Back in the day, when the sun was out. So were the kids. We simply HAD to go outside to play. No if's. No butts. You went outside and didn't come back in until it was lunch time and then again for dinner. When the sun was out, the street was filled with kids riding bikes, playing cricket, kicking the footy, playing chasey... it was freaaaaking amazing! I admit we don't live in the same world we did 30 years ago - and there is one major difference between my childhood and my kids. Hello technology! Our TV didn't even have a remote for god sake!
Here is Lulu in the TRH Garden!
Now more than ever, it is so important to get the kids away from the glare of the TV, the ipad and the Xbox and into the outdoors where they can get skills and experiences (and create memories) that will last a lifetime.
The garden is a great way for kids to connect with nature; the experience of getting dirty, playing with slugs, snails, worms and bugs, the warm gorgeous rays of sunshine and fresh air is an experience that is so good for their mood and their development! It is not only good for their little bodies and minds, but can give them lifelong green thumbing skills.
See how you can ensure everyone has fun in the garden!
- Kids need their own space and their own tools – give them some ownership and control.
- Number 1 also means let the kids decide what they grow. Choose a few ideas/varieties that are doable (and in season), then let your child pick their favourite to try.
- Relax! Let them do their own thing. Don’t worry if they spend more time playing with the dirt or worms than pulling weeds and perfectly placing the potting mixture. The fact that they’re out in the dirt and getting involved is awesome enough!
- Consider planting a mixture of seeds, seedlings and full-grown plants. It can be hard for small people to wait for those first sprouts to pop out of the ground. So plant something that will give instant gratification, it will hold their interest.
- Use your use Organic Soapberry shells as compost in the garden to help your elite garden grow!
- Eat your produce! Get the kids to help making pizza’s or pasta sauce or construct a salad. Again if they have ownership over it, they may be more inclined to eat it (this is no guarantee clearly!)
A colourful project to spark some interest…
If your house is anything like ours, then you have a heap of cobweb infested gumboots lying around, in a multitude of sizes and varying states of sun fade. A gumboot garden is a simple, quick way (with instant results), to expose children to planting herbs and flowers and the demonstrate the importance of recycling. They look pretty funky too and add a splash of colour to your surroundings.
What you need
- old gumboots
- potting mix
1. Gather some old gumboots from around the house or pop
down to your local op shop.
2. Punch a few drainage holes in the bottom of the boots
3. Fill gumboots with potting mix until you have reached about
2cm from the top.
4. Plant seeds or seedlings (you can use flowers, herbs or even
fruit) in the potting mix and water.
5. Watch the magic happen in the portable gumboot garden.
You can display your gumboots in and around the garden beds, on a stand or hang them from a fence or something else in the garden for a colourful feature. Pop them in a place that is easily accessible for the kids to water and let them take ownership of their creations.