This is a great little growing experiment that you can do with children of all ages. It’s lots of fun for a rainy day activity, there’s lots of tending to the ‘garden’ involved, and your children will learn a lot about growing plants. Check out our quirky eggshell caterpillar microgreens garden.
Growing a microgreens garden is simple, fun and delicious to eat. Kid’s love the fact that the garden grows so quickly, and they really enjoy cutting the sprouting greens and eating them on crackers, and even just eating them straight! As long as they keep spritzing the garden with water every few days, the seeds will ‘cut and come again’ as they say, and this one garden should grown on for many weeks, if not months.
Egg shells are also a great resource for planting seedlings in. They’re free, once you’ve consumed the eggs, and they decompose when you’ve finished with them. So they’re much better than a plastic container. And, just like the peat pots you can buy from garden centres, you can even plant egg shells in the ground. Just be sure to crack them, making a hole in the bottom for the roots to grow through.
Of course, turning this little gardening project into a caterpillar is just another fun way to display your microgreens. And gives you an excuse to spend a few hours with your kids painting and decorating them!
Eggshell caterpillar microgreens garden
You will need
6 empty egg shells
Acrylic paint (we used Resene Tutti Fruity, Lickety Split and Get Ready)
A paint brush
An egg carton cut into 6 cups
A range of seeds (we used chives, but you could use red cabbage, cilantro, amaranth, radish, or just a microgreen seed mix)
Seed raising mix
A pipe cleaner
What to do
1. start collecting used egg shells. Whenever we made scrambled eggs we gently cracked the top of the egg then cut it with a serrated knife. That way you can eat the eggs, and save the shells.
2. Paint all your egg shells green. We placed ours up-side down on a spare egg carton to paint them and this made it is easier. If you tend to buy brown eggs, you might like to give them 2-3 coats of paint. Once they’re dry, you can add some red polka-dots with paint and a cotton bud.
3. Paint the 6 egg carton cups in a light green and let them dry.
4. Glue the googly eyes on to the ‘head’ of your caterpillar.
5. Add in the soil to each painted egg shell.
6. Sprinkle in your seeds.
7. Then sprinkle a small amount of soil on top of your seeds and lightly water. Place them in a light and sunny spot.
8. Lightly spray them with water every couple of days. We found a small spray bottle, with a mist function, was perfect for this part.
Once the microgreens have grown have your children carefully snip them, and add them to their meals. They could have them as a small salad for dinner, make a sandwich with them, add them as a garnish on crackers, or just eat them straight out of the egg shell garden.
If you’re looking for more great gardening ideas check out 13 great gardening activities and Explore the garden with your kids. And be sure to check out the hundreds of other crafting ideas in our Creative arts and crafts section.