Engaging outdoor projects are a great way to disconnect your children from the computer screens and bring them outside to spend some quality time in fresh air. They will enjoy the sense of accomplishment and learn new skills in the process while you, on the other hand, will get amazing help in perfecting your home’s curb appeal. These fun little projects don’t cost much and will surely spark a ton of creativity.
Let your creativity run wild
Working on an outdoor project with your kids is rewarding for everyone. Still, if you are planning to make stuff with kids, make sure you keep it completely safe at all times. Provide gloves and safety glasses for every little carpenter or stone mason. Also, keep the projects simple. Projects that require you to do most of the work won’t be very interesting for your kids. Finally, keep in mind that kids’ attention spans are short, so keep every project under one hour.
Paint the mailbox
This project is especially rewarding as the mailbox is a feature that is clearly visible from across the street. Your kids will be filled with pride if everyone can see their artwork. Dismount the box and give it a good clean. After it is completely dry, coat it with a metal primer and let your kids take over. Craft stores often have inexpensive stencils that can help your kids create interesting designs without smudging everything. Visit the store together and let your kids choose the ones they like. Add a new house number as a final touch.
Build a pergola or trellis
There is a hard way and the kid way. Home improvement depots offer simple DIY kits that you and your crew can raise in one or two hours. If your kids’ attention wanders off, let them play for a bit and call them back when it is done to help you carry the finished trellis back to its place. You can also build your own!
Plant a butterfly shrub
This project is one of those with delayed reward – the gratification only comes when the shrub blooms and butterflies and hummingbirds get attracted by its nectar. Dig a hole and let the kids fill it with outdoor potting soil. As the plants root in, show them how to water them properly. Plants that will attract butterflies are the butterfly shrub Buddleia and Potentilla. Hummingbirds are attracted to shrubs that produce high nectar like Hibiscus, flowering quince, and Lantana.
Stack an impossible plant tower
The optical illusion involved in this project will really excite your kids. Plant a piece of ½-inch copper pipe or an iron rod firmly into the ground and stack clay flower pots of various sizes onto the pipe using their drain holes. When you fill the pots with soil, their weight will make them stand at whatever crazy angle you tilt them. It is important that the rod is firmly planted as it will carry the weight of the whole stack. Anemones, clematis or petunias are easy-care plants and perfect for this use.
Cast creative stepping stones
You will need ready-mix concrete or mortar. For three to five stepping stones buy one 40-lb bag. Let your kids design the shapes that can be made out of wood, or use aluminum cake pans as ready-made molds. While the concrete is still fresh, put the kids in charge of decorating the casts with tiles, marbles, and pebbles. Wait for 48 hours for the concrete to dry, and remove the block from the mold. Finally, use a durable concrete floor sealer to protect the concrete stones from weathering and erosion.
Using these garden improvement projects, you can pass on the love for landscaping to your kids. They will enjoy the time actively spent outside and have a sweet taste of DIY home improvement.
Author Bio: If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on LinkedIn.
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