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Flower cutting, treasure hunts and camping - garden fun for kids

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 03 May 2011 at 01:38 PM

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And so, at last the summer term begins. Well, OK, so it started last week, but two days of making bunting and dressing up followed by a four day weekend shouldn't really count (although, admittedly this will probably form the basis of my curriculum should I ever start my own educational establishment).

So now I can catch my breath and look back on Easter holiday garden highlights and by highlights I of course mean "things with which I was able to occupy the children for longer than ten minutes which didn't involve some sort of screen".

In reverse order, these were...

At number three - flower cutting

Now it's been photographed for the book, I was able to let the kids loose on our cutting garden. As expected their resultant bouquets embraced 'vibrancy' before 'subtlety'.

At number two - treasure hunts

My children are fans of clue-driven hunts - and they see no reason to limit this to the Easter Egg trails.  I simply write down a series of clues to lead them all around the garden until they find 'treasure' (or to be more exact, a couple of chocolate coins left over from Christmas).

Admittedly, it can start to get a little tiring thinking up clues ("I'm a climber and rhyme with hysteria") but in a joyous turn of events the children even started writing their own clues for each other. Now if they could just learn to cook a well-balanced meal and use the washing machine my work here is done.

At number one - camping

It's alright, the earth hasn't spun off its axis. I still think, nay know, that camping is the devil's hobby, but I now at least see the point of tents. We bought a small, pop-up, two-man number in the sales at the end of last summer and it has been the children's outdoor base all holiday.

They've taken out toys and books, played games for hours on end and even, in one particularly Bohemian moment, serenaded me with a mouth organ recital whilst sitting cross legged and stark naked under canvas.

On a practical note, if you do buy a tent, do remember to move it to a new patch of lawn every 2-3 days to keep your grass in good nick. Also, try to go for 'subtle' rather than 'vibrant' in your tent colour palette unless you want it to dominate the garden.  Finally, please note, naked serenading, whilst 'adorable' on the very young, will be less appealing on anyone over 30.

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