Your garden is an awesome place for your family to connect and for your kids to learn and grow. From understanding the life cycle of a plant to growing food, kids will gain a broad understanding of the principles used in a garden for it to thrive. There are lots of fun holiday projects you can do in your garden with the kids as well, some that can really benefit your garden’s ecosystem.
My kids love reading through kids gardening books and finding really cool activities to do. This is a great starting point because it gives your kids autonomy and allows them to take ownership. Involving kids from the start encourages them to stick with it and if you follow this concept with growing food, you may be surprised when you see them eating vegies straight from a plant.
Here are a couple of hands on projects for you to try at home:
Kids either love or hate bugs. Let’s face it, when a bug flies at you it’s not the most pleasant thing to experience. Bugs are so beneficial to our ecosystem, and teaching our kids the difference between good bugs and unwelcome guests in your garden will help them understand more about nature.
Our garden is full of pests, and they are drawn to our lush healthy veggie patch right when it’s looking good. Organic gardening encourages the natural process in nature without chemicals and building a bug hotel to attract the predator insects is a great way to help nature with a natural pest control.
What you’ll need
- A frame to house it
- A roof
- Smooth, cylinder shaped wood
- Any materials with holes you have at home that you can recycle
There is no standard size or structure to use for an insect hotel. Talk to your children about what types of insects might visit and what style of accommodation they might like. You can drill into logs (just don’t go all the way through) or use any natural materials you can find. If your hotel is big, make sure you add shelves. Let the kids get creative and decorate their bug hotel just how they like.
Bug hotels offer the solitary native bees and wasps a place to take shelter during extreme conditions and allow predatory insects a place to breed. Beneficial insects will help you overcome pests in your garden by attacking the pests that destroy our plants.
Have a go at building a bug hotel with your kids and teach them a core principle of biodiversity at the same time.
I love watching birds in our garden and teaching my kids all about our native birds. A great way to attract native birds into your garden is by making some really easy hanging bird seed ornaments.
What you’ll need (approx. 4-5 depending on the size of your cutter)
- 1 cup of bird seed mix (check which seed is right for your local native birds)
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 ½ teaspoons of golden syrup
- Drinking straw
- Kitchen twine or string
Mix it all together and then press out on a piece of baking paper about 1 cm thick. Using a cookie cutter cut the birdseed layer and remove the excess from the cutter. Now, using a drinking straw cut out a hole at the top of the shape and leave to dry overnight. The next day gently flip it over and let the other side dry. When dry use a length of string and feed through the hole at the top. Hang where birds can perch to feed.
If you’re looking for some creative ways to keep the kids occupied over the summer holidays, get them busy in the garden and check out my blog for other family friendly ideas.
Author: Rebecca Searles is the founder of Family Garden Life. Even as a child, she treasured the moments when she could escape to the garden, now she loves sharing this with her kids.
Family Garden Life a blog directory for mums who want to bring their family closer to nature but aren’t sure where to start.