Spring is approaching, so it’s a perfect time to make use of the outdoors in the warmer weather. Especially for your children, it can seem difficult to find anything that distracts them from their devices. But once you discover something different yet entertaining to do outdoors, it’s no doubt that they will no longer be glued to their screens. But how can you persuade them to step outside and embrace nature?
Here, we explore several ways to get your kids into gardening with tips and activities.
Get your hands dirty
If your children don’t spend too much time outdoors, then they might not be familiar with getting their hands dirty and being near insects. Demonstrate to them that there’s nothing to be afraid of by digging around the soil and handling worms. It’s a great way to introduce them to gardening, as it shows that there’s nothing to fear, and it’s also a way to loosen up and have fun. In fact, research has revealed that gardeners have better well-being and lower stress levels than non-gardeners – so not only will it be an entertaining activity for your children, but it's beneficial for their mental health too.
Grow your own fruit and vegetables
Start them off slowly by teaching them to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Not only is the outcome a tasty (and healthy) snack, but they will no doubt enjoy watching them grow. First, choose a designated spot for your child to plant their seeds; giving them their own spot allows them to become more comfortable and familiar with their gardening. But be careful not to choose an area that is well-shaded, as it may not grow properly and could put them off from gardening. Pick a sunny spot – but ensure you let them choose their own seeds, as there’s no use picking something that they won’t enjoy once they’re ready to eat.
Planting sunflower seeds is a great activity for your children, as they add brightness to your garden. As well as this, it’s an alternative activity to growing food in your outdoor space and can make a fun competition to see whose sunflower will grow the tallest. It’s the perfect chance to teach your children about plant maintenance, as they are easy to care for, so it prepares them for the future when they may be looking after trickier plants.
Add some garden décor
While your children are excited and waiting for their fruit and vegetables to grow, you can always head out for a shopping trip for some garden ornaments. Gardening isn’t only about getting your hands in the soil, as you can pick out some décor to add more detail to your garden on top of your colourful plants. It can also be a great opportunity to upgrade your toolkit or even explore a variety of seeds to try next.
Decorate plant pots
You may have many plants in your garden that are all stored in the same brown plant pot. Why not add some character by decorating them with some colourful paint? The UK weather is unpredictable – so if it happens to be a rainy day, you can still incorporate your gardening activities into a plant-pot-painting task. You can have a family contest where the best painting wins. It also adds a personal touch for your kids, and they can take pride knowing that a piece of their artwork is on display in the garden.
Set up a bird-feeding station
Of course, you can add many touches to spruce up your garden. But there are also many other simple additions, like attracting birds with some tasty treats. Not only will it excite the children when they visit your garden, but it’s also an activity to take part in as a family. Birds mainly need feeding in winter, so when your plants are struggling to grow in the colder months, creating a feeding station means that your children can still participate in their gardening hobbies. Simply use some small pots to fill with their food or purchase a decorative feeder to place in your garden. You can also add a nest box for spring and summer.
Build a garden den
Children adore an outdoor den – it’s a perfect spot for them to cool down and relax after being outdoors, particularly on a warm day. You can create one together using branches and logs and even choose some vining plants for the base that can be guided upwards to create an enclosed space, such as honeysuckle, which also looks delightful in your garden. Not only are you providing a private space for when they’re not busy gardening, but it’s also an opportunity to enhance their skills by teaching them tips for growing different plants.
There are a variety of ways to get your kids involved in the garden for them to spend some time away from their screens while also benefiting their well-being. It’s a great opportunity for some family time too – or, when the kids get into the swing of it, it makes a fun activity for them to do by themselves.