It’s National Children’s Gardening Week, and all of our garden centres are proud to be taking part.
This week celebrates the fun that gardens hold for children, and we have curated a list of fun activities for all the family to enjoy this gardening week and throughout the summer. These can be done both inside and outside, so no matter the weather you and your children can be close to nature.
It is so important for children to spend time outside, as being amongst nature can significantly improve mental and physical wellbeing in both children and adults. It has endless benefits.
All activity items are likely already within your garden and home, but if not, our garden centres offer wide ranges of products to assist and entertain you this week and all summer long!
Grow your own
Children love to be outside getting dirty and growing their own plants, fruit and vegetables at home, it is a fun and educational activity. Mr Men and Little Miss have a fantastic range of children’s super seeds, that grow a wide range of plants and vegetables. This provides a great introduction into food production and how food they love is made, and once fully grown can be made into a tasty snack, treat or meal for everyone to enjoy.
These can be grown inside and out, in a large planter or a small pot. You don’t need to be an expert, plant the seeds in a shallow hole in a pot of compost and water regularly and watch them grow.
Hedgehogs are common visitors in gardens as they can fit through tiny gaps and holes in walls and fences. Creating a place for them in your garden shows that you care and want to keep them safe.
Creating a feeding station for hedgehogs doesn’t take too much. All you need is a large tub (preferably plastic) and cut a hole into the side, roughly 10cm x 10cm and tape it off so there aren’t any sharp edges showing. This creates the entrance for the Hedgehogs. Adding the lid or turning it upside down and placing a rock on top will prevent any unwanted animals going inside. Hedgehogs love cat food, so if you can’t find any special hedgehog food, that will work too. Place it at the furthest side of the tub, away from the hole so foxes and cats can’t reach it and wait for your hedgehog friends to visit. Keep an eye on food levels are they will likely visit at night. Take a look at the Children's Week ' how to'!
Create your own fairy or dinosaur garden.
A great way to get your children outside this week, is creating a fairy or dinosaur gardens. These can be made from any items around the house and garden using a pot, tub, or container as the main garden structure. You can even paint and decorate the pots to customise and make a unique magical garden.
We have lots of great little extras you can order online or buy in-store to finish off your magical wonderland with!
Why not start a family sunflower growing competition. Little Miss Sunshine, from the Mr Men and Little Miss seed range, help children grow their very own sunflowers. Plant them now and measure how big they get until the end of summer and see who can grow the tallest sunflower. Find out more about growing sunflowers here.
Sunflowers thrive in natural sunlight and grow best in peat-free multi-purpose compost.
Did you know?
- The birds will feast on the sunflower seeds after flowering, so you're actually helping care for the amazing birds in your garden too!
- When you buy Sunflower seeds the packet may show their botanical name 'Helianthus Annuus' this is based on the Greek word 'Helios' means sun and Anthus means ‘flower’ so that's where the name sunflower comes from.
- Sunflowers also have varieties that are orange and dark red, not just yellow!
- Sunflowers take approximately 10 weeks to flower from being planted.
Create a twig tepee.
Twig tepee’s might be a throwback to your own childhood, but your children will love making them too. Whether it’s a large one for them to fit in or a small one for their toys and teddy’s this will be fun for everyone. Help them find and arrange the twigs and branches against a dense tree or structure so they don’t fall, secure with twine or wicker branch cuttings, which are flexible and great for the job. Have fun building!
Bug hotels are a simple but fun activity and only require either an open-ended box or oddments from around your garden such as bricks, stones, wood and foliage. Your children can busy themselves for hours with materials from your garden and home to create an inviting space for bugs. Different products will entice different species, such as twigs, stones and cut grass attract lady bugs in particular. The more materials you add the wider variety of animals that will visit. Download our bug hotel activity sheet here!
Pond in a pot.
A pond in a pot is a great way to encourage wildlife to your garden. They are easy to make, and kids will love being able to get wet and muddy whilst making them.
Use a container that has no drainage holes, it can be small or large that doesn’t matter. Add in a few garden materials, such as rocks, moss, grass, and some soil for the bottom of the pot and then fill the pot. Ideally this should be done with rainwater, check the forecast and leave it outside overnight to fill. Then you can welcome all varieties of wildlife to your garden. You likely will see some frogs! Make sure there is a ramp or other pots stacked nearby your pond. This will help any bigger animals, that find their way into your pond, to get out.
Your driveway, garden and local pavements are all great fresh canvases for children to create their very own chalk masterpieces, keeping children of all ages entertained. Challenge your children and see what they can create. This is a great way for children to express themselves freely.
Chalk washes away in the rain, so don’t worry about any garden stones or tiles.
Rock painting is a great activity no matter the weather, customising your garden. All you need are a few rocks and some paint. The rest is up to you. This is a great way to let your children express their creative side and give them free range to do and create whatever they like.
You can even include your neighbours, friends, and community. Exchanging and hiding the rocks for each other to find.
Find out more about 'vegetable patch label' rock painting here.
Baking is a perfect activity any day of the week and for any age! A great way to incorporate your garden into your baking is growing your own ingredients beforehand and using them in whatever you bake. There are many great recipes for vegetable and fruit-based baked goods.
Try a Carrot Cake Muffin recipe like this:
- 175g light muscovado sugar
- 100g wholemeal self-raising flour
- 100g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 orange, zested
- 2 eggs
- 150ml sunflower oil
- 200g carrots, grated
- Orange-coloured sprinkles, to decorate
We hope you have a great gardening week. Be sure to follow and tag us on social media, so we can see what you get up too.
Want to find out more about the fantastic charities this years National Children's Gardening Week is supporting?
Take a look at both Greenfingers and Save the Children's websites here.
If you are looking to donate to either of the great charities supported by National Children's Gardening Week this year, we have included links direct to their just giving pages.
Thank you for your support!