Getting children into the garden!
In today’s Digital Age it can be more challenging than ever to prise children away from their screens and into the outdoors. The garden, whatever its size, is the perfect place to start. Encouraging the whole family to enjoy your outdoor space has a wealth of obvious health and wellbeing benefits –spring has finally arrived, so this weekend how about investing some quality, family time in your garden or outdoor space ? Do come back and tell us all about it !
Their own little space
Children love something to call their own. Whether it’s their very own pot they can grow some flowers in, or a small area of the garden they can plant their own seeds, water and watch them grow. Encourage children to take ownership of their own space, sow Nasturtium, Candy tuft and Poached Eggs, they are easy to grow and children are bound to have success and enjoy the pretty flowers too. Late spring is also the perfect time to grow pot grown strawberry plants – once planted they are easy to look after and providing that they are watered regularly will have lots of red strawberries for picking later this summer. Carrots and French Beans will also grow well in containers on the patio and will give lots of bounty that can be picked and eaten.
Get creative with outdoor toys
Kids garden play equipment doesn’t need to mean large and expensive swings and slides or purchasing a huge trampoline. Often, as with many things in life, it’s a case of “the best things in life are free!” Tree stumps for jumping on and off, logs or planks of wood for balancing, a mud kitchen made out of an old sink and kitchen utensils, a DIY sandpit, a swing made out of an old tyre, climbing ropes and a good old sprinkler can mean hours of fun for children of all ages. And don’t let the weather stop them – keep a stash of old aprons, waterproof jackets, puddle suits and wellies by the back door and away they go! We also have a great range of outdoor games in our Outdoor Living department.
Keep them interested
We all know that children have a limited attention span and won’t remain interested in any one activity for long! Have simple ideas up your sleeves to keep children entertained such as:
- Buy some plant labels and encourage children to decorate and label them
- Go on an insect hunt looking for snails, worms and other insects. Make sure you leave them in the garden, and then create a chart of those you have found
- Make a compost heap and explain what can and can’t go in it
- Go on a garden treasure hunt trail and make a list of things they need to find and tick off the list:
o Numbers – find leaves with various points – 1/2/3/4/5
o Shapes – find an example of a: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, diamond, star etc
o Alphabet – find something beginning with each letter of the alphabet
Nothing like a little friendly competition
Children love competing against one another. Have a sunflower growing competition – Join in our Children’s activity at the end of the month, adopt a sunflower to take home and grow. Then during August enter our competition by sending in some photos. We are looking for the tallest plant, who has grown the largest flowers, and finally the best decorated sunflower.
What do you and your family enjoy doing together in the garden? We would love to hear your ideas and share them with our readers! Enjoy.