It’s officially summer and there is finally time to devote to your backyard garden. The first week of June is National Gardening Week and it’s easy to make gardening and yard work something the whole family can enjoy together, whether you have a green thumb or not. Here are some fun ideas to get your kiddos’ hands dirty and their creative minds flowing.
Dirt and worms are two things that most children love. Adding worms to your lawn or garden improves germination, plant growth and crop yield, while also improving the soil and root structure. You can order red wiggler live composting worms online to be delivered directly to your door. Then let the kiddos spread those wigglers through your garden. And a little known worm fact is that they double their colonies every three months. So if you put in 200 worms now, next year you can have up to 3,200 worms working in your garden!
Fill multiple spray bottles with water and let your kiddos mist away at the plants. With spray bottles you don’t have to worry about the kids overwatering or drowning any plants, and it could keep them busy for hours. Or put them in charge of rotating the sprinkler to make sure all the grass and garden gets equal amounts of water. Even better, put them in their swimsuits while you put them to work and they can burn off some extra energy.
Make your garden a haven for beautiful butterflies by creating a DIY butterfly feeder. A simple feeder can be made from sponges on a plastic plate. Butterflies love red, orange, purple and yellow, so use colorful sponges to attract them. Make your own butterfly food by mixing 10 parts water with one part sugar. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves, and allow to cool. Then soak the sponge with the sugar water mixture on the plate. You can even use string to hang the plate feeder from a corner of your yard. Add a few orange slices and watch those butterflies come flying in.
Keep all those herbs, veggies and flowers straight with some colorful labels. Collect or buy some medium sized flat and smooth surfaced rocks. Let the kids get creative with acrylic paints. Make sure the first layer dries, then with a second layer paint the name of all your plants on each rock to place in your garden. Another variation would be to take paint sticks and use those as plant markers that you can push into the soil alongside the plants.
A place for the fairies
No garden is complete without a little magic. Create a welcome space for your kiddos to make their own fairy gardens, whether it’s their own pot, a hanging basket or a corner in the garden. Provide supplies such as yarn, sticks, twigs, pebbles, rocks and sand, and let their imaginations take over. Splurge on a few tiny fairies, bridges, benches or other fairy garden accessories to help bring it to life. Then watch as hours of summer are spent with these magical creatures.