Gardening is a fantastic activity for children that engages all of the senses. Below you will find a range of gardening and garden projects for you and your child to enjoy together. You can read more about the benefits of gardening in 'Gardening with Buzz' in the library

Curious containers

Safety first

Always ensure the containers are safe with no loose or sharp parts. When making holes in containers do this away from your child. If using a plastic bag to line your container, make sure this is not left accessible to your child as it could cause a suffocation hazard.

You will need

  • A container
  • Something to make holes in the container
  • Compost
  • Plants or seeds

What to do

Almost any container can be used to plant in. Why not try... an old suitcase, a wooden crate, a plastic bottle, some old welly boots, a bag for life, a milk carton.... the possibilities are endless!
When you've chosen you container you'll need to think about drainage. Make sure you put some holes in the bottom of your container so water can drain out. If using an old crate you might need to line the bottom with plastic bag or sack (don't forget to make holes in this too!)
When your container is ready your child might want to decorate it, for example they could add collage materials to a plastic bottle with sticky tape or PVA glue or paint a wooden crate.
Your child can then fill your container with compost and you can plant seeds or small plants. Herbs, tomatoes, strawberry and small flowering plants such as marigolds, poppies or nasturtiums all grow well in pots.

Dinosaur garden

Safety first

Always ensure your child washes their hands after taking part in gardening activities.

You will need

  • A container (see above for some innovative ideas!)
  • Compost
  • Stones or pebbles for drainage
  • Some small plants or herbs. Chives and ferns are ideal for creating a dinosaur scene!
  • Some small world dinosaurs

What to do

Ask your child to the large pebbles or stones in the bottom of your planter. This helps with drainage. Next, invite them to fill the planter with compost. The small plants can then be planted in the compost. Your child can then add their small world dinosaurs. They could add some additional items, for example a foil tray for water, some pebbles, sand or shells. You can vary the garden according to your child's interests, for example you could make a jungle for animals, a fairy garden or a superhero hideout!

Pizza Planting

Safety first

Always ensure your child washes their hands after taking part in gardening activities.

You will need

  • Two prepared containers
  • Compost
  • Stones or pebbles for drainage
  • Cherry tomato plants
  • Small herb plants, for example basil, oregano and thyme

What to do

Ask your child to place the stones or pebbles at the bottom of the containers and fill with compost. Show them how they can make a small hole in the compost to add their plants. These then need to be watered. It will take about 5 weeks for the tomatoes to fruit and be ready to be picked.
When your tomatoes are ready, encourage your child to pick some of these and snip some of the herbs to make muffin pizzas! Ask your child to cover the base of a sliced muffin with pizza sauce and sprinkle on some of the chopped herbs. They can then put on some sliced cherry tomatoes and some cheese. These can be baked for 12-15 minutes at 180°C/ GM4

Spoon scarecrows

Safety first

Be mindful of small craft materials that could cause a choking hazard.

You will need

  • A wooden spoon
  • Marker pens
  • PVA glue
  • Items to decorate your spoon for example googly eyes, foil, CD, wool or string

What to do

Explain to your child that birds might like our seeds or plants to eat as a tasty treat so we can make a scarecrow to protect them. Give them a wooden spoon and ask them to decorate it using the materials. You might like to use the CD for a face, the foil for clothes and the wool for hair!

Insect hotel

Safety first

Ensure that your insect hotel is stable and avoid small parts that could cause a choking hazard.

You will need

  • A plastic bottle and some cardboard
  • Large stones, bricks or pebbles
  • Some sticks and some string
  • A pallet

What to do

Your insect hotel can be large to accommodate many insect guests or small depending on the materials you have and the space in your garden. A pallet insect hotel can be made by placing pallets together and encouraging your child to place sticks and stones in the gaps to encourage insect visitors. You can also ask your child to collect together some sticks for you to tie together and place with some stones or pebbles on the ground or in a planter. Cut a plastic bottle and place some rolled up cardboard inside to make another venue for your insect companions! Once your hotel is complete you can watch with your child to see who visits!

Minty playdough

Safety first

Wash the mint leaves carefully before using in your dough. Ensure your child is supervised with scissors

You will need

  • A planter
  • Compost
  • Some large pebbles or stones
  • A small mint plant
  • Some playdough
  • Some scissors

What to do

Invite your child to place the stones or pebbles in the container and then fill with compost. Show them how to make a hole to plant the mint plant in. Mint grows very quickly so is ideal in a pot or other container. Encourage your child to water the mint plant. When the mint has grown a little more, invite your child to pick 3 tablespoons of leaves. Wash these thoroughly. Ask your child to use the scissors to snip these into small pieces and add them to some playdough. This will create a lovely minty dough to explore!

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