Iris Van Scoyoc and Zoey Rupp make their own shoebox gardens at the Youth Garden Project’s 2020 Summer Camp. [Courtesy photo]

The Youth Garden Project wrapped up the first week of our 2020 Summer Camp, as campers became “Eco-Warriors” as they participated in different “Eco-Adventure” activities and learned all about how we can be protectors of our one and only planet Earth.

It’s always hard to narrow down just one favorite activity from the week but “Shoebox Gardening” was one of the top hits for all the kids!

Here’s how you and your family can make your very own “Shoebox Garden” at home this summer.

Make your own!

Materials: a shoebox, construction paper, glue, potting soil, and seeds.

Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs is one way to reduce your impact on the environment. The fruits and vegetables we see at the store often have to travel hundreds of miles to arrive on our plates. So, something simple we can do is grow our own food…from a shoebox!

First, spend time decorating the outside of your empty shoebox with any craft materials you have on hand. We used construction paper, old magazines for collaging, glue, and markers to name a few.

Once you’re satisfied with your design, fill it with potting soil.

Decide on seeds such as leafy greens, herbs, or flowers. If you don’t have any seeds, YGP will be happy to provide you with some!

Read the directions on the seed pack aloud together. Be sure to follow the directions for how deep and how far apart to plant your seeds!

Cover the seeds with a light layer of potting soil and gently pat down.

Place your Shoebox Garden on a porch, windowsill, or even outside. Give the seeds a drink with a spray bottle and wish them luck! Don’t forget to keep watering and visiting your soon-to-grow plant.

Show us your progress! Email any questions or photos of your Shoebox Garden to

A fun activity from the Youth Garden Project