It’s Spring, it’s holiday season and the weather is beautiful all the time! Well, that’s what I was thinking before the long weekend started: buy some mulch, buy some plants, buy some stepping stones, sort out that narrow strip down the side of the house that has a flurishing weed garden and make it all nice and proper garden-y.

That didn’t go exactly according to plan but good weather is just around the corner, so it’s time to think about getting the kids outside and doing a fun garden project together. A suburban backyard might not be a national park but getting out in ‘nature’ has so many physical and mental benefits it’s good for all of us and we should encourage the habit as early as possible.

It can be as simple as covering that bare patch of dirt with a pretty flower bed to marking out a square and digging the soil over and seeding some vegies. If you already have a nice garden, then go exploring and find and observe some of the locals you are sharing this space with (do some wildlife watching!).

Here are a few titles to get your creative plans going:

The best ever
step-by-step
kid’s first gardening

/ Jenny Hendy.

The gardening book
/ Jane Bull.

Grow it, eat it

Ready, steady, grow!
/ Deborah Lock.

If you child is a little bit small for pushing wheelbarrows or digging and shoveling, ease them in with a Junior Kindy book or two:

A perfect day for digging
/ by Cari Best.

A patch from scratch /
by Megan Forward.

If you plant a seed /
words and paintings
by Kadir Nelson.

Grandpa’s garden /
written by Stella Fry.

So go on, get out there in the fresh air and sunshine, dig a hole, plant something, water and care for it and enjoy the fruits of your labour. And if, at the end of all that, you just end up with a dirty child and a pile of freshly made mud pies, how much fun was that!

Oh, and just to finish off on a pram jammy note, here’s a rhyme to fit the occasion:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.