When you’ve got toddlers and babies to take care of all day, finding time to take on new projects or hobbies can be incredibly tricky. It’s worthwhile doing though, because it allows you to be you, and not just a mum all day. You can choose projects with activities that help your children learn and develop. It can then be much easier to fit into your day as part of your quality time with them. Most mums would like to be more in touch with nature and help their children become nature lovers. I’ve put together a ten ideas to help your kids grow up loving all things natural.
- House plants - Keeping plants in the home is a great way to help freshen the air. Plants naturally soak up the carbon dioxide that can make the air stale. They then emit oxygen, making our homes naturally more healthy. Most house plants just require occasional watering, and they get on with it all by themselves. Watering the plants is a lovely chore that your toddler can help you with. You might choose plants that are brightly coloured to give baby something interesting to focus on in the early days. Try an online store like Serenata Flowers to save you having to navigate a garden centre with the little ones.
- Wind - Windmills for children are decorative for the garden and help teach children about the power of the wind. They may be able to feel wind on their skin but to see it make a toy windmill rotate helps them to understand itsFlower bouquets - Keeping fresh bouquets of flowers in the home is a great way to bring nature inside. As the old ones die off, replace them with a fresh set. Choose lots of different colours and help your toddler learn to name them. Eventually, he may even be able to say the names of the flowers too. Flowers can be delivered to your door, saving you from having to keep them pristine when you are carrying the children.
- Garden flowers - You can create a little flower patch quite easily in a corner of the garden. Alternatively, why not buy a couple of troughs? Drill holes in the bottom for drainage. This can be done with a hammer and large nail if you don’t have access to a drill. Fill the trough with compost soil then insert some plugs or flowers to fill. Watering is an easy task for a toddler to take on. You can then enjoy watching the flowers bloom together.
- Standard plants - Rose trees or oleanders can be great for taller potted or planted flowers in your garden. If you have a toddler, you can measure her against the tree each month and see who is growing the fastest! As they get taller, they may even provide a nice little shady spot to sit under and read a book in the sun. Some plants, like the oleander, may have toxic pollen or flowers. Always supervise your children in the garden and wash their hands thoroughly.
- Bird table - You can position this within sight of your window so you can watch the birds come to feed. You might even have a bird bath so they can have a lovely wash. Attracting wildlife to the garden is important. You can teach your children about the importance of each creature. Toddlers can create bird treats quite easily from stale bread and seeds.
- Wildflowers - You can pick up a large box of wildflower seeds from as little as a pound. They grow very quickly and will include a variety of different species. Let your toddler help scatter the seeds into a soil pot or trough. They can start to sprout within just a couple of days. With such a wide variety of colours and sizes of flowers, there are many things to talk about and compare. Count the shoots or name the colours. Even finding the biggest and smallest are all wonderful educational toddler activities.
- Veggie patch - We all wish we could get our kids to eat more fruit and veggies. If you have a fussy eater, why not try digging a veggie patch. You can find various seeds in the supermarket, garden centre or online. Growing potatoes and tomatoes is very easy. You can also grow carrots, lettuces and onions with minimal effort. If you find you need to control snails and slugs, be sure to use pellets that are child, pet and soil safe.
- Solar - There are plenty of great solar ornaments and lights out there. You can find some that are designed to be educational for little ones too. Learning about natural energy sources is an important part of growing up in the twenty-first century. Play games with your shadows. Shadows fascinate toddlers and preschoolers. See what you can do with sunlight today.
- Rain collectors - Collecting rainwater is a good and green way to water your garden. Buy one with a gauge to help your little ones learn more about the relationship between numbers. Splashing in puddles is great fun for children. Understanding how the rain can be harvested will be useful to them in the future when they are keen gardeners!
Even the youngest child can learn more about nature and its role in our lives. Green living isn’t impossible when you have children. It can greatly enhance their understanding of how the world works. Growing your own food can help fussy eaters overcome their fear of veggies. It also provides free food for the budget stretched family. Plants and flowers inside and out are said to be good at improving our mood and reducing depression too. If you ever feel stressed out with the kids, sit down near your flowers and see if you can’t manage a smile as you admire their beauty. It may take a little time setting up your planting at first, but it will give the whole family a lifetime of pleasure. Enjoy.
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