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How do you inspire kids with a love of nature in the garden?

Hi, I have two kids - 4 and 7. We love spending time in the garden and I think it's a great place to get them excited about nature. I've written about some of our experiences in my blog post

https://dogwooddays.net/2016/07/09/how-to-engage-kids-in-a-small-family-garden-part-2-wildlife-wows/

including video footage of our great tit flying from the nest box to feed at the window feeder and pictures of the kids enjoying bug boxes, pollinator plants and the enormous wild Roman snail which used to live in our garden.

What things do you do with children or grandchildren to explore wildlife in the garden?

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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,223

    I GENERALLY TELL THEM NOT TO TOUCH IT.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 27,254

    Love it pf! image

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • dogwooddaysdogwooddays Posts: 258

    Lol! :) That's what my mother-in-law said about the giant snail - but we loved him. :)

  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234

    My granda told me what everything was in a matter of fact non childish way. Birds, plants, whatever turned up. He showed me how he looked after his little blue push along lawnmower and oiled it for the Winter and also explained how to grow the biggest worms in the street by feeding them tea leaves and Balmoral biscuits!!!! image He taught me how to grow shallots in his 2 feet x 2 feet vegetable patch and he sank two tiny 2" clay pots into his picture perfect bowling green lawn so that we could play golf with my tiny golf clubs. I was four and I still remember him taking me out to show me the golf course!

    My dad did more or less the same with his grandaughter. Out they went blethering all the while, sowing seeds and planting seedlings. She now comes out with me and trails brambles and digs big holes. I still have to point out weeds but now she has her own garden, the story is carrying on. 

  • dogwooddaysdogwooddays Posts: 258

    Lovely! Thanks for sharing :-) I must get mine feeding the worms tea leaves and Balmoral biscuits. They'd love that! 

  • karen paulkaren paul Posts: 230

    My little lad loves to help plant seeds and this year we bought him his own 'novelty' seeds such as snake gourds, hedgehog plants, curly caterpillars etc from the kiddies range. He loves our pond and watching the tadpoles turn into frogs. He also likes getting involved in making bug boxes, bird boxes etc. I'll be making some bird feeders soon which I expect he'll love to help with using half coconuts, lard and seed. I'll have to watch he doesn't try to taste it though like he does when we make cakes!

  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234

    My mum obviuosly had a cruel streak! She let me taste anything I wanted as long as it wasn't poisonous of course. I have childhood memories of all sorts of delicious cake mix and raw carrot, which I still love, as well as baking powder, cocoa, raw parsnip, image She's sitting here laughing image but so am I so it mustn't have done me any harm!

  • dogwooddaysdogwooddays Posts: 258

    I love the sound of the kiddies range of seeds. Must look them up... for the kids of course ;-) 

    I definitely think getting the kids cooking is key to getting them interested in the garden. When you grow plants and then cook with them it suddenly all makes sense. :-) 

  • BLTBLT Posts: 525

    I always used to sendmy grandkids packs of seeds to grow  and they were always pleased to walk around my garden identifying the plants and veg growing and.. it made them appreciate and eat the veg they grew....image

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,159

    I often invite a friends three children to pick stuff on the allotment. They've been picking fruit and veg in the garden from being able to walk. They picked strawberries and currants last weekend and each has a sunflower growing on the plot.

    Picking flowers is always a winner,  toms, beans and peas are popular too. I grow different coloured beans and one of the twins had told her friends but because they hadn't believed her took some into school last year...

    They want to build a home for nature so that could become a project in progress...image

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