January is usually a quiet time in our garden. Sweet pea sprawls across the 4×8 raised beds. The last of the pepper plants weep and the broccoli florettes take their time. We try to stay connected to our garden even in the dead of winter, so we’ve found a winter garden activity that we can do indoors. Our kids make garden stepping stones from scratch.
The whimsical, yet functional stones add a light-hearted touch to your garden and patio, while making use of recyclable materials and leftover unmixed concrete. Watch your kids; the wet cement is an irresistible media for them. Encourage them to scratch their initials or favorite saying, place a hand print or push marbles, beads and other trinkets into the stone mold.
Start From Scratch
Use recycled pizza boxes, shoe boxes, ice cream tubs or styrofoam to make the form. Use plaster or ordinary concrete mix from the hardware store and mix the base for the stones. Let the concrete set for an hour and the kids can personalize each stone.
Use a Retail Kit
Most hobby stores and craft markets sell stepping stone kits. These all-in-one kits contain the concrete, the form, a limited assortment of decorations and specific instructions. Sure they’re convenient, but the retail kits will cost more and limit you in design flexibility.
Whether you use a kit or build your stones from scratch, your kids will definitely enjoy personalizing them. It’s a great way to use that random Lego, special coin, or that chipped marble. Our twins collected interesting leaves, a couple of twigs and a feather or two; interesting natural elements.
Stay connected to your outdoor spaces and give your kids a chance to contribute in a sustainable garden activity… good for the soul.
Editors Note: photo courtesy Creative Commons