Wednesday Tips #6

Heide 003 cropped

I recently enjoyed a morning with my eldest grand-daughter at  Heide Museum of Modern Art.  This gallery runs regular sessions for adults and pre-school aged children. Linked with a current exhibition, each session enables  adults and children to view the exhibition together and then share art activities linked to the exhibition theme.

Also included  in the morning’s activities were a shared book reading and a delicious morning tea.

There was a charge for the session for the accompanying adult but it was very reasonable with a concession available.

We enjoyed the morning’s activities very much and after a couple of hours went home with my young artist carrying her precious creative efforts to share with  her family. I recommend investigating what is available at Art Galleries in your area. Meanwhile we have booked in for  next month’s session!  




Wednesday Tips #5


Even when the weather is cold there is always something to look at in a garden. There may be fairy toadstools to see (but not touch!), pansies cheering up gloomy weather with their happy faces, fallen  camellia blooms to gather and float in a shallow bowl of water or birds busy gathering nectar from Winter flowering native shrubs. Whilst doing these things with your grandchild there will be many opportunities to talk and wonder together thus helping with the development of language and an appreciation of our natural world.

If you and your grandchild planted daffodil bulbs during Autumn, now is the time to start looking for  strong green shoots pushing up through the soil.



daffodil sprouts



Wednesday Tips #4

tulips 012Most young children find growing plants both interesting and enjoyable. Bulbs are generally easy to grow with rewarding results. After planting a bulb, growth is fairly rapid once  the foliage appears above the ground. A few weeks later and a bud will emerge to swell and finally  burst revealing a flower.

Tulips can be planted from late Summer to early Winter and daffodils a little earlier. If there is no garden space available, bulbs also grow well in pots which could then be placed on a sunny windowsill or balcony. Best results will be obtained if a good, free draining potting mix is used and the bulbs are planted at the correct depth (usually written on the side of the bulb packet or else ask the specialist at point of sale). You can talk with your young gardener about which way is the right way up to plant the bulb as roots grow down and shoots grow up.

Once placed in the growing medium and carefully covered with their blanket of soil to keep the bulbs snug, regular watering is necessary to ensure adequate moisture,  a perfect job for your young gardener (ensure free drainage). Before long there will be excitement as the first  shoots emerge like  little green pointers. Then in late Winter or Spring you should be rewarded with  fat flower buds which will finally burst to reveal  beautiful daffodils or brightly coloured tulips.

It may be worth following up the experience by looking closely at an onion together to see how a bulb has many layers and to find right at the heart the shoot just waiting to grow. If you go to the greengrocer, supermarket or market together you could also investigate the types of bulbs we can eat. Different coloured onions, leeks, shallots, salad and spring onions and fennel are all edible bulbs.