By: Jackie Edwards
Teaching Kids How to Craft Eco-Friendly Garden Furniture
Building with blocks and other play materials helps children develop gross and fine motor skills while also improving cognition and creativity. Seeing as only 62% of high school students in DC complete their secondary schooling in four years due to lack of resources and creative outlets, this seems especially important. Why not turn construction play into real construction? Allowing children to craft their own eco-friendly garden furniture will add a special touch to the garden's atmosphere and help make the space more comfortable. When used as a learning exercise that incorporates the benefits of gardening, crafting eco-friendly garden furniture is a great way to develop life-long skills while also promoting sustainability.
What Kids Should Understand about Eco-Friendly Furniture
Teaching kids how to make sustainable furniture will not only lay a great foundation for construction skills, but it is also a good way to encourage an understanding of sustainability and recycling. Sustainable furniture is made from materials that may be recycled, re-purposed or easily replaced, such as bamboo, which grows back quickly. Once children understand this basic concept, you might ask them to go around the garden, yard or a nature reserve and try to find sustainable materials that could be used in the construction of furniture.
Deciding on the Perfect Type of Furniture to Build
After cultivating a thriving, vivacious garden, encourage children to take a look at the layout and ponder what types of garden furniture would fit within the space. You can make a lot of furniture out of semi-constructed materials such as pallets, which can be a more practical option if you are trying to do this activity with younger children. This is actually one important aspect of sustainability that children should learn about. Ensure that they understand that any furniture that increases efficiency by providing greater utility allows them to use fewer materials, take up less space and solve more than one problem.
Safely Constructing the Garden Furniture
During this process, try to use as many natural materials as possible, since they will be safer for both the children building the furniture and safer for the environment. For a simple project, you can craft a “green railing” that uses slim planters to create a short railing around a patio or deck. If you are going to look for green building materials, you can ask around at local construction stores in order to recycle what they might be throwing out. You can also do things like making homemade lanterns that hold candles instead of using lights outdoors, or even create rainwater buckets to catch and save rainwater. Building eco-friendly furniture for a garden doesn’t always have to mean creating furniture to sit and lounge on; the more creative you can get, the better!
Like gardening, learning how to craft is a great way for children to participate in sustainable hobbies that benefit the environment and allow them to learn skills that benefit their development. Creating eco-friendly garden furniture can be a fun activity for the whole family or an after-school activity that fosters creativity and gives kids a chance to create something they’re proud of.