With your help, kids can design and create a planter from recycled materials to grow grass indoors for your pet.
What you’ll need:
- empty plastic juice bottle (59 oz.) or milk container (gallon)
- utility knife (for adult use)
- paper and pen
- acrylic paint and paintbrush
- nontoxic permanent markers
- a small nail for poking drainage holes (for adult use)
- potting soil
- cat grass seeds
- small gardening trowel
- spray bottle for water
- watertight tray to place under the planter
Clean the container with hot, soapy water, and let it thoroughly air-dry. Lay the container on its side. Using a utility knife (adults only), make a horizontal cut across the container, about 1/3 of the way down from the top edge. Then use the utility knife to cut along the edges of the carton to create two flaps. Do not cut the flaps at the top or bottom of the container. With the carton now opened up, make sure it is dry inside.
Now turn things over to your child to design the planter. The part of the container with the lid can be turned into an animal face with a lid snout. The flap above the slope of the peak can be cut into the animal’s ears. The flap at the base of the carton can be cut and made into a tail. What kind of animal does your child want to make? Does it have pointed or floppy ears? A long or short tail? Encourage your child to sketch his or her ideas before drawing ears and tail on the carton flaps.
Help your child use scissors to cut the ears and tail out of the flaps. Make sure that he or she understands how to keep from cutting the flaps off the carton. They need to stay attached!
Next have your child paint the outside of the carton, the lid snout, and both sides of the tail and ears. It will take two coats for complete coverage. When the paint is dry, your child can use markers to add eyes, whiskers, and whatever else he or she likes.
When the finishing touches are complete, you can make the planter ready for planting by poking a few small drainage holes into the bottom of the container with a nail. Have your child fill the container with potting soil, leaving an inch of space from the top of the container rim. Sprinkle the cat grass seeds generously and evenly over the soil. Cover them with 1/4 inch of soil and spray with water until the soil is thoroughly wet.
Place the planter on a watertight tray in a sunny spot out of your pet’s reach but where your child can watch for sprouting and water regularly to keep the soil moist. When the grass reaches about 4 inches high, let your child offer it to your pet!