Growing seedlings is one of the most productively fun activities for kids who are cooped up indoors.
If your toddlers are anything like mine, they can’t get enough of the outdoors (as I write, I can see two of my kids inspecting something tiny on the lawn). However, there are loads of nature activities that you can enjoy inside. And growing stuff isn’t just exhilaratingly fun; it’s a source of hands-on learning experiences for toddlers.
So if you’re homeschooling, or just looking for quiet activities for kids, join us on this fun adventure: we’re going to grow some avocado pips in jars.
Not only are avocados irresistibly delicious and ridiculously good for you, the pips are also large and easy for little people who are still developing those fine motor skills to handle. And, they can sprout in a jar… You can’t get more visual than that!
To grow avo pips in a jar, you will need:
Avo pips (preferably one for each child)
Clear, clean glass jars, one for each pip
Here’s how you do it:
Wash and dry the pips.
Fill the jars with water.
The broad end of the pip goes at the bottom, and the pointy end goes at the top. Push three toothpicks into the side of the upper half of each pip. Try to space them evenly.
Position your pip in the mouth of the jar. The toothpicks should suspend the pip in the water, with the lower, broad end submerged by about an inch.
Label each little person’s jar with their name, the date, and (if you like) the avo type.
Line up the jars on a windowsill, or another warm, clearly visible spot that’s out of direct sunlight.
Get your toddler to help fill up the jars when the water level starts dropping.
Somewhere between week two and week six, your pip should start to sprout. Point this out to your toddler and celebrate the exciting moment!
If you’d like your avocado sprouts to grow into happy trees in your garden (why wouldn’t you?), cut the stems back by half once they’re about six inches long. Then, when they have some bushy root growth and the leaves have grown back, plant them in pots. We suggest using these peat plant pots – they’re biodegradable! Plant them so that half the seed is visible above the soil. Keep them damp, and in a warm spot. When they’re big enough, you can plant them outside – or, if you live in a cooler climate where an avocado won’t survive outdoors, you can still keep them happy inside.
If you’re shopping for Christmas gifts for your kids, we have an inspired eco-friendly toddler gifts idea: this children’s gardening set made up of adorable child-sized gardening tools.
Using fun tools like these improves fine motor skills for toddlers, and gets them all fired up about helping you, and learning, in the garden.
Written by Rifke Hill
About the Author
Rifke Hill was raised on the sort of farm your grandparents told tales about – milking cows, gathering eggs, hoeing the soil, and building fires to heat water. She now spends part of her time copywriting online as a freelancer. The rest of it is spent nurturing and teaching her four energetic children, growing vegetables, baking bread, reading voraciously, having coffee with the neighbors, and enjoying the sunny slopes of the smallholding where she lives, in the Garden Route, South Africa.