sow seeds of love, harvest family unity

It’s national Garden Day on Sunday 21 October. Get the family (and friends) together to celebrate the beauty of gardening. It’s a child-friendly and educational pastime, too.
By Child magazine

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There’s nothing quite like the joy of gardening! It’s a wonderful way for children to connect to nature, take pride in growing their own plants, flowers and food and, of course, there are amazing health benefits that go along with gardening.
 
Children are natural gardeners; they like to learn and understand by doing hands-on work, and love to play in the dirt. So, this Garden Day, gather the family, your friends and get gardening.
 
12 things to do with children on Garden Day
We’ve put together a few ideas on how to include your children in the garden this Garden Day:
 
1. Make flower crowns together, using fresh flowers and greenery from your garden. Here’s how: : • Choose your flowers and gather the tools needed, these include secateurs, florists’ wire and rope for the base (you’ll need to help children with the tools and techniques) • Create small posies by tying bunches of blooms together with the florists’ wire. • Attach the posies to the rope by facing stems in the same direction and overlapping as you go along. • Leave the ends of the rope clear to allow for an easily adjustable crown size.
 
2. Paint rocks and pebbles, these create a pretty and playful environment. The brighter and more personalised they are, the lovelier they will look in your garden.
 
3. Make and a hang bird feeder, this is a fun way for you and your children to get to know which birds are native to your area and what calls they make. It is also an excellent way to help out our feathered friends when their food sources are limited. This is a good one to get dad involved, he can help with cutting/sawing wood, screwing and glueing.
 
4. Go on a bug hunt. Set your children off to see how many different insects they can find in the garden. Collect them in a container so that you and the children can see them better with a magnifying glass. Return them to the wild when you have finished!
 
5. Let the children camp in the garden. If you have a safe and secure garden or a backyard, let your kids enjoy the night camping right outside the house. All kids love a campout!
 
6. Create miniature fairy gardens filled with magic. Choose a corner of a flower bed, under a tree, even in a pot on the patio – fairy gardens are so small they'll fit in any space – and add fairy figurines and toadstools.
 
7. Paint flower pots – then let the children plant their own seeds and dot around the garden or on the patio, it makes the outside area look bright and inviting and children will enjoy watching the seeds germinate.
 
8. Craft fun vases by cutting off the top of a butternut squash (hopefully grown in your own veggie garden) and filling it with freshly-picked flowers.
 
9. Host a plant club for your children and their friends. Ask everyone to bring interesting plants to swap with each other.
 
10. Have dinner in the garden. Make dishes featuring a home-grown ingredient, and get your children to join in the picking of the vegetables or herbs and help the dinner.
 
11. Create a garden-themed masterpiece. Painting with kids is usually a messy activity, so where better to do it than the garden? Let your children look around and get motivation from the garden or paint scenes of their garden. As Impressionist painter Claude Monet said: “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”
 
12. Press flowers. Many children like to spend their time creating crafts and homemade gifts. To add to their enthusiasm, you can experiment by adding pressed flowers to their crafts. Glueing pressed flowers on a homemade card can add some personality.
 
What you do on Garden Day is completely up to you, but it’s a great opportunity to get together, enjoy communing with nature and celebrate your garden.
 
“The glory of gardening: Hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin

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