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« Guest Post: The Amazing and Complicated — My Mission to Raise an All-Around Healthy Daughter | Main | The Everyday »

Guest Post: Teach your Toddler the Alphabet with Seeds!

The great thing about gardening with your kids is that it can piggyback on other things that you are trying to teach them. A toddler can learn his or her colors while looking at the different flowers, fruits, and vegetables in the garden. In early elementary school, children can learn how to measure by spacing tomato plants 18 inches apart. Later, kids can do basic algebra and geometry while planning out a garden space themselves. Of course, all kids can be exposed to healthy eating habits by learning about the vitamins in the fruits and vegetables you grow together.

You can also create fun garden projects specifically designed to teach something like letters or numbers. And that is exactly what this project will help you do!

How to Grow the Alphabet


  • Small, inexpensive pot

  • A few cups of potting soil

  • Seeds (kitty grass, wheat grass, regular lawn-type grass, or chives all work really well)

  • Alphabet-shaped cookie cutters


  1. Fill your pot with soil to about 1 inch below the top of the pot. Tamp the soil down with your hands.

  2. Place the desired letter on top of the soil in the pot.

  3. Sprinkle the seeds inside the letter only. You should use the entire seed packet so that the area inside the cookie cutter is pretty densely and evenly covered with seeds.

  4. Remove the cookie cutter and sprinkle soil on top of the seeds so that they are covered with about ¼ to ½ inch of soil.

  5. Gently water, trying to disturb the soil as little as possible.

  6. Place in a warm, sunny spot and keep the pot well watered.

If you’d like the project to occupy a bit more of your kiddo’s time, you can break out your paints, glitters, and other fun crafting supplies and decorate the pot before you begin. Just be sure to let it fully dry before you start adding soil. Bonus points if you decorate the pot with letters and numbers!

Don’t want to mess around with a pot? Spell out whole words using cookie cutters and seeds directly on bare earth. Cover with topsoil and keep well watered.

* * * * * *

Salt & Nectar thanks Fern for guest blogging today and introducing us to this perfect summer project. Fern Richardson gardens in Orange County, CA on a 40 square foot balcony. She is the writer behind Life on the Balcony, a blog about container gardening tips and ideas for apartment and condo dwellers. Keep an eye out for Fern’s book on the same topic. Titled Small-Space Container Gardens, it should be on shelves in early 2012.

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Reader Comments (9)

[...] contributed a fun guest post to Salt & Nectar about learning to spell in the garden. Check it out! Print Friendly Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to [...]

June 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSpelling with Seeds

This is really a nice idea... I will definitely do when I will have kids.

June 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOrchidea

my question is did it work. i'd like to see one all done!

June 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramanda

Amanda, stay tuned for pictures next week. We planned to do part 2 and post the results.

June 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersaltandnectar

I love this idea! I'm trying to do more outdoors and garden-type crafts with my daughter. What a great learning activity. Love it!

June 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

Such a sweet little project. Great idea!

June 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterheavypetal

This really is an adorable idea. I always used cooking as a prompt...never thought about gardening.

June 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbeachcomber

great idea fun for the kids love the positive twist to fun in the garden

This is a wonderful idea! I don't have little ones around now, but what about childcare spaces, schools, neighborhood gardens, or just a neighborhood 'fun' display?
My mind is busy with this inspiration.
Thank you for the post.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEileen Sauppe

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