Creating a Vegetable Garden with Your Kids

While we weren’t all born with green thumbs, fortunately some vegetables are easier to grow than others. The 8 vegetables on this list are perfect for any skill level, regardless of age, making them the perfect project to do with your children.


All you’ll need to grow carrots is a section of soil or a pot deep enough to handle the length of the root vegetable.

Make sure the soil is free from rocks as they may cause your carrots to grow crooked and you’ll know your carrots are ready for harvesting when their tops breach the soil line.

Green Beans

While there are many different varieties of beans, broad beans are the easiest of all to grow. Bush beans will generally produce a larger yield, but broad beans are far easier to manage.

Pole beans are also easy to grow, but will require a trellis, and even if the yield is too much for your family to eat you can always freeze them for later use.


There’s nothing quite like a salad made of leaves picked fresh from the garden and fortunately lettuce is easy to grow!

As lettuce grows quickly, it’s a good idea to spread out your sowings to delay the harvest as you may end up with more than is possible to eat.


Cucumbers grow ferociously so be sure to provide the plant with enough space to spread their roots – much like how new online betting sites keep appearing!

Smaller varieties are excellent for pickling, but be sure to only plant your cucumbers once all possibility of frost has passed. There are many varieties of cucumber, but some of our favourites are Diva and Straight Eight.


Spinach is technically part of the lettuce family, making it just as easy to cultivate!

High in iron, versatile and delicious, spinach can be added to salads, soups, or stir-fries and should be picked continuously once the leaves are of a reasonable size to encourage new growth.


All your tomato plants will need is a little bit of water and plenty of sun in order to bear fruit all summer long!

Tomato plants can take time to get started, so you may consider buying starter plants from your local nursery in order to speed up the process. High in vitamins and minerals, there are few things as delicious as a freshly picked tomato.

Bell Peppers

Much like tomatoes, bell pepper starter plants are readily available at nurseries and home improvement stores.

Packed with vitamins, bell peppers are delicious eaten raw or cooked and add the perfect pop of colour to any meal.

Summer Squash

Summer squash is a high yielding plant so you’ll likely only need a few plants in order to feed your whole family. Some varieties may dislike wind, so be sure that your plot has some protection and the squash will be ready to harvest once the plants are 20-25cm long.

While there are plenty of varieties to choose from, some of our favourites are Green Bush and Sure Thing.

Great Ideas for Growing Herbs

A great outdoor activity is to grow your own herbs, which not only enhance a garden but can also be used for cooking.  There is nothing better than using your own freshly picked herbs.

Herbs are great for all size gardens. Even people with small gardens or for those that only have a balcony herbs do very well growing in pots.


Basil does well in early spring and prefers being in a sunny spot, so a windowsill is ideal.  Basil can be planted out into the garden in summer if necessary or Basil seeds can be sown directly into the garden later in the spring.

Basil leaves give food a spicy flavour and is used mainly in soups, sauces, omelettes as well as meat, chicken and fish dishes.  Basil is also used as a basis for pesto.


Chives can be planted in spring or autumn and should be planted in rows 30cm apart and 1.2cm deep.  Once the seedlings are established they can be thinned.  Chives taste like mild onions and are great in salads, egg and cheese dishes.

They are also used in cream cheese, mashed potatoes and various sauces. The flowers can be cut up into salads, and you can eat them while looking at the latest NRL Premiership odds, or while relaxing on the couch.


Coriander is planted in early spring 30cm wide and 0.6cm deep.  Dry coriander seeds can be ground and used on veal, pork and ham prior to cooking.

Coriander roots are used to add flavour to soup and as an accompaniment to avocado and is also used in salads.


Dill is planted in early spring 0.6cm deep and 25cm apart in rows.  The seeds and leaves have a slight sharp, bitter flavour and can be used dried or fresh.

Dill goes especially well with fish, soup, salads, meat, chicken, egg dishes and potatoes.


Fennel can be planted in the middle of spring.   The seeds must be sown in groups of three or four, 45cm apart and 0.6cm deep.

Fennel has a slightly sweet taste and goes well with fish dishes as well as pork and veal.  It is also used in salads.  Fennel seeds can also be used and have a sharper flavour.


Mint is planted in autumn or spring and must be planted 10 to 15cm of the root 5cm deep and 30cm apart.  Mint needs to be watered regularly. Mint has a tendency to take over and a way of preventing this is to sink boards or bricks 30cm deep around the plants.

Mint can be used in tea and used as a garnish for cold drinks. It can be used fresh or dried and a good accompaniment to lamb dishes.


Parsley is sown in the middle of spring and can be picked in summer.  If sown in autumn it can be picked in winter, so parsley is a great all year herb.  The seeds need to be soaked overnight and sown thinly.

Parsley has many uses but especially in salads, soups, stews, casseroles and egg dishes.  Parsley can be served fresh with meat, fish and onion dishes as is a popular herb used for garnishes.

The Perfect First Pet For Your Kids

Having a pet as a child is a good way to start learning about some of the responsibilities that you will be facing later on in life. Pets provide kids with a different outlook on not just looking after themselves, but also the lives of another, living creature, and many agree that allowing your child to look after a pet is a great way to make them more nurturing, more responsible, and more caring toward animals.

Pets come in all shapes and sizes, and while the first thought of most parents when it comes to getting an animal is to get a dog or cat. These are find for a certain age group, usually from around 10 onward, but for kids younger than that, smaller, more manageable pets might be better suited for both you, your children, and for your household.

Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from, and while you need some time alone to enjoy some Netflix, computer games, or Australian betting apps, these pets can provide your kids with plenty of entertainment, especially on those rainy days.

Ant Colony

It’s easy enough to buy a self-sustaining any colony from most stores, and they make the perfect first-time pets for young children. It’s a glimpse into a world that many children find fascinating, and since insects are some of the first creatures a child will come across in their life, exposing them to the six-legged ants will allow them to have a better understanding of the outside world and how incredibly diverse it is.

Ant colonies are also extremely easy to manage, and only require food. Otherwise, the ants keep very much to themselves, and provide endless hours of entertainment while also possibly sparking an early interest in biology or science.

Hamsters/Guinea Pigs

Perfect for children from around 7 and older, hamsters and guinea pigs are the perfect fuzzy companions for just about any child. They’re small, adorable, easy to look after, and they don’t make a huge mess. They also provide the first foray into responsibility, and allow your children to learn how to look after other living animals.

This can prepare them for future pets, such as dogs as well as give them a deeper understanding of what it means to have the life of another living being under their care.


This may seem like a surprising suggestion for a first pet, but birds make devoted companions. Not only are they smart enough to learn words, but they’re often friendly, especially if they’re raised from infancy.

They’re also self-sufficient, and only require the right food, fresh fruit and veggies every few days, fresh water, and the odd cage clean every now and again. Birds also come in a vast array of different shapes, sizes, and colours, and some have beautiful singing voices.

They’re entertaining for children of all ages, and thanks to their low management, they can live in just about every room in the house, and even outside if they have a warm, safe enclosure. They can also be taught to sit on your shoulder, where they can come with you or your child during your endeavours.

8 Activities to Make You Feel Like a Child Again

Life gets busy, and between work, family commitments, and trying to balance health and ready-made meals, we tend to forget to have fun.

Not the grown-up kind, but the really fun fun that gets you dirty, exhilarates you and absorbs your attention so fully, that you forget to worry if anyone is watching.

So, grab your gumboots and find your inner child with these activities.

Get Yourself Dirty

Remember a time in your life when you weren’t scared of dirt? Weren’t worried about ruining your clothes? Get your self some dirt and some water and make some mud.

Then make mud pies, and mud castles, smear it over your hands (its great for the skin) and if you can get a friend to join you, make some mud missiles and have a mud fight until you are covered from top to toe.

Jump in Puddles

The next time it rains don’t dash inside, rather grab your gumboots, or better yet lose the shoes altogether and go jump in some puddles. You get extra points if your mud arch enemy joins you.

Catch Tadpoles or Bugs or Worms

Whichever it is, grab a jar, get out into the sunshine and catch some creatures. Then, and this is the most important part, marvel at their amazingness. Just don’t forget to release them afterward.

 Go to a Children’s Playground

It is preferable to go with children, but if you don’t have any and your friends don’t have any to loan you, go anyway.

Play on the see-saw, hang on the monkey bars (a splendid work out), and swing on the swings as high as you can without worrying about getting hurt.

A word to the wise, you aren’t as young as you were, so do not jump off you may break something. But if you do, you can enjoy some sports betting NZ while you heal up.

Create a Work of Art with Finger-paint

Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar, ½ a cup of corn-starch, and 2 cups of water. Heat over a medium heat until thick, divide into containers and add desired colouring. But, the real trick to this one, stick your fingers in and start painting while the mixture is still warm.

Blow Bubbles

Go purchase yourself a huge bag of bubble-gum. Not the very grown up chewing gum but the bright pink/blue/yellow kid’s bubble-gum. Stuff so much in your mouth that you can barely chew and blow bubbles. Big, sticky, bubble gum bubbles that get stuck on your nose when they pop. You get bonus points if you do this around your folks.

Play in Water

Any water. Put on the sprinkler and jump around in the spray, have a swim in the pool, but not the kind where you barely splash. Have the kind of swim that leaves more water out the pool than in it.

Pretend to Be a Chipmunk

Have a competition with any willing soul to see who can fit the most marshmallows in their mouth.

Lastly, don’t forget, try not to take life too seriously.

Trail Riding in New Zealand – The Best Way To See The country

The idea of sitting on a half-ton flight animal and riding up a steep rocky path may make some people recoil in terror, but the truth is that trail riding on horseback is one of the greatest ways to see any country, especially the beauty of New Zealand.

There are a vast number of different types and levels one can take, ranging from beach rides with gallops along the white sand, to exploring the untouched mountainous wilderness.

Kahurangi National Park

One of the lesser-known horse trekking sites, here you can expect to splash through natural mountain lakes and forests. You don’t need to be of a certain skill level, as the horses are sturdy and dependable.

If you feel comfortable, you can even ride bareback into the deeper parts of the lake, and experience the thrill of swimming with your horse.

Week-Long Horse Treks

For those who are fit and can stand a couple of days in the saddle, there are a number of horse treks that stretch over a couple of nights. From a whole week to just a weekend, you can ride through the rugged New Zealand landscape on your trusty steed, camping at night under the stars.

All equipment is provided for you and the guides are always experienced and friendly. Just be aware that you will very likely be stiff after a few days ride, especially if you are not used to horse riding. Its best to build up to an experience like this with a number of day rides first.

Follow a Miners Trail

New Zealand is known for its first pioneers who mined coals in the steep mountains. Following in their footsteps on specially bred horses, you can ride up and down steep mountain faces and sleep in sheep mustering huts at the end of the night.

Points of interest often include some old coal and gold mines themselves, as well as unspoiled New Zealand high country. Food is locally sourced most of the time and will give you a great sense of satisfaction as you wrap up in your sleeping bag in a century-old hut with a full belly.

Ride and Race

The horse racing industry is New Zealand is one of the best in the world. Quality horses are bred and trained, running locally and internationally. The great Phar Lap was homegrown in New Zealand and went on to become one of the best racehorses in the world.

A few trail riding outfits are near cities such as Queenstown, which have a thriving racing industry. A great idea is to do a trail ride on a shaggy, dependable pony, and then go to see the other end of the spectrum with glossy, scorchingly fast thoroughbreds.

Placing a bet on a race is exciting, and a well-loved past time in the country. Betting on other sports such as Australian Open tennis betting can be done online and in a number of friendly tote shops.

Go To Mordor

Lord of the Rings was one of the most successful movie series ever made.

The vast majority of it was shot in New Zealand, which is not surprising when one looks at the awe-inspiring scenery.

Take a trail that goes right through some of the best-known LOTR spots such as Mordor and the Battle of Rohan.

The Most Popular Recreational Activities for First-Timers

The Most Popular Recreational Activities for First-Timers

Most people agree that living an active lifestyle, to some degree, is part and parcel of living  healthy, happy life. The problem for many people, however, is that first, essential step into a new activity.

Some patimes, like the online roulette NZ offers, for example, require some kind of prior knowledge, but others are easier to pick up as you go along, and do not require a huge amount of experience in order to enjoy. This article outlines the most popular of these for your convenience!

Sample the Fun of Saltwater Fishing 

As is indicated by the name, saltwater fishing takes place at sea, and gives those enjoying it the chance to try and catch large, exotic animals like the marlin. The major drawback for this activity is that you have to be able to access a boat, but, since these can be rented pretty easily, this shouldn’t be too much of a hassle organising.

Bewitch Your Brain with Bird Watching 

With around 10 000 species of birds in the world, and only a small handful of individuals who can claim to have seen even 7 000 of them, this activity is becoming more and more popular every year.

Some believe that bird watching is linked to our hunting instincts, while others say it has more to do with systemising, but whatever it may be, it is a great, and safe, way to enjoy the natural world.

Birdwatching - The Most Popular Recreational Activities for First-Timers

Set Your Sights on Skiing 

Alpine skiing, also known as downhill skiing, can be great fun, and there are instructors to help you find your feet, so to speak. 

Set Sail with a Snowboard 

This American sport has recently started getting worldwide attention. It came to be in the 1960s, and became an Olympic sport in 1998.

Like any other extreme sport, there is some risk of injury with this one, but if you start off slow and steady and, again, get the help of a good instructor, you can safely get snowboarding over time, and have fun while you learn how to do it!

Banish Boredom with Overnight Backpacking

Not to be confused with the backpacking many make use of in order to travel to new places, overnight backpacking describes multi-day hikes that involve camping. Aside from the obvious health benefits, this hobby allows you to reconnect to nature in remote places that are not accessible any other way and restore your spirit, too.

Sashay Your Way to a Fitter You with Snowshoeing 

Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors during the winter months, and will help you ensure your exercise schedule stays on track even when its cold outside. In fact, as of 2006, more than 500 schools in the USA have begun offering programmes for snowshoeing as part of their physical curriculum in an effort to combat obesity in kids.

Take to the Trail, Running 

An increasingly popular sport worldwide, the number of active trail runners increased from just over 4 million to more than 6 million in the United States of America alone between the years 2006 and 2012.

Geocaching with Your Kids

If you are looking for a great outdoor activity that combines modern technology with a traditional treasure-hunt game, then consider Geocaching.

At first glance, it may seem that Geocaching is not an appropriate actively for children, but in truth, it can be a great adventure game that can be safe, fun and extremely rewarding –just like roulette online Canada games– if you know what you are doing.

What is Geocaching?

The word Geocache is a mashup of two words. The prefix, geo means earth as in Geography. The second word is cache, which is another term used for a secure place for storing something of importance.

At its most basic form, Geocaching is a global treasure hunt with millions of treasures hidden all over the world. You might not know this, but there are probably dozens of caches hidden in your neighbourhood alone.

What You Need to Get Started?

In order to find a treasure, you can use your smartphone or handheld GPS device. The treasures themselves come in different shapes and sizes with varying difficulty levels. While some treasures are easy to find, others are disguised in camouflaged containers that are made to look like their surroundings.

The location of these treasures can also vary from urban areas to places off the beaten track. To date, there are over 2 million caches worldwide, so you will never run out of treasures to find.

Once you find a cache, you will find a small piece of paper or a log book to sign. Larger caches can contain treasures, which you swap out with something of your own, like stickers, toys or other trinkets. After signing the log, you close up your treasure and place it back in its hidey-hole for other explorers to find.

Downloading the Geocache App

If you want to get started Geocaching, all you need is a smartphone and a willingness to explore. You can download the geocache app for free to your tablet or smartphone directly from the site,

Once you have downloaded the app, you can create a free account and immediately start locating caches in your local area. If want access to even more caches, you can pay for a premium membership, but the free membership has more than enough to keep you going for months or years even.

Before You Head Out

Before you head out on your first treasure hunt, it is a good idea is to pack snacks, drinks and maybe a bit of sunscreen for the kids as you might be out an about for a while. Choose a cache with a difficulty level that is easy enough to find for your first couple of outings.

Not only will this be a morale booster for the kids, it will also make the actively fun and rewarding. Once you start finding treasures, the drive to find the next one is simply overwhelming and you might find yourself zigzagging your way across the neighbourhood and foraging in the local parks.

If you start on a cache where the difficulty level is too high, you will end up walking in circles and getting pretty frustrated. The kids will want to go home and the whole actively will be ruined. The idea is to track your progress level and make the hunt as exciting as possible without getting to too technical.

Great Alternatives to New Zealand Great Walks

You may be aware of the fact that New Zealand Great Walks offer an incredible way to experience the ever-famous landscapes of the country, but were you aware that there is also the option to indulge in more multi-day hikes that are not just cheaper, but are also less crowded?

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert tramper, someone who prefers luxury or rustic accommodation, you’ll be able to find something to suit your hiking needs.

Hollyford track

This 2-8 day offers stunning sights all year round, with a well-maintained track, decent accommodation in the form of rustic huts available and the low price of NZ$15 per night, per person.

The Hollyford Track starts in the rock faces of the gorgeous Darren Mountains and gracefully follows the Hollyford River. You’ll pass through an exceptionally beautiful native forest while on an adventure to the west coast.

Pouakai Circuit

If you’re anything like me, your idea of a great weekend is spent lounging in front of a TV or playing a few of my favourite mobile pokies, but even I have to admit this truly is not to be missed.

On this 2-3 day hike you will journey through an exquisite wild forest, sub-alpine wilderness covered in tussock, a wonderful Ahukawakawa Swamp and venture around one of New Zealand’s most magnificent volcanoes, Mt Taranaki.

You can stay in large huts that offer mattresses or bunks, heating and lighting and basic services for just NZ$12 per night.

Humpridge Track

For those of you that don’t like roughing it, this is one of your more luxurious 3-day walks in Fiordland National Park. The Humpridge Track provides some sensational views of the coastline as you journey over subalpine tops.

You can stay in privately owned lodges as opposed to your average DOC hut, with double rooms and 8-bunk dorms available for all. You’ll pay around NZ$175 per night per person, but breakfast is included.

Mt Holdsworth Jumbo Circuit

Grasp the opportunity to explore unparalleled views on a 2-3 day walk on the Mt Holdsworth Circuit. Here you’ll explore the exquisite mountaintops of Tararua Forest park, as well as a quick hike through forest to the top of the mountains where you can stay for the night.

The huts here are just NZ$15 and in spite of their simple style, you will need to book during summer as they do get booked out.

Inland Track

You’ve probably already heard of the Abel Tasman Great Walk, but you really should explore the splendour of this 3-day Island Track hike in the Abel Tasman National Park. The sights and sounds will blow you away, with the call of native birds surrounding you and the beauty of the unspoiled forest enchanting you.

You should be warned, however, the track is slightly more rough than the ones you’ll find in the Great Walks, but that’s just a little extra adventure! The accommodation is 2 standard DOC huts that will offer a mattress or bunk along with heating for a mere NZ$5 per night per person.

Plant Your Own Magical Moon Garden

We often think that the bright light of day is the only time it’s possible to appreciate the beauty and peace of a garden. It’s true that many gardens look their best during the day, but Mother Nature has ensured we can also appreciate her beauty at night.

Spending time in a garden is one of the best ways to recharge after a busy day at school, a hectic week at the office, or during a well-deserved vacation. A moon garden is the perfect excuse to get outdoors and recharge at night.

Like Day and Night

Many plants have flowers that bloom and release their fragrance only at night, while others have white or light-coloured flowers and foliage that is silvery or grey. With just a few careful choices and a little bit of hard work during the day, you can experience the magic of a garden that comes alive at night.

Why not involve the children, and create a moon garden as a family holiday project? It is a wonderful opportunity to teach children the basics of gardening, the cycles of nature, and gardening safety tips and first aid for insect bites and stings, as well as minor scrapes and bruises.

Single but not bothered enough to mingle? A moon garden would be a perfect spot to chill out between playing online blackjack Canada, watching DVDs, and eating pizza on the couch.

Location, Location, Location

The first thing you need to do when planning a moon garden is to spend some time in your garden on moonlit nights. Find the spot that gets the best light at the times you would most regularly visit your garden at night.

You would also need to ensure that daytime conditions are suitable for the plants you want to include. After all, they still need sunlight, water, and good soil in which to grow.

Lunar Flower Power

When deciding on plants to include in your moon garden, check that they are suitable for your climate zone. Gardening websites and local nurseries are a wealth of this helpful information.

Try choose plants of different colours, heights, textures, and shapes. Be aware that some flowers are beautiful to look at, but yield little fragrance, while others may not look too impressive, but could rival the complexities of designer perfumes. It is also important to note which plants are toxic, and to take the necessary precautions if including them in your garden.

Among the many different plants suitable for moon gardens are Snow White cornflower, Sweet Alice Lobularia, moonflower (Brugmansia), Diamond Frost or Snow Euphorbia, white bougainvillea, white agapanthus, Felicia daisies, St Joseph’s lilies, snowdrops, white roses, evening primrose, night phlox, evening stock, night gladiolus, Dusty Millers, silver thyme, mugwort, sage, lamb’s ears, and jasmine.

If you have a pond in your garden, you could also plant arum lilies and water lilies. If keeping koi is not too daunting, you could even consider added pearl-coloured koi to the pond.

Planting by the Moon

Creating a moon garden is also a good opportunity to find out if there really is something to gardening according to the moon’s phases. New moon promotes balanced root and leaf growth, so it’s a good time to plant, as is the moon’s second quarter.

If you need to transplant, do it around the full moon, and if you need to prune, do it during the third quarter. The third quarter is also a good time to mow the lawn, while the fourth quarter can be used to harvest, prune, transplant, or just enjoy a good rest.

Traditional Childhood Games

A survey conducted in 2012 revealed that traditional games that kept children and adults entertained across the centuries are dying out. Hopscotch, Marbles, and other games filled the air with laughter, even when some games came at the risk of a few bruises.

Traditional games, however, still have their place, and the best thing about most of them is that they seldom require anything more complicated than a piece of string.

The Value of Play

There is no reason old-fashioned games should be limited to children’s parties. They also have value as team-building ice-breakers.

Anyone who plays many of those games can learn a few valuable lessons about interpersonal relations, risk management, problem solving, and usually get some good exercise while doing it.

Here are the basics of some of the games that provided gran and grandad, their grans and grandads, and countless others before them with hours of good fun. Why not learn some of these games, and keep the good times going?

Hip Hip for Hopscotch

The least you need for Hopscotch is a stone and a patch of dusty ground, or a stone, a piece of chalk, and a quiet sidewalk. Good weather is also recommended, although if parties are rained out, many players are happy to entertain themselves at a CAD Casino and other gaming websites.

There is no set way to draw the course made up of single and double squares, so players can make it as easy or as difficult as they like. It is a game in which balance and timing is everything.

A player needs to throw a stone onto the course, and then hop through the entire course. You need to land on one foot in a single square, and with both feet on double squares, but you need to avoid the square with the stone in it. If your stone lands on the edge of a square, or if your feet touch the edge of a square while jumping the course, you forfeit your turn.

Once you have completed the course, you need to return along it, stopping only to retrieve the stone. There is no official way of scoring Hopscotch, so players can decide on a method themselves.

Don’t Lose Your Marbles

Anyone who thought that the only ball games capable of turning into an intense battle of skills are limited to sports fields probably never played marbles. Another player and marbles, the beauty of some rivalling even that of Murano glass, are all you need for a game.

Start off by both throwing your marbles on the ground; ensuring your throwing marble isn’t among them. You then take turns trying to hit one another’s marbles using your throwing marble. Whether you play for keeps or limit it to friendly matches, the game certainly is an exciting one.

Conkers: Watch Your Fingers

Played with horse chestnuts, known as conkers, and pieces of string, Conkers makes for sometimes-painful fun. In the past, serious players would think nothing of giving their conkers an extended vinegar bath to toughen them up.

Players prepare their conkers by making a hole in them, sliding a piece of string through the hole, and then knotting the string to form a handle. To play, you and your opponent need to take turns to try demolish each other’s conker using your own.

Play the Game

Basic, sometimes brutal, but always a lot of fun, traditional games have much to offer. It may take your friends some convincing, but if you have no luck with them, wait until the nieces and nephews come to visit, and introduce them to something new.