Youth Gardens

Work as a team to design and plant a community garden!

Work as a team to design and plant a community garden! Research which types of plants grow best in your area and climate, then find a location to start a community garden. As a group, design and plant the garden and make a plan to keep it growing. This activity helps children work collaboratively and think creatively over the long term.

Materials Required

  • Gardening tools (hoes, rakes, shovels, etc.)
  • Gardening beds
  • Soil
  • Seeds, plants, vegetables, fruits, flowers, etc.

Instructions

  1. Begin by researching which types of plants grow best in the local area and climate. Narrow down the list based on this research. Another option is to create a garden based on a theme. What could you plant in a pizza garden? Or in an herb garden?
  2. After selecting which types of plants to grow, pick a place for the garden.
  3. Work collaboratively to design the garden in a creative manner. How can the garden be helpful for the community and also be attractive?
  4. Purchase necessary plants and seeds and build the garden according to the design plan.
  5. Create a maintenance plan to ensure that the garden is well cared for. Stick to the maintenance plan and watch the garden grow!
  6. Gather some of the freshly grown ingredients to create a dish to serve to friends and family in the community. Toss together a fresh salad, or use herbs to spice up a healthy, homemade dish. Serve the creation at a community celebration honoring the creation of the garden.
  7. Encourage others to use ingredients from the garden to create their own fresh and unique dishes.
  8. Continue to care for the garden. Remember, gardens can be a lot of work, but they offer a world of rewards!

Additional Tips

Try these add-on activities:

  • Bring the beauty of the garden to others. Brainstorm ways to share the garden’s beauty and success with local community members. Pick a bouquet of fresh flowers to deliver to a nursing home, or use fresh herbs to bake bread for a neighbor.
  • Think seasonally. Develop a long-range plan that ensures the garden is sustainable throughout the year. What should be planted during the colder months? How should maintenance change as the days grow longer and warmer?

Links to Creativity

While creativity frequently involves spontaneity, it is also important to develop persistence in creative problem solving. This activity requires children to develop and implement ideas that are both creative and sustainable. Since the activity is long-term, certain problems will continue to occur, requiring creative solutions. As these problem-solving efforts persist, our ideas are likely to become increasingly creative. Typically, initial solutions are influenced by habitual and conventional approaches, making them less creative than those produced after some time has passed and the normal solutions have been exhausted.

Supporting research includes:

Mednick, S. (1962). The associative basis of the creative process. Psychological Review, 69(3), 220-232.

Parnes, S. J., & Meadow, A. (1960). Evaluation of persistence of effects produced by a creative problem-solving course. Psychological Reports, 7(2), 357-361.

Sawyer, R. K. (2000). Improvisation and the creative process: Dewey, Collingwood, and the aesthetics of spontaneity. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 58(2), 149-161.

Contributor

This activity was contributed by KaBOOM! For more information and resources, see KaBoom.org. ©KaBOOM!