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Four fun ways to entice kids out into the garden for National Children’s Gardening Week

Simple ideas for kids during National Children's Gardening Week, 25 May to 2 June!

School holidays!  It's that glorious time of year when the space at home can be extended outdoors. But here in the 21st century there's always going to be competition. The Internet beckons with its hugely addictive attraction. Why we all find it so thrilling is a bit of a mystery, but everyone from tots to teenagers seem unable to resist the lure of a screen. This is why we need to provide even greater inspiration and adventure. Here's how to do it with the kids:

treasure map hunting for a prize Children of all ages enjoy a challenge!
  • Organise a simple treasure hunt during National Children's Gardening Week. It doesn't need to be expensive or complicated. Just write (or draw) a few clues; number them and hide them outdoors. The kids need to hunt for the clues; piece them all together and see if they can decipher the whereabouts of the treasure. The prize doesn't need to be huge, the thrill is in the chase rather than the kill. Ideas for treasure? Toys from a boot sale or charity shop; sweet treats; a pot of bubbles; puzzle books; creative kits; balls; games; skipping rope; the possibilities are endless!
child blowing bubbles Everyone can be a winner during a treasure hunt - just remember to provide enough prizes for all.
  • Go pond dipping. All you need is a net and a bucket or water-tight container. Just ensure that you are allowed to dip in the pond that you are choosing! You can take a pondlife book with you, or handy phone ap. so you will be able to identify what you have found. Make sure you don't damage the wildlife and put everything back carefully where you found it.
two boys playing by the edge of a pond during pond dipping Water has huge appeal for children of all ages. Supervision is important, naturally.
  • Go walking, armed with a list of 'I spy' topics so that the kids can tick off things as they see them. It's a great way to get children to look around and notice what might otherwise be missed. Suggestions: a house with a red front door; a swing; an orange flower; animals such as sheep, dogs or horses; a yellow car; or local landmarks such as a windmill/castle/archway etc.
two children walking over a bridge holding hands A walk can be turned into an adventure, with ease.
  • Make something useful for birds - we love this simple bird feeder and it comes with some wise words about the benefits of gardening for children from Sainsbury's Bank:
a collection of cartoon like bird drawings Feeding the birds becomes even more rewarding if you make the feeder first!

National Children’s Gardening Week takes place from 25th May - 2nd June this year, and it is the perfect opportunity to get outside to show children the beauty of nature and the many benefits of gardening.

Gardening provides important lessons and teaches valuable life skills for children, such as responsibility and patience. Children learn to be responsible when growing any plant or vegetable from the seed stage as the beginning of the process requires daily attention and care. This will also help them to learn patience as they wait for a flower to bloom, or for fruit and veg to sprout.

courgette seed sprouting A sprouting seed needs a bit of patience and care.

Gardening is also an educational experience for children as it teaches them about topics such as weather, plants, seasons and animals. Encouraging wildlife into the garden such as birds through bottle bird feeders offers a great learning opportunity about animals.

blue tit in a garden with polyanthus flowers Birds and mini-beasts make the garden come alive for kids.

As children take part in outdoor activities, it can spark an interest in nature and wildlife, while also benefiting their own health by being active.

For a fun activity to try during National Children’s Gardening Week, check out Sainsbury’s Bank guide to making a homemade bottle bird feeder:

Build a Bird Feeder Infographic from Sainsburys Bank

Enjoy early summer in the garden with the kids!

Perfectplants.co.uk