Enjoy some fresh air in the garden with your little ones during lockdown. There are plenty of great activities that you can enjoy together. Here are some of our favourites:
1. Dry some flowers
All you need is to go into your garden, pick some flowers such as Daffodils, Hellebores, Anemones or Grape Hyacinth and get a big, heavy book. Once you have picked the flowers, place them carefully, roughly in the middle of the book and gently close it. To protect the pages on the book where the flowers are from the moisture inside them, put a sheet of paper or newspaper either side. Put the book under some other books or something heavier and leave it for around a week – 10 days to get the best results. After this time, open the book and you will find some beautiful dried flowers you can use for arts and crafts without spending a penny.
2. Paint a pebble
It’s that simple. Venture into the garden, find a few large, flat pebbles and paint them. It’s best to clean the pebbles first and wait for them to dry before you paint them – you could even use permanent markers. Then, draw a stencil on the pebbles with a pencil. Once you have painted them, leave them to dry on a sunny windowsill or an airing cupboard. Then finally, cover them in PVA glue to make them weatherproof. You could even paint a rainbow and leave them outside for your neighbours and passers-by to see! #rainbowchallenge #stayhome #keepsmiling #staypositive
3. Grow some seeds
If you want to grow some seeds with your children but don’t have any, why not pick out the sunflower seeds from your bird seed or the mixed seeds in your cupboard? There is no reason for these not to grow. If you do not have any compost or pots, then you can mix some soil from your borders with compost from your compost heap and this should be fine. Egg boxes or yoghurt pots are perfect to grow seeds like this on a nice, sunny, south facing windowsill. Keep them watered and they should be showing signs or life in 10-14 days. Pot them up into something bigger like the bottom half or a 2L pop bottle or large milk bottle and stake them to keep them upright. Then they will be ok to be planted outdoors around the end of May, start of June. If we have some warmer days before then, it will be best to harden them off by putting them outdoors during the daytime.
4. Grow your own vegetables
Sow some fast-growing vegetable seeds such as lettuce and rocket so you have some fresh salad whilst in isolation. Cut and come back varieties will be perfect and even better if you sow 2 pots, a week apart. They’re ready in just a few weeks and once you’ve cut what you want, they will grow again – genius!
5. Paint old pots
If you have any old terracotta pots around the garden, clean them off and paint them. This is a great way to brighten up your garden or you could even leave them by your front door to put a smile on your neighbours faces. First, once they are clean and dry, pencil a stencil of what you are going to paint. Once you have done this, paint it and leave it somewhere to dry – a sunny windowsill is perfect. Then, once it is dry, cover it in PVA glue to make it weatherproof. If you have any Spring flowering plants, put them in these newly planted, bright and colourful pots to add a splash of colour to your garden. It’s easy and simple and will keep the kids busy for ages.
6. Make a Bug House
Making a bug house is easier than you think. You can usually make one from just about anything lying around the garden. From a pile of logs to a stack of house bricks, leaving gaps for pine cones, twigs, canes and seed pods from around the garden. Put it up a damp and shady corner where bugs will naturally thrive. It’s so easy and simple to do your bit for nature plus it will clear some mess up from your garden along the way!
7. Sow Seeds, Spread Smiles
If you have seeds to sow, why don’t you sow more than you need to and when they have started to grow, label them and put them at the front of your house with a please help yourself sign. Spread a smile and make your neighbours day.