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Nine ways to have fun with plants and vegetables during the 9th month!
Do your kids or grandchildren show any interest in the garden? If not, are you 'bovvered'? Do you mind the fact that most of today's small people seem to love their digital world better than the 'real', nature-led environment in which you probably grew up? If the answer is a resounding "yes", let's do something about it! Here's nine ways to make some fun:
recent survey by Mothercare showed that over a quarter of parents estimate that their children spend less than 30 minutes PER WEEK playing outdoors. And 37% of parents taking part in the survey revealed that they have NEVER taken their children on a wildlife hunt. A whopping 90% said they hadn't made an outdoor den or treehouse. There doesn't seem to be much fun going on! A
If this makes you feel uncomfortable, do something about it NOW! Take the kids outdoors and show them how to have fun. With a little imagination you can combine their love of TV into garden-related activities and here's how:
- Make some TV or book characters out of fruit and vegetables! It's easy - and it's fun. Melons or butternut squash make great bodies for Minions! Add some grapes or raisins for eyes; cabbage or kale for clothes. You get the picture. Make animals from runner beans; giant caterpillars using apples. There's no limit once the imagination is fired up.
- Find some strangely-shaped vegetables or fruit and see what you can create. This is having fun with nature - it's simple!
- Make some clothes out of vegetables and have some fun on the catwalk.
- Do some printing using potatoes. The kids can make cards and pictures using a simple carved potato which they dip into paint. Paint and kids - that sounds like a mixture guaranteed to make a lot of fun!
- Make a miniature garden in a seed tray, a box or a wheelbarrow. Choose plants with tiny leaves that can be scaled to their new environment. Tiny ponds using lids are effective or make a pond from silver foil instead.
- Create a treasure hunt by giving the kids some clues. Each one will lead them around the garden to find the next clue and eventually some treasure. They'll love it. Verbal or written clues can be equally successful.
- Make a game out of hunting for wildlife. Bugs; birds; small mammals. Tick off the creatures on a chart and maybe provide a magnifying glass and even a fishing net if you happen to have a pond. Ensure you return every creature to its natural environment afterwards.
- Making a den is always fun! It can be as simple as you please. Serve lunch in the den for the ultimate happiness!
- Let the kids do some trimming and pruning for you. They love using real tools. Tiny children might need a scaled-down set of implements to make the task a little easier.