Indoor Container Gardening for Children


Kids love to play in the soil. If you live in an urban center, finding a place to get dirty can be difficult. Your space may be limited, and you may not even have a yard where you can plant a garden.

With this project, you can bring the joy of gardening inside with a few simple items that you can purchase at almost any home goods store or garden outlet.

Here is what you’ll need to get started.

  • 4 old cake pans of any shape or size.
  • Garden soil.
  • Compost and mulch.
  • Seeds that grow quickly.
  • Plastic trays or measuring cups.

With this activity, you’ll be able to show your kids how important soil is to the growing process for a garden.

How to Create Your Indoor Container Garden

Step #1: Take your old cake pans and fill them with soil. If you don’t have a garden where soil is available, some standard potting mix will get the job done for you. As an optional part of this activity, you can create 4 different trays with different soil composition. In the one pan, you could use just soil. Then the second could have soil and compost. Have the third be a soil and mulch combination. For the fourth, combine everything.

You can also create your own preferred soil mixture to grow your favorite herbs, flowers, or plants.

Step #2: Plant the seeds in these containers once the soil mixture is to your liking. Use the instructions provided on the seed packet for spacing ideas. Then make sure the soil remains damp enough to encourage seed germination.

Step #3: Place the cake pan containers in a warm location where some sunlight is available. If you have an outdoor porch or patio that you could use, then you won’t need to worry about inside accidents happening. Check the soil daily to make sure it is damp. The soil should stick to your finger without being crumbly.

Step #4: Wait for results. You should begin to see the first signs of plant life within a week or so. Some plants may take 2-3 weeks to fully germinate.

Step #5: If you used the 4 cake pans to create four different soil composition mixtures, show your kids what the results in each container were. Talk to them about soil nutrition and how a better mixture of nutrients helps plants grow, just like a good combination of nutrients helps them to grow too.

Step #6: Care for your new container garden until you’re ready to harvest, based on the plants that you decided to grow. If you’re growing grasses, you may wish to trim the blades before they start to produce pollen to reduce their potential impact on indoor allergies. Keep in mind that larger vegetables may not be sustainable in this type of garden.

Gardens are a lot of fun, whether they are outdoors and large or indoors and small. Use the pans to catch some water, plant your favorite seeds, and you will be able to have a fun family adventure.