Birthday Party Planting Project

If you're looking for a fun activity for your child's birthday party, why not have the kids plant flowers or herbs in pots they decorate themselves? Not only do the kids have a blast expressing their creative sides, but they get to have what may be their first experience with growing something. Simply give each child a terracotta pot and turn them loose to paint and decorate it. Then, help them plant herbs or flowers. They can take their potted beauties home with them afterward as super-cool party favors.

To help the decorations on the pots last longer, you'll want the kids to plant in smaller, plastic pots that can then be slipped inside the terra cotta ones. (Tell the kids to take the plastic pots out when they water their plants.) You may want to suggest that parents send smocks with their kids.

Materials needed:

- Newspaper or drop cloth

- Terra cotta pots (10‚ diameter is ideal), 1 per child

- Slightly smaller plastic pots (e.g. 9‚ diameter), 1 per child

- Small plastic or Styrofoam plates

- Acrylic craft paints in various colors

- Foam brushes (to apply acrylics)

- Cotton swabs or small paint brushes for painting details (optional)

- Glitter glue, glass gems, fabric scraps, buttons, seashells, etc.

- White school glue (or use stick-on decorations)

- Clear acrylic spray to protect paint (optional; adults must apply)

- Gloves

- Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix

Bonnie Plants basil, mint, marigold, or other starter plant (1 per child)

- Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food


1. Protect the work surface with newspaper or a drop cloth.

2. Give each child a terra cotta pot. Pour the acrylic craft paints into plastic or Styrofoam plates and let the kids paint their pots. They can also use glitter glue to add their names or other details.

3. While the terra cotta pots dry, fill the pot ? full with Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix. (Kids should wear gloves when handling the potting mix.)

4. Let each child plant an herb or flower in the plastic pot, then fill in with potting mix to about an inch below the top of the pot. Put the pots in the sink, or on trays or saucers, and water thoroughly.

5. When the painted terra cotta pots are dry, let kids attach decorations. If desired, have an adult spray each pot with clear acrylic spray to help preserve the designs.

6. Slip the plastic pots into the terra cotta pots.

7. Tell kids to put their plants in a sunny window when they get home, and water plants well whenever the top inch of soil is dry.

8. Let parents know that after a month, they may want to help their kids feed the plants with Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food (following label directions).