Even if your little gardener can't write his name yet, he'll still enjoy watching it grow with this project from the book Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars: Grandma's Bag of Tricks, by Sharon Lovejoy. Keep the grass watered in a sunny spot, and it will last for weeks. The bonus? Your child can practice his scissor skills trimming the grass.*
Fiskar's Pre-School Spring Action Scissors are great for beginners because the springs open the scissors after every cut. Fiskars, $3.50 Ages 3 and up.
Grass Letters Instead of growing your child's name in a tray, you can use cookie cutters to create a letter-shaped topiary with visible roots. Set the cookie cutters in a tray, fill them almost to the top with potting soil, then cover the surface with wheat berry seeds that have been soaked in water overnight. Gently push the seeds into the soil. Pour a thin puddle of water into the tray to keep the soil moist, and set the tray in a sunny window. Once the seeds have sprouted and the roots are established, pick up the cookie cutters and gently pop out the letters.
Soak the wheat berry seeds in the bowl of water overnight.
Fill the tray with about an inch of moist potting soil. Help your child arrange the seeds in the shape of her name, then have her gently press them into the soil with her fingertip (we set alphabet cookie cutters on the soil to use as a guide, then removed them after the seeds were pressed in place).
Mist the soil around the seeds to keep them moist, but don't pour water directly on them until the roots are established. Place the tray in a sunny window, and the seeds should sprout within a few days.