Activity of the week: Fun food growing at home

At MTO, we enjoy teaching the children where food comes from. We believe that children learn from hands-on play, so we encourage parents to get involved as much as possible. Hence, the activity of the week is fun food growing at home.

You don’t need to invest a lot of time and money in the activity. It can be completed with the things that you have around your home.

Salad Cress Heads

Do you have any empty eggshells? Don’t throw them away! You can use them as a container to plant herbs. You may see results within a week. Here’s what to do:

Help your child to decorate the shells. You can think about drawing faces on the shells and watch it ‘come alive’ as the cress will look like hairs. This is an excellent opportunity to open a conversation about emotional well-being. Follow the guide below:

  • Place a wet kitchen-roll sheet at the bottom of the shell. You can also use cotton wool if you wish
  • With the help of a teaspoon, sprinkle some seeds onto the wet sheet and gently press them into the material
  • Find a spot by the window with sufficient sun throughout the day and easy access for the child
  • Encourage your child to sprinkle some water into the shell every day until the cress grows tall
  • When the cress is around 5cm, you can cut it down and use it for a nutritious boost

If you notice that your child enjoys nurturing, you can think about making their very own indoor garden. At home, you can easily grow vegetables such as oregano, basil, and parsley. Additionally, you can also invest in some plants to have around the house.

Instead of throwing the eggs carton away, you can create your child’s very own greenhouse!

Follow the steps below:

  • Cut off the lid of the egg carton and recycle it
  • Similarly, with the salad cress heads, you should let your child decorate the carton however they like
  • For the best results, you should add up to 3/4 of soil to each hole
  • For every hole, you can add any herb or flowers you and the child wish. Don’t forget to add a little water to every spot that is used
  • To have the greenhouse effect, you should cover the carton with a layer of cling film and place it in a sunny spot that is easy to reach for the child
  • Once you notice that the seeds are beginning to sprout, remove the cling film and water every day.

Benefits from this week’s activity

People of all ages benefit from nurturing and taking care of things. However, in particular, children will have fun and learn how to take care of fragile things.

Sensory development

If you encourage your child to engage with this activity, you help with the sensory development. Children can feel the texture of the seeds, soil, and herbs. They can also smell it and discover new smells. Additionally, it also helps with hand-eye coordination and better physical strength as the child will be digging, sieving, and watering.

Encourages healthy eating

Without a doubt, many parents struggle to make children eat healthy food. If children can see where their food comes from, they will most likely gain an interest in tasting the food. They will also get a sense of achievement as they’re eating the food that they’ve grown themselves.

Teaches responsibility

When you allow your child to grow things, you teach them how to be responsible. If you assign particular duties to each child, they will see the consequences of their actions. For instance, if they don’t water the vegetables, they will not grow. You’re also teaching them about the world and how things have cause and effect.


To make your child enthusiastic about food, you have to be too. Make it exciting and allow them to use their imagination when it comes to food. You will notice that once you’re excited about vegetables, your child will be too.