Want to get your kids outside to enjoy all that nature has to offer? Check out fun gardening ideas for kids that will have them growing their own vegetables, herbs and flowers. Because they’re curious, like to learn by doing, and love to play in the dirt, your children will be pleased to take care of the garden. It is also a great way to teach environmental awareness by exploring the workings of nature.
1. Grow your own fruit
There are several fruits you can grow in your own garden, including blueberries and apples – but strawberries are probably the easiest. Once you’ve planted them, they’ll usually keep coming back for a few years. You can buy strawberry pots and plants from garden centres – they’re best to plant in spring or autumn and will produce fruit in the summer.
2. Grow your own veg
Why stop at fruit? Different types of veg will grow at different times of the year, so if you’re organised, you can have fresh veg all year round. It’s also a great way to get your kids to eat more vegetables – they’ll feel very proud to eat something they’ve grown themselves. Carrots, courgettes, beans, peppers, potatoes and salad veg are all easy to grow yourself because the seeds are big.
3. Grow herbs
Even if you only have the tiniest garden – or windowsill – you can grow herbs in a pot, and they’re a great way to add flavour to your food. Just sow the seeds in small yogurt pots and cover with a clear bag or clingfilm until they germinate. Put the pots somewhere in the light and don’t forget to water them regularly.
4. Make your own rockery
Collect stones from your garden, the woods or the park, wash them and then get painting. Once they’ve dried, arrange them in the garden (maybe around a flower in a pot) and voila! You’ve got your own little rockery.
5. Plant flowers
Add some colour to your garden with flowers. If you want to grow them from seeds, you can buy a seed shaker from a garden centre, which has a mixture of seeds in that the kids just shake over the ground. Nasturtiums are good to start with – they’ll grow quickly, get orange and red flowers and you can add their leaves to salads.
You could also buy a selection of already grown flowers from a garden centre and then plant them to make a pretty display in your garden or in a window box.
6. Grow sunflowers and make grass heads
Sunflowers are one of the easiest things you can grow – and kids will love to see how tall they get! You can sow sunflower seeds straight into the ground and they tend to flower in August.
Grass heads will make the whole family smile. Get a pair of tights, fill the foot with moist soil and grass seeds, then tie the end of the tights. Draw a face on it, and watch your grass head grow its own hair!
7. Learn about insects
Get your boots on, take a magnifying glass and start looking for insects – you’ll be able to find a whole range in your garden. Encouraging your kids to learn about insects, spiders and bugs now will help them to get over any fears they have. If your kids are really interested, you could borrow a book from the library to help them learn more.
8. Make a ladybird farm
Get an old ice cream tub or plastic box, fill it with some soil, stones, grass and leaves and find some ladybirds to live in it. Making the ‘farm’ won’t take long, but the hunt for ladybirds should keep your kids occupied for a while. You can make a good snail farm this way too.
9. Feed the birds
You can buy bird feeders and food cheaply – but you could always make your own as well. Grab an old plastic bottle and wash it out, make a few holes in it and fill it with bird food. Watch from the kitchen window and see if your kids can spot the different types of birds.
10. Make a fairy garden
If you’re trying to get younger kids involved in gardening, this way of using their toys is a good place to start. Give them an area that will become their ‘fairy garden’ – help them to put stones, flowers and anything else you can find into a pretty arrangement and then bring in the toy fairies, barbies and teddies to play in their own garden! Boys might prefer using things they find in the garden to make a race track for their cars!