Autumn in the Garden For Kids!
It may seem an impossible task trying to pry your children away from the sofa, but getting out in the garden can be a great way to teach kids about nature and the great outdoors. Not only will they be learning new things, but they will benefit from some of that all important fresh air and exercise. And you never know, they may well enjoy it!
Homes for Hedgehogs
Autumn is the time of year for hedgehogs to look for places to set up their homes for winter hibernation. There are many different ways to make homes for hedgehogs. The easiest is to cut an entrance hole in the side of a crate and simply turn it upside down. The kids can get their hands dirty by covering it over with earth, stones and bits of wood to make it as natural as possible. Make sure to place it in a quiet area of the garden where it won’t be disturbed once occupied.
Tidying The Garden
Many hands make light work of cleaning up fallen autumn leaves. Why not make a game of it and see who can collect the most leaves in the shortest amount of time? It’s also now a good time to clear leaves and debris from your pond to stop them from decomposing and creating a foul smell and eyesore. Use a rake or a net to remove leaves, but be sure to avoid the fish! Once you are done, you can cover the pond over with a fine-meshed net, secured around the edges with bricks to prevent any more leaves from falling in.
At this time of year, many shrubs and perennials will benefit from a bit of a tidy up. If you want to add some colour while the rest of your garden is dormant, let the kids get their hands dirty with planting evergreens, preferably before the weather gets too cold!
A winter bird table can be a great opportunity for children to see their feathered visitors up close when they come looking for food. Autumn is the perfect time to set up new bird tables and clean up the old ones.
Why not get creative and make your own bird feeders? A simple way of doing this is to make holes in either side of an empty plastic bottle and push a wooden spoon or stick through it horizontally. Birds can use this as a perch. Then, thread string through a hole in the bottle lid and secure it with a knot. Fill the bottle with bird feed and replace the lid. There you have your own homemade bird feeder, you just need to find a nice spot to hang it. If the children are feeling really creative, and you are prepared to clean up the mess afterwards, you can try making your own bird fat cakes!
Kids can get crafty using everyday items found in the garden. Interesting leaves can be used for tracing, and flowers can be pressed and used for arts and crafts. An autumn garden is also the perfect subject for a sketch or painting!