With the summer holidays knocking on the door it’s handy to have a few projects up your sleeve to occupy the kids outside, away from the computer, x box and television.
Once kids take an interest in the garden their attitude towards what they eat tends to change as they become aware of how food grows. They become proud to be able to grow something from scratch in their own patch!
- Decorate and plant up an old gumboot. Kids love playing with soil (and mud) once water is added.
- Poke some holes in an old gumboot for drainage; fill with Tui Vegetable Mix or Tui Strawberry Mix and plant strawberries or lettuces.
- If you don’t have gumboots available, plastic milk bottles with the top cut off work equally as well.
- Plant a garden to attract beautiful butterflies to your backyard.
- Swan Plants, Scabious, Cornflower, Tithonia, Tweedia, Coreopsis are all plants that will encourage butterflies.
- Swan Plants are easy to grow both indoors or out.
- Kids love watching the monarch caterpillar develop and are often enthralled to see the butterfly emerge.
- Don’t encourage them to eat any part of this plant as it is toxic, it’s a good plant to watch but not eat.
Micro greens or mini veggies
- Are quick and easy to grow.
- Sow a tray of quick growing seeds like radish, lettuce or cabbages, and eat the leaves as soon as they are finger size – they make a yummy addition to sandwiches.
- Get the kids to decorate the container they are growing them in before you get started to make it more appealing.
- See the article on growing micro greens here for more information.
Pumpkin and courgette tattoos
- Pumpkins and courgettes are quick growing veggies, the fruit appears pretty quickly after the flowers are fertilised.
- Carving names or designs into the skin of the developing crop with a pencil is fun. As they get bigger and bigger so does the name.
- It teaches the kids that the more they water and care for their plants the bigger they will grow.
- Some kids are obsessed with ‘potty talk’ and toilet behaviour.
- Making a worm farm to produce worm wee is a fun way to encourage them to understand about how worms work, by breaking down food scraps and excreting a valuable and reliable liquid fertiliser – worm wee!
Great book for kids!
Last but not least, read all about it in the Tui Kids Gardening book, available at all good book stores and garden centres, it’s jam packed full of other great ideas to keep the future generations of gardeners busy and interested for hours.
Image courtesy of ABC Raumati's School Garden Challenge Entry