Are you already contemplating how you’re going to keep the kids entertained and out of trouble without letting them fester in front of a screen this summer? If so, we’ve got you covered with these six fantastic garden activities for you and the kids to get stuck into while the sun is shining:
- Flower garden windows
Take a cardboard box and cut out picture frame shapes, giving them to the kids to paint in their favourite colours. Then, cover one side of the frame with Clingfilm and fasten it with staples or sticky tape. After that, give your children free reign to pick flowers from the garden before arranging them carefully onto the ‘window’.
Cover the other side with Clingfilm and display them somewhere that needs injecting with colour! They might look a little bit like this once they’re finished. Cheerful, aren’t they?!
- Bird watching
Bird watching isn’t just for pensioners – honest! Create a cosy den together (preferably beside a window or door that looks out into the garden) and hide quietly with a pair of binoculars, a bird book and a drawing pad. Hang a wild bird feeder in the garden (the likes of which are available from wildbirdfeeders.co.uk) and see how many different species you can spot. If bird spotting is a bit too challenging, why not get the kids to draw an imaginary bird of their own creation?
- Insect catching
Teach your children about the creepy crawlies that are lurking in the garden by equipping them with see-through plastic boxes, a magnifying glass and a garden trowel. These tools are all they’ll need to explore the garden by moving stones, examining flowers and digging through the compost heap and carefully picking up bugs in separate containers with a little soil to keep them safe.
Ensure that the lids have plenty of air holes to keep the insects inside alive, so that the kids have plenty of time to figure out answers to important questions like “how many legs do they have?” and “how do they defend themselves against predators?”.
- A fairy house
Plenty of little girls and boys love the idea of fairies living in the bottom of the garden, so why not help them to make a fairy house? All you’ll need is a plastic container and some odd crafty bits to decorate with: upturned yoghurt pots make fantastic fairy dwellings, grass cuttings can be fashioned into a green carpet, and sequins make an excellent garden path.
- Snail trails
Fancy turning your kids into budding detectors? All they’ll need is some brightly coloured nail varnish. Once they’ve found a snail, get them to carefully put a dot of varnish on top of the snail’s shell, holding it gently until the varnish dries.
Then, take the marked snail out into the garden and let it loose. Over the next few days, encourage your children to get out into the garden and see if they can spot the marked snails…they’ll see where they’ve travelled to and possibly even trace them back to their original territory!
- A slip and slide
Got a handful of energetic kids on your hands? Skip the craft projects and run their little legs off with a length of tarpaulin instead. Fix it to the ground before smothering it in washing up liquid and water.
This makes for a fun slip and slide and works best if angled on a downhill slope – just be sure to remove any sharp lumps and bumps like rocks and pebbles first, and keep a towel handy to dry off their mucky feet before ushering them upstairs for a shower!
*This is a collaborative post*