Creative Projects at Home

Creative Projects at Home

31 activities and ideas that re-use common household materials

Created by: Martha Casserly, Environmental Awareness Officer Niamh Moran, Assistant Environmental Awareness Officer

31 March 2020

Discover a new hobby and get creative with an eco-friendly project!

In these unprecedented times, individuals and families are staying at home to save lives.

This booklet was designed to share some ideas, activities and projects that re-use materials commonly found in the home. This booklet has a range of ideas for all ages. Upcycling is also great for the environment, prevents waste and reduces our carbon footprint. Please visit Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council ‘s website for the latest information on our services during the COVID-19 measures.

Visit the dlr website:

For general enquiries please email

Environmental Awareness Section, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, County Hall, Marine Road, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland.


31 March 2020


Section 1: upcycling clothes

Homemade cleaning cloths

Page 6

Luxurious gift-wrapping fabric

Page 6

Reusable lunch bags

Page 7

Patchwork blanket

Page 8

No sew t-shirt bags

Page 9

Recycled fashion show

Page 10

Section 2: arts and crafts

Pebble and twig art

Page 12

Drying and pressing flowers

Page 13

Toilet roll creations

Page 14

Plastic craft

Page 14

Milk carton fairy house

Page 15

Make your own paper

Page 16

Tin can wind chimes

Page 17




Section 3: in the garden or balcony

Compostable newspaper seedling pots

Page 20

Compostable toilet roll seedling pot

Page 21

Upcycled plant pots

Page 22

Sowing seeds at home

Page 23

Sowing seeds directly into the ground

Page 24

Home composting experiment

Page 25

Homemade greenhouse

Page 26

Homemade rainwater harvester

Page 27

Create an insect hotel

Page 28

Draw a habitat map of your garden

Page 29

Recycled bird feeders

Page 30

Leaf collage

Page 31

DIY bird bath

Page 32

Recycled bird house

Page 33

Make a mini pond

Page 34

Go on a bug treasure hunt

Page 35

Hedgehog house

Page 36

Learn how seeds travel

page 37



Section 1

Upcycling Clothes


Upcycling Clothes

Cleaning Cloths

Old clothing can often be repurposed.

Unwanted t-shirts and clothes can be cut into small rags to create cleaning cloths. Old pajamas, cotton and flannel make excellent absorbent rags. To make the rags more durable, hem the edges, to keep them from fraying.

Fabric Gift Wrapping

Unwanted clothes can be repurposed into elegant and luxurious gift wrapping. Fabric wrapping is a reusable and eco-friendly alternative to single-use wrapping foil and paper. Even an old sheet or plain fabric can be personalised with some decorative embroidery, tie-dye, stamps or paint designs. Fabric gift wrapping is an art form. If you're interested in furthering your skill, be sure to investigate the Japanese tradition of Furoshiki!


Upcycling Clothes

Reusable lunch bags

What you will need

• 2 pieces of fabric of equal size

• Needle and thread

• Length of string, rope or even fabric (this can be replaced with a button or piece of Velcro, to fasten)

To make a bag

1. Line up the two pieces of fabric and sew three sides of the fabric together to form a pouch.

2. Turn inside out and admire your new bag.

3. Make a drawstring bag by folding the top down (to form a tunnel) and stitching it into place. Remember to leave the edges open. Slide some string or rope through the tunnel.

4. Alternatively, fold over the top and sow on a button or Velcro to fasten.

5. Get creative with decorations!


Upcycling Clothes

Patchwork Blanket

Patchwork is the art of sewing together pieces of fabric to create a pattern. These beautiful and unique pieces can be made from odds and ends of material. While any fabric looks great, cotton washes and wears well. Wool will add texture and warmth. Patchwork blankets make great gifts. They could also be an excellent project for a family, or group of friends, to make individually and join together at a later date.

• Cut out squares of fabric, of equal size, to create the blanket building blocks. Use a range of colours and patterns. • Line the blocks of fabric out on the floor. Move them around until you find the blanket pattern you wish to create. • When enough blocks have been made and you are happy with your design plan, each block can be stitched together. • The blocks can be sewn together by hand or machine, with a quarter-inch seam allowance. Like a challenge: move onto quilting. Quilting is the sewing together of the three layers that make up a quilt; the top, central wadding and the backing.


Upcycling Clothes

No sow t-shirt bag

You will need

• An old t-shirt (thick fabric will work better) • Sharp scissors


Step 1: Cut the sleeves off. The remaining t-shirt shoulders will become the bag handles.

Step 2: Cut around the neckline to widen the area and create the bag opening.

Step 3: Cut a fringe at the bottom of the t-shirt by cutting up 3-4 cm at even intervals. This will create strips of fabric.

Step 4 Tie the strips of fabric (fringe) together.

Step 5: Turn inside out and your bag is ready!



Recycled Fashion Show

Show off your creative skills by having a recycled fashion show at home!

To run your recycled fashion show you will need:

• Get creative with what is in your house! Anything from old fabric, newspaper, bottle lids and much more can be used to make your catwalk outfit! • Sewing materials • Glue • Paint • Markers • Scissors • Camera (optional)

• Creating an upcycled outfit can be an interesting challenge. • Choose a theme to help the creative juices flow. For example, a night at the IFTA awards, retro couture, holiday chic, rock ‘n’ roll, fashionably professional, midsummer night dream, 2050 etc. • Look around your home and see what materials are available, this could be old shopping bags, fabric, newspaper, curtain rings, art and craft supplies, tetra pack. The opportunity is endless! • Test out your sewing skills and try incorporate new materials onto an outfit! • Adding a competitive edge can increase young people’s interest, ask them to compete with other members in the home or virtually with family and friends! • When finished creating the new outfit, why not host a fashion show at home or digitally to show off the creations.



Section 2

Arts and Crafts


DIY Art Ideas

Painted Stones

Paper Trees

Dried Flowers

When foraging for materials, please remember to leave plenty of twigs for birds nesting in Spring.


Drying and Pressing Flowers

Did you receive a bunch of cut flowers for a special occasion? These drying and pressing techniques can preserve their beauty!

Drying Flowers

1. Split the flowers into small bunches. 2. Tie them together with string or thick thread. 3. Hang the flowers upside down in a warm, dry, dark place (e.g. under the stairs). Darkness prevents the flowers from fading while the dryness will prevent rot. 4. Leave the flowers for 2-3 weeks. 5. The flowers are ready when they are dry to the touch. 6. The flowers can be stored in a dark, sealed container until you are ready to use them!

Pressing Flowers

You will need some cut flowers, two sheets of newspaper, two sheets of tissue paper, two pieces of carboard and a heavy weight (e.g. a big book) 1. Place a piece of cardboard on a flat surface. 2. Cover the cardboard with a sheet of the newspaper. 3. Then add a layer of tissue paper. 4. Lay the flowers onto the tissue paper. Be sure to space the flowers out on the tissue, they should not touch or hang over the side of the tissue paper. 5. Cover the flowers with another layer of tissue paper. Then another layer of newspaper. Then the second piece of carboard. 6. You can continue this process, one on top of the other until all your flowers are prepared. 7. Once your stack is finished, top off with the heavy weight. 8. Store the flowers in a cool dark location for two to four weeks.

Early spring wildflowers (e.g. dandelions) are important for bees. Please be mindful when cutting flowers in the garden.


Get crafty by reusing everyday materials!

A carton town

Toilet roll monsters and hanging rockets

Plastic mosaics and craft


Milk Carton Fairy House

Repurpose your milk cartons to create a recycled fairy house or castle in your garden!

To begin, decide where you would like to place your fairy house, a popular spot is beside a tree. With the help of an adult cut any windows or doors you would like in your milk carton, if you are choosing to hang the fairy house, you should punch a hole in the carton at this time. Now it’s time to decorate your fairy house, use items you find in your garden such as some bark, moss, grass, flowers or perhaps you would like to decorate your fairy house with some recyclable items in your house such as old paper, lids, buttons and more. Once decorated, allow the glue to dry and place your fairy house in your chosen location.

To create your upcycled fairy house you will need

A milk carton

• • • •



Decorations (moss, bark, leaves. flowers, string)



Make your own paper

Recycle your own paper at home

To make recycled paper you will need the following:

Old shredded paper or cut into small pieces


• • • • • • •

Wire screen


A bowl Water

Food colouring (optional) Decorative materials (flower petal etc.- optional)

• To begin, add your shredded or cut paper to a bowl of water and allow it to soak for 2 hours or overnight. • Once soaked, add the paper to a blender with a small amount of the water from the bowl. • Blend until the paper becomes a pulpy texture (continue to add water from the bowl if needed). • Take the pulp and add it to a bowl, here you can add any decorative features you would like such as food colouring or flower petals. • Place the tray under the wire screen (this is used to collect excess water). • Place the pulp on top of the wire screen in the shape of your paper and press pulp to drain any excess water. • Leave the pulp to dry. • Once dry, peel the paper off the screen. It will now be ready to draw on again!

16 16

Tin Can Wind Chimes

Upcycle your tin cans to make some wind chimes!

You will need: •

Clean tin cans String or yarn

• • • •




If you are working with young people, please supervise at all times

• Ensure that any sharp edges of the tin can are removed or taped over.

• To begin, decorate your tin cans how you please, you can use paint or perhaps upcycle some paper and tape it to the can.

• Once decorated, punch a hole in the bottom of the tin can (an adult will need to do this).

• Thread your string or knitting wool through the hole and tie a knot at the end, to ensure it holds in place. If you have a large hole, you may wish to tie the end of the string around an old cork to act as a secure stopper.

• Hang your tin cans to hear them chime in the wind!


Section 3

In the garden or balcony


Compostable Seedling Pots

Compostable pots are easy to make at home and great for seedlings. The pots can be planted straight into the garden without having to disturb the fragile young roots. As the pot breaks down, the plant’s roots will get stronger and burst through the sides. These types of pots also help to prevent waste and reduce our carbon footprint!

Newspaper Seedling Pots

Step 1

Take a sheet of newspaper (half a big broadsheet). Fold it in half so that it is long, like the picture. Get an empty plastic bottle with a wide top. Make sure the open end of the bottle is facing the open end of the paper.

Step 2

Roll the sheet around the top of the bottle. About a third of the newspaper should be above the bottle open end to make a sturdy pot.

Step 3

Stuff the paper above the open end of the pot into the pot. Then take the bottle out of the pot and turn it around and put it back on the bottle. Flatten the base of the pot against your hand. 3/4 fill the pot with fine potting mix and plant in your seeds of choice, remembering not to plant your seeds too deep (see page 23).



Compostable Plant Pots

Toilet Roll Seedling Pots

You will need some toilet rolls and a scissors.

Step 1 Make 4 small slits in the bottom of your toilet roll at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. This will create 4 flaps.

Step 2

Fold in the flaps in the order numbered in the picture (1 to 3). The 4th flap is folded in and tucked down under flap 1, as shown. This will create the bottom of a carboard box.

Step 3

Fill the carboard pot up to ¾ full with a fine potting mix and plant in your seeds of choice, remembering not to plant your seeds too deep.



Recyclable Plant Pot

Turn household items into plant pots!

There are many items around the house or items going into your recycling bin that can be upcycled into an unique plant pot! Why not use an old colander, welly boot, glass jar or tin can for your next gardening project?

Tin can make attractive metal hanging planters!

1. Clean out your chosen container.

2. Add holes to the bottom and fill with pebbles to help drainage.

3. Add some soil and your seeds.

4. Indoor planters are great for planting herbs as they are suitable for indoors or small spaces.



Sowing Seeds at Home

Most seeds will do well when started off indoors. Seeds generally need a higher temperature to germinate than they need to grow. By starting seeds indoors, you can prolong and stagger the growing season.

Big Seeds (e.g. Peas, Beans, Pumpkins) ig Seeds (e.g. eas, eans, u pkins)

Bigger seeds do better if they are given their own pot to start with and you can minimise root disturbance by using compostable pots. These toilet roll pots are easy to make! • Follow the previous sheet to make some toilet roll pots. • Pots were filled to just ¾ way full with multipurpose compost. • One pea seed was placed in each pot. • Fit as many pots in as you can into the tray, as they support each other and last longer before biodegrading when well packed. • After the seeds were sown the pots, the were watered carefully and the transparent seed tray lid placed over the top. The trays used in this picture are called half trays as they are smaller than the standard ones. A plastic take away container or plastic lunch box could have the same affect! • If you keep the cover on, the seeds should not need to be watered again until after they germinate. Keeping the transparent cover on keeps them warmer, keeps the moisture from evaporation and encourages growth. • Keep the cover on till most of the seedlings have germinated. • Once they have germinated remove the cover but keep them inside untill they have grown at least two sets of leaves. Bigger seeds do better if they are given their o n pot to start ith and you can ini ise root disturbance by using co postable pots. These toilet roll pots are easy to ake! • Follo the previous sheet to ake so e toilet roll pots. • Pots ere filled to just ay full ith ultipurpose co post. • ne pea seed as placed in each pot. • Fit as any pots in as you can into the tray, as they support each other and last longer before biodegrading hen ell packed. • After the seeds ere so n the pots, the ere atered carefully and the transparent seed tray lid placed over the top. The trays used in this picture are called half trays as they are s aller than the standard ones. A plastic take a ay container or plastic lunch box could also work! • If you keep the cover on, the seeds should not need to be watered again until after they germinate. Keeping the transparent cover on keeps them warmer, keeps the moisture from evaporation and encourages growth. • Keep the cover on till most of the seedlings have germinated. • Once they have germinated remove the cover but keep them inside untill they have grown at least two sets of leaves.



Sowing Seeds at Home

• Smaller seeds like lettuce (and many of the flower seeds like cosmos) would just be sown directly in to a seed tray, as shown in the picture. • Once the majority of the seedlings have germinated remove the lid and be sure to water whenever the soil looks dry or if there are signs of seedlings wilting. • As the seedlings get bigger you can separate them and give them each their own compostable pot or sow them directly in to the ground if they are hardy or if the chance of frost has passed.

• Harden them off for a few days before planting outside (this means place the seed tray out during the day and take in at night for 3 days to get them acclimatised). • If the seed packet says hardy you can sow them out as soon as they are big and sturdy. Pick a warm day. • If the packet says half hardy or tender do not plant them out till all chance of frost has passed. This is usually at least mid May in Ireland.

Two things to look out for are that you don’t plant the seeds too deep. All seeds should be planted to twice their size in depth so that is very near the surface. Also don’t overwater the seeds as this will cause them to rot. Don’t water again till you remove the lid. Only water when soil is dry or seedlings look like they are wilting. An exception, you can sow lettuce seeds directly into a tray with a lid but store them outside. They get to leggy and weak if kept in the heat inside. I tie the lid so it does not blow away as you can see below. Remove the lid once they germinate.



Sowing seeds directly into the ground

1. Fork over soil without bending over and putting pressure on your back. 2. Rake the surface evenly, being careful not to put piles at the edges. 3. Tread the surface to remove pockets of air (gardeners shuffle). 4. Rake again to make it even. 5. Sow seeds in straight rows for vegetables. This means you can give the seeds enough space to grow. How far apart the seeds are planted depends on what you are growing but instructions are usually on the packet. If not think about what size you expect the veg to be when fully grown and leave that space between the seeds. So you would leave a bigger space between cabbage than peas. Also be careful with carrots because thinning them often attracts the carrot root fly. Much better to sow them thinly to start with. 6. Rake over gently to cover seeds and protect from birds. • Don’t plant the seeds too deep they should be just under the surface. Every seed should be planted to twice it’s size. • Look at the back of the packet to see how hardy the seeds will be. • If they are ‘half hardy’ or ‘tender’ you will need to either start them off in doors.


Home Composting Experiment

Have you ever wondered how composting works?

To carry out your composting experiment you will need:

An empty clear container

such as a 2-litre bottle or

large glass jar


Leaves, grass, newspaper,

vegetable peelings (no dairy

or meat).

1. In your empty container, add a layer or soil and then alternate layers between your compostable material and soil. 2. Once your container is full, add water, your compost should be damp throughout but not sitting in water. 3. Leave your composting experiment outside in an area where sunlight hits and watch all the changes that occur to make compost. 4. Watch as it changes over time! 5. If the temperatures are hot and the compost pile stays moist, it will take about three months for a full decomposition. In imperfect conditions, it may take a year or longer.



Homemade Greenhouse

Green houses are a great way to speed up the germination process of your plants.

To create a mini plastic cup greenhouse, you will need the following:

Plastic cups (2 are needed for each seedling, one cup to hold the soil and a second clear cup to sit on top of the cup)

A thumbtack or pin

• • • •


Seeds Water

1. Using the cup that is going to hold the soil, poke several holes in the bottom of the cup. These holes are used for drainage of excess water. 2. Fill the cup with soil and pat down gently, add your seeds (normally 3-5 small seeds per cup or one large seed per cup). 3. Cover with the remaining soil until your cup is almost full. 4. Water your seeds and place the clear plastic cup on top. 5. By placing the clear plastic cup on top, moisture will be locked in and your seeds should sprout faster. 6. Place your mini green house on a plate or tray and leave on a window sill or an area that sunlight reaches and water every 1-2 days. 7. Soon you should see your seeds grow!



Homemade Rainwater Harvester

Repurpose your milk cartons to catch some rainwater and encourage water conservation

To make your rainwater harvester you will need:

• Large milk or juice carton (large clear plastic bottles also work well) • A funnel (this can be made from the top of plastic bottle if you do not have one at home) • Markers, coloring pencils etc. to decorate your harvester!

1. Paint or decorate the milk carton.

2. To create a homemade funnel, cut the top off a 2 litre bottle and sit the top inside the milk carton or sit a funnel inside the milk carton (tip: the wider the funnel, the more rain you will catch). 3. Place the milk carton outside, you may want to place some rocks around it to ensure it doesn’t blow over. Alternately, use strong rope to attach the bottle to a fence with the lid securely fastened and pointing downwards.

4. Overtime your carton will collect rain.

5. Measure how many ml of water is collected by pouring into a jug!

6. It can be used to water plants or composting. Cleaning water for your kitchen tap, to make it good enough to drink, uses a lot of energy. By using rainwater, you’re helping to save energy. This water is not drinkable.



Create an Insect Hotel

Insect hotels provide an area for insects in your garden to live, insects will manage any pests and contribute to pollination in your area. They are also great tool to raise awareness about the important of insects to the ecosystem.

1. To make your hotel you first need to select its location, many insects prefer an area that is cooler so a shady area will work well. 2. You will need to create the structure; wooden pallets can be useful for this but any material you have that can create a structure with some gaps will work well (pro tip, you can make mini bug hotel structures using tin cans). 3. Fill in the gaps of your structure with the materials you gathered such as bark, drainpipes, leaves, stone and tiles etc. 4. Once you have filled in the gaps, make sure your structure is stable and if needs be, stabilise it with some rope or ties.

To make your insect hotel you will need a mix of any of the following:

Wooden pallets

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Tin cans

Broken tiles or bricks

Stone chippings

Cardboard Dry leaves


Straw or hay Rotting wood Logs or twigs

Broken plant pots Old drain pipes

Plastic bottles

Bamboo or hollow plant stems

It is recommended to keep bug hotels small. Larger hotels are more likely to attract pests and disease that may destroy all the residents.



Draw a Habitat Map of your Garden

Explore what habitats live in your garden at home by drawing a habitat map. A habitat map shows the geographic distribution of habitats in an area such as your garden

To create your habitat map you will need: • A notebook/paper •

Coloring pencils/pens A camera (optional)

1. Design a key (a list of symbols or colours that represent different species or habitats in your garden e.g. stars might represent flowers, blue might represent a water body, green lines might represent trees etc.). 2. To begin draw the boundary of your garden in your notebook. 3. Take note of the weather, the date and the time you are making your map. 4. Start by mapping features in your garden such as paths, trampolines, table and chairs or a shed. 5. Then go around your garden and look at the different habitats, these could be grass patches, wildflowers, a herb garden, flower patches or more. 6. Draw the different habitats you find on your map and mark any which you think are important to monitor or for conservation. 7. If you can, try identifying some of the species in your garden. 8. Once you are finished drawing your habitat, colour them in on your map. 9. Draw your habitat map again when seasons change to see the changes your garden goes through.

29 29

Recycled Bird Feeders

Plastic Bottle: To create a bird feeder out of plastic bottle, clean the bottle and puncture two holes in the bottle. Thread 2 pencils through these holes so create an X shape and an area for the bird to sit. Puncture additional holes above the pencils where the birds can access the feed. Toilet Rolls: This is an easy to make bird feeder especially for children. Seeds or bird feed can be stuck to toilet rolls using room temp butter. These can then be placed outdoors. Net from vegetable packaging : It can often be difficult to repurpose the plastic net packaging that is sometimes unavoidable on oranges or onions. This packaging makes a great holder for seed balls. To create simply melt better and kneed it with bird feed or seeds and refrigerate. When solid, place it in the netting and hang.

There are a variety of materials you can repurpose to create a bird feeder at some. To list some, you can use; plastic bottles, oranges, tetra Pack, plastic nets from vegetable packaging or toilet rolls.

Oranges: A great way to reduce food waste is to repurpose orange skins as a bird feeder. You should use a large orange for this. Cut the orange in half and remove the flesh of the orange (ensuring it will be used later). Puncture 2 holes in the segment of orange skin and thread string through it to hang. Fill the orange skin with bird feed and hang. carton) to create a feeder. Simply cut a large whole at the front of the tetra pack and fill with bird feed. You can thread string through the carton if you wish to hang it. Tetra Pack: You can use any clean tetra pack (juice or milk

Did you know, bread shouldn’t be offered to birds in large quantities. It doesn’t contain the necessary protein and fat birds need. A bird that is on a diet of predominantly, or only bread, can suffer from serious vitamin deficiencies, or even starve.



Leaf Collage

Get creative with your art supplies and create a leaf collage.

To make your collage you will need: • Paper • Glue • Pencil • Materials to add to your collage-leaves, moss, bark, twigs, grass or any material you wish to add

1. To begin your leaf collage, draw a template guide for your art. For example, the rough shape of an owl, a fox, a house etc.

2. Go outside and collect your art supplies, this can be leaves, bark, twigs, moss or anything you wish to add to your collage.

3. Once your materials are collected, glue them to your picture, filling in the template.

4. Let the glue dry and your picture will be complete!

31 31

DIY Bird Bath

Bird baths are essential for birds to have water to both bathe in and drink A bird bath can be easily made from recycled materials found at home.

Important considerations when making a bird bath • Any item used to make the bath must be very shallow with sloping sides. • Have a max depth of 10cm. • The bath should be as wide as possible.

To make a recycled bird bath you will need the following: • A shallow sloped container such as a saucer, plant pot base, wide shallow plate Items to sit the bird bath on such as a plant pot, bricks, planks of food or a small wall Water (Why not use some water collected from a rainwater harvester?) • • • Small stones or pebbles

• When choosing the location of the bird bath, ensure it is near some trees or bushes so that if needs be it can leave quickly • If there are cats nearby ensure it is placed high enough that the birds can see their surroundings clearly and not near anywhere a cat may hide. • Place the materials you chose to use as your stand on flat ground and ensure it is stable. If using a plant pot for example, turn the pot upside down so the wider circumference in on the ground. • Place your saucer or plant pot base on top of your stand and ensure that it is sitting securely. • Place some pebbles or rocks in the bird bath to ensure that the bath is not too slippy for the bird and fill with water.


Environmental Awareness at Home Series

Recycled Bird House

There are many different materials you can use to create a simple bird house in your garden.

To make a bird house you will need: • Clean dry tetra pack (milk or juice carton work well) • String or Twine • Items to colour your bird house pencils, moss, paper. Some paints can be toxic to birds. Please don’t use beads, glitter, pom poms or any items that may sit loosely and a bird could ingest.


• •

A wooden stick for the birds to perch on (pencil, old wooden spoon, stick found outside etc.)

1. To begin, clean your tetra pack and let it dry.

2. Punch a hole at the top of the carton and thread the string or twine

through the carton.

3. Cut a small square hole in the front of the tetra pack (consider what

size of bird this is to suit when deciding the size of the cut out).

4. Punch a hole below the square to thread the stick through.

5. Now it’s time to decorate your birdhouse.

6. Once your bird house is decorated, fill it with bird feed and hang

outside. Fix the carton firmly in place.



Make a Mini Pond

Create a mini pond in your garden

To create your pond you will need: • A bucket/container to hold water • Rainwater • Gravel and stones • Aquatic plants e.g. Water Starwort • Log/bricks/stones

1. To create your mini pond, first find the best location for it. An area that is sunny and not sheltered is ideal. Aquatic plants require sunlight so that they can oxygenate the water and keep it clean. The pond will be replenished by rain. 2. Once a location has been chosen, it's time to fill your pond. Fill your bucket or chosen container with gravel and stones at the bottom and add in your aquatic plants. Don't place soil in your bucket as it will promote blooms of algae. 3. Add in an entrance and exit to your pond to ensure no wildlife gets trapped, this can be made from a log, bricks, steppingstones etc. 4. Fill your pond with rainwater (tap water can alter the pH of the pond) -why not create the rainwater gauge and fill with rainwater you’ve collected. 5. Watch your pond grow!


Go on a Bug Treasure Hunt

Explore your garden and see if you can find any of these bugs!

To go on your bug treasure hunt you will need the following: • Notepad • Pencil • Magnifying glass (optional) • Photos of the bugs you are looking to identify (below)

Can you name and find the insects below?

Take a note of ❑

where you found them and what their habitat looked like, was it in a flower bed, in a shady area, under a rock etc?


Hedgehog House

Create a home for the Hedgehogs in your garden

To make a hedgehog house you will need the following:

A cardboard box

• • • • •

Dry leaves


Sticks and branches

Shredded paper or straw (if available)

Pencils- To decorate

1. To begin you will need to find a suitable location for your hedgehog house. It should be a quiet area with no sunlight and sheltered from wind. 2. Using the knife or scissors cut open a small entryway and add some air vents. 3. Decorate you hedgehog house with some colouring pencils. 4. Once decorated you will need to make the bed, put inside a layer of leaves and some shredded paper or straw (if available). 5. Hedgehogs like small leaves such as oak, hawthorn or birch. 6. Once the bed is made, leave dead leaves, branches and twigs on top of the roof of the hedgehog house to protect it. 7. You can also add a small bit of soil on top to ensure its extra sturdy.

A simple pile of logs or wood can make a great hedgehog nest. A garden with a log pile in an overgrown and untouched corner for shelter, a compost heap for food and a leaf pile for bedding, will be a 5 star garden for hedgehogs!


How do Seeds Travel?

Have you ever wondered how seeds travel?

Sticking Have you ever come home from a walk in the park and noticed some seeds stuck to your shoes or jumper? These are sticking seeds! Some seeds are sticky and stick to different surfaces so that they can travel. These seeds will eventually fall and grow in a new location.

Seeds travel around in

different ways. These include: 1. Water 2. Wind 3. Sticking 4. Deposited

Water Some plants that live near or in water produce seeds that are light and can float. An example of a seed that can float is a coconut. A coconut seed is picked up by the sea and floats until it is transported to a new beach. It will then grow into a coconut palm tree on the new beach!

Deposited Some seeds require some help from animals to help them travel. Often animals such as small birds, e.g. robins, eats the seeds. These seeds are then later deposited (as bird poop) to help them start growing.

Wind Some seeds have wings or parachutes. These are part of this seed to slow down their fall as they fall from the mother plant. Often the seeds are carried away by the wind. An example of this type of seed is a dandelion or a helicopter seed. If you find any helicopter seeds, why not try racing them to see which one travels furthest?



This resource was created for educational and entertainment purposes for those at home during the unprecedented COVID-19 measures. It was created within five days and while every effort has been made, the authors and dlr cannot make any warranties or assume any liabilities of any kind. The material may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of dlr, due to image copyright. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council wish to thank Aoife Munn for providing some of the horticulture ideas within this resource, under the Community Environment Action Fund (Local Agenda 21) Grant Scheme. For further information on the booklet, please contact

31 March 2020


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