09:37 29 April 2010
Spring has sprung and the weather is finally good enough to get outside in the garden. But whether you have a large outdoor space or only room for a window box, there are ways for everyone in the family to become green fingered.
New research has found that today's youth are spending on average just four hours a week outdoors, compared to the 12 hours enjoyed by their parents' generation when growing up.
Unsurprisingly, nine out of 10 parents think they have a better appreciation of nature and the environment than their child as a result.
And this belief is supported in the results from the new survey by npower Climate Cops, which found that 13% of children do not understand the process of growing.
Top of the list of reasons preventing children from accessing the great outdoors is predictably the not so great British weather but a significant fifth of the population attribute it to a lack of space in Britain's increasingly overcrowded urban spaces and 6% of kids say they are prevented from spending time outside as their parents don't like them to get dirty.
Also unsurprisingly, computer games and television are providing yet another distraction for some children, as 12% say that they can't find anything fun to do outside.
To reverse this trend, and help kids understand the science of growing, npower Climate Cops has teamed up with mum-to-be Denise Van Outen help children develop 'greener fingers' by learning how to make the most of any outdoor space.
Whether you use a window box, a pot, or a flower bed, getting the children involved means that not only will they be entertained, but they will also have something they own and can be proud of.
Growing fruit or vegetables will help teach them where food comes from. Choose something easy like tomatoes or herbs to get them started. Just make sure that you and your children water daily, and pinch some of the leaves to encourage new buds.
Or if flowers are more up their street, sunflowers make for an easy option which your children can plant then chart their growth, providing unlimited enjoyment throughout the summer months.
In the following video Denise Van Outen and some very green helpers show you how to get started as well as giving you tips for successful and happy planting:
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