I. LOVE. WINTER.

It reminds me of growing up in country NSW where we rugged up in our winter woolies to play and we had days off of school when it snowed.

Now, I appreciate that building a snowman with your kids isn’t that common in SA, but there are SO many things that you can do in the garden in winter to keep them occupied and connected to nature.

Here are our top 6.

1. Plant veggies

There are a number of options for winter veggies such as broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, lettuce, herbs and Asian leafy varieties. Consider planting fast growing varieties such as lettuce every two weeks so you have a continuous crop. The key is to ensure you have good quality soil that is well-drained and you plant in a sunny spot. You don’t need a huge space and could even use a large pot. And if the pot is movable that’s even better because you can chase the sun as it changes position throughout the winter months. Also make sure you choose varieties that your family enjoys eating, there’s no point planting something that you won’t cook with.

2. Make a bird feeder

Apart from planting native bird friendly plants you could also create a bird feeder. There are so many options for repurposing things like plastic containers, cans or scrap bits of timber. The list is endless and you never know what you’ll find when you go looking through the garden shed! You can paint it to make it colourful then just hang it and fill with native bird seed.

3. Jump in puddles

SO MUCH FUN. Need I say more.

4. Recycle leaves

After you’ve finished jumping in puddles and the autumn leaves, why not put them to work. You could add some manure and water and create a compost pile for use in the garden later. Or you could spread them over the garden as mulch to keep weeds down and retain water. As they break down they’ll add nutrients to the soil. There’s so many lessons for your kids to learn throughout this process.

5. Plant winter colour

Visit your local nursery to source flowering plants or bulbs to bring colour to the gloomy winter. There are also great nurseries with café’s attached so you can stop for a snack and a babyccino at the same time! Our favourite plants to fill your garden with colour this winter are Camellia, Hellebore, Grevillea, Cyclamen and Kangaroo Paw just to name a few. You could even paint some old pots to add even more brightness!

6. Take it all in

Nature is inspiring, and it encourages our sense of wonder if we just set aside some time to really observe it. I know we lead busy lives but the benefits of slowing down with your kids in nature can be so beneficial, even if it’s only for a short while. By sitting and looking up at the structure of a deciduous tree, raindrops falling on a leaf or ants crawling over a log, you can go on a bit of a journey together…. And you just never know where it might lead.