Guess what was hidden under a patch of toadstools down the bottom of the garden?
No, not some sleepy elves and dreaming fairies; it was a great big gi-normous treasure chest of golden games and activities of children's gardening ideas!
Lucky you, ring-a-ring a posy, let's have a nosy at what's in it. Let's see...
... There are zounds of projects and oodles of inspiring detailed notes on how to make, find, play, learn, slither and poke around with soil, sand, water, mud, plants, bugs, boxes and... oh just heaps of kids' gardening ideas.
These gardening projects for kids will allow even the youngest children to get involved.
We have plenty of quick and easy projects here. Children's garden projects will teach them about nutrition, nature, recycling and organic gardening. That's a good outcome!
So ginger up the troops and let's go: Gardening Activities for KidsKids don't mind taking all the time in the world when you're in a hurry... sigh, but with gardening, let them go with flow. Lie under a tree if necessary and observe the world, feel the warmth or wind, laugh at the snow and listen to the noises. Of course if you're all in danger of turning blue or pink, hurry back!
Just as it's nice to simply lie under a tree or stir mud in a pond, remember children usually hate dancing in the same spot for too long, if you get what I mean, so it's a good idea to spend up to 15 minutes only on one activity before changing tack.
Depending on age most kids love to water and plant things. When it comes to maintenance and preparation tasks like weeding, mulching and thinning out, that's when you can say something like, "10 minutes weeding, then we'll water the cabbages, or have a treasure hunt, or pick some peas."We would love the children of the world to grow up self-reliant and with good business values. But at the same time with a few different environmental and sustainability ethics, rather than what a few rapacious ratbags are doing now.
If you nurture in kids kindness and respect for other people and nature, including plants and wildlife, they themselves will be nurturing, imaginative and community minded sunny buttercups indeed.
So tell them that plants need a nice cool drink when they're thirsty, just like you!
Explain that plants like to be fed wholesome food. Funny how they don't have mouths, but they have roots with little hairs on that take up the nutrients.
Plants need sun, not because it's nice to flop down in the sun after a swim, but because of photosynthesis (ooh long word — make up a game later with this word) whereby plants make carbohydrates by trapping the sun's energy with their green colour, a pigment called chlorophyll (ooh again).
We can't produce our own energy, in fact it's impossible for us and all animals to convert solar energy into carbohydrates, but PLANTS can.
So we have to get carbohydrates from plants and other tiny growing organisms, which our bodies then convert into sugars that give us energy to grow and live.
Ask your child if they like to win a race — race them if you like. Now tell them that insects, birds and animals are competitive too and they aim to grow more, get the tastiest morsels, hang out in the best spots where their mates go — although they do it as a survival instinct rather than for fun.
Explain that's why pests are pests, they really aren't making holes in the cabbage leaves 'cos they like the lacy look; no, they want to grow up big and happy and turn into butterflies, just like kids want to grow up and turn into film stars... or environmetalists, horticulturalists, toxicologists... okay, at least gardeners.
Thus the caterpillar has a life, but nature keeps the balance. So it's okay to squash the caterpillars that eat our food, but not to kill ALL of the caterpillars in the world because then some birds would die without their favourite meal.
Those birds would not be around to then eat other insects which could then multiply too much. Also other wildlife would miss their bird meals, such as snakes or even spiders (yes there are bird eating spiders) and they would perish and nature's balance would be upset.
If helping with a full-on garden seems too ambitious at the start when gardening with kids, try something simpler. There are lots of kids' gardening activities that don't involve an actual garden.
Wonderful sensory experiences can be gained by growing plants, making something out of natural materials, or generally pottering around with bugs, animals, dirt, stones, water and other life inspiring stuff.
Time to make some world champion gardeners. Have a look at these good old, reliable, and some off-the-planet new ideas for fun and informative gardening with children — and of course you.
Gardening Activities for kids Whoo hoo, wheelbarrows full of fun garden games, absorbing projects, and interesting activities for family gardening.
Kids Garden Crafts Take some of nature's materials and turn them into delightful bits and pieces to display, give away, play with or re-use another time. Here you'll find clear instuctions, for all ages and abilities, to make things outside or inside on a rainy day.
If you're having trouble getting the kids to eat vegetables, click over to this page: Vegetable Tips for Kids.