Activity time: 60 minutes and longer
Time to prepare: **
Cleaning up: ***
You will find that as your child grows she starts expressing a desire for some responsibility. She may start begging you for a puppy or want a gold fish. Before you go the route of a pet though, start instilling a sense of responsibility in something a little hardier.
A rock garden is the perfect way to introduce your child to the concepts of responsibility and accountability. She will have to keep it clean and neat, while painting the rocks and being the creator of her little rock garden will inspire a sense of propriety. Your child’s fine motor skills and creativity will also be engaged to the full.
You will need:
- Small, smooth rocks (look around in your garden or at nurseries)
- Acrylic paint
- Sand (we used the kind that you buy for sandpits)
- A sturdy wooden box
- Small gardening set (available from toy stores)
Show your toddler how to decorate the rocks with different designs. Let her paint flowers and bugs or butterflies. She can even name her characters. Another option is to paint the letters of her name, or even the words “my rock garden”.
Fill the wooden box ¾ with sand and place the rocks on top. More adventurous gardeners can even plant some succulents in the sand.
Let your toddler play in her little garden. Show her how to dig with the gardening tools and include a small rake for her to use to keep her garden it neat and tidy.