Garden activities with kids
19th August 2021
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Kids LOVE helping in the garden, there are lots of activities that you can do with them. Getting children involved in the garden and with nature activities from an early age will help to instill a love of wildlife and the great outdoors. 

Below are a few of our favourites to help keep your little ones entertained during the holidays...

 

1. Bug hunting! This has to be one of the all time favourites - my children love it!. We have done many bug hunts and they can be done pretty much anywhere there's some green space with a few plants, wildflowers, trees or shrubs. Bugs live in many different habitats, so make sure you check grass, flowers, tree branches and under stones and logs (make sure you gently place them back afterwards). 🐞🕷

Keep a tally chart or make your own bug sheet to colour in. Heres a link to a printable bug hunt sheet from
The Woodland Trust - 
https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/media/48349/minibeast-hunt.pdf

The main thing is to have lots of fun!

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Bug hunting
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Woodlouse
Dor (dung) beetle

2. Seed pots - Planting seeds and watching what grows is a fantastic way for children to learn about plants and the insects that may visit them. 

To do this activity you will need: Pots (a few small plant pots - recyclable plastic or biodegradable pots are both fine), compost, plant labels, a pen, seeds (it's great to choose seeds that are attractive to wildlife - also make sure its the right time of year to sow your particular seeds), a watering can with a fine rose and a sieve.

Here we sowed 'Thyme' - for the bees 🐝, 'Marigolds' - a ladybird favourite 🐞, and 'Wild Marjoram' - a great plant
to attract butterflies 🦋.

1. Fill your pots nearly to the top with sieved compost (this removes any big bits that may stop your seeds from germinating properly).

2. Write out your labels with a black pen or pencil.

3. Sow or sprinkle a few seeds on the top of the compost, gently firm larger seeds down a little.

4. Sieve a fine layer of compost onto the top of the pots.

5. Add your written label stick and water the pot gently with a watering can - you can also buy fine watering nozzles to screw onto on old drinks bottles, a great way to reuse waste plastic!

6. Place pots on a sunny window ledge or in a greenhouse and keep moist (but don't overwater).

7. Germination rates differ between seeds - follow advice on the seed packet.

8. Enjoy watching what grows and when the weather is right you can plant-out or transport your plant to a larger pot so it can keep on growing... Have fun!

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3. Making Seed balls - Seed balls are basically compost balls with wildflower seeds in that you can throw onto the ground or in a pot. They are an amazing way to help children learn about wildflowers and wildlife.

To do this activity you will need: A large mixing bowl, 5 cups of compost (we prefer to use peat-free), 2-3 cups of clay powder (this can be bought from craft stores or Amazon) - there are a few different types of clay powder but we used Calcium Bentonite), 1 cup of wildflower seeds (native wildflowers are the best, we used a seed mix containing Poppy, Ox-eye daisy, Cornflower and Corn-cockle seeds), a jug of water and a large spoon.

1. Mix together the compost and the clay power into the mixing bowl.

2. Add in your wildflower seeds and mix together well.

3. Slowly pour in some water and mix with a large spoon or trowel, keep adding until the mixture is sticky.

4. Take a small amount of the mixture and roll into a ball. The ball should ideally be between 1 - 1.5cm in diameter.

5. Make lots of balls with your mixture and place somewhere sunny on a stable surface to dry.

6. Throw the balls onto bare soil in the garden, or in a soil filled pot and watch the flowers grow! The best time to scatter seed balls is spring or autumn.

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4. Growing (& picking) fruit - Growing fruits and vegetables with children is always very rewarding as they can pick and eat all of the delicious produce. It's a great way to teach children about sustainability, pollination and a healthy planet and if you're lucky enough to have use of an allotment, then you can grow a huge range.
There are many different fruits and vegetables that will happily grow in pots outdoors and you can even grow some types of strawberry in hanging baskets. Most fruit and veg plants prefer a sunny spot to grow well.

My children's favourites to grow (and eat) are blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, blackberries and runner beans.
Don't forget to watch all of the bees visiting the flowers! 🐝

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5. Helping with the watering - An all time favourite kids gardening activity. Just make sure they have a can each or there will definitely be trouble :)

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For any help or advice on children's gardening activities, please contact us here.

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