Still nearly a month left of the summer holidays. If you’re looking for activities to keep your little ones entertained that do not cost an arm and a leg how about Gardening?
Children are getting outside less then ever before. In an article from the Guardian in 2016 in which they published the results of a recent poll that said “a third of children spend less time outside then prison inmates”. This is incredibly shocking. What is causing this is it the rise in digital technologies or is it parents being more adverse to danger. Whatever the reason We hope this article will inspire you to get out in the garden with your kids and have some fun so they can reap all the physical and mental benefits of being outside in nature.
Ten Garden Activities To Do With Kids
1. Make Compost: Our personal favourite. Get into recycling mode and introduce children to the natural cycle of growth and decay. Making compost will clarify the link between plant growth and healthy soil. It should encourage them to become recyclers and help reduce waste in landfill sites.
2. Write a Garden Diary: Get them to keep a record of what they grew. How well it went, how the plants changed as they developed. They could even record what different edibles tasted like. Recording the weather, seasonal changes, what animals and insects they saw is also something that could be added to the diary. They can draw and stick material they find into it.
3. Grow plants from seed: Let your children choose some plants to grow from seed and then let them learn how a plant progresses through the different stages of growth. It might be worth trying to steer them towards at least some easy and fast growing seeds such as sunflowers, radishes and sweet peas so their chances and speed of results is increased and they are not put off.
4. Mud Kitchen: Mud Play has been shown to significantly benefit children both mentally and physically. Mixing Mud with flowers, stones etc. helps stimulate their creativity, problem solving skills and appreciation of nature. When children are playing in mud they are exposed to bacteria that can help strengthen their immune system and prevent them suffering from
allergies. An old table and some kitchen utensils is all you need. Oh and obviously lots of lovely sticky, dark and oozy mud.
5. Decorate pots and pebbles: Buy some toy safe paint decorate garden pots and pebbles with colourful designs. You could even paint recycled tin cans and plant them up with flowers and hang them on an old fence to spruce up a neglected area of the garden.
6. Tree Bark Rubbings: If you don’t have any trees in your garden then this activity can be done at your local park or woodland. All you need is some paper and a pencil. Get your little one to put the paper against the tree and rub their pencil against the paper applying gentle pressure. Once the bark pattern has appeared it can be taken off. Later at home you can play a game to see who can guess the species of the tree just from the rubbing.
7. Grow Egg Heads: You will need some empty, clean and dry egg shells left over from cooking: Just make sure the eggs are cut high up enough to give yourself maximum growing room. Once dried you can decorate them. A cut down loo roll makes a good stand and this can also be decorated. Fill the egg shell with a seed compost and sow some micro greens such as cress and watch them grow their funky hair styles.
8. Make a Bird Feeder: It can be as elaborate as you like. Add some food and then watch and record what birds you see. If making a bird feeder is a bit beyond you then just get the kids to help you fill up a shop brought feeder and watch what birds you get.
9. Nature Collages: Collect leaves, sticks, stones and seeds and make beautiful colourful collages by sticking them to paper.
10. Scent trail: Get the children to collect scented flowers and leaves from the garden. Once collected decide whether they are nasty or nice smells. They can pick their favourites and you could even blind fold each other and see if you can guess what plant it is by its smell.