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Where the end of April sees the arrival of national gardening week, the last week of May is dedicated to national children’s gardening week. During this week, it is the perfect opportunity to get your kids into gardening. The week is all about celebrating the fun that can be had in the garden. The beauty of gardening is that people of all ages can get involved and it is a great activity for the whole family to do together; with summer fast approaching we are all going to be wanting to spend time outside and gardening is the perfect opportunity to get children to connect with nature.
Whilst for parents it may be a little daunting the thought of letting kids loose in the garden, shovel in hand, there are plenty of activities which are more suited to little hands. However, as long as you don’t mind a little dirt let them get stuck in.
Dedicated Kids Garden
Letting your children loose in your own perfecting preened garden may be daunting to you. Whilst children may love the garden and flowers, they don’t always understand how to properly love the flowers and other plants. You may find they start picking your flowers in an attempt to have flowers of their own, or perhaps they handle the plants a little too often for your liking. A great way to encourage them to take care of flowers and plants, as well as giving them the freedom to pick the flowers they like, you can create their own personal garden.
A small area in your own garden which you don’t mind sacrificing; simply fence it off and allow your children to plant their favourite flowers. If you have multiple children, they can each have their own space if you like. Dedicate them their own small space in your shed or garage to store their tools and help them learn how to take care of their new garden. This way they can dig, plant and even pick their own favourite flowers to their hearts content without ruining your precious flower beds.
You’ll possibly remember cress heads from your own childhood, and they are a great way to start to get your kids into gardening and teach them how plants are grown. You don’t actually have to stick to cress, but they tend to be one of the easiest to grow. To make two cress heads you’ll first need to carefully take the tops of two eggs and empty them; make sure to save the eggs! Once you have washed the eggs out, the kids can then decorate the shells with pens or paint and let them dry.
Now, take a cotton wool ball for each egg and dip it in a little water. Squeeze it out before placing it in the shell. Then simply sprinkle around 1 tsp of seeds per egg into the shell. These should then be place in a well-lit place for around a week; they should start to sprout in a few days.
Flower pressing can be a great way for kids to appreciate the beauty of the garden and keep their favourite flowers all season round. They can then use the pressed flowers for a variety of craft activities; from creating bookmarks and snap cards to create flower mobiles. This task works even better if they have their own little garden or flowers so you don’t have to be too concerned, they will steal your blooms to press. Encourage them to collect a selection of leaves and pretty flowers to press, even better if they have already fallen from the plant. Pressing flowers is fairly simple; all you need to do is place the flower in a heavy book lined with parchment paper. Weigh the book down and leave for around 7 to 10 days.
As it would appear we are all spending a little more time at home and in our gardens this spring, it is the perfect time to get the little one’s involved in gardening.
Posted by Matt Cook