There’s nothing quite like the joy of gardening! This Garden Day, however, we want you to plant more than seeds: we want you to sow seeds of love and harvest family unity.
Children are natural gardeners. They like to learn and understand by doing hands-on work, and most certainly, they love to play in the dirt. So, this Garden Day (Sunday 9 October 2022), gather the family and spend the day in the garden making memories. For example, water the flower beds, trim the hedges and prune the plants, but do it together.
Gardening is 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.
However, no Garden Day celebration is complete without a flower crown. See how to make one below.
14 things to do with children on Garden Day
We’ve put together a few ideas on how to include your children in the garden.
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. • Next, 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 and it can be fun for each person to hide them for others to find.
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. After the examination, return them to the wild!
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
Once painted, 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 from a butternut
Cut off the top of a butternut squash (hopefully grown in your own veggie garden) and fill 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.
13. Make a bonnet with blooms
Help your kids make colourful bonnets with flowers perfect for a spring celebration.
Here’s how: • Let the children choose flowers while you gather the tools needed, for example, secateurs, florists’ wire, raffia or twine (you’ll need to help children with the tools and techniques). • Cut flowers, herbs, and twigs in different colours and sizes from your garden. • After that, help the children plan a design – play around with arranging the flowers and greenery to find a design they like. • Tie your arrangement onto a length of wide ribbon with florist wire, raffia, or twine. • Then tie the ribbon with your flower design around an old summer hat with a wide brim to create a beautiful spring bonnet ideal.
14. Create a flowery butterfly
Go on a treasure hunt around the garden to collect flowers in all shapes, sizes, and colours for this Garden Day-inspired butterfly project. Keep your little ones busy collecting, cutting, drawing, and sticking to create a beautiful work of art in celebration of spring.
Here’s how: • First gather what you’ll need – cardboard offcuts, white paper and marker, glue stick, scissors, bowls or containers, butterfly or bug outline (download here). • Next, cut the petals into various bowls. They will use the petals to decorate the butterfly wings. • Using the marker, help your child draw the outline of a butterfly on the white paper. Alternatively, you can download an outline and print it out. • After that, stick the paper onto a large enough cardboard offcut as a base. Let the children choose and stick the petals to decorate the wings in their own unique style.
Other ways to celebrate
There are many ways to enjoy Garden Day. A picnic on the lawn will bring you into direct contact with the earth and being out in the sun will deliver a load of vitamin D. No space? No problem – set a stylish table: use teapots and plenty of gorgeous, garden-fresh flowers to create a visually striking tea party instead.
Bring your garden to your kitchen by adding home-grown herbs to a delicious salad, decorating a cake with petals or concocting a botanical cocktail.
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. If, however, you don’t have garden, you can visit your local garden centre, nursery or botanical gardens to view their Garden Day 2022 displays.
If you need some bright ideas for the big day, Gardenday.co.za has a handy toolkit to help you plan the perfect celebration, including recipe ideas and crafty things to make and do with children in the garden.
Download Candide, a garden community app, to help the kids identify the different names of the flowers they collect. Candide is free for download in the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.