Garden Activities for Kids
Fun Garden Crafts for Kids
These garden activities for kids will entice your children happily into the outdoors. Kids’ garden crafts are plain good fun and make a welcome addition to vegetable gardening projects. Garden crafts for kids can enhance the experience of vegetable gardening by enabling kids to decorate and own a space in their garden.
Gnomes come with friendly faces and shapes, and these little people are often doing something interesting; wheeling a barrow, feeding birds or playing an instrument. Kids are intrigued by gnome statues, often greeting them in the garden and discussing the their activities.
You can purchase unpainted gnomes made from terracotta for the kids to paint. Spray them with a terracotta sealer so that the paint weathers better. Outdoor paints and enamels in bright colours aren’t particularly cheap, so watch out for old sample pots in your local hardware store. You can usually pick these up much more cheaply. Otherwise, you can purchase just the primary colours of blue, red and yellow and mix your own greens, oranges and purples. White is also a handy colour as a base or lightener, and you can usually pick up white enamel quite cheaply.
I seal the gnomes with terracotta sealer, let them dry, apply a white base-coat and let that dry before I let the kids loose with their bright paints and small paint brushes. The white base coat makes the splotches, dots and splashes done by the kids look bright and effective rather than messy and washed out.
Kids also like to experiment with different implements for applying paint. They can use sticks and leaves that they find in the garden which also makes it easier for you to clean up afterwards.
Painting statues, ornaments and pots
Home-decorated statues, ornaments and pots make great Christmas and birthday presents. You can pick up various terracotta sculptures for between $10-$20 from most large gardening centres. They come in a wide variety of forms; I’ve seen monkeys, tortoises, mermaids, ducks, and more. Again, it’s best to apply a terracotta sealer and a white base-coat before the kids paint. Note that the kids can help you with the white base-coat, as long as you explain white paint is the only option they have that day – it takes 12-24 hours to dry.
Gumboots, gardening tools and plastic aprons can also be painted and decorated. My kids painted these gumboots as a Mother’s Day present for me, and coated them with glitter glue as a finishing touch.
Searching for collections
One of the cheapest and simplest garden activities for kids is finding a collection of some kind. Kids love scrounging around and collecting things from the garden. Give them a container or bag and go searching for garden treasures. Kids can collect along a theme such as Autumn leaves, gumnuts, acorns, smooth stones, rocks with interesting shapes, twigs, flowers, feathers or dandelions. It’s ok if their collection is totally random too, comprising whatever catches their eye and interest on the day.
Building a scarecrow is one of my favourite garden activities for kids. Scarecrows are fun to make and useful in the vegetable garden. There are plenty of variations, but all you need is a frame of some kind to hang old clothes on, and something round shaped for a head. This scarecrow made of old tubing, a t-shirt and an old bike helmet is simple but effective.
Construct habitats that will attract wildlife into your garden. Kids can help build birdhouses, or fashion nests by weaving twigs and grass. If you don’t have any snake problems, you can find hollow logs that will make good habitats for lizards and place them in your garden. You can also establish terrariums to investigate ant or worm habitats.
Go for a walk with your kids and take note of features in your garden. Draw a map that details these special trees, pathways, flowers and garden ornaments. You can use these maps to mark out treasure and scavenger hunts. Have fun as you take turns guiding each other around your garden.
Building a zen garden
Fill a large container (even an old ice-cream container) with sand and let children arrange a collection of leaves, twigs, seeds, stones and flowers into patterns or another miniature garden. The revisiting and rearranging of their zen garden can go on for days, even weeks.
Harvesting and Cooking
One of the most inspiring garden activities for kids is harvesting food from the garden and preparing meals for the family.
Vegetable gardens for kids
can also provide an on-the-spot snackbox whilst you're doing kids garden crafts.
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