The kids are home, and we’re all looking for things to do that don’t involve electronics.

Gardening and the tasks involved with it can be a great way to get your family outside and engaged in some great crafts.

Here are a few ideas that are fun to do:

Painted rocks — You'll need flattened river rocks, paint and brushes or paint markers. Paint an uplifting message on a rock and gift it to a neighbor, or paint it to label plants in pots and vegetable rows in your garden. These can be especially helpful where seeds have been sown but have not yet sprouted. Or paint your rocks to look like garden critters — lady bugs are adorable.

Animal art — You can also make cute garden critters out of recycled materials, such as 1-liter soda bottles and plastic milk jugs. Use scissors to carefully cut containers into an animal shape. For example, use the rounded part of the bottle for the body, keeping the pour spout as the nose. Cut a hole in the side large enough to place a plant. The bottle will lie on its side. You can use twine to wrap around the bottle to make it look like animal fur and add a couple of cute little button eyes above the pour spout. Secure the twine and eyes with hot glue to hold them in place. Be sure to poke holes in the bottom of the bottle to allow water drainage and prevent roots from rotting.

Pot art — Small terra-cotta pots are inexpensive and another way to make garden art. Paint the outside of the pots in solid or a kaleidoscope of colors. Help your children draw and then let them paint on the pot. You can put plants in them and keep them inside or out.

Signs — For very little money, you can buy a few paints and brushes. Paint an old piece of wood for a garden sign. "Victory" garden signs are very popular right now. Add to the rustic look by hanging it with a piece of rope or strong twine. A wine bottle or a glass one of similar size can be painted with the name of plant and stuck in the ground to identify what's growing were.


Email questions to gardennews@agcenter.lsu.edu.