With our first real taste of summer this week, we have been spending a lot of time in the garden doing various crafts and activities. We’ve been checking out the wildlife in our homemade bug and ladybird hotels, making perfume with our scented leaves and flowers and I’ve been teaching them how to press them, like I used to do as a child. We’ve been painting and Aqua-Doodling on the patio, making hand and foot prints that wouldn’t be allowed in the house and generally getting good and dirty so we can wash it all off in the sprinkler!!
So here’s an account of some of those garden activities and crafts we most enjoyed and how to do them:
Our Bug and Ladybird Hotels. The kids love finding and studying bugs in the garden. I would highly recommend buying one of these bug-magnifying pots, they are cheap, portable and provide hours of fun, not to mention being educational as well- win, win! J is rather handy when it comes to wood work and knocked up this rather splendid ladybird high-rise hotel (copied from ones available on Amazon!) in a few minutes, with added ladybirds from Hobbycraft. We bought ladybird food (also from Amazon) and put it into the holes to entice the little critters. Hopefully we’ll have a happy family move in and feast on the greenfly currently attacking my roses!! Next door, the children have built a low-level youth-hostle style, living accommodation for all other insects, molluscs and arachnids that are looking to re-locate. They have attempted to gather various bugs and re-home them but I think the whole thing needs to weather-in a bit to attract them properly! Never-the-less, this activity has seen hours of time spent on it with all three of them (5,7 & 10 years old) loving bug-related activities!
Making perfume. This is so easy! All you need is a small spray bottle- we used one from the currently unloved Aquabeads set but you can buy them from Boots in the travel section. Choose some sweet smelling flowers or leaves- just make sure that you know what they are and therefore are not poisonous or likely to irritate the skin, you only need a few. Fab ones for this are lavender, rosemary, thyme, roses, jasmine and sweet-peas. Place them into the bottle and top up with lukewarm water (not too hot). Give it a shake and leave to infuse for a few minutes. You will have a light-scent, perfect for little girls! With a clear bottle, the perfume looks pretty too but be sure to warn them that it only lasts for about a week before it won’t smell so good anymore!!
Pressing flowers. Something I did all the time as a child. I had 5 or 6 telephone directories full of pressed flowers, and those books were huge back then!! Though our current mini Yellow Pages is no use for this activity now, I have finally found a use for a gardening encyclopedia and one or two other heavy books! The girls were also given a flower press form the early learning centre which is effective but limited on what you can press.
To do it yourself, without a press, you will need two pieces of card- we cut up an old cereal box. Simply place the flower or leaf that you want to press onto a piece of blotting/ parchment/ absorbent paper (even doubled up kitchen roll will do) and place that on one piece of the card! Make sure that you arrange each flower into the position that you would like it to flatten and that the flowers are not touching each other. Place another piece of absorbent paper on top of the flower and then the other piece of card on top of that. The flowers are in-between the absorbent paper and the card is on the top and bottom. Place the whole thing in a large book and top with a few other books -I found a few that I haven’t gotten around to reading properly yet ;), for extra weight. Leave for a few weeks and they will be ready to use in crafts such as decorating cards and pictures.
What have you been getting up to in the garden with the kids? Have you got any favourite crafts or activities that you plan to do with the kids this summer?
26 thoughts on “Garden Activities & Crafts for Kids”
Great list. I remember making perfume in the garden when I was little, I need to do that with my daughter x #fortheloveofblog
Oh love the perfume making idea! My daughter will love that! We love pressing flowers as well and then turn them into art when they are dry. Currently, we are pretty obsessed with our fairy garden and of course, anything to do with water!
This is so lovely! My daughter is still young but I’m seeing more and more how girly she is and would love to do these things together when she is older. Especially the perfume making and flower pressing, what fab ideas 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG
Just popping back to say how lovely this is again! Still so impressed by the perfume making – great post for doing things together in the summer holidays. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday xx
looks like fun, #bigpinklink
Some great ideas here. I love it when there is nice weather and we can spend the full day out in the sun doing different activities. I like the perfume making idea, sounds fun! #bigpinklink
Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk
I love these ideas!! We have been spending a lot of time in the garden with all this lovely weather, and I’ve been running out of ideas! Although we have the new addition of a very large paddling pool this week, which will probably have high entertainment factor for at least the next 2 weeks…! My eldest is just starting to be really interested in bugs and wildlife, so making a little bug hotel would be perfect for him!! I’ll try them with the perfume, they’re both boys, but I’m sure they’ll love it! And I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of flower pressing-my mum recently gave me a load of my old stuff from her loft, and in it was a book full of flowers that if left to press, and obviously forgotten about! It made me really emotional to find it, and to remember how much I’d loved doing it! I can get the boys to do it, then make some art for their grandparents, who will love it! Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink
Glad to have given you some new ideas and refreshed some old ones xx
That’s a great list, and the idea of making perfume is brilliant. I can see this going down a treat with Little Button, whilst at the same time driving Mr Button potty hehe! #fartglitter
I remember pressing flowers when I was little – I loved it! In fact I still come across the odd squashed daisy when I’m flicking through old books that I’ve had passed down to me over the years. “We didn’t have a press in my day” (She says sounding like her grandparents) “We just shoved them in a book and squashed them”. Great fun though!
Thanks for linking with #fartglitter x
There are some lovely ideas here, that can keep the kids busy for hours, and cheap too. It’s fascinating to think that there is so much wildlife right on our doorstep, and I hope that when my little one is a bit older she will love being in the card too. She already likes animals, and I think is ok with bugs as she always points in excitement at them when she sees them flying around the kitchen. We will definitely be doing the flower pressing when she’s older. Thanks so much for sharing at #fortheloveofBLOG this week. Claire x
we LOVE making perfume! it is so much fun – and mud pies and “soup” 🙂 we just built b a mud kitchen and he loves it 🙂 thanks for linking with #fortheloveofblog ! Hope you enjoyed it and can join this weekend!
I really love the idea of a bug/ladybug hotel. My 19 month old is fascinated with creepy crawlies right now so this would be an excellent activity for her and something she would enjoy. Wow, making perfume. That brings back lots of childhood memories of my own. This post definitely made me feel very summery and happy! Making memories are the best. Thanks for some ideas! #BloggersClubUK
Hi Sonia, I’ve never heard of a ladybird hotel before! It’s something I would have done when my two were younger, things like that are quite fascinating.
Every now and again I still come across flowers long forgotten in an old book. It is amazing how they keep so well having been pressed.
Love these ideas, kids need to keep busy and nature is amazing!! #momsterslink
These are lovely ideas! Thank you for sharing! My little one isn’t quite old enough yet but we will try these when he is! I used to love making perfume! #momsterslink
Great list! Even though I hate bugs I want to make a big hotel! They look so cute!
My kids have been ‘bugging’ me to make a bug hotel #KCACOLS
Oh wow, what a fantastic little summer list! I’ve never even thought of making your own perfume, but that is so handy and adorable! I bet you could add a little extra oomph with essential oils! I love the bug hotel idea!! My son will be a little older next summer, and I’m going to look into something like this. Thanks for sharing <3 #KCACOLS
Ooo essential oils is a good idea! I might just try that xx
Such lovely ideas! My children both love collecting leaves and flowers when we go out for walks, so I think I might have to try doing pressed flowers with them one day soon! x #KCACOLS
Love the bug magnifying glass and making perfume idea! My daughter would love those, thanks for sharing!
Tori @ The Mama Nurse
Some fab ideas here, thanks for sharing…love the bug hotels will have to try this one out! #Sharingthebloglove
Oh my gosh the pressing of flowers brings back memories of my child hood. I still have books with some flowers in them that came from “somewhere special”. My girlie girl would love to make her own perfume. We will have to try that one. My other girl is a tomboy and wants nothing to do with anything girlie. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink and hope to see you tomorrow.
oh how lovely. My sister gae me a flower press jokingly for xmas but i might actually get it out now ha ha!
Thanks for living up to #ablogginggoodtime
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