Gardener-In-Training: Planting Seeds & Other Kids Garden Ideas
The sun has been shining during this period of self-isolation at home, inspiring lots of people to get out into the garden and to start growing. If you're lucky enough to have a large garden then the possibilities are endless, but there are plenty of ways to make even the smallest back yard fun for kids and full of opportunities for growing and gardening. Kids will be amazed as they watch seeds turn into delicious fruits and vegetables that they can eat - and gardening is a great way to reconnect with nature, get some much-needed fresh air, and expend some energy! Gardening as a family is a chance to teach kids of all ages how their food is made - and there are many ways to get involved, from growing your own food to garden-themed craft projects, and outdoor play activities.
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Grow Your Own Tomatoes Growing tomatoes is one of the best gardening ideas for kids as they are easy to grow, and they produce lots of delicious, nutritious fruits that can be picked and enjoyed throughout the summer. KS1 kids will love sowing the seeds, as it is a chance to get their hands dirty, as well as learning how the tomatoes on their plate have been grown. Why not try a range of other fruit and veg - salad leaves, radishes, potatoes and peas are also easy to grow, making the most of your outdoor space or garden. What You'll Need: - Tomato seeds - Potting soil - Small pots or seed trays
Method: March and April are the best months to sow tomato seeds, so get the kids to fill plant pots with soil, watering it using the hose, a jug or watering can. Next, sprinkle a couple of seeds onto the wet soil, and cover with a bit more soil. These pots should stay indoors, away from the frost. Let the kids keep watering the soil, watching to see when the seeds begin to sprout and the plant starts to grow. Once the seeds have turned into little plants - called seedlings - it's time to move them outside into the garden. Get your children to hold each plant in their hands, gently squeezing the pot until comes away from the soil. Before putting the plants into the ground, get the kids to look closely at the amazing roots that have grown out of the tiny seeds that they planted just a few weeks ago. Once in the garden, these plants will need to be watered regularly, which kids love to get involved with - but the best part comes a bit later, when the family can head outdoors to pick and eat fresh, juicy tomatoes straight from the plant. For more detailed instructions on growing tomatoes, follow the steps in this video Feed the Butterflies with a Butterfly Feeder Attract lots of beautiful butterflies to your garden with a DIY butterfly feeder - which can be decorated with beads, sparkles and flowers, and filled with 'nectar' and fruits. Butterfly feeders can be made from different household items, like an old plate, dish, or bowl - and it is a great way to up-cycle baby and toddler crockery, which is perfect for the job as it tends to be made of plastic/acrylic that won't break easily, and they are often brightly coloured. If you don't have a spare dish or plate, then an aluminium foil tray or empty tin can will work just a well.
What You'll Need: - An old plate, dish or bowl - Colourful decorations, such as glass beads, stickers and flowers (fake or real) - String and ribbons - A sponge - Sugar
Method: Just like the kids, butterflies love colour and reflective surfaces - so get creative as a family, decorating your plate or tray with lots of fake flowers, colourful ribbons, glass pebbles and sparkly beads - use whatever you have in the house to make the feeder look fun, bright and beautiful. Make the butterfly food by mixing 10-parts water to one-part sugar in a pan, heating the mixture until the sugar has fully dissolved, then leave to cool. Soak a brightly coloured sponge in the sugar water (the yellow kitchen sponges are great for this) then place the wet sponge in the centre of the butterfly feeder, along with flowers and leaves from the garden. Find a nice spot outdoors where you can watch the butterflies come to feed - and get the kids to top up the sponge regularly with the sugar water, making sure that the sponge is always wet through. Follow this video for further instructions