With the summer almost upon us, now is a great time to get outdoors and work in the garden. Not only will it give you the fresh air you need, but it will give you something to focus on, improving your brain activity and raising your mood.
As a parent, spending time in the garden with your kids will give you some great bonding moments. You will also be able to pass on your gardening skills to your little ones, giving them something to do, rather than watching the tv or playing on their games consoles.
Here are a few great activities you and your children can do together.
Make a farm
Use any old tub you have lying around, fill it with soil, grass, stones and a few leaves and turn it into your own wildlife sanctuary. Send your children around the garden on the hunt for snails or ladybirds, and encourage them to look after nature’s creatures over the coming weeks. Ensure you ventilate the lid to avoid a distressing discovery the next time your children come to look inside their miniature farm.
Grow your own fruit
There are many fruits you can grow outside, including blueberries, blackberries, rhubarb, and strawberries. Plant them with your children and when in season, enjoy the fruit of your labors (sorry for the pun). Depending on the size of your garden, you could also grow tropical fruit under shelter. 6×8 greenhouses fit into most gardens, giving you and your kids the opportunity to grow fruits such as apricots, melons, and peaches.
You will need to plant the fruit in the spring or autumn to enjoy them in the summer. It can be a learning experience for the kids, not only in the types of fruit there are available, but how to care for them too, with watering and fertilizing.
Grow your own vegetables
Encouraging your children to eat fruit is easy. Asking them to eat more vegetables is another matter. However, if they have had a hand in growing them, there may be more incentive for them to eat it from their plates. Vegetables such as carrots, beans, and potatoes are easy to grow because the seeds are big. Planted at different times of year, you are guaranteed fresh vegetables in any season.
If your children continue to be fusspots, don’t worry, vegetables can be used for other purposes too. For example, your children could carve potatoes and carrots into interesting sculpture shapes, or use sliced vegetables dipped in colored paint to press patterns onto paper, creating their own works of art.
Decorate the garden
Every garden needs a little colour, so it’s time to get the paint out. Using the stones from your garden, let your children paint them in colours of their choice and make their own rockery. Old plant pots and glass jars can be decorated too. Fluorescent paint is great as even as the sun goes down, your children’s work will still be on display for all to see.