Advancing Children's Health

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Share Good Times in the Garden

Published by , on Jul 17, 2013

gardeningTo celebrate the first summer of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s new rooftop Children’s Garden, we’d like to share some fun ideas for activities you can enjoy in your favorite garden or outdoor spot. Make time for outdoor fun with friends and family this summer!Nature HuntNature hunts are a great way to get children outside and a fun way for them to learn about their natural surroundings. Make a list of things children might find in your garden, backyard, neighborhood or local park. Ideas include: butterflies, rocks, seeds, leaves, spider webs, and certain types of flowers and plants. To document what is found, have children draw pictures, take photos or describe the items to you. Rubbings can be taken of leaves as a keepsake.Bird FeedersMaking bird feeders is an engaging craft that encourages children to create something helpful and see the follow through of the completed product. The materials needed are peanut butter (sunflower or almond butters work, too), bird seed, string and a base. A variety of items can be used for the base including pine cones, bagels, toilet paper rolls, or cardboard shapes and letters (often available at craft stores). Start by applying a thick coat of peanut butter to the base with a small spatula. Once it is covered, roll it in the bird seed and tie to a branch with the string. Encourage children to check the bird feeder often to see who visits!Stepping StonesStepping stones are not only a great way to decorate your yard or garden, they can also be a fun craft to complete as a family! Slabs of stone can be purchased at a local hardware store ($1-5 range) and decorated with weatherproof paint. You can personalize your stones by adding names and birthdays of family members or by adding gems and small, colorful stones using a hot glue gun.Safety Tip Always watch young children closely when they are doing projects with paint, art supplies, scissors, glue or any small objects.Does your family have a favorite outdoor activity? Share it with us in the comments.

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