Keeping children occupied in the holidays is challenging enough but add in prolonged time at home outside of the holidays, now that can be tough. Why not allow the nature in your garden to help by encouraging children to step outside into another world? It’s healthy, fun and educational and can give you just the break you need. The experiences children gain now will develop an ongoing enthusiasm for caring for wildlife which benefits everyone.
There is so much more to be experienced in the garden, and a healthier way to spend family time. It is important to teach our children to enjoy nature and develop an interest and respect for wildlife ongoing; it is their future.
Small hands are a great help for sowing vegetable seeds and planting delicate flowers so encourage the little ones to share gardening at home. It will keep them active and a great way to improve your garden’s attractiveness to wildlife. Give them their own tools and an area to look after. They will find it rewarding to see new things appear for all their hard work. Celebrate their efforts during National Children’s Gardening Week this year between 23-31 May.
Take learning outdoors with your own version of a forest school. If you can include insect hotels or simple log piles plus a shallow water feature, there will be opportunities for seasonal antics to watch. From wriggly worms, vibrant fluttering butterflies or the fascinating work of pollen-laden bumblebees. The more adventurous can explore minibeasts using bug viewers but everyone benefits from the joy of a child’s reaction to tadpoles with legs!
Providing food and nest boxes in your garden helps both resident birds and give fleeting visitors a reason to stay around. Many of our most common garden visitors are bright, attractive birds that are hard to ignore and can light the initial spark that fires a lifetime’s interest. Make bird feeding part of your child’s daily routine to check and fill the feeder – it’s a great way to instil responsibility for wildlife. CJ Wildlife has a vast array of garden and window feeders for getting started plus build your own kits that enable children to build and decorate their own creations and have a personal connection with the birds that use them. Or set them a challenge with our Peanut Butter Modelling Clay to make inspired treats that the birds will love.
To complement their efforts in the garden, there is a great range of books and guides to capture their imagination and play games to identify birds, butterflies and bugs. CJ Wildlife website has a special kids section known as The Den (www.birdfood.co.uk/the-den) which has lots of great ideas and free resources for creative colouring and wildlife activities to keep them occupied in the fresh air.
And then when the sun goes down or if you just need a little quiet time follow the bird families of the CJ Wildlife live nest box webcams (www.birdfood.co.uk/webcams). Providing a fun and educational approach to ‘screen time’ these 24/7 cameras give children an egg-citing insight into the family routines of some special birds like owls, kestrels, peregrins and more. There is so much to see; meet the new Tawny Owl chick and look out for other new arrivals.
CJ Wildlife are keen to share their enthusiasm with all generations, and offer a range of products specifically for children, to encourage more wildlife into gardens and take pleasure in wildlife in general. Everyday can be a nature day with wildlife books, games, gifts, toys and activities – all available from CJ Wildlife at www.birdfood.co.uk or freephone 0800 731 2820.