May 23, 2017

Top 5 Best Chooks for Kids

Guest Post written by Sarah-Jayne McCreath from Backyard Chicken Coops.

Chickens make the best pets for your growing children. A flock of chooks provide love, a sense of responsibility and teach our kids the importance of compassion and care. They are super cute and affectionate and make great backyard pals for toddlers to teenagers and all in between. If you want your kids to have the best when it comes to pets – check out our top 5 breeds to choose for your kids below and get cluckin’ on that family flock!

 

Orpingtonchooks-4-kids-1

These heavy-set, fluffy and cuddly ladies are super friendly pets for kids. Their docile and curious natures make them the perfect backyard companion – happy to follow your kids around and assist on their garden adventures.  For the grown-ups, Orpington ladies will make an “eggs-traordinary” addition to any chicken lovers flock, giving you good sized eggs on a regular basis.

 

Pekinchooks-4-kids-2

Pekins are docile and gentle-natured girls who are cute to boot! Their small stature makes them an adorable and easily handled pet for small children. Not to mention their beautiful full plumage which will delight young and old as they busily forage around the backyard.

 

 

Isa Brownchooks-4-kids-3

The humble ISA Brown chook may be a common sight amongst farms and backyards, but that doesn’t mean they exist to lay eggs alone! These amber-hued girls make wonderfully affectionate pets for children with their calm temperaments and curious outlook on life. Give an ISA Brown chicken a good home and some space to forage and you will have a friendly and faithful backyard companion to keep you and your kids company for years to come – not to mention a great supply of delicious eggs!

 

chooks-4-kids-4Silkie

These cute and quirky girls love nothing more than being tucked under your arm for a little bit of TLC. Silkie chickens are the very definition of all things cute and gentle. Easy to handle and easy to love, these girls are a great addition to any backyard flock and make calm and compliant pets for young chicken keepers who are learning to look after some laying ladies.

 

Plymouth Rockchooks-4-kids-5

These laid back chooks make for chilled and cuddly pets for kids! The Plymouth Rock chicken will let them practice their hen holding skills, is very relaxed about being showered with kid kisses and isn’t fazed by the missteps in proper hen handling procedure that kids will inevitably take.

 

If you are ready to take the plunge and get your kids some feathered friends for the backyard, it’s important to supervise them on initial interactions to make sure both your chook and your child get along well. While most breeds are true to temperament, each chook is an independent woman and may go against the grain! Once a relationship is established, your kids will adore keeping their chook charges well fed and loved up for many years to come!

 

Check out the Complete Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Chickens at Backyard Chicken Coops and enter their competition here drawn May 1st to win a Taj Mahal Chicken Coop and Starter Kit to start living the chook dream!

Writing Names on Fruit and Vegies

Message on a Banana

Message on a Banana

WRITING NAMES AND DESIGNS ON FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

Scratching your children’s name into growing pumpkins, zucchinis or melons is such a fun and simple activity, but it gives the children months’ worth of enjoyment as they watch their creations grow!

Here are 3 tried and tested edibles that work really well for this activity:

  • Pumpkins, zucchinis (and any other members of the squash family)
  • Watermelon
  • Passion fruit (scratch your design while they’re still green)

[Read more…]

10 Tips To Get Children Involved In The Garden

Fun In The Garden

Fun In The Garden

We are frequently asked “How can I get my kids interested in gardening?”.  And these days with easy access to a range of electronic entertainment devices, it is more important than ever to encourage children to create their own garden and grow their own food.  Here are our top ten tips to encourage your kids into the garden.

1 Have Fun

Without doubt the most important tip of all!  As a child when I visited my grandparents, I always received the fun tasks in their extensive vegie patch.  I was never asked to weed, but always ready to help out with harvesting, planting or watering on a hot day!  Let the kids do the fun activities and do the mundane jobs yourself.

2 Give Children Their Own Space To Garden.

Let your kids have ownership of their own garden bed, to grow their own plants and to decorate it how they want to.  Start with easy to grow vegies, flowers or herbs.  All of the plants in our Vegie, Flower and Herb Patch Kits have been specially chosen to be easy and quick to grow.

3 Have Tools That Are Made For Children

Having size appropriate tools can make all the difference.  Gloves that fit snugly are a must, as are hand tools specifically designed for children.  A large watering can is going to be too heavy for a child to lift, but a smaller one or a Bottle Top Waterer will be just perfect.

4 Start Small

Whilst we would all love to have magnificent blooming gardens that flow on for acres, we need to be realistic when gardening with kids.  Start with a small garden bed, or plant some strawberries or tomatoes in a pot or two.  Probably, one of the easiest ways to start growing is to grow vegetable tops on a saucer of water;  Carrots, leeks, turnips, celery and bok choy will all grow leaves from the stem that is usually thrown away or composted.

5 Plant The Right Plants For The Season And Climate Zone

Kids will quickly loose interest if seeds don’t germinate or plants die, so make sure that the plants you grow are appropriate.  Growing pineapples or bananas in Victoria or Tasmania will probably never work, likewise, growing broccoli or cauliflower during the wet season in Northern Australia will be a disaster!  Research online or use our Grow Guide to ensure your kids have every chance of gardening success.

6 Aim For Some Quick Results

Kids will respond better to plants that grow and/or germinate quickly.  Try planting some cress or radish seeds, both these seeds with germinate within a day or two.  And just like my kids, I always get excited to see my new “babies”!  Making a Cress Egg Head can be a fun and nutritious activity for children.

7 Get Arty

Gardening isn’t always about growing plants.  Children will love to make a scarecrow, a bird feeder or even paint their own rocks to use as plant labels garden art. Older children can write the names of plants on the rocks, whilst younger kids can plant the colour of the flower, or simply do their own thing!

8 Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle!

“Junk Gardening” can look absolutely fantastic and this a bit of creativity, lots of items that we throw away can be used in the garden, and it teaches are children an important lesson about sustainably.  We recently made a herb garden from an old kettle BBQ.  Another great idea for children is to make mini gardens from used tin cans.  My children have painted old surfboards and a worn out rotary clothes line, all used to brighten up the garden.  Almost another can be used, one of my daughters came home from school recently with sweet peas planted in an old pencil case!  Be creative, the kids will love it!

 9 Create Some Wild Areas

Children love seeing wildlife in their garden.  Try creating a birdfeeder, a bird bath or even a lizard lounge.  Grow some plants that attract butterflies and birds.

10 Be Prepared For Some Loses

When planting seeds, seedlings or plants with children, I usually use at least twice as many as are required.  As all gardeners know, sometimes things don’t go to plan and plants die or seeds don’t germinate.  By doubling the required number you will reduce the chance of a complete flop, so the children won’t loose interest.  And if garden plan A doesn’t work, remember there are 25 other letters in the alphabet.

I hope these ideas will give you some inspiration to help your kids love gardening and growing their own food.

Happy Gardening

Erica

 

 

Mini Succulent Garden using Recycled Tin Cans

Mini Succulent Garden made from Recycled Tin Cans

Mini Succulent Garden made from Recycled Tin Cans

These super cute mini gardens are incredibly easy for children to make.  Using waste tin cans and succulent cuttings, they make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift.

The kids and I have been stuck inside with nasty colds so we spent some time decorating some used tin cans to be used as mini gardens. We then ventured outside to take some cuttings and make up these nifty little garden gifts. [Read more…]

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