When you’re working on your garden, it’s only natural for kids to be a little curious. If you ask most parents, kids should spend more time out in their backyards, communing with nature, and having fun with the “real life” around them. Even doctors agree; kids who spend time outside tend to be healthier, more well-adjusted, and more athletic.
During the hot summer months, there’s one tool that can help you keep your kids outside and engage them in the world of gardening: your garden hose. This tool is an amazing lure for kids who are not feeling the fascination of the outdoors. All you have to do to get kids outside more is to know how to get them interacting with a garden hose.
Having a couple of cool ideas up your sleeve can prove to be immensely useful. Need some inspiration? These activities are classics for kids of all ages:
Have a water fight using the garden hose. When the heat’s high and your kid’s morale is low, nothing quite beats out having a water fight. Just grab your hose, turn it on, and let your kids take turns squirting each other with it.
Attach your garden hose to a sprinkler and let it rip. There are few things that scream “SUMMER FUN” like seeing a sprinkler out in the garden. Kids and sprinklers go together like peanut butter and jelly. The best part about letting your kids play in the sprinkler is that you don’t have to do anything to get them outside. As soon as you tell them about it, you can expect them to run outside.
Let them have a neighborhood car wash. Teaching your kids about the importance of capitalism is a great idea, and can even encourage them to keep a business mindset. You might need to get a permit, but just let them advertise and wash cars for a nominal fee. You might end up getting them to think about their future this way.
When doing this activity, make a point of encouraging them to earn money and think of other ways to earn money. It’ll work well for them in the future.
Show them how to jump water. Also known as “Snake Jump,” this classic game involves you swinging the hose low to the ground—making it look like you have a snake made out of water. Let your kids narrowly dodge the “snake” by jumping over it. It’s a blast!
Treat your kiddos to a magical outdoor bath. Use your garden hose to fill up a kiddie pool, and add some color-changing fizzer tablets to change the color of the pools. Add some cool toys, and let them have fun in the sun. If you want to try this at night, add tonic water to the pool and shine a UV light in the pool’s direction. It’ll make the water glow. This is a good way to avoid the maintenance of a real pool, but still give your kids awesome memories.
Give your kids a plant by plant tour of your backyard. If you’ve got older kids who are a little past the age of going into a kiddie pool, you might want to consider taking time to get them interested in gardening instead. Invite them to come with you while you water the plants, and teach them about each flower you have in your garden.
This tends to be a good way for kids to bond with older family members and also get a crash course in botany. We strongly suggest this activity for kids who are over the age of eight.
Let them create their own water fountains. If you have old cans and milk jugs lying around your home, why not let your kids come up with a cool way to reuse them. Help them cut holes in the cans, and help them tie the cans to a board with holes drilled in it. Then, position the water hose above all the cans, letting the water pour from can to can in the way your kids arranged it.
Consider getting a tie dye kit for you and your kids. Tie dyeing clothing isn’t a strictly “garden” thing to do, but most parents agree that it’s definitely best to do outdoors. This hippie-friendly activity is ideal for parents who want to get their kids into creative, constructive gear.
So, where does the garden hose come into play? Simple. Tie dye kits need water in order to get the pigment prepped. The best part about this activity? You and the kids will have fashion to flaunt afterward.
Encourage your kid to start their own garden with some new plants and DIY planters. If you want to get your kiddo into the habit of communing with nature, you’ve got your work cut out for you. The best way to do it is to spend a day making planters, letting the pick out easy to grow plants, and then letting them water them with a garden hose for the first time.
While these garden activities are great and often educational for kids to try out, if you’re a serious gardener who works with rare plants, prepping your garden is a must. Make sure that you have a special part of your garden sectioned off for your children to play in.
Excessive water, such as what you might see coming out of hoses after a long water fight, can cause your soil to become muddy, lose ventilation and also lose nutrients. If you are concerned about having plants that are sensitive to high levels of moisture in your garden, sectioning off your garden and building a small barrier is the best way to prevent permanent damage to your prize-winning plants.