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Brilliant things to do with the kids in the garden

Credit: Image: Nigel Blake

You can still have fun even if you have to stay at home.  Parents will be struggling to stay sane while trying to keep the kids occupied.  Sometimes there is nothing better than some fresh air and there is lots of fun to be found on your doorstep. If you’re lucky to have a garden, you and the kids can not only enjoy the outdoors during lockdown, but you can find plenty to do to keep the children entertained and to stop you going round the twist.  From nature trails to bird spotting, here’s some brilliant ideas and activities for the whole family to enjoy outside together.

  1. Go on a nature trail. Start at one end of the garden and make your way to the other end. While you walk, write down or draw on a piece of paper anything you see on your way.  Maybe you can count how many butterflies, ladybirds or beetles you can see.  You could even collect your findings in an empty jam jar, like feathers, leaves or pine cones.
  2. Make some rubbings.  This is one of the easiest activities to do with kids and it’s fun too. You can make rubbings of tree trunks, bark, logs or even stone walls.  All you need is a piece of paper and a crayon. Place the paper on the trunk of a tree and use the crayon to rub over the bark.  You will see that the impression of the tree appears. You can use different coloured paper and crayons to create beautiful patterns.
  1. Make a fairy or dinosaur garden. Another great idea that is easy to do is to create your own fairy or dinosaur garden within your own garden. You could use an empty plant pot to create a fairy house or dinosaur cave with a grown-up cutting in windows or a door. Place this in an empty planter tray or box and use soil and stones to create hills and mounds. Then you can “plant” flowers around the front of the plant pot house or cave and use painted pebbles to create a garden for your fairy or dinosaur toy figures to play in.
  1. Make bird feeders. You can make a simple bird feeder with a clean empty yoghurt pot, string, scissors, a mixing bowl, lard, grated cheese, peanuts, raisins and bird seed. Simply cut a hole in the bottom of the yoghurt pot, thread through the string and tie a knot in it so the yoghurt pot hangs upside down from the string.  Next, warm the lard to room temperature but don’t melt it and cut it into cubes and add to a mixing bowl with the grated cheese, peanuts, raisins and bird seed, mixing it together with your fingertips until the fat holds it all together.  Then fill the pots with the bird cake mixture and put them in the fridge to set for an hour or so. When they are set hang them from a bird table or tree branch.
  2. Build a bug hotel. Kids love to study bugs and the best way to do this is to create an environment where they can live happily. By creating a multi-storey hotel you can help shelter not just ladybirds, beetles, woodlice and bees but small animals too like hedgehogs and toads. You will need to use materials which will provide natural hiding holes, like old bricks, pipes or old wooden pallets.Do some bird watching. Once you’ve made your bird feeders, you can then watch from the window as the birds have a feast. Try and spot as many different birds as you can, or try drawing a picture of your favourite bird visiting your garden. You could even have a look online or in a reference book to identify which birds you can see.  The RSPB have a great guide to the most popular birds to look out for in your garden including blue tits, great tits and dunnocks.
  3. Build a bug hotel.  Kids love to study bugs and the best way to do this is to create an environment where they can live happily. By creating a multi-storey hotel you can help shelter not just ladybirds, beetles woodlice and bees but small animals too like hedgehogs and toads.  You will need to use materials which which will provide natural hiding holes , like old bricks, pipes or old wooden pallets.   First, find some level ground to build your hotel and gradually build up the levels starting with larger objects on the bottom like bricks and as you stack the layers further up, you can add pinecones, bamboo canes, straw, bark and logs or wood with drilled holes.
  4. Plant some flowers. If you’ve been putting off planting up your borders or plant pots, then now’s the time to do it. Let the kids have a go digging a hole with a trowel to place the plant in. Then teach them how to press the plant down and cover with soil or compost. Water your plant and you’re all done – now you just have watch them grow.                                                                       (Drawn from the Liverpool Post)