Nicky Roeber is the Online Horticultural Expert at Wyevale Garden Centres. Here, he shares some of his favourite indoor gardening activities that you can get the kids involved with this winter.
As temperatures drop this winter, we’ll naturally begin to spend much less time outdoors. If your kids have grown accustomed to spending summer nights at your local park, they might struggle with this. And, you’ll want to find ways to keep them entertained throughout the colder months.
Indoor gardening with your children is great for this. Not only will it ensure that they still feel close to nature, but having plants in your home can have a variety of health and social benefits: for example, they will help to improve the air quality in your home and it has been shown that having a connection with plants can improve our mental wellbeing as well as our productivity levels, according to Powerhouse Hydroponics. With all of this in mind, I’m going to recommend five indoor gardening activities that will help to keep you and your little ones entertained this winter.
Let Everyone Make Their Own Terrarium
Terrariums are great because they’ll look nice in your home, they’re fascinating to watch grow, and they’re a lot of fun to make. They can be created using almost any glass container so, if you have some jars or glass bowls lying around unused, you’re on to a winner.
When creating terrariums, the most important thing is that you choose plants that can thrive under the same conditions. For example, succulents and cacti like a dry environment, while the likes of moss and ferns need more water. Once you’ve found containers for you and each of your kids and decided what kinds of plants you’re going to use, you can get started.
NASA Climate Kids has a fantastic guide to making a mini-garden, which will walk you through all the necessary steps.
Create A Herb Garden For Your Kitchen
Growing herbs is a fantastic way to teach your kids about gardening. They tend to be very easy to look after and they flourish quite quickly under the right conditions, which means creating a herb garden is a great idea if you don’t want to devote a huge amount of time to your gardening project, but still want your kids to see their plants growing every day.
Gardening Know How has a great resource about herb gardens for children, which explains everything you’ll need to know to ensure your project is a success. It covers what kinds of herbs you can grow, where you should set your herb garden up, and what you’ll need to do to look after it.
Create Artwork Using Fallen Leaves
While this isn’t technically a gardening project, you can help your kids get closer to nature by taking them out to collect fallen leaves, and then bringing them home to make art with them. Hand On As We Grow has a list of 42 leaf crafts for kids that you can browse to find plenty of art inspiration. They recommend making garlands, lanterns, and even puppets. They also have guides for creating leaf crowns for your kids to wear, explain how to make suncatchers, and can show you how to print rocks using leaves.
Try Growing Veg From Kitchen Scraps
You can keep your kids entertained while teaching them about living responsibly and sustainably by showing them how to grow vegetables from your kitchen scraps. DIY & Crafts has a list of 25 food you can do this with, but some particularly popular options are celery, avocadoes, potatoes, garlic, and mushrooms.
While growing your own vegetables isn’t the easiest activity on this list, it’s certainly worth doing if you have the time. It will teach your kids more about eating healthily, where their food comes from, and how they can recycle their food waste.
Make Gardening Plans For Next Summer
Although you mightn’t be able to take your kids out into the garden to plant some new flowers and shrubs, this doesn’t mean you can’t plan what you want to do next summer. Sit down with your kids and look through seed catalogues, browse the internet for inspiration, and research what plants work well together. Not only will your little ones learn a lot (and you might too), but this process will also get you all very excited to get into the garden and bring your vision to life next summer.
Indoor gardening is a great way to entertain and bond with your kids in the colder months. And, it’s bound to do you all a lot of good. Try some of these activities and we guarantee you’ll all discover a new-found love for the plants in your home and garden.