Updated: Jun 10, 2020
We all know how beneficial it is for our kids to spend time outside, but it can be a bit of a struggle sometimes to persuade them to ditch the devices and pull on their outdoor gear. I've found that getting them involved in planning, growing decorating and getting to know the garden can act as a lure to get them out of the house and keep them there! Below are my top tips for doing just that
TIP 1 - GIVE THEM THEIR OWN SPACE TO GROW
Giving kids some part of the garden that is their own to look after is a great way to get them involved and it can teach them so much. Use it as a way to teach them to grow veg or plant and care for some flowers of their choice. They learn a certain level of responsibility, the need to be gentle. It nurtures their caring side and the knowledge that all things need looking after. They learn patience as they wait to see their plants grow and they learn that they can make a difference in the world when they see the bees and butterflies enjoying what they have planted.
TIP 3 - MAKE A NEW PICNIC SPOT
Eating outside is a really fun thing to do. Get the kids involved in making a new picnic spot each time you do this. It could be just a blanket and cushions on the grass, or you could all drag a load of furniture out of the house to make an outside dining room. Get the kids involved in decorating your chosen spot and making sure you've got something good to look out over. Perhaps a quick weeding session is needed or maybe some props can be brought out. Maybe you could sit under a tree with teddies watching on from the branches or perhaps you could make a fairy world to sit amongst, with cut out paper fairies decorating the flower beds.
TIP 2 - GET HUNTING FOR BUGS AND BEASTIES!
There are some great resources available online and in your local bookshops for identifying bugs and beasties and the tracks and signs they leave behind. This can be totally fascinating to little ones in particular, but can lead to a lifelong fascination in the natural world and in gardening to support it. I've always encouraged this in my kids and they now come running to get me when they spot something new down the garden. Try to find out a bit of a story around whatever you find - what do these bugs eat? What do their babies look like and where do they like to live? Who might eat them? Do they have any special skills, such as making fruit by pollinating flowers? The more you can find out about all the relationships going on in the garden, the more fascinating this wildlife soap opera becomes to kids and adults alike!