot.
- Place a bag of soil, seed packet and pair of gloves in each shoebox. The shoeboxs will come in handy for transporting the flower pots once they have been filled with seeds and soil.
- Set one planting package at each seat at an outdoor table.
- Fill each mini watering can with water and set alongside each planting kit.
Though some kids may be able to figure out the process on their own, it is probably best for them to follow your lead when planting their seeds. A step by step demonstration should get the planting started and finished with little confusion. A couple of parents standing by to help small hands with tasks such as opening seed packets is also a good idea to help keep things running smoothly.
- Put on your gloves.
- Open bag of soil and pour or scoop into flower pots with shovels.
- Pour seeds into soil.
- Use shovel to mix seeds so that they are covered with soil.
- Pour some of the water into the soil.
- Let sit until water drains out.
- Wheelbarrow Races
- Flower pot and watering can painting (do this at beginning of party, so the items can dry in time for the planting to take place).
- Watering can relay races (race to fill a big bucket with watering can) be prepared for kids to get wet from spills, have towels on hand and ask parents to bring a change of clothes, which is a good idea anyway since they will get dirty planting.
What could be better to serve at an outdoor party than outdoor food? The planting party provides a great opportunity to break out the grill and serve barbecue foods such as burgers, hot dogs and ke-bobs. Another option is to have a picnic and serve tea sandwiches. Snack foods like chips and pretzels are easy to serve outdoors. Incorporate the party theme by serving them from large flower pots, along with beverages poured from watering cans.
If celebrating Earth Day, you may want to do some actual garden planting or even gather your group together to plant a tree. The flower pot planting party works well, however, for kids of all ages, as it is an easy introduction to the task of planting and nurturing something small, which can set the foundation for the larger concept of nurturing the Earth. At the same time, it isn’t something too childish for older children (and even their parents) to enjoy.