If you are lucky enough to have a garden it has undoubtedly been a real bonus to lockdown life. UK homeowners have been making the most of their outside space in a bid to beat the boredom of being stuck indoors.
Gardens are providing a safe and welcoming environment in which to get some important outdoor time. Sitting in the garden with a cool drink and a good book is an enjoyable way to top up your vitamin D levels and break free from the four walls of your home.
But if you are looking to do more in the garden, the good news is that there are many outdoor activities you can enjoy that will keep you busy and cost next to nothing to implement.
Join the army of Brits who have developed green-fingers to keep them occupied during lockdown by trying some of our improvement tips and fun outdoor activities for kids to make your garden a welcoming space to for the whole family to enjoy.
Build a bug hotel
This is an outdoor activity that the little ones will love to get involved in and will entice a range of wildlife into your garden. It costs nothing to make and once you’ve finished your hotel, the kids will love to spot the bees, ladybirds, woodlice and other insects that make it their home. And it’s not just bugs you’ll see; toads and hedgehogs often choose to visit a bug hotel too.
The beauty of this activity is that you can use garden waste or twigs and sticks found on your daily walk that can be made into a cosy habitat for wildlife. We suggest using natural materials such as pebbles, pine cones, hollow bamboo canes, old terracotta plant pots, moss, straw and dried grass to build your structure. The RSPB website also has some great ideas for natural materials you can use to build a safe retreat for creepy-crawlies.
Christmas in May?
We’ve been lucky enough to enjoy some warm sunny days whilst our movements have been restricted, which means we’ve been sitting in our gardens in the evening. As the light fades, lift your spirits by resurrecting your Christmas lights in your garden. Simply wrapping some outdoor fairy lights around a tree or along the edge of your fence will make your garden look magical.
Grow your own groceries
With just a few plant pots and some compost, you can create a patio garden to grow herbs, fruit and vegetables for the whole family to enjoy. You don’t need a big garden – your can grow your groceries in a window box or on a small balcony of a flat.
Help bees with pollination
Bees play a critical part of our eco-system and we should all be doing more to help our buzzy friends to thrive. It’s really easy to play your part in ensuring the survival of bees – and bring some sunshine into your garden at the same time – just plant some sunflowers!
To help spread the sunshine and encourage pollination, Bee Happy are giving away 3,000 packets of sunflower seeds each containing 100 seeds, so you can share with your neighbours and bring colour to your whole street.
Treat your timber fences
We know that garden maintenance isn’t as much fun as sitting in the sunshine with a glass of fizz, but the long-term benefits of maintaining the boundaries of your home mean that you’ll prevent problems such as rotting further down the line.
All of the supplies you’ll need are available online, and the Ronseal website is a good place to start, offering one-coat fence paints and timber care products that last up to five years. They have also uploaded a ‘how to guide’ to their YouTube channel, so there is nothing stopping you from digging out your paintbrush!
Camp out in the garden
Holiday plans may have been disrupted by the pandemic this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a camping adventure in your garden.
Pitch your tent in a quiet corner of your garden, fill it with sleeping bags, duvets and plenty of midnight snacks and camp out with your little ones. If they are feeling disappointed that their summer getaway has been cancelled, a garden camping trip is the perfect way to cheer them up and have a bit of fun! If you don’t own any camping gear, then Argos have a special online offer of just £19.99 for a basic two-men tent to get you started.
Create a sensory garden
If you are trying to keep pre-schoolers and toddlers entertained, then an outdoor sensory garden could provide a fun and inexpensive way to learn through play.
A sensory garden should include features that stimulate through touch, sight, scent, taste and hearing. Plant herbs such as mint or rosemary that can be tasted, or grow lavender for its fragrant smell.
The addition of wind chimes will add to the auditory experience, and there is no need to fork out for expensive ones – there are lots of ideas to make you own using odds and ends from around the home, such as this bottlecap wind chime.
Create a small sand pit and an area to make mud pies which provide different textures to explore. Let kids get creative and give them a bucket of chunky chalks to draw on the pavements to brighten up their very own special area of the garden.
Feeling inspired? Get out in the garden.
We’ve shown that there is plenty of fun to be had in gardens of all sizes that can keep families entertained, educated and learning more about nature. Happy gardening!