7 Fun Allotment Projects to Do with Kids This SummerColin Campbell-Preston
Balancing an allotment with busy family life can be a challenge at the best of times, but as the summer holidays approach it can be even harder to carve out the time needed to keep on top of all that weeding and planting. Don’t despair though, you can kill two birds with one stone (not literally, obviously) by putting your tireless tykes to work in the garden.
Not only will it get them plenty of fresh air, but they’re bound to have tons of fun too. We’ve rounded up some great allotment project ideas that will help you get your kids involved in gardening and stave off the boredom this summer.
Grow Your Own Plant Tepee
Kids of all ages love dens, whether it’s somewhere for your toddler to let their imagination run wild or a shady reading nook for a reluctant teen. Combining the magic of a den with the beautiful plants of your allotment is easier than you might think; with just a few supplies you and your kids can grow your own plant tepee! All you’ll need are some poles (bamboo is fine), some seeds to grow beans or another climbing plant, and a little imagination. First, create a small tepee that’s big enough for a sitting child to sit in with the poles and tie them in place. Then, plant your climbing plant seeds around the base and train them up the poles as they grow. Soon, your kids will have the perfect secret room right in the allotment to play or relax in.
Get Crafty Making Fun Row Markers
There’s nothing worse than carefully planting all your delicious edibles, only to realise once they begin to sprout that you can’t remember which row is what. Row markers are a great way to solve this problem and get your kids involved with the garden at the same time. There are hundreds of tutorials out there on how to make fun row markers out of everything from painted rocks in the shape of the vegetables you’ve planted to upside down glass bottles with waterproof paint illustrations. Imagination is the limit when it comes to getting the kids to help out with marking your crops, although don’t be surprised if they end up a bit more Picasso than Rembrandt.
Plant a Pizza Garden
If you struggle to get your kids excited about the garden because they’re still unconvinced about how delicious vegetables are, try a different angle and plant a pizza garden. All your favourite toppings can be grown in your allotment and the resulting homemade pizza will be both healthier and more delicious than its takeout cousin. You can plant small tomato and pepper plants, onions, Italian herbs, and any other toppings you want in a small container. Why not get a round one and divide it up into ‘slices’? Then kids can see where their food comes from and get involved in planting, weeding, and obviously the essential taste testing.
Add a Mysterious Fairy Ring
Nothing adds a bit of mystery to a garden plot like a beautiful fairy ring. They’re pretty easy to create and perfect to get the kids involved with measuring the circle, digging, and planting pretty grasses and flowers. Pick a spot under a tree so you can add hand-decorated lanterns or fairy lights above the circle. Let the kids’ imaginations run wild as they play in the mystical circle and don’t forget to remind them to keep an eye out for the fairies it’s designed to attract.
Make a Ladybird Hotel
Kids are fascinated by bugs and many are actually beneficial for your allotment! Ladybirds, for example, are very handy for combatting pests such as aphids, which happily munch their way through your crops. These helpful critters are more likely to stick around in your garden if they have some place to call home, so get creative with the kids and build them a ladybird hotel! Insects look for nooks and crannies to hide in when they want to shelter, so your hotel should have lots of little areas they can crawl into. A great way to make a ladybird hotel is by removing the front of a birdhouse and filling it with small tubes of bamboo to make a kind of ladybird beehive. The best bit about this method is that you end up with a proper little house for the kids to get busy decorating!
Try Out Seed Bombing
Seed bombing is a good way to get the kids to help with planting if you want to minimise how much time you have to spend using the washing machine after. First, you’ll need to create seed bombs of all the pretty wildflowers you want to add to your allotment. This can be done by tearing up paper and mashing it with water to make a paste, then adding it to silicone moulds along with the seeds, before leaving it to set overnight. Next, just pop your flower bombs out of the moulds and have fun tossing them around the garden for a little burst of colour later in the year!
Build a Scarecrow
Building a scarecrow with the kids is a favourite for a reason and is a tried-and-tested way to get the kids to have fun in the garden. All you need is a tall cane to stick in the ground, with a shorter cane to make a cross for the arms and another to hang the trousers on about half way down. Then you can make a head out of the leg of a pair of tights stuffed with straw and dress your scarecrow. Kids can get creative painting on a face, finding fun scarecrow outfits to dress it in, and even crafting glasses or a beard. Plus, as promised, it’ll help on the allotment by keeping the crows away.
If you want more fun ideas for getting your children involved in the garden or you need to stock up on supplies for creative garden activities, Capital Garden’s team of Plant People are more than happy to help. Visit one of our garden centres near Alexandra Palace, Wandsworth Common or Berkhamsted or head over to our homepage for more gardening inspiration.