If a fairy garden might not fit the best for your little guy, a good variation could be a dinosaur garden. (Photo by Leslie Milby)

Gardening is the perfect boy activity: Dirt, tools and their mommy.
While fairy gardens have garnered a lot of attention, when it comes down to it, it seems their ideas are more of adding in action figures rather than setting up a teeny-weeny tea party.
And so, for the little green thumb in your life, why not try a Dinosaur garden?
To get started, read some favorite dinosaur books for some inspiration on how you want to do your project and to get excited for a roarin’ good time.
You likely won’t need much you can’t find at home. First, find your vessel, and make sure it’s big enough to “play” and get creative in. It doesn’t need to be a traditional flowerpot.
A cake tin with drainage poked or an old lidless Tupperware works well, even a plastic planter liner if you aren’t planning on moving it often. (In our version, Landon and I settled on a cheese box we had lying around. We have lots of strange things lying around at the Milby household).
Have an old sandbox or other outside kid play area? You could make a large-scale area for continuous play and use some larger dinos in it!
If you haven’t gotten into dinosaurs yet, grab a cheap pack at a dollar store. While the grown-up in you may be looking for the perfect ones to scale with your plants, a kid and his imagination won’t notice a plant is 10 times larger or vice versa.
Next, look for odds and ends as the creativity gets going.
A bag of pebble stones or some aquarium rocks work well for landscaping, or some broken seashells from vacation have a prehistoric vibe too.
Other building supplies can be things like an old salsa container as a swimming lake, a bridge from a play set, large leaves and pieces of mulch acting as fillers. (Landon was a boy on a mission and had a headful of his own ideas for sure, and certainly wasted no time to shoot down some of my suggestions.)
For your dinosaur plantings, take a trip to your favorite plant place.
Take your time and peruse through the herbs and flowers to find just the right ones, smell them all, and see if your “date” will hold your hand. Remember, these days where your little man will make a dinosaur garden with you won’t last forever.
Putting together your dinosaur garden might be the easiest part.
We decided to put our plants on the edges so they wouldn’t get trampled, and then build our structures, like a cave from a shoe shaper.
We broke out the blue paint to make “water” in our seashell lake and then painted our seashells different colors, chatting about what colors dinosaurs probably liked and what other things they needed for their home.
Your kid’s not into dinos? Try a jungle theme with lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
The most important part of this project is the imagination and time to let it wander.
Note: I did this with my son, but by no means are dino gardens just for boys.
I have no doubt some of his girl classmates and friends would love this project as well, or his adorable baby sister would also be interested if she were not reckless with abandon.
We had such a fun time doing this little project and my heart melted a little when he chose his dinosaur garden to bring for show and tell.
He reported that all of his friends liked it, and that he had the only show and tell that it took “two whole teachers” to lift.