Mini Greenhouse

(for ages 3+)


  • Colored plastic cup
  • Clear plastic cup (needs to be a little bigger than colored cup)
  • Pushpin
  • Seeds
  • Water
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic gloves (optional)

Recipe for Playful Learning!

Don’t know what to do with all your used plastic cups? Make a mini greenhouse. Gardening can teach children about plants and help them understand what plants need to grow and live. It can also be a lesson in patience and responsibility.

STEP 1: Use the push pin to poke a few holes in the bottom of your colored plastic cup.

STEP 2: Instruct your child fill the colored plastic cup 3/4 of the way full with the soil. Wearing plastic gloves or with their bare hands, tell your child to pat the soil down!

STEP 3: Have you child count out 5 seeds and place them in the soil. Try to space out the seeds. Cover these seeds with one more scoop of soil and pat it down again.

STEP 4: Give the seeds a LITTLE bit of water.

STEP 5: Place the clear plastic cup upside down, on top of the colored plastic cup. Then put your greenhouse somewhere it will receive lots of light.

STEP 6: Be sure to keep a close eye on your plants and to care for them properly. They will need a little bit of water each day but remember don’t over water them. Soon you will begin to see sprouts growing!


These mini greenhouses are perfect gifts for your child to give to their teachers, their grandparents, and their friends!

Extend the activity and the life of the plants you are creating with your child. Keep an eye on your plants for signs that they're getting too big for their mini greenhouse. Periodically, slip them out of their container cup to check that the roots aren't tangling and twining around the inside of the pot. If it looks like it’s getting too crowded below the surface – transplant your plant outdoors and into your garden to continue to flourish.

Skills to Practice: Recycling, Earth science, Sensory thinking, Critical thinking