Have you any neighbors who cannot make their yards a little prettier? Maybe they have no time or perhaps they are just physically unable. Encourage your children to do a good deed. They will feel good about it, the person they assist will be grateful, and your neighborhood will be awash with color. They should have adult supervision and permission from the recipient.

The first thing to do is to make a minor investment. You will need 16-ounce paper cups, packages of several different flower seeds, and some potting soil. Make sure the children are equipped with hand sized digging tools.

Into each paper cup put about 8 ounces of soil. Then put in a few seeds from each packet. Mix gently.

Load the wagon with the seed mixture, tools, and some jugs of water or a watering can.

Go with the children and begin knocking on doors. Maybe that grandmotherly type at the end of the block is a good place to begin. Explain that you would like to plant a small flower garden for her. Allow the grandmotherly type to choose the location.

The children can then dig up the chosen spot and plant the seeds. Make sure to water them as you would in your own garden.

Clean up any mess and move to the next person. Another good suggestion is to have the children offer to set out the person's trash or do some other light chore before you leave.

These little gardens will have to be watered and weeded just like your flower garden. As a matter of fact allow the children to plant their own little gardens too.

The children will tend these little gardens all summer. They will get to know their neighbors and learn how good it feels to do a good deed. They might even decide to adopt the grandmotherly type. It will benefit everyone.


  1. In an ideal worlds...or even a world of old this is a great idea, however these days I feel it is a little more difficult as people can be so closed off from others or work long hours or away from home. I am lucky as I live in a villag4e where people are quite friendly around us but I wonder how well this would work in towns??

    Plus people are a lot more wary of who their neighbours might be these days as so many strangers pass through on such a regular basis.

    1. I understand your concerns. Because I have lived in small towns and more urban areas I have some knowledge of how well this will work. A parent should never allow the child to go alone to the door of anyone who is not known very well. That is why I suggest supervision for this project. In a more urban area the parent should be aware of who to not bother with this idea (although surprises could be in store). If done properly this should only take a short time each day to maintain the little flower garden so it will be a good outing for everyone. Thank you for spotlighting this concern. It is wise to remind parents to watch over their children in circumstances like this.

  2. This is a lovely idea Emma. As for concerns expressed, I always try to keep in mind that there are far more decent people than there are bad. But a good parent will be supervising their children anyway.

    1. I am in total agreement with each word you said. I know too that many children live far away from their grandparents and that many older people are far away from their families. If these groups decide to help and care for each other, what beautiful relationships could occur.


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