Using The Garden To Entertain Children
With the introduction of technology in many homes, children are spending more and more time indoors. So why not get them out into the garden and show them how wonderful the great outdoors can be? Even if it is just their own garden!
Smaller children love to get involved in gardening. Getting hands-on and muddy is one of the best things about being a kid. So let’s give them a chance to and teach them a few little things along the way!
Get buggy with it
Our previous wildlife blog has some great ideas about how to bring wildlife into the garden, so why not include the kids? Whether they’re getting dirty making little dens for different types of bugs, or being the designer for you to build them a bug hotel, it’s a great way to get them talking about bugs and maybe even a little less scared of them in the future.
You can turn this into a great learning session by teaching them all the different bugs in the garden. Or how each of the things you find has its own impact and benefits in the garden. Don’t worry if there’s a bug you don’t recognise, take a picture of it, and at the end of the day, use a little time on technology to search for it and take the opportunity to learn something new!
Digging it up
We may not see quite as many mud pies as we used to, and there’s definitely less buried toys in the garden (unless you have a dog that loves to hide stuff!). So why not encourage kids to dig! We don’t mean in the middle of the grass or digging to find Australia, we mean productive digging. Whether you set them to dig up some old plants or dig a hole ready for some new ones, it’s a great way of keeping them active, getting some fresh air, and getting a little dirty on the way! Just make sure to tell them where they can and can’t dig, or your lawn might start to look like you have a mole problem!
If you have patches of empty soil that are yet to be planted, you can turn this into a game of hide and seek! Get out there before the kids and hide some toys in the dirt. They can get digging to find things, you can even include clues to turn it into a treasure hunt.
So not only can you get the kids digging and perhaps a treasure hunt, you can get them involved in many other garden games.
A quick and simple game is if you have some chalk and a patio, create a hopscotch area or get them drawing pictures. The chalk will wash away with a bit of water, so if they need more space, or when you’re all done, it can be easily removed.
For the active kids in the house, or those that need to burn a little more energy before bedtime, why not build an obstacle course. Using things you find in your garden you can have them crawling under chairs, jumping over pots, kicking a ball into a box and anything else you can find! Keep adding things each day to keep them interested. Turn it into a competition by adding in a timer!
For the creative kids out there. Get them drawing pictures of different plants they can find in the garden. Or maybe even the bugs that they come across along the way. It’ll give them a way of bringing the garden back into the house at the end of the day.
There has been a rise recently in painted rocks in many natural areas. The idea behind them is that people who find them can either take them home to keep, or they can rehide them for someone else to find. Well, why not create a few of these for your own garden.
Give each one its own personality or name, get the kids to paint some, paint some yourself, or even bring in ones you find on a walk. These great rocks brighten up the garden and will give the kids something friendly to look at. Move them around the garden to keep things interested.
If you are unsure about getting the kids involved in the garden, just in case it isn’t safe for them, take a look at our creating a child-safe space blog. It may give you an idea of some of the things you can do.
You may not be able to make many changes at the moment, but it can be a great time to teach children about the dangers that they can come across in the garden. You’ll still need to keep an eye on them, but they’ll be more likely to understand what they can and can’t do in the space.
If you aren’t looking to rope the kids in for full-time garden maintenance, and don’t feel like doing it yourself, contact us here at Abingdon’s and we can discuss your maintenance needs and what we can do for you.