Children love miniature versions of the things which they encounter in their daily lives; if it’s tiny and they recognise it so much the better!

Creating a miniature tray garden with your child or with a group of children is a great way to help them get creative and to let them study plants up close.

Tiny details such as these  mini toadstools will bring your tray garden to life.
Tiny details such as these mini toadstools will bring your tray garden to life.

This is a very inexpensive craft to indulge in and most of the things that you will need can be found in and around your garden or home.

First you will need a tray, shallow trays are good but just about any easily transported container will do the job; biscuit tins and old planters will also work well.

Next you will need to put down a layer of earth or damp sand in your container. Do not fill it to the brim but leave about an inch of space before you reach the top.

Once you have prepared your container, you will need to find some moss. Moss can be found in woodland areas or fields and if you live in a city, just look around back streets where it is often found clustering on old walls near to the ground.

When collecting moss it is important that you do not disturb the area too much as moss is an important habitat. Take only what you need and be careful! If you cannot find moss then small pieces of gravel or tiny pebbles will work just as well.

Layer your moss or pebbles over the sand or earth in your container and give it a little water. You now have the basis for your container garden.

Here comes the fun part! Help your child to collect tiny plants and ornaments for your garden, some good items include the following.

Tiny smooth pebbles

Small flowers such as Forget Me Nots


Now it is time to “Plant” your flowers and trees but before you begin, lay a “path” along your moss using the pebbles you’ve collected. If you want your garden to look realistic then you can add a tiny bench or seat at the end of the path. Make one from twigs and hot glue or use a dolls house bench.

Mini bunting made from scraps of paper and cotton.
Mini bunting made from scraps of paper and cotton.

Plant flowers and trees around the garden and if you have time, create a garden pond by sinking the lid of a jar wrapped in tin foil and filling it with water. Add tiny plants around the edge of the pond.

Your child will enjoy building their garden and playing with it afterwards. If you would like to make a living miniature garden, then look out for plants with tiny leaves and plant them in a wide container. Add little details such as a tiny washing line for passing fairies to use!

Other ideas for garden ornaments include mini bunting made from cotton and scraps of fabric or paper, pottery or plastic animals and stepping stones made from small fragments of broken china.

Only your imagination can hold you back and once you have shown your child how to make a miniature garden they will enjoy exploring the endless possibilities which they offer alone!