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Kids outdoor projects and ideas

From the Resene decorating blog

Most of us at one stage or another look at the kids on their screens or hanging out indoors and wish they would get outside to play more often.

That doesn’t mean you have to stop what you are doing and take them down to the local playground. Having fun outdoors can happen in your own backyard no matter how big or small.

Here are some ideas on how to entice your youngsters outdoors.

Funky herb labels for your garden

Funky vege labels for your garden

Use Resene paint stirrers, seed packets and your own artistic skill for these funky vege and herb labels. The plant names are painted using a testpot of Resene Grass Stain.

Get them involved

Growing your own vegies, feeding the birds and even making your own honey are activities that are on the increase due to our heightened awareness of healthy eating and looking after our natural environment. Children can easily get involved in all three.

Give them a corner of the vegie patch or make them a simple raised vegie garden out of fence palings, then get them to either plant their own seeds, or pant and raise seedlings. They can make plant tags out of Resene paint stirrers and label the various crops.

Painted beehives for your garden - pastel hues

If you’ve built a raised timber vegie garden, ask the kids to paint it either in their own colour choices or under your guidance. Use Resene Lumbersider, which is specially formulated for outdoor use.

When children have put in the effort to tend to their own vegies, they’re much less likely to turn their nose up at mealtimes. This is where the garden-to-plate exercise really does have added rewards.

Cherry tomatoes plants are always a winner – the fruit is super sweet, like garden ‘lollies’. Try lettuces where the outer leaves can be cropped rather than the whole plant. Beans are fun with needing to train the plants up a frame. Coloured-stem silverbeet will look more interesting to a child’s eye, and of course strawberries are a perennial favourite.

Make a bird feeder for your garden

Make a bird house for your garden

Make a bird feeder out of an plastic milk bottle and paint it Resene Dizzy Lizzy with streaks in Resene Neva for a more natural look. Paint the fringed strips Resene Hi Jinx, Resene Rocket, Resene Bright Spark and Resene Neva. Or make a birdhouse out of timber with a fun Resene Clockwork Orange roof.

Making a bird-feeder is a fun project, and keeps kids engaged long term with adding food like seeds, apples and sugar-water. A feeder can be a simple platform of timber, or made out of an old plastic bottle. Set the kids on a bird-watching and counting project, taking a note of how many birds visit and learning to identify the different breeds of birds.

Making a bird house adds another dimension throughout spring and summer as busy parent birds raise their young. Get the kids to watch out for the fledglings as they emerge and learn to fly.

There has been a lot of publicity about the threat our honey bees are under, and what better way to do your bit than to have some beehives. Obviously, if you or your children are allergic to bee stings, this isn’t a good idea. But contrary to imaginings, bees usually aren’t that interested in stinging you; they’re keener on getting on with looking after their queen and making honey.

Bee-keeping can be fairly hands-off anyway, with services available to stock and maintain the hives as well as harvest the honey.

The kids can certainly help paint the hives – the reason hive boxes are often painted various bright colours is so that the bee can find their way home to the right box. Bees don’t like red, brown or black, preferring blue, pink, mauve, yellow and green. Resene paints are non-toxic, so perfect for use on beehives.

Paint plant pots with your kids

Kids will love painting plant pots in bright colours. These are in Resene Daredevil (deep orange), Resene Party Zone (bright orange), Resene Pink Ribbon, Resene Lazy River (blue) and Resene Poppy (red). The fence is in Resene Safehaven.

Things to make

While you have the brushes out, how about getting the kids to paint up your plant pots. It’s a project that’s good for budding painters as they don’t have to be that precise. Use Resene Terracotta Sealer first on porous pots so that the moisture doesn’t letch through and affect the paint, and put down plenty of dropcloths or have them paint on the lawn to avoid unwanted mess or paint spills.

Paint a fun signpost in your garden

This fun signpost uses classic AA signs but the kids could make their own, paint them in Resene Bright Spark yellow and add their own wording, like ‘nana’s house’ or ‘skate park’.

Create a giant jenga game

It’s the game that combines fun with strategic thinking… and this giant version of Jenga will take it to another level. The kids will love spending time outdoors with this giant set, made using timber pieces and finished in Resene Woodsman stains: Resene Pickled Bean, Resene Tamarind, Resene Grey Green and Resene Natural.

How about a fun signpost in a corner of the garden. Use some plywood or timber planking, cut the end into an arrow wedge, then have the kids paint them yellow – Resene Bright Spark is ideal for this – and add their own labels like ‘nana’s house’ or ‘skate park’.

Tack a piece of plywood to the fence, and paint it in Resene Blackboard Paint for a fun outdoor chalkboard to draw on.

Involve the kids in making a pebble doormat in a rainbow of colours. They can collect the pebbles, or you can buy them inexpensively from the local garden centre or hardware store. Paint the pebbles in any colours you or they desire, then glue them onto a plastic backing – a simple plastic non-slip bathroom or kitchen mat will do.

Make a fun and colourful pebble mat

This pebble mat uses Resene Turbo, Resene Wild Thing, Resene Moonlight and Resene Alabaster. The deck is finished in Resene Woodsman Iroko stain, the succulent holder is painted in Resene Swiss Caramel and the doorstep in Resene Sepia.

Buy some framing timber or use off-cuts from a recent project and have the kids make their own giant jenga game. You could paint the different pieces of timber, or stain them with a colour from the Resene Woodsman exterior stains range for a more natural look.

Resene Moonlight

Resene Swiss Caramel

Resene Party Zone

Resene Lazy River

Resene Safehaven

Resene Pink Ribbon

October 12, 2018

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