10 Simple Gardening Ideas to Inspire Busy Little Green Fingers
National Children’s Gardening Week 29th April– 5th May 2019
With National Children’s Gardening Week on the horizon, here are a few simple, green ideas to get your children inspired in the garden, whether at home with family or at school. Kids love gardening and getting close to nature and children will never complain about getting involved in a growing project or fail to be captivated by the changes from a tiny seed to a full grown plant!
May is a great time for children to get garden projects underway as they will see quick results as the weather hopefully starts to improve and gets warmer! So here are a few ideas to capture their enthusiasm and to celebrate the fun and enjoyment that gardening can bring.
Inspiring children to become avid gardeners now can create healthier lives for them in the future! It’s easy to capture their interest by starting with simple projects inspired by the senses: lovely scented flowers, bright colourful blooms, textured leaves and edible plants to name a few! All children are natural gardeners; they just need our help to be pointed towards somewhere where they can plant!
National Children’s Gardening Week
This is an annual festival of gardening fun inspiring green projects in homes, schools, and community groups across the country. The project also supports the amazing Greenfingers charity, which provides magical gardens for children in hospices. https://www.greenfingerscharity.org.uk/
Visit https://www.childrensgardeningweek.co.uk for more fun, practical ideas and advice to get your children gardening and celebrating this May.
Getting Green in School
Why not let your children design their own garden project within your school, so they have ownership? They can then create their own magical area from conception, to tending the plants, to reaping their rewards. Witness children’s awe and wonder unfurl in front of you, like a new fern, whilst your children watch, smell, taste, listen to or touch their very own green creations!
Growing and gardening is so cross-curricular; it’s so easy to link science, maths, literacy, history, geography and art with getting more active outdoors. Going for nature walks, visiting gardens, local parks and even garden centres can also inspire children and teach them all about the plants that grow around them in Britain. There are many free ‘nature spotter’ sheets available online through the Woodland Trust and the Wildlife Trust.
Here are 10 Simple Gardening Ideas to Get You Started:
1Recycled Fun Planters: Have a look around for any old, unused objects that you can plant in. Anything that can hold soil will do. Old wellies are perfect and create a fun and colourful display kids will love. Fill the wellie with compost and plant anything you like inside. Strawberry plants are a fun option and children can enjoy picking the fruits too.
2Pizza Pickings: Find a round tub or a mark off a piece of garden with a hoop or a rope in a circle. Divide it into pizza shape segments using pebbles, ropes or stones. Make sure your area is flat and add some compost. Choose some herbs that you’d like to add to your own cooked pizza and plant one variety in each section (i.e. basil, rainbow chard, spinach, rocket, tomatoes or peppers). Then water, watch and pick away. Then sprinkle on top of your own pizza creations! Delicious!
3Egg Carton Greenhouse: Use the bottom half of an egg carton to make a mini garden. Fill each section with compost and plant seeds in each compartment. Water and watch them grow. Replant seedlings if required.
4Natural prints: Use an old piece of fabric to create a natural print. Choose leaves and flowers that interest you (with as much variety of colour as possible) and take each one and fold the fabric over it. Use a pebble or a stick to crush the flower or leaf and watch the natural pigments come out on your cloth. Use it to make a natural flag for your garden!
5Hanging Tomato Planters: (Caution: an adult should to supervise cutting and making holes in bottle safely) Take an old plastic bottle and recycle it to create a hanging tomato planter. Carefully cut off the bottom of the bottle and keep the top part with the neck of the bottle. Cautiously make 4 holes near the cut part, and thread through some string to hang your planter up with. Take a small tomato plant and delicately feed it up through the bottleneck, so its roots are inside the bottle and the leaves and stem are downwards. Fill the top of the bottle with soil and hang it up on your decking or on your fence. Water and watch the tomatoes grow downwards, suspended from your bottle!
6Floating Garden: Make a small square frame by tying together little green gardening sticks or lolly sticks etc. and use ivy or wire to weave a platform around the frame. Create a bed for your seeds using moss, newspapers, or rags. Cover with a thin layer of soil or compost. Sprinkle with seeds like mustard or cress. Float the miniature garden in a bowl or on a pond and see what happens!
7Senses Garden: Use a planter/ garden area to grow seeds that stimulate the senses. Use pebbles to create a flower shape divided into regularly sized sections for each petal. Plant each petal with different seeds or plants that excite the senses: i.e.: mint, basil, rosemary, thyme, sunflowers, marigolds, Swiss chard, greater quaking grass, bamboo, sweetcorn, silver sage, curry plant, lavender etc.
8Green Grassy Garden Beanbags: Create a ‘sat -in’ beanbag shaped mound in your garden using topsoil (be as creative as you like!). You need your natural chair shape to have a place for your bottom and a backrest. Then cover the mound with turf and peg it down initially with tent pegs or sprinkle with grass seeds. Water and watch and enjoy taking a rest on nature after all the hard work!
9Write Secret Messages with Seeds: Take a plastic tray or plate and cover in a thin layer of soil or cotton wool. Use seeds like cress or mustard to write your message. Water and watch your secret appear like magic!
10A Bean Den: Use long sticks or bamboo canes to create a wigwam shape, or a den design of your choice, in your garden area. Then plant runner beans to grow up each pole. Water them regularly. Train the beans over your structure as they grow and watch a lovely, shady green den appear with its own food supply!
So now it’s time to get outdoors, get active, get growing and get green this May!