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Activities

5 family gardening activities

Five fun things that kids can do to spruce up your garden for spring.

By Kate Stewart
5 family gardening activities

5 family gardening activities

Chicken scratch

Give kids rakes that they can use as chicken feet to “scratch the ground for food.” Let them rake up all of the dead leaves and twigs from garden beds. Don’t worry about damaging any plants that have clung on during the winter; you need to remove any old growth to make way for new buds that will sprout as the weather gets warmer. Put the raked-up debris under shrubs to help keep the roots moist and cool during the hot summer.

5 family gardening activitiesPhoto by Paul Mansfield Photography/Getty Images

Get messy

What kid doesn’t love an excuse to dig in the dirt? Children can have fun looking for worms while they help to break up soil that tends to clump over the winter. This aerates the garden and allows water to trickle through to the roots of your plants — just like when an earthworm burrows tunnels. If your little one doesn’t like to get her hands dirty, pick up a set of kid-sized tools (like trowels and spades) and a pair of gloves.

5 family gardening activitiesPhoto by ktaylorg/iStockphoto.com

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Stone wall

After you’ve finished edging the garden with a sharp spade, let kids build a wall of stones to protect the garden from “bug invaders.” Collect or buy an assortment of stones, rocks and pebbles that are small enough for kids to handle. Not only does this add the finishing touch to your garden, it also helps to keep weeds at bay. If you want to add a splash of colour, let kids paint the stones and rocks with an outdoor paint (available at your local hardware store).

5 family gardening activitiesPhoto by PPAMPicture/iStockphoto.com

Art deco

An easy way to go green is to use a rain barrel to collect rainwater that you can then use to hydrate your garden. Some municipalities have barrels available for sale in early spring (check your city’s website), or you can buy one from your neighbourhood hardware or gardening centre. Let kids spruce it up with outdoor paints for a fresh spring look.

5 family gardening activitiesPhoto by wyndy25/iStockphoto.com

Crop dusting

Spring seeding is best when the lawn is hard and not frozen (ideally around mid May) when the ground is warm and the nights are still cool. Once the lawn has been raked and cleared of debris, use a combination of grass seed and soil (look for one with a pH rating suited to your lawn condition) and let kids sprinkle the mix over the entire lawn area. It’s important to make sure the ground isn’t too wet (look for water seeping out when stepped on) to avoid soil compaction, which can lead to lawn fungal diseases that can attack plant roots.

5 family gardening activitiesPhoto by ClarkandCompany/iStockphoto.com

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More outdoor fun!

5 family gardening activitiesPhoto: Patrick Heagney/iStockphoto
This article was originally published on May 02, 2012

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