Two-year-olds are the busiest little creatures I’ve ever laid eyes on! They don’t care what they’re doing as long as they’re doing something. So finding activities for a two year old can be rather simple.
We had our grandson Beau for two nights while his mommy was out of town and his daddy was at work. Knowing we had to plan something or he would go stir crazy, we put our thinking caps on. We wanted an outdoor activity because Beau loves the outdoors (don’t all two-year-olds) but Houston in the middle of July is HOT. That meant we’d have to do the activity late in the day after it cooled off a bit. But, we didn’t want it to go too late because Beau does best when he’s in bed by 8:00 at the latest.
We decided to let him make a potted garden. I was thinking an herb garden or something like that. We ended up with flowers but the plants really didn’t matter, Beau was the star of this show.
Making a morning trip to the nursery would give us something to do in the early part of the day and then after an early dinner, we could do the planting. Beau loves trucks, tools, and digging, so planting and playing in dirt seemed a perfect fit.
Going to Buy Plants
We aren’t big gardeners, in fact, we have a hard time keeping the potted plants we do have watered. But we decided to give this project our all so Beau could have some fun. And maybe make a memory? Can they remember at two?
We went to Lowe’s nursery because it was the closest place with plants. I think we waited a little too long because I couldn’t believe how hot it was. Beau was in the cart and I did my best to keep him in the shaded area.
I spotted some clearance signs in the back of the place and made a beeline. In the back of my mind I figured we’d probably kill them anyway, so no sense spending lots of money. The clearance area was in the full sun and it was hot, so we couldn’t stay in that area for too long.
When looking at the plants, Beau didn’t have any interest at all. I pointed out the flowers and he started to find others but overall, this wasn’t his thing. So Brent and I found three plants and hightailed it out of there. We had dirt and pots at home so that saved us a ton of money.
Planting the Plants
I’m still not sure Beau had any idea what he was doing but he absolutely LOVED that it involved dirt and a shovel (even through the shovel was kind of broken). We had the dirt in a big tub which was convenient and not as messy as it could have been.
Beau was big enough to reach in and shovel the dirt into the pots. When we asked him to take the first plant he said, “No, Paw Paw do it.” But he watched intently and by the time we got to the third plant, he actually planted it in the pot.
He loved telling us, “there you go”. After every step, he informed us that it was done with “there you go”. He loves repeating our words.
The thing is, he didn’t have a clue what he was doing. All that was important to him was that he got to dig in the dirt. So even after the plants were potted, we gave him extra time to play with the dirt and he was a happy camper.
Watering the Potted Plants
If playing in the dirt wasn’t enough, watering was even better! He would have made that tub a mud bath if we had let him. He loved turning on the water all by himself and then filling the watering can too. And turning off the water was just as much fun as turning it on.
The watering can was “heavy” so Paw Paw had to help but Beau loved giving those plants the water they needed. He wanted to water the dirt but Paw Paw explained that we didn’t want to do that.
After turning off the water, we gave him a little extra time to just play in the dirt. In the last video below you can see where after swiping his hands to clean them he also wiped them on his face and in his hair. Paw Paw asked if he needed a bath and he said NO!
At the end of the project Beau badly needed a bath and was ready to hit the bed.
They Remember Only the Fun
The next day when his daddy came to pick him up, we prompted him to show his daddy the plants. He went straight to the water hose… he wanted to turn-on the water and do it all over again. He really didn’t care too much about showing off his plants but remembered how much fun he had with the dirt and the water. Activities involving a two year old don’t really need an end goal, it just needs to be active and fun for them.
**Beau’s project is best told through the photos and videos, so I’ve sprinkled those throughout the post and put what’s left below. He loved looking at them the next day and we hope you will too.