Today is the first day of spring and while, for many of us, the following weeks will see the children at home and normal life at a standstill, you can still take advantage of the great outdoors to keep your children entertained.

With lighter evenings on the horizon and temperatures starting to creep up, you should use this time with your children to explore lots of games and activities in the garden. We've put together a list of our favourite garden activities for children to inspire you to keep things interesting at this challenging time.

1. Make your own bird feeder

Over the next few weeks, birds will be building new nests and laying their eggs which means there'll be lots of little birds around. With these extra little mouths to feed, now is a great time to get the kids involved with making a bird feeder. 

You can really get creative with this and use a bunch of different things that are laying around the house, but one of the simplest DIY bird feeders can be made using an old plastic bottle and an old plate. You can see how to do it below:

Once your new bird feeder is all set up, you can perch on your chairs and see which little birdies pay you a visit! This is a garden activity that will keep both mum, dad and the kids enjoying nature for weeks to come. Just remember to top up the bird seed periodically.

2. Growing vegetables or flowers

child with plant pot

If you have plant pot or a decking planter and some compost freely available, then a great activity for children is growing something in the garden. Whether you plant a beautiful species of flower or some delicious fruits and vegetables is up to you! 

Your children can be in charge of watering the plants and checking that they're growing over the coming weeks. They might even get a tasty treat from mother nature out of it, making their garden efforts all worthwhile!

3. Build a bee hotel

Much like the little birds, bees will be coming out to pay us a visit over the next few weeks. Now is a great time to educate your children about the importance of bees in our ecosystem, and what better way to help them out than by building a bee hotel.

Building a bee hotel might sound like something that you need a civil engineering degree for, but trust us, it's simple!

Potter around your home and garden and see if you can gather:

  • A terracotta plant pot or similar container
  • Some straws or hollow sticks and twigs (bamboo works great)
  • Some modelling clay
  • String

The goal with your bee hotel is to create nooks and crannies for the bees to nest in, again, you and the children can really get creative with this one. 

bee exploring bamboo

The basic method is:

1. Trim the straws or sticks so they sit comfortably inside your plant pot. You can make more than one bundle of varying lengths if you like!

2. Using a length of string, tie your sticks together so they aren't likely to fall out or move around as the bees explore your hotel. 

3. Press some modelling clay into the base of your plant pot, and use it to adhere the bundle to the bottom of the pot. 

4. Add any other extras you like and pop your bee hotel somewhere quiet in the garden.

You and the kids can keep an eye on the bee hotel and watch the fuzzy friends buzzing in and out all day long!

4. Treasure hunt

treasure hunt

It's not quite time for the annual Easter egg hunt yet, but there are plenty of other treasure hunts you could set up in the garden for your little ones. Why not hide a selection of their favourite toys and create a simple treasure map to get them out in the fresh air for a few hours?

This is a great one if you have more than one child at home at the moment because it gets them either working together or working competitively - both of which are great fun!

We hope this gives you some good ideas to keep the little ones occupied over the next few weeks. Just make sure that you and your children wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you come back inside. Whether you're self-isolating or not, getting out in the garden and on to your decking is a safe and fun way to keep the children engaged and happy over the coming weeks!