The lockdown period is the perfect time to teach the kids how to whip up basic meals. Get them involved in dinner planning by making a list of their favourite meals or cuisines they have an interest in. A good way to encourage children to brave the kitchen is by gifting them with their own recipe book. This may be something you buy online or a special hand-me-down book of granny's old recipes. Also invite the kids to help you out with tasks in the kitchen, such as chopping vegetables or preparing the ingredients for a sauce. Don't forget to teach them proper knife skills to avoid accidents!
Do you or your little one have a birthday coming up? While you may not be able to go out and celebrate, you can still throw a cool lockdown party. Get the kids involved in baking their own birthday cake, cupcakes or making party packs for the family. This way they are still allowed to feel special on their birthday, while learning a great new skill. Check out our article on baking for beginners to find a few easy recipes to try out with the kids.
Autumn is the perfect time to prepare your garden for the coming winter and impending spring season. Get the kids involved in mulching your soil, transplanting herbs and watering your garden. Studies have shown that there are numerous motor-neuron benefits attributed to playing in the mud and getting a little dirt on your hands. So, get out your child's wellington boots and allow them to explore the garden and discover new worlds. Make up stories of garden fairies and gnomes if you must, but make it as fun as possible.
As older children may be less inclined to join you outside, make gardening part of their chores. Teach them the names of the plants and how or where to plant them. They may not show much interest in gardening now, but they'll learn that later on in life it sure comes in handy to know your petunias from your primroses!
You may be asking, are arts and crafts really a life skill? The answer is yes. Learning a crafting skill at a young age not only helps children develop healthy hobbies, but can be revisited later on in life as a means to make extra income. Plus, teaching your child how to knit, crochet, sew or sculpt is a great bonding experience. During this time, you may also want to invest more time in your children's artistic education. These skills are often the first to be forgotten in overburdened education systems, but play a vital role in young people's mental health and ability to express themselves with confidence. Check out these handy online arts and crafts resources for kids and adults to get started.
Dads, this one is directed at you. Teach your kids how to fix things for themselves! Not only may this save them money in the future, but it's a deeply personal gift to pass on to your little ones. If you are blessed with the ability to pull something apart and put it back together better than new, don't let this talent end with you. Start with the basics - how to change a tyre or a lightbulb. If you seem to spark an interest, move on to bigger DIY tasks. They may become your right hand man or woman!
What are some of the valuable life skills your parents passed on to you? Let us know how you will be imparting this vital knowledge onto your kids during this lockdown period!
While the colder seasons may not seem like the ideal time to get your garden in order, this is in fact the best time of year to prepare for the spring growing season. Make some time over the season to get your garden in fine shape by trimming unruly hedges, uprooting weeds and giving your soil a little extra love. Mulching is a great way to inject your soil with all the good nutrients it needs to make it through winter.
In preparation for the coming frost, you may also want to ensure that you have adequate resources to protect your precious plants. Don't prune your roses at this point, rather leave them to naturally prepare for winter by forming seed pods. You can use a light mesh fabric to cover roses and other delicate plants once the first frosts of winter bite.
Making a trip to the grocery store for fresh vegetables is like entering combat in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you don't already have your own vegetable patch growing, why not get busy planting one while under lockdown? Now is the perfect time to sow beetroot, brussel sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsnips, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips.
Consider planting herbs alongside your veggies as these may deter pests from chewing up your hard-dug work. Sowing seeds in planting trays may also prove more fruitful than scattering them over dusty ground. Once they have been well-rooted, transplant them into a freshly prepared bed of soil. You may not reap cartloads full of fresh vegetables right away, but the rewards should be worth your efforts in the long run.
Before COVID-19 took over all spheres of life, the humble Spekboom was the 'in thing' of the moment. This eco-warrior of a plant can absorb up to 10 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare per year - that's ten times more effective at carbon fixing than tropical rain forests! If you haven't gotten round to planting this great, green plant in your garden yet, do so now. Once you're on the eco-friendly planting bandwagon, check out our article on the best water saving plants to add to your flower beds.
We understand that living in the city of gold often means that garden space is limited or completely non-existent. However, this does not mean that you cannot take up gardening as a hobby during lockdown. Indoor urban gardening is the ideal solution for complex or apartment dwellers. Get yourself a couple of oxygen pumping plants to help circulate air in your home and bring a sense of peace and calm. Think ferns, cacti, orchids and hanging plants. You might also consider replanting your outdoor herbs into indoor pots to protect them from chilly spells.
Do you have any other nifty gardening hacks to share? Let us know about them!