Here are a few ideas of fun projects to do with your children during summer break.
This is an easy activity, but requires a bit of patience for the sunflowers to grow to their full height. Your children will have fun making their own special area in the yard.
Mark out an area in the garden or lawn that receives six to eight hours of direct sun each day (shape and size can be adjusted to how you want it). If the area is lawn, you will need to remove the sod where the “walls” will grow, leaving an opening for the entrance. For thicker “walls,” plant two or more rows of sunflowers; the outer wall can be shorter sunflowers for younger children to be able to enjoy the flowers and for more privacy. Once the sod had been removed (roughly four to six inches wide if planting one row, 10 to 12 inches if planting a double row), scratch up the soil and plant the sunflower seeds as directed on the packet. Water the seeds in well and check every few days to see how they are growing. Once the plants are large enough you can mulch them in to help keep the weeds down.
These are lots of fun to make and can be enjoyed year after year in the garden. Your child’s imagination can run wild when making these. Beads, tiles, stained glass, shells, rocks and more can be used to decorate these.
We use the bottoms of nursery pots so have a wide range of sizes to choose from, but these can be made either in place (dig the size/shape you want in the soil) or in a container like a milk or water jug. These can be a bit messy to make so if doing them inside be sure to have paper or towels handy.
Gather the materials you want to use in the stones and place them where they will be handy to reach for everyone. If using a milk jug or nursery pot be sure to cut it down to be about one inch higher than you want your stone to be. Before mixing the cement, you may want to plan out your design.
Mix up the cement according to directions and add to your container. There will be some small rocks in the cement mix, but these can be easily pressed deeper so they don’t show. Once you’ve smoothed the cement, add the beads, shells or whatever materials you have chosen, pressing in to the cement enough so it will hold in place. Keep in mind these will be walked on so watch for sharp points sticking up.
Let them cure overnight, remove them from container and enjoy in your garden!
These are also lots of fun to make but very messy! Old towels or small blankets dipped in cement and then hung over an upside pot make a really unique looking pot.
Gather up some old towels or small blankets, a bag of cement and a large container to mix the cement in. If you don’t have a cement pan, a five-gallon bucket will work. Because you will be putting your hands in the cement be sure to wear neoprene gloves and old clothes.
Before mixing the cement, have the pots the towels will hang on upside down on top of something that will suspend them so the towel can hang below the end of the pot without touching the ground.
Once you have everything in place, mix the cement according to directions, but you will want it a bit thinner as the towel will absorb moisture. Immerse the towel in the cement, making sure all parts of the towel are covered. Hold it up a bit to let the excess cement drip off. Depending on the size pot you are making, the towel will be really heavy and your child may need some help lifting it. Once the cement has dripped off, place the towel over the upside-down pot. There will be one side that is longer than the other, which you can adjust to your liking, and you can adjust the folds as well. Let the new pot dry (which may take up to 24 hours depending on size) until it can hold its shape. Carefully pull the inside pot out of the cement pot and set it right side up to make sure the bottom will sit evenly. Let it finish drying thoroughly before planting in it. As the cement will wick water away, drainage holes are not necessary.