There is no doubt that summer is one of the most exciting times of the year for kids, but when school is out, it doesn’t mean that your kids should be inside all day playing video games and ignoring the beautiful weather. While being a parent can sometimes make it difficult to encourage children to spend some time outdoors, involving them in some fun gardening activities can provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy the weather as well as teach them about the wonderful world of nature. Whether these activities involve watching a seed grow that they planted themselves or creating a one-of-a-kind picture from fallen leaves and petals, there are numerous memorable moments that await a growing family in a garden.

The below activities are suitable for young children, although adult supervision is recommended.

Kids gardening activities

Toilet paper tube planter

For the beginner gardener, this activity is very simple and gives children the opportunity to choose from a variety of seeds to plant, including sunflowers, seeds and other large seeds. For this project, all you’ll need is some potting mix or moist soil from the garden, empty toilet paper tubes (completely clean from toilet paper), a small container (empty yogurt cup, cereal bowl, etc.) and, of course, seeds.

Place the empty toilet paper tube in the small container and pack the tube generously with the slightly moistened soil. With a finger or small spoon, have your child sow a single seed or bean into the soil. Once the seed is planted, have your child water the plant regularly until it germinates, then move the entire tube into the garden. Having your child grow a seed into a mature plant is something they will never forget and they will likely want to do it over and over again once they find out how simple growing a garden can be.

Repurposed planters

Although toilet paper tube planters are a great start for children learning to garden, other household items can be repurposed to be used as planters as well, including worn wellington boots, teapots, hats, bags, wheelbarrows or watering cans that are not being used. Similar to the toilet paper tube planter, you will need moist soil; however, depending on the size of the container your child will be using, they’ll have a larger variety of seeds to choose from. For example, hats can be repurposed as hanging planters for tumbling tomatoes or trailing strawberries.

Nature collage

While your kids are anxiously waiting for their seeds to grow, there are still plenty of nature-related activities to do while the weather is still warm. For example, a nature walk is a great way to introduce children to new plants, flowers and animals. Along the way, have them collect materials such as leaves, pinecones, petals, twigs and other loose objects they might want to use in a nature art collage. Using a kid-safe adhesive, have them arrange their found materials onto a piece of paper to make a unique and one-of-a-kind collage.

Recycled scarecrow

Now that your children have a garden of their own that they need to care for, it’s important to teach them how to protect their projects from bugs, birds and other pesky critters that may cause damage. Even if there are not many birds flying about your garden, these homemade scarecrows can be a unique and beautiful addition to a garden. Making a homemade scarecrow is just one simple way to keep those unwanted creatures away, and all you need are some old CDs, shoelace or bits of coloured string and shredded plastic bags.

First, have your child tie one end of the string or shoelace around the CD. He or she can decorate the CD with the shredded plastic bags or other accessories, such as adhesive rhinestones and other colourful gems. Using the other side of the string, your child can choose to place it wherever he or she wishes, such as to a fence post or on a long stick.

Pinecone bird feeder

On the other hand, introducing birds to the garden can be a fun experience for your children. And what better way is there to introduce them to the aviary world than having them make their own bird feeders! Using a moderately sized pinecone, nut or seed butter, birdseed and some string, children can make their own natural bird feeder. If there are no pinecones available, an apple can work as well. However, instead of using nut butter, the seeds and nuts can be pushed directly into the apple.

First, securely attach one end of the string to the top of the pinecone. Have your child smear a light layer of the nut or seed butter, just enough so that the seeds will stick. Then, sprinkle the seed mix over the pinecone until it is completely covered. Find a secure location that will give the birds easy access to the new bird feeder and have your kids sit back and enjoy the birds enjoy a tasty treat!