This giveaway is now closed and the winners have been contacted. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who entered!
Planning on some gardening fun this year?
Sure, you're dreaming of delicious veggies and lovely flowers, but can you grow some useful household items or even a musical instrument?
Yes, in fact, you can!
If you take a bit of time and garden space to plant some easy-to-grow gourds, you can have a nice harvest in the Fall and some great dried gourds for crafts by this time next year.
Grow Some Gourds
Although gourds look a bit like some of your favorite squash plants, they are ornamental so don't plan on eating them. They grow on vines and can wind around your grass or garden or even grow up a fence or trellis. They aren't picky or hard to care for, just plant them where they get full sun and give them enough water and they will delight you with different sizes and shapes as they grow!
Want to give it a try? We're giving away several packs of gourd seeds for your gardening pleasure! See contest rules below.
Gourds as Crafty Fun & Musical Instruments
Other than the thrill of having some home-grown gourds around this autumn, you can dry what you grow and use them for great crafts. You could try growing Birdhouse Gourds (and I'm sure you can guess what those are most often used for). Sometimes this type of gourd was also dried and cut into a dipper or a homemade canteen or drinking gourd just like in the old folksong, Follow the Drinking Gourd.
In parts of Africa, pieces of these smaller gourds are assembled on a stick and they rattle as they are shaken back and forth. And although the birdhouse gourd does make an awesome for-the-birds project, it is also one of the types of gourds used in making shekeres—beaded percussion instruments that originated in Africa that look and sound fantastic!
Snake Gourds are great fun to grow and can easily be made into scary snakes for Halloween decorations or into rattles or Latin-American style guiros when dried.
Gourds as Shekeres
Take a look at this awesome shekere made from a gourd. You can also make simpler versions of shekeres by attaching one string at the top as a collar and then helping your child string various lengths of beads (like in the photo at the top of this article). Attach the strings of beads and they will hang down and rattle against the gourd when played.
What does a shekere sound like? Find out here.
Snake Gourds as Guiros
After a snake gourd is dried, you can decorate it and carve small ridges into the surface. These ridges can be scraped by an unsharpened pencil, a recycled chopstick or a hair pick for a wonderful guiro sound. To hear a guiro, click here.
Can't wait a year to make these musical crafts from actual gourds? Here are some fun versions of the same instruments using recycled materials:
Win Some Great Gourd Seeds to Grow in Your Garden!
Would you like to win some gourd seeds to plant in your garden with your child? We're giving away one packet each of Snake Gourd Seeds, Mini Bottle Gourd Seeds and Dipper Gourd Seeds. Entering this giveaway is easy. Simply send me an email letting me know that you want to enter this contest or leave a comment below. I'll be accepting entries until June 28th at midnight.
Rules for the Gourd Giveaway:
One entry per person. There will be three winners for this giveaway. Each winner will receive one packet of seeds (type of seeds chosen at random). We can only ship in the US and Canada.
Would you like to earn one extra entry? You can do one of the following…
- Subscribe to our monthly newsletter;
- Like WonderBaby on Facebook;
- Follow WonderBaby on Pinterest;
- Follow WonderBaby on Twitter;
- Post about the contest on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest;
- Or post about this contest on your own blog or website.
Be sure to send me an email to let me know what you did for your extra entry.
This contest will end June 28th at midnight. The winners will be contacted on June 29th.