Décor & Gardening
The idea behind the project is to encourage children to build a dinosaur world as they imagine it. So if the little ones want to add items that are not on the list, let them go wild. Kids will learn about planting and nurturing different plants all while having fun. And once the dinosaur garden is complete, add to their dinosaur collection occasionally, and watch the children enjoy the outdoors as they play in their very own creation. It’s really neat!
YOU WILL NEED:
• An old tyre
• Some acrylic paint (let your children choose their favourite colour/s)
• A paintbrush
• Some potting mix
• A double layer of weed barrier cloth
• A staple gun (optional)
• Small plastic dinosaurs
• Some small rocks and/or stones
• Plants (like ferns, moss, coleus, etc.)
LET’S GET STARTED:
Give the tyre a good wash the day before you begin the activity. Consider this the phase where you prep your tools. The tyre needs to be completely dry before you can use it.
We need to take measures against weeds. You can either use a staple gun to secure a double layer of weed barrier cloth to the tyre, or you can lie a double layer of weed barrier cloth down. If you decide on the second option, ensure you’ve cleared the ground and made it fairly level.
The children can now get busy with painting! Let them make some dinosaur footprints along the top of the tyre, arrows, leaves or anything else that works with the theme. Remember to leave room for creative play – if it’s not exactly on theme, that’s fine too. Let the children lead with their own ideas.
Once dry, use your preferred method to prevent weeds from growing. Fill the inside of the tyre with soil. Remember to keep room for the plants, dinosaurs and rocks. It’s great to talk to children about soil: have them feel its texture between their fingers and appreciate that it’s thanks to just a few centimetres of fertile topsoil covering the globe that we exist.
Now is the most fun part of all. Plant the plants, paying special attention to leaving space for the dinosaurs. Remember to choose plants based on the location of the tyre. Some plants will not thrive in full sun, while others require it. Now, it’s time for the dinosaurs to make their entry. Place them in position and add rocks, shells, and other items that tie into the theme.
ANOTHER GREAT IDEA
If you really enjoyed this exercise, repeat it. If you end up with more than one tyre garden, you can link them elegantly by extending small bridges across them to each other. Your children could even create a dinosaur village of tyres, over time! Add some grassy plants as a backdrop, like lemongrass or Elegia elephantina and make it a feature.