Our gardens, whether its the backyard or front garden, are very special spaces for many Australian families. It’s a place memories are made and families spend time together. Whether it's the children playing, entertaining friends or splashing in the pool, the garden is still and will always be part of the Australian way of life.
When we’re feeling stressed it’s a therapeutic place where we sit back and relax for a few moments which can help relieve the stress of our busy everyday lives. During the summer, it’s a place for outdoor fun and games. Our gardens are a world or fresh air, away from the TV and video games. A place where we can show the children many different and wonderful new things to explore and more importantly HAVE FUN.
So if you have a backyard or front garden, even ifs it a very little space, make the most of it.
We have outlned below a range of fun garden activities for families to enjoy at any age.
Autumn Leaf Crowns
Autumn’shere and the leaves are falling, so it's a great time to get outside and enjoy the crisp weather. Start collecting leaves with the kids from your backyard and make some autumn crafts like this autumn leaf crown.
How to make:
Stick the leaves on the cardboard strip to make a crown, wait for the glue to dry, do a quick head measure, then staple the crown to size. Voila! A very regal autumn crown!
Help the kids turn your backyard into a mini bubble rainbow paradise.
To make a bubble rainbow, you’ll need an empty soft drink bottle,old sock, dishwashing liquid and food colouring. It’s best to make rainbow bubbles outside, as food colouring can be messy.
Here's what to do:
Cut the bottom off the plastic bottle. Don’t let the kids do this! Slip a sock over the cut end of the bottle and secure it with a rubber band.
Squirt dishwashing liquid into a bowl and mix with a little water to thin it. Dip the sock end of the bottle into the dishwashing solution.
Then blow into the bottle’s mouthpiece to make a bubble snake. To make a rainbow, stripe the sock with food colouring. Use red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The more colour you apply, the more intense rainbow!
Leeks have a long growing season and are easy to grow from seedlings. First up, make sure the soil is enriched with compost and well-rotted manure. Then drop each seedling into a 15cm-deep hole so the tops just protrude, space out the holes every 15-20cm along a 2-4m row and water well, but don’t pour water in the holes. For healthy growing, keep the leeks evenly moist and feed every two months with complete plant food. As the stems grow, mound soil around them to keep them white.
To harvest, simply pull up the stems are of a suitable size. Don't let them get too fat or they become tough.
0-2 year olds
Babies and young children playing in the backyard need an extra level of supervision outdoors as there is a greater risk of objects getting into their mouths. The garden is a place to learn about their surroundings and feel confident with the world. Many of the games you play indoor can be adapted outdoor as well such as reading,singing or playing with toys –all you need is a blanket or mat to take outside.
Some additional activities can include:
Toddlers and preschoolers are learning how their body works, what it can and cant do. They enjoy enjoy exploring and learning about their surroundings. It is important to include a variety of textures, smells and surfaces in their activities that promote free play.
With an increase level of skills, games of sport which emphasize fun more than competition work very well. These can include:
Scavenger hunt. Give your child a list of items to find in nature, such as a rock, flower, leaf or even toys. Have them find all the items and tick off the list all the things they have found.
Fun in the pool. Get the whole family involved in a game of sharks- basically playing tag in the pool. One or two people become sharks and they have to catch the other people in the pool.
Chalk. Find some colored chalk where they can draw pictures on the driveway. For older children, you can draw hopscotch boxes to play.
Finding little bugs See how many bugs they can find in the backyard within 3 minutes. Add up how many their were and ask them to draw pictures of the bugs they found
Bowling. Find some basic items that are very light like empty boxes, cans, plastic bottles and will tumble over easily. These will be you pins. Find a ball that the children can roll and try knowing the pins over.
Painting or Drawing outdoor. Encourage them to draw or paint the things they see in the backyard.
Grow and nuture in the Garden Most kids love the garden, especially worms, snails and water. Encourage them to dig and have free play…they’ll be busy for hours.
Sand pit- Kids love the sand, add some small toys in the sand pit and they’ll be in there for hours.