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Kids have a surplus of creativity and imagination, but can’t always find a way to use it. When they’re tired of their usual activities, we start getting an earful. Rather than letting the stress of a complaining kid get to you, use these moments are a golden chance to start them on healthy, enriching projects. Making a few garden crafts will engage their artistic talents, get them outside, and inspire a sense of wonder for the natural world. Here are a few ideas to get them started.

 

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Decorated Flower Pots 

Take out the paints and give the little ones free rein to decorate some of your pots. If they need inspiration, encourage them to go outside and observe the blossoms and butterflies. Chances are, their fertile minds are already brimming with ideas. All you need to do is lay down some newspaper, grab some old shirts, and let the painting begin.   

Bean Pole Teepee 

Put together a bean pole teepee with simple bamboo poles and twine. Your kids can help tie the twine or decorate the poles with flowers, suncatchers, or anything else they can imagine. Once finished, set it up in the yard and plant climbing beans around the outside. Make sure to leave a child-sized gap for an entranceway. You’ll be surprised by how fast the beans climb the trellises! When the walls are covered in leaves, your kids will have a secret hideout in the garden where they can play all summer.   


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Ladybug Hotel 

Transform an old birdhouse into a ladybug hotel. Your kids can paint the outside, collect moss or grass for the roof, and glue hollow bamboo sticks in the middle. Ladybugs love nooks and crannies to make their homes in, so you can add other twigs or dry grass as you see fit. As you check your vacancy rates through the summer, you can teach your children about the benefits of ladybugs, how they keep aphids in check, and watch for other friendly insects, like leafcutter bees, praying mantis, and dragonflies. 

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeder 

Make these homemade bird feeders with simple supplies of gelatin, water, birdseed, and cookie cutters. Hang them on your kids’ favorite tree, and they’ll soon become explorers and natural scientists. They’ll likely observe several curious sparrows, nuthatches, and chickadees who have come to try the newest local “restaurant”! A rare visit by a colorful goldfinch or cardinal will inspire them to learn more about the world of the winged-ones.   

 

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The Fairy Garden 

With your garden buzzing with pollinators and perching birds, you’re ready to attract visitors from the fairy world. Start by setting up a miniature cottage and garden path. With a quaint log cabin built of popsicle sticks or twigs, rocks painted like toadstools, and stepping stones leading to the door, you’ll soon have fairies coming through the yard. Your kids can watch for them within their bean pole hideaway, and you can feed their imaginations by reading some fairy stories together. 

Give your kids the chance to make garden crafts, and they will transform your plots into a world of enchantment. Far from being bored, they’ll soon share stories of the creatures they discover and may even start their own kid-friendly garden. If you’re searching for other ways to involve your family in the garden, or need any supplies for the growing season, please don’t hesitate to contact our garden centers.  

 

Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.