Guest Post: A Space to Have Fun, Learn and Grow – Creating the Perfect Garden for the Kids, Part 1

Helen Spry - domestic garden designer
Today’s first guest post, in a two-part series, is by domestic garden designer Helen Spry.  A mother of two very active boys, Helen has been a domestic garden designer for 10 years.  She operates a garden design consultancy business, Eco Garden Design Pty. Ltd., and an online garden planning website.  Greatly influenced by her great-grandfather and grandfather, who were both garden designers in their time, she has had the advantage of a lifetime of learning.  Her passion and immense interest in domestic design led her to establish Ezyplant.com.au, a D.I.Y. garden planning website for the home gardener.  
As parents we can struggle to balance our lives with the added pressure to keep a healthy balance in our children’s lives.  With technology so accessible, it can be an easy option at the end of a long day to give in to their requests.
Imagine coming home and having your children racing to get into the garden!  Here’s some important design elements you can incorporate into your garden to entice your children away from technology. Continue reading

Celebrate World Environment Day on June 5th

Celebrate World Environment DayWednesday, June 5th is World Environment Day (WED) and this year the theme is Think.Eat.Save. There is no doubt that global food production is placing an enormous strain on our natural resources however WED is the perfect opportunity to talk to your kids about food miles, food wastage and reducing their ecological footprint whilst celebrating our wonderful world. Here are ten activities you can do with your kids to celebrate World Environment Day and help reduce their footprint: Continue reading

How Do You Feel About Gardening with Kids?

How do you feel about gardening with kids?
Just in case you haven’t worked it out by now, I love gardening with kids. Last week I asked our followers on Facebook “If you could use one word to describe what it is like to garden with little ones what would it be?”. The answers were wide and varied but overwhelmingly most people used positive words to describe gardening with kids. The most common response was ‘inspiring’ which in itself is inspiring to read. It is wonderful to read that so many people can understand the benefits of gardening with children. Other words used included: Continue reading

Investigating and Playing with Autumn Leaves for Kids

Collecting autumn leaves kidsAutumn leaves are not only beautiful and fun for kids, investigating and playing with them help develop skills in areas such as science, maths, communication, art and even music. Little Miss B and I spent this morning out in the garden collecting, playing, sorting, talking and creating with a pile of leaves we gathered. Here are five fun and educational activities you can do with your kids in the garden with autumn leaves this season. Continue reading

Guest Post: Worm Farms for Kids

Worm Farms for Kids by Mackenzie Kupfer
Mackenzie shares with us her tips on worm farming for kids.
Mackenzie Kupfer has been a lover of all things green since the age of six when she began gardening with her Nana. She is currently an online publisher for the provider of flower gardening supplies, Avant Garden Decor. In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys attending garden shows, hiking, and collecting ceramic tea sets.
Some gardeners take their craft so seriously that they forget the beauty of allowing children to help in the garden. If you are too uptight about your garden, it can create an unpleasant experience for both you and your kids. The trick is to make gardening an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. For kids to enjoy gardening, you need to work to make it fun for them and what is more fun than getting dirty?
Aside from helping you dig holes, the best way to let your kids get dirty is to involve worms. Kids love to play with worms and worms are great for your garden so it’s a win win! You can send your kids on a worm finding expedition and have them count the worms that you dig up while gardening. If you want to take it a step further, you can start a worm farm with your kids. Worm farms are great because you can turn your table scraps and yard debris into nutrient rich compost for your garden and a nice home for worms. It is also something that can be done year round. Continue reading

Eco-Friendly, Kid-Friendly Weed Killer

Vinegar makes a good eco-friendly, kid-friendly weed killer
This weed killer is eco and kid friendly.
Are you after a cheap, eco-friendly, kid-friendly weed killer that uses common ingredients from your kitchen AND works fast? If so, read on…
I hate weeding, I really do. I wish I could wave a magic wand and all the weeds in our garden would disappear. In the past I’ve resorted to buying commercial weed killer but it never sat comfortably with me and now I have kids I don’t want them to be around it. A few years ago I bought an eco-friendly weed killer from a garden show. I got home and realised it was basically a mixture of salt and vinegar. I paid around $6 for 500ml and as I had quite a few weeds to fight, I decided I could definitely make it myself cheaper. I mentioned this to an old gardening friend and they informed me I could indeed and all I would need to add to the concoction was a dash of dishwashing liquid to help break down the waxy coating found on many weeds. Simple! Continue reading

Roly-Poly Slaters

Slaters are intriguing for children.
Slaters are intriguing for children.
Call them what you will, but slaters  (also know as woodlice, pill bugs, roly-polys or butchy boys) are fascinating for kids. They are found in gardens all over the world and kids love holding them and watching them roll into little balls. They are often collected as pets and are great to investigate when learning about minibeasts. Here are some facts you may not know about these intriguing little critters you can share with the kids: Continue reading

Vegie on View – Potatoes

Kids love potatoes
Potatoes are a versatile vegie enjoyed all around the world.
Sunday, 17th March, is St Patrick’s Day and which vegie is most associated with the Irish? Why the humble potato of course! Potatoes are a much loved vegie not only by the Irish but by kids as well so here are ten facts about the humble spud to share:

  1. Potatoes are cheap, easy to grow and require very little fertiliser making them an environmentally friendly crop and perfect for kids to grow in the garden.
  2. Potatoes were the first food to ever be grown in space. They were taken on board Space Shuttle Columbia in 1995. Continue reading

Guest Post: A Sweet Pea Tee Pee for Saint Patrick's Day

Narelle Debenham from Natured Kids
Narelle from Natured Kids explains how to build a sweet pea tee pee.
Today’s guest post is from Narelle Debenham, founder and director of Natured kids, a weekly outdoor playgroup for families and young children on the Mornington Peninsula. Narelle, registered teacher and mother of three boys, aims to have a positive impact on children’s lives, while deepening their connection with and understanding of our natural environment. For a free checklist of outdoor activities to inspire nature play with your children visit Natured Kids.
Sweet Pea Tee Pee - fun for kids
Build your own sweet pea tee pee with the kids this Saint Patrick's Day.
St. Patrick’s Day marks the time of year when sweet pea seeds like to be planted in our gardens. Forty children from the Natured Kids outdoor playgroup planted these sweet peas to make a living, scented, sweet pea tee pee to play in at the Groundswell Community Garden in Frankston.
To make your own tee pee with the kids in your garden you will need: Continue reading

Easy, Kid-friendly Zucchini Pizza

This easy kid-friendly pizza helps use up those zucchinis that are STILL growing in your garden.
This easy kid-friendly pizza helps use up those zucchinis that are STILL growing in your garden.
Are you looking for kid-friendly ways to use up those zucchinis that keep growing in your garden? If so, why not add it to a pizza? We still have an abundance of zucchinis and today we decided to try them on pizza. The result was delicious. Continue reading