Experiencing the great outdoors is a must in springtime, take the children outside in the garden and get them to notice the changes that are taking place in the living world around them.
Plants speak to the senses and offer a very effective way for children to learn and play. Growing is a remarkably powerful theme for young children, with a strong emotional element, masses of learning in every aspect of the curriculum, lots of moving and doing and the potential of laying down the interests and healthy habits for life.
Flowers and meadows are bright and exciting and fuel the imagination, aromatic herbs will ignite curiosity and investigation, enchanted woodland areas are a refuge to quietly reflect, hide and discover the hiding in long grasses, run and race in open spaces. A great play garden achieves the right balance.
When planting your garden get the children to choose what is to be planted; vegetables, flowers or both! Planting is great fun for children and even more exciting when the planting is from seeds. Choose plants that are big, easy to handle and quick to germinate. Children love to see the difference between big and little, so plant small tomatoes and giant sunflowers!
Spring is also a great time to attract new wildlife into the outside garden. Children are fascinated by animals and insects. Bright, fragrant flowers entice bees, butterflies and lady birds, wooded areas and hedgerows draw in birds and hedgehogs, long grasses are an ideal place to find grass hoppers, beetles and spiders. Encourage wildlife to live in your play garden, why not build a birdhouse that all the children can work on and paint? Add seeds and bird food so the children can observe birds coming into the garden.
When creating your play garden make sure that your children are involved in everything from planning to nurture. Most children love the responsibility and will feel a sense of pride and ownership.