Outdoor play ideas for kids at Easter
Discover the Garden this Easter
The sun is peeping through and the daffodils are blooming; the Easter holidays are the perfect time to coax your children away from the screen and out into the garden.
Spring naturally encourages adventure and discovery, so it’s a great opportunity to get them out in the fresh air and learning something new. And letting them get their hands dirty in the garden can sow the seeds for a healthy attitude to food, physical activity and the environment that will endure as they grow older.
Grow your Own
Growing their own fruit and veg helps children to understand more about what they’re eating, where it comes from and the efforts that go into producing it. They’ll love the adventure and independence of choosing and sowing seeds, planting vegetables and picking fruits. And watching their plants thrive and grow means they’re more likely to eat and enjoy the fruits of their labour.
If you’ve got space for a vegetable patch and are up for the challenge, then begin with the easier options – potatoes, broad beans, tomatoes, courgettes and lettuce. Or even edible flowers, for something a little prettier. Although growing veg is a long-term project, it will help your child learn about the changing seasons and life cycles.
If you’re short on space or time then growing pea shoots from just a bag of dried peas is an easy activity for little hands and delicious in a summer salad. And there’s plenty of fruit and veg that can be grown in containers, if you don’t have your own area to plant in. But whatever you grow, be sure to let your child take charge – an increased sense of responsibility will help to boost their self-esteem and confidence.
We know that children benefit from physical activity in so many ways – growing strong muscles and bones, maintaining a healthy weight, improving self-confidence and just having lots of fun. NHS Choices recommends that all children under five who can walk unaided should be physically active for at least three hours a day – and most UK preschoolers fall some 30-60 minutes short of that target. Over-fives should aim for at least an hour a day, but that doesn’t have to be organised sport. Getting out in the garden also counts, and is a great alternative if your child doesn’t feel comfortable in a class or group. Get them digging in the soil, using child-sized tools, and they’ll soon be happily pink-cheeked.
You don’t have to stick to planting, either. Build a den or a treehouse; hunt for worms or open a bug hotel – Babble has a host of fun nature activities for your child to enjoy. It’s a very useful resource that will make explaining these activities to your child easy and can potentially help them with their school studies and science projects. And by doing it as a family, you’ll enjoy some precious time together, too.
If you’re looking for some gardening inspiration, there’s plenty around over the holidays. National Gardening Week runs from 10-16 April so why not take advantage of the events and activities they’re putting on across the country? The Royal Horticultural Society is also organising special Easter family days. Find out what’s on offer in your area and then get out and enjoy!
This post was written by Fundamentally Children