Five gardening ideas for kids
By Sarah Wilson, GardeningEtc.com – the home of outdoor living
Our garden ideas for kids will give you plenty of inspiration for action-packed afternoons in the garden.
Make a bee hotel
Bees have lost much of their natural habitat as wildflower meadows vanish and need a helping hand to find a safe nesting place. Children will love the idea of doing something to save the bees, while crafting a hotel from scratch is an activity the whole family can enjoy. Essentially, it’s a box made of wood and bamboo canes hollowed out to different diameters to accommodate all bees whatever their size. Once ready, secure your bee hotel at shoulder height to a fence or wall in a sunny, sheltered spot that’s near bee-friendly flowers such as lavender and enjoy the buzz.
Create a garden den
Children love to make dens in the house and creating a garden hideaway is a fun thing to do too. Encourage your children to use their imaginations to come up with ideas for how they want their den to look. String up a sturdy line or rope between the branches of adjacent trees or use bamboo canes to make a simple wigwam frame. Drape over an old sheet, throw or blanket. If you have a waterproof groundsheet from camping use this to line the inside of the den before piling on a duvet, throws and cushions to make a super snug space.
Play a game
Board games teach children patience, learning to wait for your turn and how to win and lose gracefully. Young players will also learn how to count spaces and develop their hand-eye co-ordination. It’s a great way to spend family bonding time too.
Outdoor treasure hunt
Getting out in the garden can be educational. Choose a nature-themed treasure hunt and kids will learn to identify things in their natural environment. Try theming the hunt – searching for bees, bugs and butterflies, identifying leaves and flowers, or a checklist of sensory experiences such as cloud watching, smelling scented flowers, listening for birdsong and walking barefoot in the grass. The prize at the end could be a jam jar filled with coins or a bag of loot from the pound shop.
Construct a sundial
This activity is good for all age groups from 4 years up. Little ones will learn numbers while seeing them change, while older kids can learn about finding North and how we move around the sun. All you need is a sunny spot. There are lots of ways to make a sundial, including drawing round your shadow from the same point at different times during the day. But the easiest way is to buy a kit.