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Wildlife Garden

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Activities , Tags: bees, berries, birds, butterflies, dandelions, flowers, garden, insects, lavender, spring, sunflowers

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It's nearly spring, so why not make your garden into a wildlife garden and encourage some furry, buzzy and fluttery friends into the garden.  Lovely for the children to watch and a chance to plant some pretty shrubs and trees.  Here are some ideal plants to think about putting in this spring in order to attract wildlife:-

  • Soft fruits: Blackberries, raspberries and red currents are loved by insects and birds.  You may have to keep a few under a net to actually get a chance to eat any yourself!
  • Dandelions: Many of us pull up the yellow blossom of dandelions, but they are a great favourite with bees and other buzzing insects; finches love their seeds.
  • Honeysuckle: The berries are devoured by all sorts of birds, the nectar by buzzing bees.
  • Lavender: The lovely scent of lavender attracts all sorts of bees and insects.  Lovely to watch them merrily buzz around and a great mellow fragrance for the garden.
  • Sunflowers: The sunny yellow flowers are loved by bees and the seeds are often eaten by birds.
  • Buddleia: loved by butterflies and the pretty purple clusters of flowers have a stunning effect when in flower.

Happy planting!



How Does Your Garden Grow?

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Toddlers, Learning Play, Preschool Children, Kids Activities , Tags: cress, cuttings, diary project, grass, growing, plants, pumpkins, seeds, sunflowers, vegetables

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With spring upon us, now is the perfect time to start a diary project exploring how flowers and plants grow - here are some ideas for some growing fun...

  • Take one flower pot for each of your children and write on their names.  If you only have a single child then take three flower pots and give each a fun name.  Fill each with soil and plant a sunflower seed in each.  Every week, chart which one is the tallest.  Is one always the winner, or do they each grow at different rates?  Which one grows to be the tallest?
  • Take a flower pot and draw a face on the front, stick on googly eyes.  Fill it with soil and sprinkle grass seed on top.  Sprinkle a fine layer of soil over the seed and water it.  Watch the grass grow as green hair for your character.  Every couple of weeks, give your character a hair cut, and see if you can keep it growing throughout the summer!
  • Take a discarded plastic food container, wash it out and line it with kitchen roll.  Sprinkle cress seeds over it and watch them grow over just a couple of weeks.  When they have grown, start pulling them out and eating them in sandwiches or on salads!
  • Collect a variety of berries and other seeds from the trees, shrubs and plants in your garden.  Plant them in a large pot and see which ones grow.  See how quickly you can identify which is which as they appear - do they all look the same to start with?  How are they different?  Do they appear at the same time or at different times?
  • Try growing plants from cuttings rather than seed!  Take a glass and fill it 3/4's full with water.  Cover the top with two or three layers of cellophane, then go into the garden and take some cuttings from your plants.  Herbs such as lavender, rosemary and thyme work well, as do climbing plants such as ivy, honeysuckle or vines; you may propagate many shrubs in this way.  Take short stems of new growth, typically 4- 5 inches in length with just one or two pairs of leaves at the top. Pierce the cellophane over your water using a skewer and poke your cuttings through so that the ends are in the water. Over time you should see roots beginning to grow and in time, you will be able to plant them into pots and later into the garden!  Seeing the root system grow in water is particularly fascinating - have your children study them and draw how the roots look.

Diary projects are lots of fun with your little ones - keep a log book with drawings of your observations over time, your children will love the ongoing project.  If you feel really ambitious, why not plant some vegetables?  ...or plant a pumpkin that can be ready for Halloween?!



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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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