Yay it’s June! The days are getting longer and the weather is improving, telling us that Summer is very nearly here. This week it is all about activities and crafts you can do with the kids outside, just in case you need anymore excuses to Get in Your Garden!
Get In Your Garden! Week #11
This week’s post is from Sonia who blogs over at Buzymum.com. Today she is sharing with us some great activities that you can do with the kids in the garden.
Hi, I’m Sonia. I’m a mum of three headstrong, lively children (just like their parents) but wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m a gymnastics coach and general health and fitness fanatic, trying to balance work and family. With my eldest now 11, I’ve picked up, made-up, trialled and tested loads of parenting tips and tricks. Now my youngest has finally started school, I have the time on my hands to document and share, and hopefully save you time and heartache, or at least make you giggle at my mistakes!
Garden Activities & Crafts for Kids
I’m really excited to be part of Kerry’s ‘Get in Your Garden!’ series this week and, as we’ve spent so much time in the garden this week doing various crafts and activities, it couldn’t be more appropriate! Our homemade bug and ladybird hotels are finally showing signs of life, we’ve made perfume with scented leaves and flowers and also pressed them using techniques from my childhood. We’ve been painting and Aqua-Doodling on the patio, making hand and foot prints (that wouldn’t be allowed in the house) and generally getting filthy dirty so we can wash it all off in the sprinkler!!
Want to give some of those garden activities and crafts a try? Here’s how!
Our Bug and Ladybird Hotels
The kids are obsessed with finding and studying bugs in the garden. I would highly recommend buying one of these bug-magnifying pots, they are cheap, portable and provide hours of fun, not to mention being educational as well- win, win!
J is rather handy when it comes to wood-work and knocked up this rather splendid ladybird high-rise hotel (copied from ones available on Amazon!) in a few minutes, with added ladybirds from Hobbycraft. We bought ladybird food (also from Amazon) and put it into the holes to entice the little critters. Hopefully we’ll have a happy family move in and feast on the greenfly currently attacking my roses!! Next door, the children have built a low-level youth-hostel style, living accommodation for all other insects, molluscs and arachnids that are looking to re-locate. They have attempted to gather various bugs and re-home them but I think the whole thing needs to weather-in a bit to attract them properly! Never-the-less, this activity has seen hours of time spent on it with all three of them (6, 8 & 11 years old) loving bug-related activities!
This is so easy! All you need is a small spray bottle, we used one from the currently unloved, Aquabeads set, but you can buy them from Boots in the travel section. Choose some sweet smelling flowers or leaves, just make sure that you know what they are and therefore are not poisonous or likely to irritate the skin. We would recommend lavender, rosemary, thyme, roses, jasmine and sweet-peas. Place a few leaves and/or petals into the bottle and top up with lukewarm water (not too hot). Give it a shake and leave to infuse for a few minutes. You will have a light-scent, perfect for little girls! With a clear bottle, the perfume looks pretty too but be sure to warn them that it only lasts for about a week before it won’t smell so good anymore!!
I used to love doing this, as a child. I had several telephone directories (and they were huge back then!), full of pressed flowers and leaves! Though our current mini Yellow Pages is no good for this activity now, I have finally found a use for a gardening encyclopaedia and one or two other heavy books! We also used a small, children’s flower press (from the early learning centre), which is effective, but limited on what you can press.
To do it yourself, without a press, you will need two pieces of card (an old cereal box is perfect for this), some blotting/ parchment/ absorbent paper (even doubled up kitchen roll will do) and a weight (heavy books are ideal). Simply place the flower or leaf that you want to press onto the absorbent paper and place that on one piece of the card. Make sure that you arrange each flower into the position that you would like it to flatten and that the flowers are not touching each other. Place another piece of absorbent paper on top of the flower and then the other piece of card on top of that. Place the whole flower/ card sandwich into a large book and top with a few other books, for extra weight. Leave the lot for a few weeks to fully dry out and they will be ready to use in crafts such as decorating cards and pictures.
Have fun in your garden this week!
Thank you Sonia. I love the idea of making perfume and I’m definitely going to do this with my daughter. Pressing some flowers is also on my to do list!
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