The summer holidays can be a wonderful time, but it can also sometimes be quite a challenge to keep kids away from computer screens and the TV. Your polytunnel can be a useful resource to keep kids entertained while they are off school. Not only can you get them involved in sowing, growing, harvesting and cooking, you can also use the space in your polytunnel to create a crafting area, where you can make a mess without worrying about cleaning up your home afterwards. Here are five ideas for crafty things to do with kids in your polytunnel:
Create Crafty Nature Collages
The polytunnel and the rest of your garden can provide a wide range of resources that you and your kids can use to make art. Collect leaves, flowers and other natural items and press them to create crafty nature collages. Boost their imagination by helping them to see the beauty of the natural world around them, and showing them how to use those beautiful things in new and creative ways.
Make Some Paper
Using scrap card and paper from around your home, and natural plant fibres from your polytunnel and garden, you could consider helping your kids to make their own paper. It may be rather rustic but who cares? Making your own paper can be a fun, crafty activity for the whole family to enjoy.
Make Some Paint With Natural Dyes and Pigments
You may be surprised to learn that it is also extremely easy to make your own paints from natural dyes and pigments that you will find around you in your polytunnel and/or elsewhere in your garden. Mix dyes and pigments from soil etc. with egg white to create traditional tempera paint – and have some fun experimenting and making different colours.
Sew With Seeds To Make Jewellery
Your polytunnel may provide you with a whole range of seeds of different shapes and sizes. Older children may enjoy taking some excess seeds and using these to create their own bracelets and necklaces. Seeds can be dipped in paint and, when dry, can be carefully pierced with a needle and strung onto cotton thread.
Make Some Baskets
Another crafty option that will allow you to make use of natural materials in and around your polytunnel is to use twigs or plant fibres to make woven baskets. This is a craft activity that could allow the whole family to learn useful new skills, as well as having some fun and creating useful items for the polytunnel garden and your home.
Have you been having some crafty fun in your polytunnel this summer? Let us know in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.