7 Tips to Get Your Kids Outside and In The Gardenby Emma Dowey
It's lockdown and the sun is going to be shining this weekend...now couldn't be a better time to get kids outside and into gardening. If you're not sure where to start though, read on for some tips and tricks. To be honest I've never been a huge gardener. We've dabbled a bit with seeds and had more failures than successes. But my son, age 6, has had a lot of fun. And especially when he was younger. There's something magical about planting a tiny seed and watching it sprout into life. And if you are lucky enough, you might just get to harvest some fruit or veggies too! Gardening with kids doesn't have to be a chore and there are loads of things you can do to get them outside and involved.
Give Them Some Tools
You can get cute little gardening sets for kids, from plastic and wooden varieties for toddlers and younger kids to proper trowels and forks for older kids. Kit them out so they're ready to get involved. Plant Seeds
As the weather starts getting a bit warmer, now is the time to plant some seeds. You can usually pick them up in your local supermarket too whilst you're out shopping for your essentials. If you haven't got loads of plastic pots, try using newspaper or toilet rolls. These are ideal for starting your seeds off.
Herbs are a great way to get kids involved with gardening, and also cooking! They are easy to grow and care for, and even if you don't have a garden, you could grow them in a pot on a balcony or windowsill.
Growing potatoes is so much fun. And so easy. Simply grab a couple out of the fridge and pop them in a dark place for a week or so. Basically until they have sprouted. Then plant them in a big pot, or directly into the ground. We typically use a pot as the cats like to poop in any fresh compost! Yuck! As your potatoes start to grow, you can cover the new shoots over with compost again to make them work harder. Keep them watered and when the leaves start to yellow, you know it's time to start digging. And harvesting potatoes is SO MUCH FUN! It's like digging for treasure!
Garden Nature Hunt
If the kids are less bothered with planting seeds, get them outside while you're gardening with a nature hunt. Perhaps use colours - find three things that are green/yellow/brown, or perhaps task them with a bug hunt.
One of the tasks my son has always loved helping me with is watering the plants. At the height of summer we do this once the sun has gone down. He loves playing with the hosepipe and getting as wet as possible. Some of the plants get watered! If you don't want them getting soaked through, perhaps just fill up the watering can and let them loose with that. I find one of those handheld sprayers work well too as they can wander around the gardening, spraying all the plants and flowers as they go.
Why not get little ones to paint or decorate terracotta pots to then plant seeds in. You could use regular paint or even old nail varnish for something more water-resistant. Want something less permanent? Get the kids to paint rainbows in chalk on terracotta. This works really well.
Are you managing to enjoy the dry and warmer weather at the moment? Even in lockdown, there are still plenty of things you can do to get the kids out into the garden.