The Ready to Grow Garden comes with everything needed for chia to thrive! | Source: Creativity for Kids/The Toy Insider

Spring is officially here and that means a lot of rainy day play is ahead.

Creativity for Kids‘ The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Ready to Grow Garden is a terrarium that’s inspired by the childhood classic story and grows real chia with a little help from kids. As a ‘90s kid, I appreciate it bringing the Eric Carle story into play in a way that doesn’t actually involve real hungry caterpillars (Let’s keep those toys in the past!). As a parent, I appreciate that it’s a compact and relatively mess-free rainy-day activity.

Related: Toys for Rainy Day Fun on CBS Hartford

Set up is simple and involves putting stickers on the apple-shaped container and then filling it with everything needed to make chia thrive. Kids will first fill it with moistened dirt, rocks, and seeds, and then spray it with a bit of water. Everything — even the water mister — is included! 

Next is where science and patience get involved. Kids wait 3-5 days for their chia to sprout, misting it along the way, and keeping it in a sunny spot. The 3-5 day wait is the perfect sweet-spot because kids can build up excitement, but won’t forget about it and get bored.

Set up of the Ready to Grow Garden is simple. | Source: Creativity for Kids

This garden will truly grow kids’ minds. I even learned that chia seeds are, in fact, what grows chia and not just for putting in your yogurt to call yourself healthy. They’ll learn to follow directions, about nature, what makes some plants thrive, and more. All of this while creating an adorable terrarium to sit on your window sill.

In addition to its apple-shaped appearance and caterpillar figure, this set embodies Eric Carle’s story in other ways. Kids are encouraged to re-create their own version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar as they work, so imagination is also mixed in with scientific fun.

For more than 50 years kids have been enjoying The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and this set gives parents a new way to share an old favorite.

About the author

Nicole Savas

Nicole Savas

As a kid, Nicole either wanted to be a professional toy player-wither or a writer. Somehow, as social media editor for The Toy Insider, The Toy Book, and The Pop Insider, she’s found a career as both. She's grateful to work somewhere that she can fully embrace both her love of teddy bears and her admiration for the Oxford comma. When she's not playing with toys at work, she's playing with her baby girl at home.