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Boy placing bird feeder outside

Every winter, we struggle with the same thing in Wisconsin: the cold months seem to drag on. By mid January, I’m itching to start our garden Or stop by a local farm stand to get some fresh fruits and vegetables. Luckily, we found a few cold-weather friendly garden themed things to do to make January, February and even March more tolerable!

These simple winter garden activities for preschoolers make getting through the cold months so much more fun. Plus, you’ll be able to garden year-round regardless of where you live!

Most of these activities don’t require a ton of supplies. They’re a great way to spend the day if you’re feeling the winter blues, too. Keep reading to find the perfect easy winter garden activity for you and your preschooler!

Winter Garden Activities for Preschoolers

Growing basil indoors

Create a Windowsill Herb Garden

Windowsill herb gardens are such a delicious way to garden in the winter. One of the reasons we love indoor herb gardens so much is because it can help us teach gardening skills in a much smaller setting. This way, our daughter is able to help us with our outdoor garden a little more.

Don’t let not having the perfect windowsill for your garden stop you, either! You can easily create an indoor herb garden that can be moved with the sun throughout the day.

Learn how to make an indoor herb garden so you can enjoy fresh herbs all winter long.

Create a Garbage Garden

If you’re looking for a fun experiment to try in the winter, try regrowing plants from fresh produce. It’s a cool way to see what can grow in soil, water, or even just pebbles.

You can also grow a leafy garden with the tops of beets, carrots, turnips, celery bases, or other root vegetables. Check out this guide to garbage gardening to get details on growing everything from apples to pears, lemons to limes, parsnips to radishes and more.

Read Garden Books

One of our favorite ways to spend days where we’re stuck inside because of the temperature is to read spring themed books, especially garden ones. It’s a temporary escape from the gray days of winter and it gets us excited for planning our garden.

Check out these gardening books for toddlers for some ideas. A few of our favorite gardening books for preschoolers are listed below.

The Tiny Seed (The World of Eric Carle)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Carle, Eric (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 36 Pages - 03/10/2009 (Publication Date) - Little Simon (Publisher)
The Little Gardener (Teenie Greenies)
  • Gerardi, Jan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 16 Pages - 01/24/2012 (Publication Date) - Random House Books for Young Readers (Publisher)
Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library)
  • Random House Books for Young Readers
  • Hardcover Book
  • Worth, Bonnie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 48 Pages - 03/27/2001 (Publication Date) - Random House Books for Young Readers (Publisher)

Make Seed Bombs

Can’t wait to plant flowers in the spring? Make a seed bomb! Seed bombs are an easy garden activity that can be done in winter and saved for spring.

With just a few supplies, you’ll be able to make seed balls that are ready to be tossed in your backyard in an hour or two. Learn all about how to make seed bombs.

Painted bird house

Build a Birdhouse

Building a birdhouse is a great indoor and outdoor winter garden activity for preschoolers. With a some help cutting the wood and assembling, kids have a blank canvas for them to decorate with paint. If you don’t have the tools available for cutting the pieces for a birdhouse, consider this birdhouse kit that comes with everything precut.

Toysmith Beetle & Bee Build A Bird Bungalow, Backyard Birdhouse Kit with Fsc Certified Wood DIY Arts & Crafts House Gardening for Kids & Teens, Boys & Girls
  • Build and paint A classic 6" Tall bird house bungalow using the parts In this kit
  • Welcome Birds to the backyard with a colorful new home
  • Made using safe and high quality materials and FSC Certified wood products
  • Includes wood pieces, chain for hanging, 4 paint pots, paint brush, nails, glue and instructions
  • Recommended for ages 5 years and up

If you’d prefer to build a bird a super simple feeder, here’s a few ideas that you might be able to make with things you already have at home:

  • Cover a pine cone in peanut butter and roll it in bird seed
  • Smear peanut butter on a bagel or a piece of toast and cover it in bird seed‘
  • Hollow out an orange peel and fill it up with bird seed

Then just tie these homemade bird feeders up so they can hang from the tree. You can also make your own birdseed that can be formulated to attract more of your local birds. This is a fun way to teach kids about the birds that are native to your area.


Make a Terrarium

These are so many DIY terrarium ideas out there that this alone could keep you busy all winter long. If you’re missing the ocean, consider this beach inspired terrarium. Embracing winter or looking for a cute Christmas gift? Try this winter wonderland terrarium.

Or grab a terrarium kit that has everything you need to get started:

SaleBestseller No. 1
Light-up Terrarium Kit for Kids with LED Light on Lid - Create Your Own Customized Mini Garden in a Jar That Glows at Night - Science Kits for Boys & Girls - Gardening Gifts for Kids - Children Toys
  • WHAT IS A TERRARIUM? It is a miniature garden within a container that simulates a natural environment. So, let your child discover the beauty of nature by creating their own beautiful terrarium with this all-inclusive kit. Watch as it grows by day and glows at night with the innovative LED light under the lid.
  • GROWS BY DAY, GLOWS AT NIGHT: Beneath the lid, there is a built-in innovative LED light that transforms the experience into something magical. At night, just hit the small switch to turn on the light and watch how your terrarium turns into a gorgeous illuminated tabletop garden. You have to see it to believe it! The light can easily be recharged with the included Micro-USB cable.
  • KIT INCLUDES: Terrarium jar (4"x6"), light-up jar lid, Micro-USB charging cable, clear and easy step-by-step instruction booklet, vermiculite soil, blue sand, river rocks, wheatgrass and chia seeds, small bunny and mushroom miniatures, removable stickers for decoration, spray bottle, and wooden stick to aid in planting the seeds.
  • A FUN AND EDUCATIONAL GIFT FOR ALL AGES: It's not often that a science project can be fun and engaging, but this terrarium kit achieves both! It fascinates children as soon as they pull it out of the box. With the freedom to layer the rocks, sand, soil, and stickers as they please, every child is guaranteed to have a blast.
  • STEM.ORG AUTHENTICATED EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT: This product has been evaluated by and has been authenticated to meet the highest standards of STEM learning. 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: Love it, or your money back! We're sure that the child will have a blast, but if you are not satisfied with the kit we'll refund you 100% of the money, no questions asked.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Creativity for Kids Grow 'n Glow Terrarium
  • GROW YOUR OWN HABITAT: Experience the wonder of nature with the Grow N' Glow Terrarium! This kit allows you to craft, plant, water and grow your own terrarium tabletop garden.
  • COMPLETE KIT: Comes with everything you need for two full plant life cycles! Kit includes: plastic mason-style jar, decorative lid, potting mix, organic chia and wheat grass seeds, garden figurines, decorative sand, river stones and a plant mister to keep your terrarium watered.
  • DECORATE YOUR TERRARIUM: Watch your terrarium glow! Add dimension to your terrarium with translucent glow-in-the-dark stickers that light up your terrarium at night!
  • EDUCATIONAL KIT: The perfect STEAM activity that mixes science and art. Create your own eco-system and learn about botany and the life cycle of plants. Your habitat will begin to grow in as little as 3-4 days
  • KID TESTED AND SAFE: Since 1976 Creativity for Kids has proudly created safe, innovative products that meet or exceed U.S. safety standards as determined by independent laboratory testing. Recommended for ages 6 to 96
Bestseller No. 3
Cute Farms Terrarium Starter Kit | Moss, Vermiculite, Soil, Pebbles, Plant Food & Finishing Tools (Medium Kit)
  • MEDIUM KIT – Moss (Reindeer Moss, Forest Moss & Lichen), 6 oz. Potting Soil Blended with Activated Charcoal, Gardening Vermiculite, 12 oz. Pea Pebbles & River Stones, 1 oz. Plant Food, Finishing Tools, Miniature Dinos
  • BUILD & CARE - Includes a bamboo stick and natural hair brush finishing tools, plus helpful tips on building the perfect terrarium or planter
  • QUICK START – Just add your own plants and container
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SaleBestseller No. 4
Syndicate Sales DIY Terrarium Kit
  • Includes glass vessel and glass lid
  • Includes hydro-stones, soil and moss
  • Use stones as base, then layer soil and moss
  • Crafted from recycled material
Bestseller No. 5
Bliss Gardens Air Plant Terrarium Kit - 4" Round Glass - Nautical Purple Pedestal
  • BEAUTIFUL DESIGN- Bring nature indoors with minimal effort. This nautical inspired terrarium makes a great gift and comes in a kraft gift box
  • DO IT YOURSELF- Complete desktop terrarium kit includes the following: 1- 5" x 4" Round Pedestal Glass 1- Air Plant 'Ionantha' 1- Coral Sea Fan 1- Sea Urchin Shell - Purple Sand - Natural Reindeer Moss (preserved) - Assembly Instructions/Plant Care Sheet
  • AIR PURIFICATION- Air plants are great air purifiers that will help improve the quality of your air in your living space or office
  • EASY CARE- Air plants are very low maintenance. No soil required and they only need water once a week. Includes detailed plant care instructions
  • FAST SHIPPING- From our design studio to you, to ensure a fresh delivery.
SaleBestseller No. 6
Succulent Planter Soil Kit - Total DIY Terrarium Supplies -Terrarium Kit for Succulent or Catcus - Create Your own Terrarium with These Supplies - Great for Fairy Gardens (Small)
  • Instructions Included - Made in U.S.A with Organic Soil - Don't Buy kits Made outside the U.S.A
  • Kit includes - Washed Pea Gravel 120z- Organic Soil 8oz - Activated Charcoal (3x5) bag - Decorative Exotic River Rock - Decorative Green Sheet Moss -
  • Great Gift and Activity for Children - Instructions Included - with in Depth Guides on our Website!
  • Save time and Money - Avoid Buying in Bulk and Searching for Ingredients
  • Plants not Included - This Kit will work for many plant types - Made specifically for Succulents
Bestseller No. 7
Bliss Gardens Terrarium DIY Succulent/Cactus Kit (Large)
  • ☯ Bliss Gardens premium terrarium kits offer everything a terrarium builder needs in one complete starter kit.
  • ☯ Sourced from Organic materials. Kit includes the following supplies: hand mixed succulent terrarium potting soil, activated charcoal, semi-polished river rocks, preserved reindeer moss, orchid bark, and complete but easy to follow step-by-step instruction
  • ☯ Everything needed to create your own minature garden arrive in one package. No need to source materials from all over town.
  • ☯This kit does NOT include plants. Choose the container and plant types you want. Please see the pictures and description for sizing information.
  • ☯Bliss Gardens products are hand made in the USA - high quality premium products from plant lovers in Green Bay Wisconsin
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Bonsai Starter Kit - The Complete Growing Kit to Easily Grow 4 Bonsai Trees from Seed + Comprehensive Guide & Bamboo Plant Markers - Unusual Gardening Gifts Ideas for Women - Indoor Bonzai Tree Seeds
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Bestseller No. 10
CRAFTIVITY Tropical Terrarium Kit - Craft Kits for Teens
  • COMPLETE GARDEN KIT: Comes with everything you need to grown your own tropical paradise. Kit includes a trendy geometric planting dish, polka-dot plant seeds (hypoestes), potting mix, a fabulous flamingo, succulent and a golden pineapple for decoration
  • LEARN CONTAINER GARDENING: Decorate, plant, water and grown your terrarium! Watch your colorful plants thrive in this geometric planting dish
  • GREAT ROOM DECOR: This terrarium is a great room decor accessory to add some color to your desk or table. Plastic terrarium measures 5" W X 9" H
  • EASY TO GROW: Kit comes with easy-to-grow Polka Dot plant seeds (Hypoestes)
  • TEEN CRAFTS: CRAFTIVITY is designed especially for teens and tweens! Learn trendy craft techniques that expand artistic abilities specifically for ages 12-1

Grow Houseplants or Succulents

Houseplants can turn a home into a tropical paradise – even in the middle of winter. There are tons of plants that you can grow with your preschooler that can help teach them the importance of proper plant care.

You can also grow succulents if you’re looking for a slightly more forgiving plant for your family. If you already have one or two, consider learning how to propagate or regrow succulents.

Paint Garden Stones and Pots

Painting garden stones or pots is a great way to get preschoolers interested in gardening. After they paint their items, they’ll get to appreciate their artwork all garden season long.

While you’re at it, you can paint some watermelon coasters out of the bottoms of your terra cotta pots.

You can also try making a handprint stepping stone out of air dry clay or grab this kit to easily create your own.

Midwest Products 901-11455 Stepping Stone, 12 Inches, Multi-Color
  • Milestones Stepping Stones are the perfect decoration for your garden, yard, flower bed, or walk path
  • Spend quality time with your kids or grandkids; create a beautiful decoration that will last for years to come
  • Easy to follow step-by-step instructions guide you through the hands-on activity
  • Each kit makes one 12 inch leaf shaped stepping stone; ideal for a Mother's day or Father's day gift
  • Kit includes 7 lb bag of Stepping Stone Mix, one 12 inch reusable plastic leaf mold, 12 oz mosaic glass, 2 oz glass gems, letter and number stamps, wooden mixing paddle, and writing tool; glass and gem colors may vary

Make Your Own Seed Markers

Seed markers are easy to make and can be done in so many ways. Popsicle stickers, rocks, clothespins, paint sticks, etc.

If you’re looking for something that won’t fade in the sun, check out these clay stamped seed markers.


We have yet to try Vermicomposting, but this is a great indoor winter garden activity. Vermicomposting uses worms to decompose waste, similar to regular composting. This makes a worm manure that can be used for a fertilizer. Learn more about vermicomposting or try out this Vermicomposting kit:

Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin + Bonus What Can Red Wigglers Eat? Infographic Refrigerator Magnet (Black) - Vermicomposting Container System - Live Worm Farm Starter Kit for Kids & Adults
  • The Worm Factory 360 has a standard 4-Tray size which is expandable up to 8 trays, giving it the largest volume of any home composter.
  • The redesigned lid converts to a handy stand for trays while harvesting the compost.
  • Includes digital instructional manual with step-by-step guide for managing your Worm Factory 360.
  • Bonus "What Can Red Wigglers Eat?" infographic refrigerator magnet (6" by 9") allows you to quickly determine which foods are perfect for your worms, and which you should avoid. Imagine the peace of mind you will feel knowing that your worms are always eating a healthy diet!
  • Built in "worm tea" collector tray and spigot for easy draining.

Plan Your Garden

This is probably my favorite winter garden activity for preschoolers because I love seeing what our daughter wants in our garden. Not only is it a great teaching opportunity, it also allows for a ton of creativity. We learn about spacing, measuring, plant needs, the garden season and more. But we also get to have fun with what we’d plant in our dream garden if we had all the space and resources.

We use our garden planner to plan ours out which helps us keep a record of everything we need to do throughout the harvest season.

Seed starting in toilet paper rolls

Start Your Seeds

What better way to get through the colder months than to start your seeds for the garden? There are multiple benefits to starting your seeds indoors, but my favorite is that we can usually get our harvest even a little sooner.

This activity is great for preschoolers because they get to easily see the transformation from seed to plant. Plus, it’s a great activity to spend even a few minutes on every day.

Play Garden Games

Board games are one of our favorite things to do in winter so it only makes sense to add gardening board games for kids to the mix! Check out a few ideas below:

eeBoo Gathering a Garden Board Game for Kids
  • For ages 5 years and up
  • Board opens to 18" x 18"
  • No plastic pieces
  • 2 to 4 players
  • Winner of the Oppenheim Gold Award
HABA My Very First Games Little Garden - Cooperative Board Game for Ages 2 + (Made in Germany)
  • Gardener Gabriel wants to grow strawberries, carrots and tulips. Can you help him plant, water and weed the patches? Meanwhile, Molly Mole is busily burrowing her molehill. Who will be quicker, the children or Molly?
  • Little Garden is designed with beginning gamers in mind to encourage development of fine motor skills, concentration, language skills and color recognition. Perfect for Ages 2+.
  • This game playfully familiarizes children with the life cycle of garden plants (sowing, sprouting, blossoming, harvesting)!
  • A cooperative color game for 1 to 3 players that includes variations for both nimble and professional gardeners. Thus game play can vary based on age and experience. Made in Germany.
  • Contents include: game board, Gardener Gabriel, 3 x 3 patch cards (strawberries, carrots and tulips), Molly Mole, molehill (= 3 tiles), color die, watering can, wheelbarrow, bucket of carrots, basket of strawberries, bouquet of tulips, set of game instructions.
Grow a Garden Matching Game (Memory Matching Games for Adults and Toddlers, Matching Games for Kids, Preschool Memory Games)
  • MEMORY GAME FOR CHILDREN: Improve memory with this flip-the-card style matching game for young children and toddlers.
  • GREEN THUMB: Featuring awesome illustrations of plants and flowers found around the garden.
  • CUTE ARTWORK: Every card comes with illustrations of unique flowers, plants, fruits, and vegetables.
  • GREAT FOR SCHOOL: Preschool or kindergarten recess is made even better with this fun matching game for young kids.
  • PERFECT FOR FAMILY GAME NIGHT: Make sure even the youngest family members can play along with this unique set of matching cards.
FunzBo Flower Garden Building Toys for Girls - STEM Toy Gardening Pretend Gift for Kids - Stacking Game for Toddlers playset - Educational Activity for Preschool Children Age 3 4 5 6 7 Year Old Boys
  • 🌻【CREATIVITY ENHANCER】Greatly develop creativity and imagination in children when playing this manipulative toy flower playset
  • 🌻【AMAZING VIBRANT COLORS】 Each piece of the flower toy set are colored vibrantly to help stimulate visual sense and color recognition.
  • 🌻【SUPER FUN TO PLAY】With all the interchangeable pieces, girls can make hundreds of possible flower arrangements!
  • 🌻【SAFE and STURDY】Designed to withstand playfulness of children and made from non-toxic child-friendly, high-quality materials
  • 🌻【30 DAY RRISK-FREETRIAL】Full refund within 30 days. Bring this garden building set to surprise your kids today!

Books That Can Help With Winter Gardening

If you’re looking for some more ideas for gardening during the winter or with you kids, check out these books.

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year, No Matter Where You Live
  • The Year Round Vegetable Gardener How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year No Matter Where You Live
  • Jabbour, Niki (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 12/14/2011 (Publication Date) - Storey Publishing, LLC (Publisher)
The Winter Garden: Over 35 step-by-step projects for small spaces using foliage and flowers, berries and blooms, and herbs and produce
  • Hardy, Emma (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 08/13/2019 (Publication Date) - CICO Books (Publisher)
The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
  • Ships from Vermont
  • Coleman, Eliot (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 264 Pages - 04/15/2009 (Publication Date) - Chelsea Green Publishing (Publisher)
The Winter Garden: Create a Garden that Shines Through the Forgotten Season
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Bourne, Val (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 06/01/2005 (Publication Date) - Cassell (Publisher)
Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden
  • Brown, Renata (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 136 Pages - 04/01/2014 (Publication Date) - Quarry Books (Publisher)

I hope these ideas for winter garden activities for preschoolers help you make the most of long winters! If you have any other garden activities that you like to do in the winter with your young kids, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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