Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guest Post: How to help your kids make the most out of their summer

Summer is a lovely time of year, the weather is usually great and it’s a perfect opportunity to do lots of different things with the family. After the novelty of being off school has worn off, it’s not long before you hear the cries of “I’m BORED” from your kids as the long summer holidays loom ahead, so it’s great to have some ideas handy to entertain them. As easy as it seems for kids to while away their days playing on games consoles or watching TV, the summer vacation is a great opportunity for them to explore some new hobbies and enjoy the great outdoors.

However, everyone is looking to tighten their budgets these days, so taking them on expensive day trips to theme parks can be a one-off treat, not an everyday occurrence. So what sort of activities can you do to entertain them that are affordable but also enriching? Look no further than your backyard! Getting kids involved in gardening not only helps them to enjoy being outside, but it also helps them to be responsible. So here are some activities to help inspire your kids to get out in the garden.

Garden maintenance
It might seem a little too good to be true, but if you get your kids involved in garden maintenance, they will feel a sense of inclusion and achievement. You could make it into a game so it entices them to take part, and perhaps give them their own little set of garden tools to keep in the shed alongside all the other gardening equipment. Identify all the different weeds in your garden and compile them in a chart. Every time your child pulls up one of those weeds, they can get a gold star – and once they have a certain number of stars they could perhaps get a little treat! Whilst they are removing the weeds they will also learn which plants need to be looked after – so when they are running around the garden they know which plants to avoid trampling on!

Pick some new plants
Now the flowerbeds have been weeded, you can help your child pick out some new plants! You could perhaps start off with watercress, as it grows so quickly – and is really tasty in a salad! Generally seeds are really cheap to buy and you can show your child how to prepare the soil ready for the seeds to be planted. Then you can encourage them to water and feed the seeds, and maybe even document their growth by taking a picture every day. If you’d prefer to skip the sprouting process, you could buy potted plants and show your child how to transfer them to a flowerbed – and again encourage them to be the one responsible for feeding and looking after the plants.

By helping out in the garden, your child will feel responsible, and hopefully feel a sense of achievement when they see their plants grow. It ticks a lot of boxes as it’s inexpensive, educational and maybe most importantly – they are away from games consoles! You’ll also have the bonus of having some lovely looking flowerbeds in your garden.

Disclosure: Monetary compensation was received for this post, however all opinions are my own.

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