Suzanne was asked her opinion about the importance of the garden for children and had some great ideas even if you don’t. Take a listen here:
How is your garden?
Our Outreach Worker, Ruth shares her garden experience with us:
When I first moved to my home my garden was a patch of dust with some very overgrown trees. Gradually, over time my family and I developed it to an extension of our home with different areas to either sit and observe the plants and wildlife or be active in.
So, like a house has a kitchen and a lounge, our garden has a little patch for herbs, a seating area and (when the children were little) an area for them to play without worrying what they may damage. In this area they could dig the mud, plant some weeds or seeds, and play safely. I now am lucky enough to have a netball post to keep me entertained (this does not need much space and I wish I had bought it years ago as it adjusts to different heights and keeps me active using only a small space).
So a garden can be for relaxing, playing, growing, and watching plus a whole lot more. It is a space that I am lucky to have and use as much as I can.
The children are growing up and the garden changes but it is always there and continues to remind us of the wonderful, beautiful things that surround us every day.
Tips for keeping children active in the garden
- Plants some seeds with your children to help children learn about nature and where food comes from (they are much more likely to eat it too if they have helped to grow it!) Even if you don’t have much space you can give it a try. Potatoes can be planted in a sack or bucket etc Tomatoes, cress, herbs etc can be planted inside too.
- Plant sunflower seeds, these are very sturdy and easy to grow, I know this as I managed to do it! Each week get the children to measure how much it has grown and watch how it always looks at the sun when the sunflower is in full flower.
- Take some of the small toys cars, trains, dinosaurs outside to play along the path or mud!
- Children love water play -give them a washing up bowl with water and a few old shampoo bottles, sieve, spoons, ladles etc (remember to supervise them at all times around water).
- The garden is the best place to do messy play! Grab a paint brush and a bucket of water and play guess what I am painting before the sun dries it out.
- Take out the paints or chalks for the pavement (it will wash away the next time it rains) or a large roll of lining paper.
- Try painting footprints onto a big piece of paper. At the end step into a bowl of water to clean off. Cut out the footprints and make cards to send to family and friends that you are missing.
- Have fun bubble blowing with any bubbles, see if the children can create their own loop to blow bubbles through.
- Try mini beast hunting; put your foot down on the ground and then look underneath it and see what you can find.
- See who can make the most creative mud pie? You could give them some of your old spoons, plastic plates etc and use some of the wild flowers or petals for decorating. Remind them they are not for eating!
If you have any ideas to share we would love to hear them. Contact us with your suggestions and we will add them to this page.
Above all try to embrace the extra time you have together and remember
‘The best thing you can spend on your children is TIME’
Look out for other tips and sharing on our Facebook page too.
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