Making a spring rock garden that children can hang out in is a great outdoor activity for the family. Gathering interesting rocks of all shapes and sizes, establishing a sunny location in the yard, rock painting, and shopping for a good mix of perennials and colorful annuals are just some of the steps that children can be involved in.
The end result will be a lovely garden that can attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, and provide children with hours of enjoyment.
The activity can also be educational, teaching kids about the spring season, plant and insect lifecycles, and how to be responsible by caring for other living things.
Spring Rock Garden Ideas
- Go on a rock hunt to find great rocks of all shapes and sizes. Older children might be engaged in a “rocks and minerals” lesson by identifying the types of rocks found (igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic). Use a good rocks and minerals reference manual to help with the activity.
- Paint and decorate the rocks. Using an acrylic type paint (and making sure that children are dressed in old clothes) is best for this fun activity. Line the surface of a driveway, walkway, or other hard flat area with lots of newspaper before you begin.
- Find a location in the yard for the garden. How much sun the spot gets will dictate what types of plants will be appropriate for the rock garden.
- Have children surround the garden with their rocks. Then work with them to make a plan for the garden. Where will the plants go? Will there be a bench, hammock, or swing? How about a bird feeder?
- Go shopping and pick out seeds, seedlings, and potted plants at various stages of development for the rock garden. Mix it up by choosing ones that bloom in spring and others that bloom in early, mid, or late summer so that the garden will always have flowers. If it is a shady area, make sure to choose plants that prefer shade such as impatients.
- Watch the garden grow and the children play. Leave some areas of the garden free so that the children can walk, dig, observe ants and other little critters, and create water holes. Let them have fun in their gardens!