Apparently gardening makes kids happy! Need we say more? If you want some inspiration to start them off, read our 10 gardening ideas they'll love
It’s official; gardening is good for you. It lowers blood pressure,
increases brain activity and puts you in an all-round good mood.
what better way to pass the time than by getting your little ones to
help? Gardening for kids is great for them too. Research has shown that
gardening will make your kids feel happy and teach them new skills (and
lets face it, who wants to pay out for a gardener when you can train up a
mini Alan Titchmarsh in your very own house?)
So, with that in
mind, we’ve put together this guide on gardening for kids, which
includes simple and easy green-fingered projects that they can get
involved with. They’re all cheap, fun and a great way to drag your kids
away from the telly.
Got any other fun gardening ideas you reckon are worth putting in this gallery? Let us know and we’ll add them in.
How to make a ladybird farm:
1. Get an old ice cream tub or plastic box 2. Fill it with soil, stones,
grass and leaves and find some ladybirds to live in it.
3. Send the kids on the hunt for some ladybirds! (It should keep them
occupied for a while...).
Also try making a snail farm this way too.
How cute are these little (toad)stools?
We spotted these on blog Twig and Toadstool and we just fell in love with them! They're simple to make, just a few old salad bowls and a handy man to screw them into the tree stumps for you!
There are several fruits you can grow in your own garden, including blueberries and apples - but strawberries are probably the easiest. Once you've planted them, they'll usually keep coming back for a few years. You can buy strawberry pots and plants from garden centres - they're best to plant in spring or autumn and will produce fruit in the summer.
Follow our guide to growing your own fruit and veg - even for beginners
Why stop at fruit? Different types of veg will grow at different times of the year, so if you're organised, you can have fresh veg all year round. It's also a great way to get your kids to eat more vegetables - they'll feel very proud to eat something they've grown themselves. Carrots, courgettes, beans, peppers, potatoes and salad veg are all easy to grow yourself because the seeds are big.
Follow our guide to growing your own fruit - even for beginners
You won't want your gardening projects getting mixed up, so you'll need to create some handy labels to sit alongside all your plants.
You could paint the names onto rocks, scraps of wood, miniature flags made of cocktail sticks and card, or - and personally we recommend you do this one - you could get your toy dinosaurs to hold them in their mouths, like Katie Smith did on her blog, Punkprojects.
Once you've grown all that amazing fresh produce in your garden, how about turning it into a work of art by using any which you don't use to make this cute paint printing craft?
Use the veg like you would do a sponge to press patterns onto the paper with different coloured paint.
Follow our step-by-step tutorial to make this vegetable print painting.
Even if you only have the tiniest garden - or windowsill - you can grow herbs in a pot, and they're a great way to add flavour to your food. Just sow the seeds in small yogurt pots and cover with a clear bag or clingfilm until they germinate. Put the pots somewhere in the light and don't forget to water them regularly.
Every single year we have to buy a new pair of kids' wellies. They wear them for a couple of months over the winter and then hey presto, come summer they've already grown out of them.
But here we have a nifty solution. Not only are you doing something good for the environment but you're making a pretty flower display with your old Wellington boots.
Sunflowers are one of the easiest things you can grow - and kids will love to see how tall they get! You can sow sunflower seeds straight into the ground and they tend to flower in August.
Grass heads will make the whole family smile. Get a pair of tights, fill the foot with moist soil and grass seeds, then tie the end of the tights. Draw a face on it, and watch your grass head grow its own hair!
We love this imaginitve way to get your kids to care about looking after plants.
Beans are so easy to grow, you can simply do it in a plastic cup with a little soil and some TLC. Create some little castles and clouds out of card and cotton wool and skewers and see your beanstalk grow right the way up to the castle, just like in Jack and the Beanstalk.
We spotted this cute gardening craft on the Lessons from a teacher blog.
Collect stones from your garden, the woods or the park, wash them and then get painting. Once they've dried, arrange them in the garden (maybe around a flower in a pot) and voila! You've got your own little rockery.
Add some colour to your garden with flowers. If you want to grow them
from seeds, you can buy a seed shaker from a garden centre, which has a
mixture of seeds in that the kids just shake over the ground.
Nasturtiums are good to start with - they'll grow quickly, get orange
and red flowers and you can add their leaves to salads.
could also buy a selection of already grown flowers from a garden centre
and then plant them to make a pretty display in your garden or in a
If you're trying to get younger kids involved in gardening, this way of using their toys is a good place to start. Give them an area that will become their 'fairy garden' - help them to put stones, flowers and anything else you can find into a pretty arrangement and then bring in the toy fairies, barbies and teddies to play in their own garden! Boys might prefer using things they find in the garden to make a race track for their cars!
Get your boots on, take a magnifying glass and get scouting about for creepy crawlies
- you'll be able to find a whole range in your garden. Encouraging your
kids to learn about insects, spiders and bugs now will help them to get
over any fears they have. If your kids are really interested, you could
borrow a book from the library to help them learn more.
You can buy bird feeders and food cheaply, but why do that when you could make your own? Follow our instructions for making a bird feeder - all you'll need is an empty toilet roll tube and a slather of peanut butter, delicious!