Involving children in fun gardening activities provides valuable opportunities to enjoy the spring and summer weather while helping to instill a love of nature in your little ones.
The magic of watching a seed grow that they planted themselves, or the joy of creating a beautiful picture from leaves and petals is a feeling they are unlikely to forget.
These garden activities* are appropriate for young children with adult supervision, or older children looking for a bit of a challenge.
I have also included a number of tips and creative variations to help you work with your child's needs and changing interests. The directions are written as if you were doing the activity on your own, but it should be easy to understand where to include your children, depending on their age and level of ability.
So have fun!
*We would like to thank the New Zealand WWOOFer who suggested these activities to us last year. You'll always be a Star in our eyes.
- Toilet Paper Tube Planter -
What you'll need:
- Soil from the garden or some potting mix
- A couple of large seeds
- Empty toilet paper tubes
- Take your empty toilet paper tube and stand it upright in a small container (ie, an old organic soy yogurt container or something like that).
- Pack the toilet paper tube with soil. This will work best if the soil is somewhat moist.
- Sow a single bean or seed in the toilet roll tube.
- Water the seed regularly.
- When the seed germinates, plant the whole tube in the garden.
Tips: This activity works particularly well with peas, sunflowers, and other larger seeds.
- Bird Scare-er -
What you'll need:
- Old shoelace or bits of string
- Old CDs
- Shredded plastic bags or old cassette/videotape
-Tie a string or shoelace around the CD (the other end of the string will be tied around a fence post or on to a stick in the garden.
- Decorate the CD with different-colored strips of shredded plastic bags and cassette/videotape.
- Hang the decorated CD by its string on a fence post or attach it to a long stick, in the garden, and let it hang over your veggies.
- The noise and movement will frighten unwanted birds away from your veggies and fruits.
Tip: Even if you don't have any birds eating your veggies, these "bird scare-ers" can make beautiful and fun decorations in the garden or hanging near the house
Next: Seed bug stories