It’s really important for kids (and adults!) to get outside and, now the sun’s out and the air’s a bit warmer, there’s no excuse not to! Whether its after-school, at the weekend or over the bank holiday, there are loads of great things you can do with your family to have fun in the garden.
To make sure your garden looks as great as possible this spring and into the summer, why not get a spring lawn treatment. Greensleeves special lawn treatment fertiliser is safe for children and pets! It helps your grass to grow thick and green, making your garden a fantastic environment in which to have fun with your family.
Kids of all ages love a treasure hunt. Hide various items around the garden and send your children on a quest to find them. You could make it even better by having all the treasures come together to create another activity. For example, you could hide all the things required to make a garden den.
It won’t be too long until Easter either, so you could have an early easter egg hunt! Be sure to remember where you hide all the chocolate though; it could harm animals if any are missed and forgotten.
Build a Wormery
Wormeries can be used as a kind of ‘˜garden bin’ for kitchen waste such as fruit and vegetable scraps with the worms helping to break down the waste. However, a wormery is also a fantastic way to teach your children about these amazing creatures!
You can buy wormery kits that include everything you need (except the worms!) to set up a wormery, or you can put one together yourself. Simply get a large glass jar or another large clear container, add a layer of sand (about 1cm) to the bottom, followed by a thick layer of soil, another think layer of sand and another thick layer of soil. Leave around 5cm of space at the top.
Next, hunt down some worms in the garden! The best time is after it’s rained, but you should be able to find worms in most weather.
Add the worms to the jar and put some kitchen waste into the top, such as vegetable peel, tea leaves or overripe fruit. Cover the outside of the jar with black card, make some holes in the lid and put it on. Leave it in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks and your children will be able to observe what’s happened to the fruit and should also be able to see some of the worms’ tracks through the soil.
Catch and draw insects
Catching and drawing insects is a great way for your children to engage in the natural world and have fun in your garden. Prepare some boxes in which to put insects by putting a damp, thin layer of soil in the bottom and possibly a stone or two. Ensure you choose boxes that are clear or have a clear lid so you can see the insect without it escaping!
Go out and find some insects! Look in cool, damp places, such as under plant pots and collect them by scooping them up with a piece of cardboard. Avoid adding different species of insects to one pot, just in case they eat each other!
Encourage your children to draw the insects they’ve found and talk about them. Be sure to put all of them back where they came from when you’re done.
Grow some Vegetables
Growing vegetables with your children is a fantastic way to teach them about where their food comes from, how things grow and also to encourage them to eat their greens! Children (and often adults for that matter!) are much more likely to try new vegetables if they’ve grown them themselves.
Some vegetables are easier to grow than others. Here are some great ones to try:
- Runner beans — Water runner beans well in dry weather, otherwise the plants will not produce beans. You could initially start the seedling in a clear pot and cover with black card. In time, you’ll be able to see the roots growing when you take off the card! They’ll need re-planting outdoors before too long though.
- Radish — It’s a great vegetable to grow with kids because it’s not only easy, but ready to eat within just a month of sowing!
- Lettuce — Most lettuce seeds should begin to sprout within 12 days of sowing so your children won’t have to wait too long to start seeing results.
- Carrot — Sow carrot seeds thinly (reasonably far apart from each other) in a sunny area of the garden and they should germinate within 17 days.
If you have a patio, a stone slab walkway or similar surface, then get some chalks out and get artistic! Chalk will simply wash away when it next rains (or you can pour water over it if you want to get rid of it sooner!) so it’s a great way to get your kids having fun outside.
You can draw a hopscotch grid, for example, or start and finish lines for races! Or simply do some decorating.
Play some football
Get a ball out and make the most of your lawn by playing some football. If you don’t have enough people for a more structured game, you could simply see who can score a goal the most amount of times. Or you could play different variations such as ‘˜three-touch’ where each person is allowed three touches of the ball in order to get it into the goal.
Gather different sized rocks from around your garden and use paint to colour and decorate them. You could paint them into creatures or scenes, or simply paint patterns onto the surfaces.
You can use them to decorate your garden or even inside your home.