A half term has just finished and for many its only 6 more weeks until children finish school for summer. A long holiday where even the best parents/grandparents struggle to fill the days. This week’s blog is some ideas to get your children/grandchildren into the garden; this can both help you finish your jobs and help keep them get enthusiastic about gardening.
Children love getting outdoors, and it doesn’t have to be a messy experience (I know some people will wince at the idea of kids gardening thinking about the dirt/mess). Get children in their old clothes and covered in sun cream and let them express themselves.
You can give them a tour of your space and tell them the names of plants, it can also be a great sensory experience to let them feel and smell the plants. They can hopefully see minibeasts (snails, woodlice, bees etc) whilst in the garden and you can always explain how they help or hinder your garden.
They can help you get rid of weeds and maybe help you make a compost pile. Children love nothing better than digging in the soil – the excitement of finding on a worm can be a highlight!
Even smaller children can take part if you bring plants to them to look at and possibly hold – just be quick before they try and eat it.
Getting the garden can be a real learning experience and create a great love and interest in nature and gardening for the future.
If you have the space or time you could always get the children to grow seeds or plants to grow themselves. This activity could take a few mornings/afternoons first getting the growing area ready then selecting the plants or seeds then planting them. Then it’s the children’s job to continue to look after their “garden”. You also include a trip to the library to research what type of plants they would like to have and if it is suitable for their garden area. This is a lovely way to get children to have responsibility and a daily task to keep them occupied whilst being outdoors.
If their interest continues you could take them to local nurseries and garden centres to explore more plants – some even have cafes and play areas so its more like a day out.
These plants also grow well in pots if your garden area is small. More examples of easy growers are lettuce and sweet peas. Sunflowers are also great, thy flower late summer/early autumn perfect for the summer holidays and can add competitive element in who can grow the tallest!??