Kids & School Holidays
The school holidays are a fantastic opportunity to get kids out in the garden.
The school holidays are a fantastic opportunity to get kids out in the garden. You’ll be surprised how eager little ones can be to help with gardening jobs, and it’s a fantastic way to help them learn about the natural world. If you grow fruit and vegetables, it’s also a wonderful way to educate them about where their food comes from, in a fun and outdoor environment. Keeping them occupied throughout the summer with these fun gardening activities will also help to lessen time spent indoors and on video games. Here’s a few fun ideas to try out with the kids this summer.
If there’s one thing kids love, it’s animals. Why not help them to encourage wildlife into your garden by making bird boxes and bug hotels with recycled materials? You can even make a hedgehog home for our spiny friends – whose population is in serious decline. Show them how to plant bee-friendly plants like Globe Thistle and Lavender. Bees like purple plants because it’s the colour they can see best, and they’re often nectar-rich plants, so why not get the kids to plant out a little purple section of the garden specifically for attracting bees. Again, this is a great opportunity for inquisitive minds to learn a little bit more about this vital pollinating species.
Children are often inspired by grown up activities. Give them their own tools and they’ll get a better sense of ownership in the garden, especially if you allocate a special area for them to look after. You can even help them choose plants they would like to grow there. Kids love tactile plants with vibrant colours, textures and scents. Show them how to cultivate the soil in their patch by digging it over with a kid-sized fork, and then get them to choose their plants. Just make sure you supervise children whilst they handle any tools and check for any sharp objects in the soil before you begin.
Sunflowers are fantastic as they are robust and easy to grow, and they grow nice and quick. Try fun herbs like chocolate mint, or lemon scented verbena, which smells like sherbet lemons. An added bonus of getting kids to grow culinary plants is that it can also encourage them to help out in the kitchen - as they’re often eager to see their handiwork getting put to good use.
Smaller kids can still get involved in the growing with fun, quirky planters. Get them a miniature fork and hand trowel so their little hands can get to work easily. Old pairs of wellies are great for making exciting, colourful planters that kids will love; simply drill some holes in the bottom for drainage and then get the children to help you fill pebbles in the bottom. Next, get them to scoop in compost to fill the boot. Herbs are a great choice to go in your welly planters, as are easy colourful flowers like pansies. Try old tin cans and toy trucks if you don’t have any spare old wellies lying around, or even empty egg shells to watch tiny seedlings sprout. Don’t forget to encourage your kids to look after their plant once the containers are finished – giving them the responsibility to water and care for their plant in order to see it flourish.
Don’t forget that you can also simply get the kids to help out with your regular gardening jobs like digging and watering. If you grow fruit or vegetables, then come late August you may have lots of produce to harvest – the kids will love to help with plucking fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the vine. You’ll be surprised how enthusiastic kids can be about gardening, whether its bug hotels or sunflower competitions, there’s always some fun to be had in the garden!
Have fun everyone!