To help with your time at home we've created a set of garden activities to do with the kids! From flower bracelets and nature stamping to magic potions and a garden treasure hunt, we've got an activity for your children to enjoy.
Check our our activity suggestions below and share your own boredom buster ideas in the comments.
Garden treasure hunt
Send the kids on a treasure hunt (or do it as a family!) in your backyard and find the following:
- 2 x coloured flowers, and name the colours
- 4 x green leaves
- 2 x fruit or veges growing in the garden and name the crop
- 1 x snail
- 1 x bee or butterfly
- 2 x coloured leaves
- 1 x worm
Make a magic potion
Kids love to make potions and the garden provides the perfect collection of ingredients! Below are some suggestions to pick or plant for potions. Kids can be as creative as they want! Add some glitter or food colouring for extra fun.
Potion ingredients (pick or plant):
- Flowers: nasturtium, marigold, pansy, calendula, lavender, daisy, geranium, sweet pea, borage.
- Herbs: rosemary, mint, lemon balm, dill, pineapple sage, oregano.
- Leaves: nasturtium, ferns, spinach, beetroot, lamb's ear.
Make a potion
- Mix up your selection of colourful and smelling ingredients with some water in a bowl, glass jar or plastic container.
Collect leaves and flowers from around the garden to create works of art!
What you need:
- A selection of child friendly paints or ink pads.
- Nature treasures: go on a hunt in the backyard for leaves of different shapes, flowers, seed pods, pinecones and bark.
- White A4 or A3 paper and a paintbrush.
Make your nature image:
- Press the nature treasures into the ink pad or paint each treasure in your chosen colours and press onto the paper to reveal patterns.
Kids love water and it’s the back bone of a garden! Get the children to help every couple of days with watering crops they have helped plant.
You can also teach them how important water is to the garden by making water capturing systems with buckets or bottles to save rain water, and then applying it to the garden.
- Apply water close to the ground and aim along the dripline of plants (which is beneath the outer edge of the plant’s canopy).
- Water the highest parts of the garden first: any run off will go to the lower dry areas.
Baking from garden to table
Get busy with the kids in the kitchen, teaching them valuable skills while enjoying turning delights from the garden in to delicious snacks!
Try these Feijoa and Bran Muffins from Food in a Minute to keep their tummy's full. We've got plenty of harvest recipes to create on our website under Ideas & Inspiration - search by crop or use the tags on the right hand side to select 'recipe'.
Here's some more suggestions the kids will love:
- Broccoli Stalk Fritters
- Te Huruhi School’s Herb Rolls
- Rhubarb, Banana & Berry Crumble
- Papatoetoe West School's Beetroot & Chocolate muffins
Create bracelets and also anklets from the garden with this fun and simple activity!
How to create a nature bracelet
- Source some tape - electrical, duct or masking tape. Make sure it is sturdy enough to sit on the wrist or ankle with the garden treasures attached.
- Attach the tape to your child's wrist or ankle with the sticky side up.
- Collect nature treasures: walk around the garden to find flowers (can use the whole flower or just the petals), leaves, twigs - anything fun and colourful the children would like to add to their bracelet! Attach each treasure to the sticky bracelet to create pretty jewellery from the garden.
Create a bug house
Garden to Table school Edendale Primary School have been creating a habitat for beneficial bugs by building a bug house. They hope to attract more ladybugs, solitary bees and hoverflies to help pollinate their fruit and vegetables.
You can create your own bug house at home using materials you already have around the backyard. A creative and fun task for the children and a new addition to the garden which they can check on each day!
Follow their guide to creating a bug house here
Make seed tape
People may ask, “Why would you make seed tape?” Garden to Table school Diamond Harbour School explains why.
Tiny seeds, like carrot and radish seeds, are difficult to germinate in the soil. These seeds are so small that they dry out quickly once they have germinated, and they are difficult to sow evenly.
Follow their simple guide here to create your own seed tape at home.
Create name art from the garden
Explore your backyard with the kids to collect fruit, veges, and flowers to spell out the letter of their full first name or their full name if you have enough garden goodies to do so!
See if they can collect produce that is a range of of colours to make it nice and colourful.
Then take a photo with their creation!
Painting with vege scraps
A fun garden art activity from Garden to Table to do with the kids over lockdown. Here's how to create paint from vege scraps before they go into compost.
Cover (just) with water and boil onion skin in a saucepan for 10 minutes.
Soak old coffee grounds in hot water for 10 minutes. You could use 1 tsp of instant coffee instead.
Chop roughly and put in a blender. Cover (just) with water, then blend and strain through a sieve.
Put peelings in the blender. Cover (just) with water, then blend and strain through a sieve
Soak 1 tbsp of turmeric in 3 tbsp of water for 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve with a paper towel.