Here gardening expert Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk gives his tips on keeping children busy this summer with some garden themed activities.
Filling the days with fun activities during the school summer holidays can be tricky, but this summer the weather is certainly making it much harder.
The good news is there are cheap and easy garden activities children can still enjoy, despite the rain.
And it’s a great way to build their interest in the great outdoors and growing their own fruit, vegetables, plants and flowers.
Activities could include growing cress and herbs to building a bug hotel to sit in the garden and even going fruit picking.
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Here are some ideas for garden themed activities this summer.
Grow some cress
Growing cress has to be one of the first – and most rewarding – activities to get kids interested in growing their own fruit and veg. All you’ll need is a packet of seeds, an old container and a little compost.
Cover the bottom of the container with a thin layer of compost and sprinkle seeds on top. Place a lid on top or cover with cling film to keep the moisture in. Place on a warm windowsill and leave to grow. You should have cress within a week.
Take the children to a pick your own farm so they can see where their food comes from. Strawberry and raspberry picking is ideal at the moment.
And the fruit will be sweet, juicy and very delicious. Growing your own fruit at home is another fun activity to get the kids involved in and it’s a great way for them to see their hard work come to life.
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If you have planters that have seen better days, why not get out the paints or spray paints and get the children upcycling? Once the pots have been given a new look, maybe plant in some spring bulbs to enjoy early next year.
If you don’t have planters, see what else you can use. An old pair of wellies? A wheelbarrow full of holes? Both will make interesting garden features.
Visit the garden centre
Take the children for a proper look around the garden centre and talk about what you can put in your newly decorated planters or in the garden. Encourage them to touch and smell – gardening is about waking up all your senses.
Herbs can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill. If there are herbs you use a lot in cooking, grab some seeds, small plant pots and compost and spend some time planting. Encourage the children to water and keep a watch on their growth. Once big enough, move outside in a pretty planter and gift those you have leftover.
Build a bug hotel
Find a suitable spot in the garden and build a bug hotel. It doesn’t need to be fancy and can be made for nothing with items you already have in the garden.
Try using bricks, old pallets or pieces of wood, dry sticks, straw, dry leaves and maybe some seeds for food. Do create a strong base, a roof and be as creative as you can with the middle.
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