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Activities for the Young Garden Masters: Celebrating Youth Day in the Garden

This month, as we honour the sacrifices of the South African youth on 16 June 1976 for our freedom today, let’s engage the next generation in the serenity of gardening. There’s no better time to engage them in the principles of gardening and harmony of each element working together to create a beautiful, unified whole.

With screens and gadgets often dominating their attention, introducing children to the wonders of nature through gardening can be a fulfilling and educational experience. In addition, gardening with your kids not only offers a great way to spend quality time together as a family, but a precious time to find commonalities and get to know each other.

The Benefits of Gardening

The younger generation is often distracted by social connections, schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Re-engaging them in gardening offers a wealth of benefits, making it an excellent activity to incorporate into their routines. Teaching young people life skills like growing food and practising good land stewardship can help them foster a whole range of valuable qualities. Here are only some of the advantages:

  1. Stress Relief: Being outdoors and working with plants can reduce stress and promote relaxation. The act of nurturing plants can have a calming effect on children.
  2. Fostering Dedication: Caring for a garden teaches kids the importance of responsibility and dedication. They learn that plants need consistent care to thrive.
  3. Routine and Discipline: Regular gardening activities help establish a routine and instil discipline as children learn to manage their time and tasks in the garden for a flourishing harvest.
  4. Setting and Achieving Goals: Planting seeds and watching them grow into full-fledged plants gives children a sense of accomplishment and teaches them the value of setting and achieving goals.

Fun Gardening Activities for Kids

Here are some engaging gardening activities to help kids discover the joy of gardening:

Planting a Mini Vegetable Garden:

How: Allow kids to choose their favourite vegetables and plant a mini garden. This will teach them about how to grow their own food supply, and the work and care necessary for all the delicious produce they enjoy. They will also learn more about the different types of seeds, when to plant them and how to plant them.

Tools: Invest in a seed starter kit, a family-value vegetable starter pack and compost.

Benefits: Kids learn about where their food comes from and develop a sense of responsibility as they care for their plants.

Creating a Butterfly and Bee Garden:

How: Creating a butterfly and bee haven teaches kids about the lifecycle of these beautiful creatures and their role in the ecosystem. Begin by selecting fragrant and nectar-rich flowers like lavender, zinnias, African daisies, pansies, violas, marigolds or Cape Honeysuckle. These vibrant blooms not only attract butterflies and bees but also serve as a beautiful addition to the garden making it even more appealing to your little ones (and you too!).

Tools: Choose from our variety of flower seeds, a seed starter kit, compost, pots and hand tools.

Benefits: Kids learn about pollinators and the importance of biodiversity in gardens.

DIY Bird Feeder:

How: Create a homemade bird feeder using pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed. String the pinecones together and coat them with peanut butter. Then coat the peanut butter with birdseed to make a cute hanging bird feeder for the trees outside. This will attract all sorts of feathered friends, and the children will stay curious every time they visit.

Tools: Pinecones, peanut butter, bird seeds and string.

Benefits: This activity encourages children to learn about local wildlife, biodiversity and the importance of providing habitats for birds.

Garden Scavenger Hunt:

How: Organise a garden-themed scavenger hunt. Create a list of items that reflect the unique features of your garden, such as specific leaves, flowers, insects and rocks, and send the kids on a scavenger hunt in the garden or nearby park.

Tools: A scavenger hunt list, as well as a pen or pencil.

Benefits: This activity will help them to become keen observers of the environment while having a great time. Allowing them to ask questions will make a memorable educational experience. Win-win!

Deadheading and Flower Pressing:

How: Teach kids how to deadhead flowers to encourage more blooms, then use the collected flowers for pressing. This is a simple way to turn dead flowers into something beautiful! Place the flowers between two sheets of parchment paper. Open a large book and place the paper with flowers inside. Close the book and add extra weight on top to ensure the flowers press evenly. Leave them for a week or two to dry completely.

Tools: A pruner or two and a few old books for pressing the flowers, as well as parchment paper or wax paper.

Benefits: Kids learn about plant care and preservation while engaging in a creative and artistic activity.

Flower Pounding:

How: Show kids how to use fresh flowers to create prints on fabric by pounding the flowers to transfer their natural dyes. Choose fresh flowers or leaves with vibrant and bold colours. Ensure they are clean and dry. Place the fabric flat on a sturdy surface, such as a table or the ground. Arrange the flowers or leaves on the fabric in your desired pattern. You can create a design or simply scatter them randomly. Place a piece of parchment paper or scrap fabric over the flowers. Using a hammer, gently pound the flowers through the protective layer. Apply even pressure to ensure the dyes are transferred evenly. Carefully lift the parchment paper or fabric to check the print. If necessary, reposition the flowers and pound again to fill in any gaps.

Tools: A pruner or two, fabric, a hammer, fresh flowers and a protective Surface.

Benefits: This activity combines art and nature, allowing children to explore natural dyes and create unique fabric designs.

Decorating Plant Pots:

How: Provide plain plant pots and let kids unleash their creativity by decorating them to add a burst of colour to your garden. Plant some vibrant flowers for a pop of charm. It’s a fun bonding experience and something you’ll cherish for years to come.

Tools: Plain pots and paint.

Benefits: This activity allows children to express themselves artistically AND learn about gardening.

Inspiring the Next Generation to Grow, Learn, and Cultivate

Celebrating Youth Day with gardening activities is a fantastic way to introduce children to the joys of nature. By engaging in these fun and educational activities, kids can develop a love for gardening that will last a lifetime. Not only will they reap the benefits of reduced stress, improved discipline, and a sense of accomplishment, but they will also gain valuable knowledge about the natural world.

Visit any MakroGame or Builder’s Warehouse to equip your young garden masters with the right tools and watch them thrive as they dig, plant, and nurture their way to a greener future. Happy Youth Day Garden Masters!

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