Next week – the 25th to 29th May 2020 – is National Children’s Gardening Week, which we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate, not least because, with us all being in lockdown, our gardens have turned into our own personal havens. This week is a great time to introduce your children to gardening in a way that is educational and fun – it’s a brilliant way to get active, too!
Whether your children enjoy the garden already, or need a little encouragement to get outdoors, we’ve compiled some tips to help get them interested in the nature around them – including a few tips for those who may not have gardens.
Make it a game
If your kids need a little encouragement getting outside, it might be worth making a game out of being in the garden! For younger children, it might be a case of counting how many worms you can find while digging up soil or placing numbered plant pots around the garden and getting them to run around finding them and counting them up in order – this is a great way to let them burn off some energy while enjoying the fresh air and getting familiar with the nature in the garden.
For older children, it’s time to get competitive. Everybody in the family can get outside and plant something at the same time – like sunflowers – and each take care of their own. Whoever’s grows the tallest, or fastest, or flowers the best, wins! There’s nothing like friendly family competition to get the kids interested in something!
Why not encourage your children to get crafty in the garden as a way to spend more time outside and make the place more colourful? They could try making signs to point out the different flowers growing in the garden as a way to be both educational and fun. Perhaps they could collect rocks or pebbles to paint, or even paint their own flowerpots to make them more personalised for them?
For an added bit of aloe fun – and a great way to recycle product packaging – why not get them to make a watering can, a plant pot, a bird feeder or bird bath from old Aloe Vera Gel bottles? If you’ve been taking part in our C9 challenge, you should have a couple of gel bottles to make use of, as well as a whole C9 box to perhaps make a hedgehog feeding station! We’d love to see any creative projects you come up with from these items!
Whether you’re looking to make your garden more colourful, or you’re keen to start producing your own food, there are plenty of things you can start growing outdoors as a family.
Flowers which grow well when planted around this time of year are sunflowers, petunias and poppies, all of which will contribute to a very colourful garden.
If you’re looking to make a start on producing your own food, why not try growing some potatoes, cress, runner beans or carrots? These are all fairly easy to grow and most thrive when planted around this time of year. Kids will get a real sense of achievement growing something which later goes on to feed the whole family, and it’s a terrific way to educate them on where their food comes from!
For those of you without garden spaces, or if you’re easing yourself into growing things outside, there are plenty of things that can be grown inside. Once you’ve got your hands on some seeds (available online, or at any garden centre currently open – remember to stay safe!) all you need is soil, a few plant pots and a sunny window ledge! You can still make games and competitions out of your indoor growing, so kids can be just as involved in indoor growing as they would have been outdoors!
If you need some inspiration, things that are great for growing indoors are radishes, cress, lettuce and herbs like rosemary, coriander or basil! The obvious bonus to all this growing is of course the fact that you have easy access to these delicious veggies and herbs for eating. You could cut down your food bill, your reliance on the supermarkets, and any unnecessary plastic packaging. Win-win!
It’s not just for children!
Do you love to get outside in the garden with your children? It’s worth noting that for a 170-pound person, an hour of gardening burns roughly 231 calories – not bad if you’re looking for new ways to get active while the gyms are closed? Bonus: your garden will be in perfect shape for a stay-cation too!
What other tips do you have for getting your children out in the garden?