Bringing the sunshine inside

With schools closing in the UK and the Government’s advice to stay indoors, it’s time to get a little inventive about how we can connect with nature.

20 March 2020

It can be comforting for children (and big kids like us!) to know that while there’s uncertainty in our lives at the moment, the sun rises every day, and flowers are blooming outside.
 
Parents and carers might also be wondering how they are going to keep children entertained at home and so we’ve put together a few ideas. 
 
These activities are suitable for children under the age of 11 years old.
 
Are you an urban gardener?
Don’t have access to a garden of your own? Perhaps you live in on the top floor of an apartment block, or in a busy city where space is limited. Here are our top indoor activities, which are also great for rainy days:
 
Milk bottle waterers
Turn a plastic milk bottle into a watering can to keep your houseplants or containers looking happy.
 
Make a recycled watering device
Recycle old plastic containers to create this brilliant self-watering device for indoor plants.
 
Make a mini allotment
Grow vegetables all year round in mini allotments on your windowsill.
 
Saucer veg
With a little time and patience, there are vegetables that you can re-grow again and again from kitchen scraps!
 
Make a growing grassy creature
Turn an old pair of tights into a funny-looking head with grass instead of hair!
 
Pea head person
Another hair-raising idea…try growing a full head of 'pea shoot hair' with this quick germinating seed and enjoy eating the fresh, new shoots as a healthy snack.
 
Make a potato bag monster
Out of the darkness emerged the great Potato Monster! Put an old potato in a dark place and wait for it to transform. You could even use your imagination to write a short about your potato’s new personality.
 
Store cupboard scientist
Use dried beans and seeds from your kitchen cupboards to investigate how water and light affect growth.
 
Have a garden of your own?
If you are lucky enough to have access to a garden at home, you might want to try these ideas out with your young explorers:
 
Make a rainbow
Explore the colours in the garden. Make your own artist’s palette of colour by collecting natural materials and sticking them to cardboard.
 
Sensory touch boxes
Close your eyes and describe the different textures of items you’ve collected from outside. Grass can be tickly, pine cones might be prickly, and feathers soft…the possibilities are endless but the big idea is to connect your senses to what’s happening now.
 
Draw a map of your garden
Start planning what you would like to grow next year by creating a beautiful drawing of your garden and thinking about where new plants could go.
 
 
Did you try out anything here?
Take some pictures of your makes and share them with us on social media @RHSSchools or Facebook or by emailing the team schoolgardening@rhs.org.uk
 
Who knows, your young people’s handiwork might inspire others to have a go, too!
 
And don’t forget we still have plenty more activities and ideas on our website here so see what grabs you!

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