Bloomin' Carton Gardens

Flower power for fun! Preschool ingenuity and hand-eye coordination grow in this recycled garden.


When using glitter, plan ahead. Cover your work surface with newspaper or a plastic table cloth. Have a vacuum or a small broom to gather glitter that will inevitably fall on the floor.

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Tops of styrofoam or cardboard egg cartons like these found on Amazon. Use the flat top, not the egg holders.
  2. Blunt, child-sized scissors like these - Remember that children 4 years and older are typically ready to use scissors
  3. Pipe cleaners found here and/or toothpicks with sharp ends like this example. Flat-ended toothpicks won't poke through paper and cardboard.
  4. Construction paper in various colors like this Crayola assorted pack.
  5. Drawing materials; large, child-safe crayons, washable markers or glitter pens
  6. Optional - Twigs
  7. Optional -  Glitter, in a variety of colors found here.
  8. Optional - Clear glue for glitter. We like to use Elmer's Clear Gel glue, it's washable too!
  9. Optional -  Brush for glue. See our Materials page for a brush size that is age-appropriate for your child.
  1. Skilly-spark: Start by giving  your child the egg carton top. Challenge your child’s imagination by asking them to see lovely flowers in their mind.  Take time to discuss their flowers’ many colors, shapes and sizes.
  2. Now that your child can see their garden grow, have them cut or tear construction paper into flower shapes, petals, or any other kind of shapes they want.
  3. Fun details such as dots and color can be added to their shapes with crayons and/or markers.
  4. If you’re using glitter, first use a brush to apply clear glue to the shapes. Then sprinkle with glitter. Note that drying time will delay the garden's planting for an hour or two.
  5. Now, to create a stem, poke the shape in the center with one end of a toothpick or pipe cleaner. Then “plant” the flower by sticking other toothpick end into the carton. Note that cardboard is tougher to prick than styrofoam. Let your child do this and provide help as necessary.
  6. If your child wants to fill in the spaces between their flowers, they can poke in additional toothpicks, pipe cleaners or twigs.