March to June is the best time for planning and planting, and getting the garden, patio or window-sill ready for summer. Like everything, the job might take three times as long when very young children are ‘helping’, but at least you’re spending some time together and keeping them happy. And most kids love getting their hands dirty and knees grassy!
Garden centres have hundreds of varieties of seeds at this time of year – check on the packet whether the flowers or vegetables you want to plant are best suited to sunny/shady or dry/damp positions. Children are usually happy to take on the responsibility of watering, although they need to be taught that flooding and drought are both equally perilous for their young seedlings.
If you’re not in the mood for waiting for things to grow, you can buy trays of pre-grown spring flowers coming into bloom now – hyacinths, tulips, daffodils – get the kids to put them in terracotta pots for instant colour and fragrance.
If they get bored of gardening, it’s totally worth the effort to create an outside area for the children to play in whilst you do it. Paving stones to draw on with chalk, dens, buckets and watering cans always go down well – and your local toy shop (or big stores like Decathlon and Argos) usually stock reasonably priced garden games like badminton, hula hoops, skittles and paddling pools.