Not so long ago, I told you all about our plans to transform our garden from a drab and swampy mess into a toddler friendly play space for Florence to take advantage of through the summer. While I have planters across the middle of the garden which Florence is obviously able to play with, I wanted to create a little garden patch of her own within the whole garden itself and I thought I’d show you how we made our own Little Tikes Turtle Sensory Garden.
We bought a Little Tikes Turtle Sandpit from Smyths Toy Shop, but if you’re lucky you can pick them up on facebook selling groups or gumtree second hand for half the price. You will only need the base bit so either discard of the lid or store it away somewhere. I am still trying to think up a handy use for it so we’ve kept ours. Sean drilled a few holes in the bottom of the sandpit to allow for water drainage so that it didn’t become swamped through rainy periods.
We filled the pit with a 125L bag of peat free compost before planting our herbs & plants. We chose to plant a variety of strong scented herbs opting for rosemary, thyme, lavender, basil & mint along with a strawberry plant and some pink & purple petunias in between which are just starting to come into bloom. For added colour I’ve sewn some seed packets I picked up from Wilko but have to confess, I have no idea which ones went in! I think some of them might be sweet peas? They seem to be coming along just nicely anyway. The turtle sandpit is conveniently accessible from all angles but I’ve also made sure to leave a patch without any plants at the front so that she can climb in and out to play & explore this little corner of our garden too.
We have also added some little bug windmills from B&M which she loves to watch spin in the breeze along with some hand painted Lady Bug Pebbles which are just waiting for their spots.
Each morning I’ve headed out with Florence – in all weathers! – to check on how it’s all growing, to water the plants & we even ‘tickle’ them for extra growing power. Of course, this is already a great source of sensory play for Florence as there are a wealth of textures on offer for her to feel, there’s an abundance of smells, and the herbs are completely edible so it opens up an opportunity to explore her sense of taste too. Once the all the flowers are in full bloom the bright colours will also be quite visually stimulating, but for now the windmills and little bug touches are doing a pretty good job!
At just over one year old, the whole concept of what we are doing and why isn’t exactly understood just yet, but I hope that this Little Tikes turtle sensory garden of ours will act as a lovely baby friendly introduction to gardening and provide a whole host of play opportunities over time.
I’ll be back soon with a post on the progress of our garden as a whole as we’ve made so many improvements over the last few weeks but in the meantime if you fancy giving this a go yourself, I’d love to hear how you get on!