The lockdown rules might be easing, but many of us are still staying at home as much as possible. That does not mean we cannot enjoy the outdoors and gardens. Get the children away from the TV and computers with our top DIY ideas to keep them entertained.
1. Get Crafty with Cardboard Painting
One great way to keep the children entertained is with garden arts and crafts. I do not know about you, but we are always getting deliveries from Amazon in over-sized boxes, instead of throwing them away we have the solution:
- Flatten out the cardboard pieces and Sellotape them together to make one big piece
- Pop the children in old clothes that you do not mind getting messy
- Make sure you have water-based paints available to use and pop different colours on different paper plates for easy access
- Encourage the kids to get stuck in with their hands and feet, it is a great sensory activity for them
All you need to watch out for is where they go, as you may end up with messy footprints on your carpet.
2. A Messy DIY mud kitchen
We have all seen those beautiful mud kitchens on Pinterest. The ones where they have working sinks and room for flowerpots.
With a few household items, you can create a DIY Mud kitchen for your children in under 5 minutes. We guarantee you they will love this fun, easy and sensory play activity.
To get started you will need:
- A bench (or a table the children can stand at)
- Pots, pans and bowls
- Taste Safe Mud (in a bowl add 1bsp of cocoa powder, 2 cups of plain flour and 2 cups of water)
- Spoons and serving utensils
And that is it, once it is all set up you are good to go. You can even set up a washing station for afterwards where they could wash the pots and pans.
3. Create a home cinema
No cinema visits. No problem. You might have seen people creating cinema’s at home and wondered how they did it! These are our tips on how to re-create that at home experience, and depending on the British weather you can do this either indoors or out:
- Make your tickets: ‘Admit one’ with the cinema screening time and room venue
- Set up your ‘screening room’ remember the cushions, blankets and don’t lose the remote! You can even up your game and get a cheap projector of Amazon, you just need a white bed sheet or wall to project it on.
- All-important snacks - you can buy packets of popcorn (or your snack of choice) from most stores
- And lastly, parents try not to fall asleep (Top tip: set the screening time early)
4. Planting edible vegetables
Growing vegetables and plants with your children can be good fun. It will also help your children understand which part of the plant they are eating, how that plant grows and why vegetables only grow certain times of the year.
A few tips to get you going:
- Choose vegetables that are easy to sow such as ones with large seeds like courgette
- Germinate quickly, to keep those short attention spans occupied
- Ones that produce a crop quickly
- Require minimum maintenance other than watering and feeding
Vegetables that you can eat straight from the plant like tomatoes, strawberries and peas are always a hit with kids.
If you are limited on space, herbs can be a great alternative. Check out our beginner’s guide on growing herbs here.
5. Making a magical fairy garden
For this one, all you need is imagination and a little bit of creativity. To start you need to take a walk outside for some inspiration and to gather the supplies, you can even turn this bit it into a scavenger hunt! Look out for sticks, tree bark/moss, rocks, bricks and small branches.
Other items to collect:
- Any craft leftovers such as clay, wooden shapes, gems and glitter
- A glue stick
- Acrylic paint or you can leave it unpainted for a rustic look
- Potting or garden soil
- Succulents, small plants or even small weeds will work.
- You can make the fairy house out of almost anything, but for a quick shortcut, a small wooden birdhouse will work.
Now you can start decorating, you can make a door out of lollypop sticks or toothpicks, add a rock for a door handle and you can cover the house in garden moss.
Once you have made the house, you can now make its front garden. An old box will work, fill it with the soil, place the house inside and start filling it in with a pathway, plants and glitter to add some sparkle.