Get the kids involved in gardening and you’ll keep them happily occupied outside in the fresh air, spark their creativity and teach them about where flowers and food come from. Plus you get to spend lots of time with them while you do what you love doing most, too.
All you need is a small area, say 1m x 1m, marked off with a low fence, coloured pebbles or railway sleeper edging, which doubles up as comfy child-sized seats.
Let the kids choose what to grow, but steer them away from fast-growing veg like radish and rocket – though you’ll have visible results sooner, the peppery, adult-friendly flavours may put them off. Instead, guide them towards child-friendly fruit and veg such as peas, French beans and strawberries. Studies show kids eat more fruit and veg if they’ve grown it themselves, so it’s a great way to sneak in their five a day!
Above all, have fun: get them to ‘write’ their own names in carrot seedlings sown in drills the shape of letters, hold a pumpkin-growing competition, or get them painting pretty plant labels on strips of wood. Who knows, you may be sowing the seeds of a passion for growing things which will last them a lifetime.