Exploring the garden and learning how to grow and nurture plants is a joy that the whole family can enjoy together. There’s no better time to get outdoors than during National Children’s Gardening Week, 29th May – 6th June 2021.
Here are just a few ideas to help you and your family to make the most of your green space and get growing, while also looking after local wildlife.
Start small with cress heads
There’s no better way to introduce children to nurturing plants than growing cress from seed! As cress grows relatively quickly, developing from seed to sprouts within days, children can quickly see (and taste!) the fruits of their labour.
One simple and sustainable way to grow cress is using empty egg shells. Get creative and draw some fun faces on the shells, then fill with cotton wool. Dampen the cotton wool then sprinkle lots of cress seeds on top. After a few days of sunshine and gentle watering, your children will have grown some fresh cress ready for summer salads and sandwiches! For further instructions, click here.
Support the pollinators!
Many of our buzzy and fluttering friends in the great outdoors rely on nectar to thrive, so it’s important to include flowering plants in your garden space – such as lavender, sunflowers and primrose – providing them with plenty of flowers to explore. By attracting bees and butterflies, children will also be able to get up close to these VIPs (very important pollinators!) and learn more about the key role they play in nature.
To make it easy for children to get involved, pots and containers are a great option as they can bring them up onto a table to fill up with compost, transfer the plant, or sow the seeds, then keep a close eye on progress. It’s also easy to move pots around the garden to make sure they get plenty of sunshine!
Create a hedgehog feeding station
Hedgehogs need our help! The number of these cute, spiky beings are in decline in the UK and increasingly they rely on garden spaces as a safe haven. With a little help from grown ups, it’s really easy for children to create a mini hedgehog restaurant which will allow prickly guests to gather food, have a drink of water and even catch forty winks.
Simply turn a plastic box (around 30cm by 45cm) upside down or put the lid on the box. Then cut a hole in the short end of the box about 10cm x 10cm and pop some tape around the hole to secure any sharp edges. Lay some newspaper in the base, then put some food in a bowl at the opposite end to the hole, plus a saucer of water. Then wait for the hedgehogs to arrive! Click here for further instructions.
We’d love you to share photos of your green fingered family activities during National Children’s Gardening Week 2021 and beyond! Share your photos with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
For further information about National Children’s Gardening Week 2021 visit: childrensgardeningweek.co.uk