If you’re on the hunt for kids activities that don’t require leaving home, we have some breaking news: there’s plenty to do in your garden. It might be a small battle to get your grandkids outside, but some prepared activities up your sleeve can turn it into fun for the kids and parents.
You don’t have to be a gardening expert to build a veggie patch or teepee and they can create countless hours of educational, sustainable fun for the kiddos, even in the cooler months.
We spoke to Narelle Peart from Scotts Osmocote about the benefits of getting kids into the garden.
As a mom herself, she said, “It’s always a great time to jump into the garden to provide children with much-needed vitamin-D and education on insects, herbs, and veggies. Gardening is also a great bonding activity for grandparents and grandkids and will supply endless fun activities.”
So stop your grandbabies from bouncing off the walls and try your hand at Narelle’s top five gardening activities for kids.
Make your own backyard games.
A healthy lawn free of weeds is a great place to play. There’s a ton of backyard games that you and your grandchildren can make using household items to pass the time.
If you have any small balls and leftover plastic bottles, fill the bottles with some water and line them up to create your own family bowling league in the backyard. If your little one has been inspired by Ninja Warrior, create a course of hoops, mini-challenges, and walking planks on your lawn. Let your imagination run wild!
Build an herb garden.
Building a herb garden is an easy way to introduce them to gardening and spice up those home-cooked meals. Take the grandkids down to the local nursery to pick up some seedlings and something to plant your herb garden in, but just remember to give your child the best chance of success, pick out seeds that are in season! For added benefits, invest in a quality potting mix that will provide your new herb garden with valuable nutrients.
Build a worm farm.
Get your hands dirty and introduce your grandkids to the world of worms by building a worm farm. This hands-on activity is not only a mini science experiment but a great way to teach kids what worms do for gardening. Worm farms are easy to build and only need a few household items. Try gathering a styrofoam box, worm bedding (such as shredded paper or compost), newspaper, soil, and some compost worms. Once a few weeks have passed, slowly add food scraps for worms and watch your new wriggly friends dig and mix up the soil.
Make a set of hanging baskets.
Perfect for indoors and out, constructing a hanging basket with the kids is a weatherproof project. Flowers and plants like marigold, devil’s ivy, and geraniums are great for a hanging garden installation. If you are hanging your baskets indoors, invest in a good potting mix as it doesn’t contain compost or pine bark which is known to shelter pesky insects, like fungus gnats. For an added pop of color, decorate with fairies, cars, or dinosaurs and hang at a child-friendly height so they can check on their new hanging plants!
Go on an insect scavenger hunt.
Everyone loves a scavenger hunt, so why not make it interesting by creating a hunt for bugs and insects in the garden for your grandkids. All you need to do is head outdoors with a paper, pen, list of bugs, and magnifying glass for you and your grandkids to learn all about the bugs that live in your garden. While out exploring the depths of your garden, not only will your grandkids find out about the secret lives of their new six-legged friends, they will learn valuable observation skills! We always recommend using gloves when playing in the garden.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.