After a long winter of being cooped up in the house, children are ready to shed those extra layers of clothes and get outside for some much needed sunshine. In addition to scampering up and down the backyard, youngsters can enjoy structured activities like spring gardening and crafts. Making personalized stepping stones and planting gardens are perfect outdoor activities for children to welcome the warm weather! You will find below how to make personalized stepping stones with your kids!
Benefits of Planting Spring Gardens
Aside from the obvious physical benefits of spring gardening, this activity offers a wealth of learning opportunities for children.
To make a child’s spring gardening experience as safe as possible, Pounders offers these important safety tips.
- Avoid planting plants with poisonous parts and sharp thorns.
- Take the normal precautions of outdoor sun exposure such as sun screen, hats, and plenty of water.
- Insect repellent may be appropriate if mosquitoes are a big problem.
- Use safe and appropriately sized tools. Also, instruct children on how to properly use and store the tools when they are not being used to avoid tripping hazards.
How to Make Personalized Stepping Stones for the Spring Garden
Arts and crafts are not only fun for children! These types of activities build confidence, improve hand-eye coordination, encourage creativity, and help youngsters learn to listen and follow instructions. Making a personalized stepping stone is a fantastic craft activity, and a special way for a child to add a personal touch to his spring garden.
Here are the materials needed to make personalized stepping stones:
- bag of concrete
- water (amount listed on the bag of concrete)
- sturdy mixing bucket
- rubber gloves
- protective glasses for each child
- concrete molds (takeout containers and pie tins work nicely)
- newspaper or a vinyl tablecloth
- large mixing spoon
- screen cut slightly smaller than the stepping stone (one piece for each stone)
- decorations (rhinestones, buttons, charms, etc)
- 1. Put on protective glasses and cover the work area with newspaper or a vinyl tablecloth.
- 2. Mix the concrete according to the package directions. Kids can help measure and pour the water, but concrete mixing should be done by an adult.
- 3. Spoon the mixed concrete into the mold until it is half full. Smooth the concrete out and then lay the piece of wire on top of it. The wire will reinforce the stepping stone so that it is more durable.
- 4. Finish filling the concrete mold to the top. Spread the mixture out and remove the air bubbles by lightly tapping the sides of the mold.
- 5. After the concrete is firm (takes about 45-minutes), kids can decorate the stones with rhinestones, buttons, handprints and other trinkets.
- 6. Let the decorated stepping stones sit in the molds undisturbed for three days before removing them.