Thursday, 3 July 2014

Kids in the Garden - Butterflies, birds and planting peas

We asked Sarah from Grow Eat Enjoy for some tips on how to get creative outside over the school holidays........

Ok, so we’re nearly through the first week of school holidays, the weather is great, hopefully your children are too and I’m sure we’re all having fun.  But there’s another whole week to go so here’s some garden ideas to keep up your sleeves in case you find yourself lying in bed at night wondering how you’re going to fill another day.

Make butterflies out of used milk bottles. This is a little tricky to cut but a good tracing exercise if your kids haven’t fully mastered scissors yet.  Cut out the shape of a butterfly from the sides of your milk bottle.  When you have 5 or more you can thread them with fishing line and hang them in your garden.  They look sweet, flutter in the breeze and may even signal to cabbage moths that these plants are taken thus saving you that annoying task of picking caterpillars off your brassicas.
Make birds out of used milk bottles.  This is like a magic trick and children of 8 or over love it.  You can paint them afterwards and string them up in a similar way to the butterflies.  Instructions here Persist, with practise these get easier and better.

Plant peas.  Big seeds for little fingers.  Even if they sit on the surface they’ll still often germinate so hard to go wrong.  And they grow quick, and taste sweet.  You can eat the tips or wait for the pods.  You can even grow chick peas at this time of year which are a pretty alternative.  Soak your store bought chick peas in water and watch them sprout.  Plant them out or keep them in damp cotton wool and watch the plant unfold before your eyes.

If nothing else just get them outside observing.  Dig a hole, climb a tree, pick your neighbours rosemary, smell it, taste it, stick it in a jar of water and pretty soon it will sprout roots and you’ll have a rosemary of your own.

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