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Gardening with kids can be fun

Garden Day is for everyone, especially beginner gardeners. Gardens are a wonderful way for children to connect to nature, experience the pride of growing their own plants, flowers and food and, of course, the amazing health benefits that come with it.

Children are natural gardeners; they like to learn and understand by doing hands-on work, and love to play in the soil. On Sunday, October 20 celebrate your garden with your children. Here are a few ideas.

• Make flower crowns together
Use fresh flowers and greenery from your garden to make flower crowns. You’ll need to help children with the tools needed for the job as these include secateurs, florist’s wire and rope for the base.
Start by choosing your flowers. A single variety used in mass is always more effective.
Create small posies by tying bunches of blooms together with the wire.
Attach the posies to the rope, by facing stems in the same direction and overlapping as you go along.
Leave the ends of the rope clear for an easily adjustable crown size.

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  • Do a taste test
    Many herbs and leaves can be tasted, and even combined for a real taste treat. Invite the children to choose one edible root and stem, leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds and chop them into a delicious salad. Get kids experimenting and see how many different delicious flavours you can find in your garden.

    • Draw an insect, bird or animal
    Get the youngsters to try and find an insect, bird or animal and draw it before it runs away or notices them.

    • Make a wormery
    Use a see-through glass container and add layers of soil, sand and some leaves for food. Find a few worms in your garden and add them to the container. Watch the worms tunnel into the ground. Remember to release the worms back into the garden at the end of the day.

    • Plant seeds
    Give each child a small area of your garden where they can grow their own plants. If space is limited, let them plant seeds in a terracotta pot.

    • Garden scavenger hunt
    Give each child a list of objects they need to find in the garden – a pink flower, a green leaf, a stone – make it age appropriate. Give a prize to the first one who find all the items on the list.

    • Build a den
    Collect branches and leaves and start building your hideaway in the garden. Enjoy nature right in your backyard. Who knows what animal may pop by for a visit.

    • Go stargazing
    If it’s a clear night, sit in the garden and watch the stars. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to make a wish on a shooting star or even spot a planet.

  • Watch a bird
    Put out bird food, then wait and watch the birds fly, sing, chat to each other and gobble the food. Make sure not to frighten or startle them.
  • Create twig frames
    Look around the garden for twigs and seed pods to create your own wood frame.

    • Make seed bombs
    Mix water and soil to create mud. Make small balls and press seeds into the ball. Place the seeded balls on a tray and leave them in the sun to dry. Once they’ve hardened, choose an area in your garden to plant the seed bombs.

Details: gardenday.co.za

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