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Gardening with the kids

I am a firm believer that our gardens are a great place for our children to connect with our natural environment. Gardens are also a great place for children to play, be creative and be used as an educational resource too.
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be involved in a show garden project at The Malvern Spring Gardening Show. I designed and built a garden to be used as an educational resource for school children. A local Malvern School was involved by helping to grow plants, make sculpture, write poetry and come along to the showground and help plant and install their work in the finished garden. During this process, I found it amazing how much the kids got from the project. They were passionate and keen to learn. The sense of ownership that the kids, staff at the school and the parents got from it was also very rewarding.

To provide your own children with a little piece of garden they can do what they want with will encourage them to spend more time outside. There are plenty of activities you can share with your kids from simply sowing seeds to more complex gardening techniques like cuttings.  

There are also many activities suitable for gardens that are not horticulturally based so if you haven't got green fingers then there is still plenty you can do to encourage your children to spend time outside.  My own children recently spent a couple of hours in the garden on a woodlice hunt. After finding the woodlice they transferred them to a bug hotel they had made from twigs and grass and continued to check on them for a couple of days just to make sure "they were having a good holiday".

Some Activities for kids in the garden include:
  • Catch and draw insects
  • Grow a tree from seed
  • Become a leaf collector
  • Go on a scent trail
  • Build a den
  • Make your own compost
  • Go on a garden treasure hunt
  • Become a Seed Collector
  • Make a daisy chain
  • Grow your own salad  
   
For more info check out:
BBC: Gardening with ChildrenRHS: School Gardening
RHS: Mostest Plants!

Written by: Alex Bell, www.alexbellgardendesign.co.uk


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