We have some great ideas to keep the kids and even yourself busy during these uncertain times! Schools are closed but you can get your children learning how to grow, start them young so they have a brain full of gardening knowledge when they're older!
Keeping the Kids Busy!
Here's some ways to keep the kids busy during isolation
Growing Cress Heads
Plants need water, air and sunlight to grow. Did you know they can grow without soil? You can make your own cress head to prove this!
What you need:
- Cress seeds
- Two eggs or yoghurt pots
- Kitchen roll
- Cotton wool
- Felt tips or paint
- Clear plastic drinks bottle
1) If you're using eggs, boil the eggs until they're hard boiled. Take the tops off gently. You can eat the boiled eggs - try them with toast soldiers - yummy! Clean the inside of the eggs gently, so they don't break. If you're using yoghurt pots, clean the inside of the pots.
2) Draw a face on the egg shells or yoghurt pots using felt tips or paints.
When the paint has dried, wet some kitchen roll and put it in the bottom of the egg shells or yoghurt pots.
3) Wet some cotton wool and put it on top of the kitchen paper. Make sure there is a gap between the cotton wool and the top of the egg shells or yoghurt pots.
4) Put some cress seeds on the cotton wool and press them down gently.
5) Put your egg shells or pot in a sunny, warm spot - try a kitchen windowsill.
6) You can make a greenhouse to put over one of the egg shells or pots. Ask an adult to cut the top off a plastic drinks bottle. Put the bottom half of the drinks bottle over the top of one yoghurt pot or egg shell. The inside of your greenhouse will be warm and damp.
Sunflowers are one of my favourite plants to grow with children. They’re beautiful, easy to grow, and their height and quick growth is fun for children to watch. Sunflowers are also a favourite of bees and so make an important addition to an eco-garden.
Sunflowers are annuals, which means they complete their whole life cycle, from germination to seed production, in the space of one year. This makes them an excellent choice to grow with children, as they get to experience the full cycle of life. Sunflowers grow quickly, so there’s always something new to see, and children can be directly involved in planting, potting on, tending, and harvesting their plants.
How to plant your sunflower seeds
Start your seeds off in the early spring. They’re hardy plants which means they can be planted straight outdoors, but they are very tasty to slugs and snails, so I’d recommend starting them in pots and planting them out when their tender, juicy stems being to turn a little sturdier – a few weeks after planting.
1) Fill Your Peat Fibre pots with compost and plant two or three seeds in the pot. Cover with a little extra compost and water them.
2) If your challenging someone else in the house to grow the biggest sunflower label each pot with your names
3) Place them on a window sill, in a greenhouse, or outdoors and keep watering a little everyday or so.You should see the seedlings appear in about a week.
4) When your seedlings are around 10-15cm tall, and with a stem that’s beginning to look a little sturdier, you can re-plant them out doors.
5) Choose the strongest looking plant from each pot and plant it out in a sunny spot. You can plant them in pots or garden containers, but tall varieties especially can get quiet top-heavy and topple, so open soil is preferable. You can use a garden cane to give them extra support if you’re in a windy area or you’re plants are getting very tall.
6) Water them daily for the first few days to encourage them to grow their roots out in to the surrounding soil. Plants in pots will continue to need regular watering, plants in open soil will need watering if it doesn’t rain.
7) Keep a record of how tall your sunflower grows and challenge your friends to see who can grow the biggest sunflower through the summer
Don't forget we have plenty of other activities to keep you and the kids busy! Plenty of puzzles ranging in sizes to keep the family busy.
Why not buy a paint your own nestbox so the family can make their very own design on new home for your local birds.