Splashing about in the summer sun
Children have the uncanny ability to amuse themselves endlessly by getting themselves wet and muddy. In the summer months you’ll be using a lot of water to keep the garden green and healthy. You can use this to an even greater advantage by combining children’s play time with watering the garden. Here are some useful tips to making the most of this.
To get the fun started doesn’t require much input or expense. Simply using regular kitchen items like a washing-up bowl and small plastic items like funnels and jugs will keep younger children amused for hours. Creating activities, like giving soft toys a wash will stimulate them and add to their enjoyment.
A paddling pool is always a good way for children to play socially and enjoy the outdoors. Older kids can join in the fun by fooling around with the hosepipe while filling the pool, blowing up inflatable toys and spraying water pistols and other water toys.
A few precautions should be taken when creating water play-park in the back garden:
- Excessive water on the lawn may result in it become muddy and deteriorate the grass. Decide how much mess you’re willing to tolerate and limit the amount of water the children use accordingly.
- Smaller children need supervision – even in shallow splash pools.
- Have towels on hand to keep them warm and don’t walk mud through the house trying to find dry towels.
- Be aware of sunburn. Provide hats and consider using a waterproof sun screen lotion.
Creating a miniature garden with children can be a great activity both inside the house and outdoors. It not only stimulates the child’s imagination, but also teaches them about gardening and plants at the same time. Including the children’s toys in the garden makes it more relevant for them and gives them ownership of the idea.
Parents need be involved to get the children started. You’ll need to provide them with a container, growing materials (like potting soil) and plants. With a little bit of input from their parents, children should be able to take the initiative and set about it by themselves.
For an outdoor miniature garden using a dinosaur theme will help generate enthusiasm for the youngsters. It gives them a place to bring Jurassic Park scenes to life using their dinosaur toys.
They will need a suitable container like an old washing-up bowl or other plastic container of a reasonable size. Make drainage holes in the base of the container you plan to use. Fill the bowl with growing medium and plant prehistoric looking plants like ferns or moss.
An indoor garden can be made in a similar fashion. However for an indoor miniature garden use cacti and succulents. Cover the surface with small pebbles.
Fantasy Fairy Land
Find a tree in the garden and conjure up the image of fairies, elves or other mythical creatures living there. From a small piece of wood create a door and stick it to the tree. Using recycled materials like lollypop sticks you can create an awning and steps leading to the door. Let child’s imagination do the rest.