The school holidays are fast approaching, and that impending six weeks could be an opportunity to keep the children entertained and get them outdoors. This is definitely easier said than done, but the fruits of their labour will be well worth it.
Some children will want to grow vegetables whilst others will just want plants like a sunflower. As a kid I always used to plant a sunflower, and every year I’d put more attention to details on it as I tried to nurture it to grow taller than my last one. So to make sure the kids enjoy it, you want to give them a prime plot of the garden. Keep this plot away from weeds and make sure it get’s plenty of sunshine and fertile soil. The last thing we want is to put off the kids with a disappointing harvest. I’d even suggest turning the soil over yourself, less of the manual labour for the children, the more likely they are to enjoy it.
Once they have their plot, make sure they have full creative control. Every child will want to do something different, which makes it such an interesting time. Some will go for practicality (vegetables), some will get visually creative (flowers) and some will go for the biggest and best (sunflowers). So it’s important that you let the children chose what they plant and were on their plot they put it. As an adult, you must fight the urge to takeover, or maybe even take up your own plot next to the kids. Just don’t be too disheartened if their sunflower is bigger and better than yours.
Not everyone will have room in their garden to do this, however there are indoor alternatives. Windowsills are practically always in the sunlight, warm and easy to get to. You can start planting in anything from a saucer, to an old jar and create a miniature landscape also known as ‘biomes’. We have posted a picture of one we saw on our instagram account;
The main thing is that this isn’t just a 1-day thing. Everyday they’ll have to be in the garden watering their plants and vegetables and building support structures for their sunflowers. It may even warrant a day out or two to the local garden center, which is always fun with the small petting zoo’s and aquariums. This may even be a great way to encourage the children to start a gardening plot if they didn’t take to the idea straight away.
You can also share the photos of their harvest online. If you tweet us @shedforce we’ll retweet your children’s wonders, so you can tell them our thousands of followers have seen it!