It’s nearly that time of year again that everyone looks forward too – Spring! We can start to look forward to longer, warmer days, nature blossoming and our children wanting to burst outside and play.
Most children have a natural inclination for gardening and being outside. After all, what’s more fun for fun for kids, there is dirt and digging involved!
Here at Early Learning Furniture we understanding the importance of learning through play so we have put together a few activities for spring so you can enjoy the blooming season with your children.
Recycle a Fizzy Pop Bottle into a Hanging Planter
Recycling is something we all aim to do but sometimes can prove to be a little difficult with children. This hanging planter is a perfect idea to encourage your children that recycling can make beautiful new products.
Here is a step by step guide on how to turn an old 2L fizzy pop bottle into a creative hanging planter for your home or garden.
- Help your child to mark a line around the circumference of the bottle using a ruler and permanent marker. 3-4 inches from the bottom is recommended.
- Puncture the bottle on the line with a knife before letting your child cut the rest of the bottle across the marked line with scissors. Only the bottom half of the bottle is needed the rest can be put in to your recycling bin.
- Help them to use a hole punch to make four holes around the rim of the plastic bottle. The holes should be evenly spaced.
- Using a ruler, ask your child to help measure out 4 evenly sized pieces of thick string.
- Help your child to thread one string through each of the 4 holes in the bottle and help them tie all the strings together, at least 4 inches away from the holes.
- Fill the bottle with soil and help your child plant seeds or even a full plant in the soil.
- Let your child pick a place with plenty of access to sunlight, hang the planter up and enjoy watching it bloom and grow alongside your child!
Make your own Coloured Flowers
Spring is the season of bloom so why not encourage learning about flowers and blooming through making your own coloured flowers?! – Crazy we know but it works and your children will be amazed!
All you need for this activity is a jar, some water, a bit of food colouring and some white flowers (carnations and daisies work well).
- To a vase or jar filled with water, add 20-30 drops of food colouring and stir until the water is the colour of the food colouring
- Cut the stem of each flower diagonally to encourage them to absorb water for hydration
- Add two or three lightly coloured flowers – ideally white carnations as you will really see the results
- Now sit back and watch the magic happen!
- Check every few hours and you will begin to see the effects take place
After about 6 hours you will notice the tips of the petals changing colour. Once you have enjoyed the flowers, cut down the stems to show children how the flower has absorbed the coloured water up the stem. You can explain the importance of watering flowers and looking after them.
Make a garden pinwheel
Encouraging children to enjoy plants and gardening from a young age helps educate them and is a healthy and inexpensive way to have fun at home or school. Research shows that children who learn to grow their own fruit and vegetables develop a greater interest in healthy eating.
Spring is a wonderful time for planting seeds and flowers but as they begin to grow it was can difficult to remember which seeds are which.
Why not make a gardening pinwheel to help young children recognise the seed they have planted? This will help to eradicate any confusion, and will leave little ones feeling proud of their accomplishments in the garden.
You will need – ruler, scotch tape, thumbtack, square piece of coloured card or thick paper and a pencil.
- Choose your coloured card – it needs to be roughly 30m x 30cm to make a nice sized pinwheel.
- Draw a line across from one corner to the other and repeat on the opposite two corners – this should form an X.
- Make a mark roughly a third of the distance from the centre of the X on each of the four lines.
- Cut down each line stopping at the mark, leaving the centre of the X complete.
- Now decorate each quad with a reminder of the seed you have planted. It might be you’ve planted tomatoes or carrots, so draw yourself a reminder – be sure to keep to the left-hand side.
- Now, fold down the right side of each quad and tape in the middle – your pinwheel should be forming now.
- Just add the thumbtack and your perfect pinwheel is complete. Your child can now enjoy the fruits and vegetable of his labour!
At ELF, we offer some resources to help with getting children outside and involved in gardening.
Our Indoor/Outdoor Mini Garden provides a space for children to grow their own seeds and look after plants. It can be used in conjunction with the School Planter, which is perfect to transfer seedlings to for continued growth and care.
Check out our Gardening with Kids blog for more fun ideas for getting children out in to the open this Spring.
At Early Learning Furniture, we are experts in early years’ education resources including classroom furniture, school dining furniture and school play equipment. For more information about our products please contact us or call us on 01733 511121.