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Retailer Gets Kids Into Nature

Grabill Hardware brings kids together to play in the dirt. In March each year, the business in Grabill, Indiana, hosts a Kids’ Seed Planting Day, and the event attracts more than 200 children from the community, which is quite a turnout for a service area with about 1,700 homes.

Store owner Claude Schrock says they have been hosting Kids’ Seed Planting Day for about 12 years. He says the idea for the event came from his team of employees wanting to do something special for the kids in the community.

“We figured, since we have garden seed, why not encourage kids to come in and learn all about planting?” he says.

Advertising for the event starts several weeks before. Grabill Hardware promotes it through the local newspaper and they post about the event on the store’s Facebook page. The business also relies on other groups in the community to spread the word. Schrock says about a week before the event, the local schools in the area distribute flyers to students and their families.

During the event, Grabill Hardware provides children with flower or vegetable seeds and the soil and pots to plant with. As they plant, members of the local garden club teach the children about the seeds and how to care for their plants as they grow.

When they have finished planting, the children take home their pots of seeds and care for them until the flowers or vegetables grow large enough to plant in an outdoor garden space or larger pot.

The business also offers crafts, refreshments and an in-store game for children who are waiting to plant. Children can “Find Pugsly,” a stuffed pug dog that appears in various spots throughout the store. When children find the dog, they can come to the front of the store and receive a treat.

“Every year, the kids look forward to it,” Schrock says. “They come back again, and then when they’re older, they bring their younger brothers and sisters.”

While the event is called Kids’ Seed Planting Day, the rest of the family and community members without children aren’t forgotten during the annual event. The business offers promotions on garden items, and all shoppers receive a special sale flyer when they come into the store.

About Melanie Moul

Melanie is the communications and content manager for the North American Hardware and Paint Association. She joined the NHPA team in 2016 as an editor for Hardware Retailing and now helps lead the communications team to deliver relevant, timely content to the industry.

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