10 Things to get Kids Spending Time in the Garden this Spring
To to mark St. Patrick’s Day this year we thought we would compile a list of interesting things you and your kids can see and do in your garden. Spring, of course, marks the beginning of warmer weather and longer daylight hours with the blooming of flowers and the budding of trees. There is so much to see and do in the garden, local parks and green areas close to our homes. Kids will love watching insects and birds move about as they look for nest sites and build their nests.
Flowers are once again starting to appear like snowdrops and daffodils which always reminds us of longer days and that warm weather is just around the corner. And did you know that there are several hundred cultivars of snowdrop, often only distinguishable by the markings on the inner three petals of each flower-head!
#1 Find a Shamrock
A national flower of Ireland and fitting to mention on St. Patrick’s Day. The Shamrock, is a three-leafed plant similar to a clover, which is an unofficial symbol of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The species of plant we refer to as shamrocks are generally Trifolium repens.
There are three leaves on a shamrock represent, Faith, Hope & Love. In Ireland, it is considered extremely lucky if you find one with four leaves due to their rarity, the fourth leaf represents luck!
#2 Do some Bird Watching
In March birds start looking for nest sites, and for some birds it can take up to 2 weeks to build a nest. It’s mostly the female who picks the nest site and leads the building, however males are the dominant nest builders among house sparrows, blue tits and wrens.
Some birds such as the crow use the same nest every year. They repair the nest and add more to it each year, so overtime their nests can become quite big and impressive. As a defence against a build-up of parasites most birds abandon their old nests and build a new one every spring.
#3 Create a Bug and Insect Hotel
A great way to add an interesting feature to your garden or patio is to create a bug and insect hotel. It also offers protection to bugs and insects when the weather is cooler. Using old bits of wood, pallets, bricks, hollow pipes and stone you can create a beautiful bug and insect hotel.
#4 Find a Native Spring Flower
Primroses are one of the first flowers to bloom each year from January to June. You can find primroses growing beneath deciduous trees or shrubs or along the side of a hedge. It’s important to remember to leave wild and native flowers where we find them in the countryside.
This is a perennial flower and its official botanical name is Primula Vulgaris which derives from two latin words meaning “first rose”. The primrose is also known as the English primrose and native to the Emerald Isle. In Irish its name is sabhaircín pronounced sour-keen.
Did you know that many years ago Primroses were used as remedies for muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, paralysis and gout?
#5 Create a Fun Garden Mural
In a part of the garden create a fun mural together. Making a mural is a great opportunity for learning and another way to encourage kids to write and draw on vertical surfaces. Write, draw, paint and decorate a wall or fence. For younger kids you could help by drawing an outline and get them to colour it in.
#6 Take a Photo of a Sea of Bluebells
A large display of bluebells is breath-taking and for many people in Ireland the arrival of the native Bluebell is the sign that Spring has sprung. Bluebells show off their spectacular bell like purplish-blue flowers and start to appear in our woodlands in April to May. They make the most of the fact that the trees above have yet to develop their full of mass of leaves.
We would love to see some photo’s of bluebells growing in your garden or local green area, share them online and tag @tridentholidayhomes
#7 Can you Spot a Hare in the Short Spring Grass?
Found only in Ireland, the Irish hare is a subspecies of the mountain hare. Once widespread and common, the species is believed to have declined significantly since the 1970s. The present population is estimated to be between 59,700 and 86,000.
Did you know that March is best time to see hares, as they are busy jumping and chasing each other? Hares are usually nocturnal but can be active during spring days. Males hares are called Jacks, females are called Jills and babies are called Leverets.
#8 Create a Wormery
Using a see-through glass or plastic container, add layers of soil and sand and some leaves for food. Dig up some worms in the garden and add them to the container. Watch and learn how they tunnel into the ground.
Please make sure you release the worms back into your garden when you have finished!
#9 Plant a Window Box
If you don’t have a garden then you could create an outdoor or indoor window box. One of the easiest ways to add a touch of spring colour to your home. You can plant up boxes with succulents, herbs, annuals and popular plants.
Sprouting plants give quick result which kids will love! Another great option is herb seeds like basil, thyme or parsley which you can also use when cooking together.
Broad beans or asparagus green seeds in a window box are another great option. Kids will love to nibble on them when the time comes for harvesting!
#10 Create a Fairy Garden
And lastly, if you want a little magic and enchantment then look no further than a fairy garden. Creating a fairy garden is a great kid friendly idea this spring and a project you can keep added to over time.
You don’t have to spend much money all you need is a little imagination. You can use things you already have in the garden shed or garden.
Things you could use to make a fairy garden include:
- Wooden birdhouse
- Garden twigs
- Small artificial birds
- Small terracotta tray
- Tiny terracotta pot
- And a sprinkle of imagination….
#11 And Remember to Get Out into that Day!
Eilís M – Editor of the Trident blog
- Favourite escape: Exploring the Beara Peninsula and trail running in the Wicklow Mountains
- Top tip: Pack a big smile and an open mind.