Summer garden fun for the kids

As a parent of two young girls, I know how challenging the summer holidays can be. You need to keep them busy. You run out of things to do, or at least you run out of money taking them out and about. Well put the credit cards down, we’ve got plenty of garden fun ideas you can try this summer.

Gardening has to be one of the best activities you can do with children under 13.. Well whatever age they are really. Children are enthralled by plants, looking at them, learning how they grow, helping to care for them. Even children that normally wouldn’t concentrate for more than a matter of minutes on other tasks will settle down and focus.

So if your stuck for things to do with your children this summer, get them out in the garden and try some of our favourite garden games and craft projects. Making garden crafts encourages children to use their imagination and really gets them involved. Even on a rainy afternoon, you can spend a good couple of hours painting flower pots.

Pressed Flowers

There is so much you can do with pressed flowers… Make birthday cards, bookmarks, pictures, the list is endless. You just need to press your flowers first using the old fashioned method – squash em flat with a heavy book and leave it for a few weeks or so. Pansies and violas always seem to work best.

Painting Flower Pots

Painting clay flower pots is the perfect activity for a rainy afternoon and then when things brighten up you can get the kids back in the garden to plant some seeds in their finished pots. Acrylic paint tends to work best as binds very well and won’t just flake off

Garden Plant Markers

The point of garden plant markers is to remind you which seeds you have planted where. True, you could just buy them, but they are simple to make, and great fun for kids to paint. Use lolly sticks as the stake and away you go

Grow Cressmen

One of the beauties of this project is that it is very fast to grow cress, so progress will be visible to the kids within a matter of days, and your cressman will have a healthy bunch of hair which you can then eat in egg sandwiches

Making a Teepee Den

A teepee creates a wonderful hiding place for young kids during the summer months, just use your imagination

Bamboo Wind Chimes

Kids will love making a simple garden wind chime, hanging it up where they catch the passing breeze and listening to it chime away…

All you really need is a length of bamboo cane or two, some string (not too thick and preferably synthetic as it will last longer outside) and a metal or wooden ring. Cut the bamboo and drill some holes in the end for them (different lengths tend to work best) and let the kids tie it all together

Terrarium

Start growing some plants that they can also take indoors with just an old pop bottle, soil, and seeds. All you need to do is cut the bottle close to the bottom, place some potting soil in the base, plant a few seeds, lightly water and cover the base with the top part of the bottle.

Grass in pot

Plant a silly container with grass. Take an old plastic flower pot, spray paint with a bright color, paint on some eyes. Fill with soil and grass. The children can cut the grass ‘hair’ with scissors

Save seeds

Try plants like marigolds, lilies, four o’clocks, garlic, peppers, snap dragons, sweat honesty and columbine. These plants have easy to find seeds and are fun to harvest. Use a different small plastic bag for each type of plant you want to save the seeds. Create a label with a piece of masking tape and write the type of seeds and the date saved

Hose’em down

On hot days, let them help you water the lawn and garden. Be sure to wear clothing you can get wet in. Accidently (ahem, on purpose) squirt them and let them return the favour. Pop the sprinkler out, let them run through the spray.

Child-friendly Hardscaping’

Create some stepping stones with cement and an old cake mould. Other good moulds can be made from pizza boxes or plastic lids. Set the filled mold in the sun on a flat surface to harden for several days. Pot some polished glass ‘jewels’ in before it sets. Unmold, prime and paint with outdoor paints.

Build a patio walk way

Set some patio blocks close together and create circular path or a figure 8. Children will love stepping on these patio blocks. Wind a path around your garden, then you can be in the garden and the children can be close by

Wheelbarrow rides

And if all else fails, just push them around the garden in your wheelbarrow! Heck, just getting them outside is all the garden fun your kids should need!

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