It may be freezing cold whilst I sit here writing this, but looking out at our back garden there is no doubt that there are lots of signs of spring out there. A very early spring when you consider how many daffodils are already brighting up the flower beds. I have so many good intentions about how we’re going to use our back garden going forwards. Every year I say that and so far I’ve been foiled every year by the kids not quite being old enough to join in enough for me to make actual progress. 2016 WILL be different though. I’m sure of it. Master C is now very nearly three and a half, and joining in with so much more and being guided by what he’s doing at pre-school he’s loving having little projects to work on alongside adults. My plan is that as soon as the weather’s a bit warmer our big afternoon project is going to be the garden and doing things outside together. He loves the outdoors and he’s also one of those children who needs to get outside and run around every day too. So, perfect timing to be sent The Children’s Garden: Loads of Things to Make and Grow to review.
The Children’s Garden contains 52 projects that families can do together in their gardens and are all designed to help children play and learn out there. The book’s even split into the four seasons (obviously with slightly less in winter than summer) so that you can plan what you get up to to cover the whole year outside. I also like the fact that this book tries to encourage your children to see the garden as not just a place to go and look for nature or plant things, but also as a perfect place to play – both large scale and small scale. One of the projects is for an “instant model village” and the idea is to take things like a wooden toy train track, or plastic animals outside and set up an environment there for them, making use of things you find like pot plants or twigs to help enhance the landscape. It’s the sort of thing that I find my daughter does loads, both at home and school where they are blessed with a large outdoor space, but for some reason my son’s always a tad more reluctant to mix indoor and outdoor toys like that.
A week or so ago we set up a small fire in our back garden and let the kids (under careful adult supervision of course!) toast marshmallows over it. An idea that’s actually covered in one of the Autumn sections in The Children’s Garden. Such a simple thing, but they both absolutely loved it and were talking about it for days afterwards. It kind of made us realise just how easy it is for us to overlook activities and jobs and almost dismiss them in our minds as not worth doing with the kids, but actually they gain so much from them.
I love the projects and ideas contained in The Children’s Garden. None of it is rocket science, but they are all things that children would love to get involved in and are also really good for them from a play and learning perspective. For me, one of the best things about the book is the way that the projects are split up into the seasons as I think this makes the book so easy to use when planning what to do with your child throughout the year.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of The Children’s Garden for the purposes of this review. All options remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.