Kids' Corner





“Kids’ Corner” - Kokedama Christmas Balls - Activity

This is going to be so much fun, mud pies for Christmas with a dash of plant!

A kokedama is a form of Japanese garden art. It is a ball of soil with a mixture of worm castings or peat. They can be covered with sphagnum, moss or baby tears on which a plant can grow.

“Koke“ meaning moss and “dama” meaning ball. Known as Japanese string gardens.

What you will need:

  • Potting soil
  • Peat, sphagnum, moss or worm castes
  • Seeds, viola, mizuna, lettuce, small succulents, orchids, bromeliads or string of pearls
  • Colourful string (maybe red and white for Christmas), wool or jute
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Bucket
  • Spray bottle

There are different mixes you can choose: Worm castings and potting mix, potting mix and peat, potting mix and sphagnum etc., as long as your mix binds together.

  • Soak the sphagnum moss or peat, whichever you choose to use, for about ten minutes.
  • Make a combination of 1/2 potting mix, 1/2 sphagnum or peat and shape it into a ball. I have used 1/3 worm castes, 1/3 sphagnum and 1/3 potting mix. The mix should stick to itself, if not add more worm castes or peat, press out the excess moisture. You don’t want your ball to be crumbly.
  • Make sure the ball is a good size for your hand size.
  • Roll your ball in your seed mix, or if you are using succulents, etc., push the succulents into the ball.
  • Cover your sphere with the sphagnum moss.
  • Wrap your sphere with the string or colourful yarn evenly with equal spacing rotating around the sphere. This helps hold the mix together and your plant in place. If you have rolled your ball in seeds leave space for the seeds to germinate through.
  • Leave some string so that you can hang your kokedama ball, or you can just have your kokedama sit on a surface.

Traditionally the kokedama will hang slightly to the side. Kokedama can be kept outside or indoors. To water your kokedama you can soak it in a bowl of water or spray it with a spray bottle regularly. You will need to keep your kokedama ball well watered if you choose to use seeds. If using succulents, you can water every couple of days. Traditionally they are kept in the shade.

Remember to send us pictures of your kokedama, we will be so excited to see them. Send us a high resolution photo or photos (minimum image size 500KB) via email to operations@opengardensvictoria.org.au. You may need someone to help with this.

Inaugural Scarecrow Competition (ends 30 December)

Let’s make a scarecrow to protect our plants!

With our veggie gardens now in full swing, we have to protect our vegetables from the birds that find our crops delicious and delectable! So let’s have some fun making scarecrows! 

Scarecrows have been around for centuries. Greek farmers would make them out of wood to protect their grape vines, and the Egyptians used them to protect their wheat fields from birds. Do you remember the wonderful scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz movie? Do you know of any other scarecrows in your neighbourhood?

What could be useful…

  • Parents to help you
  • Old clothes
  • Hat
  • Scarf
  • Gloves
  • Two poles tied to make the frames to hang clothes off
  • Some veg or plants to protect ...

Have fun!

We are really excited to be having our inaugural “Kids’ Corner” competition! Who can make the most creative scarecrow? Ask for help from a grown up. We have a wonderful prize of a selection of books donated by Australia’s much loved author, Alison Lester.

We want you to take photos of the making process and send them to us. Tell us what he/she is protecting. What is his/her name? What is he/she wearing? Did you have fun making him/her?

Send us a high resolution photo or photos (minimum image size 500KB) via email to operations@opengardensvictoria.org.au.
You may need someone to help with this.

If you missed them here are the links to our previous Kids' Corner activities:

Edible flowers

Germinating seeds

Leaf rubbing




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