Monday, March 26th, 2018

HOW TO: GARDENING WITH KIDS

If you stop to think about it, gardening might actually be the ideal activity for little ones. Most kids love to dig in dirt and splash in puddles, and are inherently curious about bugs, worms, butterflies, and bees. Taking advantage of this to get them involved in the garden has SO many benefits: they’ll be more connected to and aware of where their food comes from, they’ll learn important lessons about science, and conservation, and they’ll build a genuine and lifelong love of nature. Sure, you might end up doing a few extra loads of laundry, but that’s a small price to pay! A recent article from our friend Bernie Whetter, owner of The Green Spot Home & Garden in Brandon, got us thinking about kids and gardening, and now we’re sharing a few tips for getting your kids or grandkids interested in helping around the garden.  

 

Make sure they have some ownership

Something Bernie mentioned in his article that we really appreciated was ensuring that children have a sense of ownership around the garden. They’ll be a lot more invested if they feel like the garden is theirs, too. Don’t dictate every part the experience; loosen up and let kids truly be involved. It will be more fun for you this way too, we promise!

When it’s time to start planning, do some research together and let your child choose several plants or vegetables that he or she wants to grow. You might even consider giving them their very own section of the garden to plant whatever they want. Talking about the different kinds of plants, touring through the seed store, and letting kids make choices, followed by involving them in the day-to-day gardening chores, will get them excited and keep them interested.

Embrace beneficial bugs

We’ll say it again – kids love bugs! Gardening just happens to be the perfect opportunity to indulge that attraction, while teaching them about the importance and usefulness of these tiny garden friends. Incorporate flowers and plants that attract bees with this pollinating bulb kit, and put a ladybug house or butterfly house in your garden. Your child will be out there constantly, peeking at the tiny residents.

Make it fun

Play is obviously a huge part of being a kid, and the way to get kids to stick with anything is to make it fun! We loved Bernie’s suggestion of having your child make hand-drawn signs for each plant variety in the garden, and that’s just one way to involve kids. Install a rain gauge so he or she will want to run out and check it after a downpour. Make a game out of regularly checking on the progress of your plants, and get excited when you see them grow and change. Pick up some kid-sized tools in bright colours and fun gardening gloves to make it easy and appealing to dig in the dirt and help you with your regular garden tasks. Pair watering the garden with running through the sprinkler or a fun water fight with the hose! The possibilities are endless – just think like a kid.  

Not only will you have fun spending time with your little one outdoors, but the teachable moments it will create are so wonderful. Before you know it, your family will be enjoying fresh veggies right from your own garden – and that will be so much more exciting for little ones if they helped! Ready to start planning? Try these 6 edgy veggies to shake up your garden, and your dinner table.

Have fun, little sprouts!

Monday, March 12th, 2018

HOW-TO: MAKE AN EASTER EGG TREE

Every holiday comes with its cherished family traditions, and Easter certainly has its share. There’s the excitement of hunting around the house or yard for chocolate treats and the anticipation of sitting down together for a beautiful meal, but decorating eggs is the quintessential Easter activity we look forward to most each year. One of our favourite ways to make the egg decorating experience even more special is the German tradition of hanging Easter eggs on a branch, tree, or bush, creating a cheerful display of bright colours that is exactly what we need to get us through the last few weeks till spring. Consider how much your kids love decorating the Christmas tree, and you’ll get a great idea of the hit this project will likely be! You just might find yourself with a new family tradition that you’ll all look forward to each spring.

It’s super simple to create an Easter Egg Tree – here’s how:

Choose your tree or branch
If the weather outdoors is still more wintery than not, trim your tree indoors by choosing a nice branch with lots of forks on which to hang eggs. If Mother Nature is cooperating and you want to take the fun outdoors, choose a bush or tree in your yard to decorate.

Blow out your eggs
This part is really fun for kids, so we highly recommend letting them help! Just poke small holes in either end of the egg, use a toothpick or straightened paper clip to break the yolk, then blow out the yolk and whites. If you happen to break an egg or two, don’t sweat it – set them aside and make these sweet eggshell succulent gardens later!

To save your eggs after the season is past, place them back in the egg carton for safekeeping. It can be a lot of fun to look back on past decorating efforts as children grow, or even reuse them to fill the same tree or bush in your yard more and more each year!   

Get creative!
Get out your colours, and let the kids go for it! If you have young children and want to forgo the traditional but messy dyes and paints, try this spinning EggMazing egg decorator to make beautiful designs using markers. Watch our video to see the decorator in action.

Trim your tree
Use the holes you created when blowing out the eggs to run a string or ribbon through the egg. Your kids will have so much fun stringing the eggs up on your branch or tree like ornaments, and running to look at the finished product again and again.

If you create an Easter Egg Tree or decorate eggs this year, we’d love to see them! Tag us on Instagram or Facebook to share your photo. And now that you know how you’ll be keeping the kids busy, check out this post for inspiration on creating an elegant Easter table setting.

Happy Easter!

Hours of Inspiration

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Shelmerdine Garden Centre Ltd.

7800 Roblin Boulevard
Headingley, MB R4H 1B6

Phone: 204.895.7203
Fax: 204.895.4372
Email: [email protected]