We are so lucky to have a small courtyard garden attached to our learning house in Paris! The children get to plant flowers, veggies and fruits, play outside and help with watering plants as part of their daily activities.
I grew up in NYC and we had a country home in upstate NY. On the weekends, I would go for nature walks with my mom and sister. We would always look for fairy homes in the giant trees around us, skipping and giggling all the way.
In 2013, I came across a gem of a book called Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World . In the book, you learn how to prepare your mini garden step-by-step, choose your plants and plant them to create your very own magical little world – perfect for welcoming fairies!
I have been a HUGE fan of miniature gardens ever since buying this book. I’ve had so much fun creating miniature gardens with the kiddos based on various themes. Children with autism tend to love small objects – dollhouses furniture, tiny grains in our sensory boxes and mini toys. We used teeny tiny animal figurines and adorable mini magnetic trains which are favorites at my learning house and are played with over and over again!
Working on a mini garden can help your mini learn new vocabulary. You can also teach your child to follow instructions during this project. A small garden is a great sensory activity that will increase social interaction and create a product that your child is proud of. He or she will also have the joy of maintaing your garden : watering and trimming plants, as needed. The hours of learning fun are endless!
To help you get started, here are 3 of my favorite miniature gardens :
This one is so precious. You can imagine a little gnome walking out of the house to sit in one of the garden chairs. Mini Gardener is a fabulous site packed with ideas to help you create your tiny garden.
Image from the Mini Gardener
You could create your garden in a teacup.
Image from Earth Friendly Art
You could also use an old drawer to create a magical, mini space.
Image from Midwest Living
Adding miniature furniture to your garden is guaranteed to give you more opportunities to work on new vocabulary with your child. In the past, we have used all kinds of different objects in our gardens. If you are teaching your child to name furniture at home, you can use everyday furniture items in your garden to work on labeling and receptive language skills before generalizing these skills in your living room. When we did this project here, we used the table, chairs and sofa below. (Click on photos for links.)
You can also teach your child to label kitchen items in your garden. When we did this project in a small group here, we used a mini fridge and tiny pretend food from one of my favorite Etsy sellers, Miniature Sweet. We said our food was food for the fairies!
Have fun with your miniature gardening project and please let us know all about it in the comments below!
A demain! ♥
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