Room to grow

This summer Homebase has teamed up with brothers Lee and Dale aka The Skinny Jean Gardeners to get kids outside creating, painting, planting, growing and most importantly, having fun.

Whatever the size of your garden they’ve thought up some amazingly creative activities from making painted-portrait plant pots to growing a runner bean teepee.

In Lee and Dale’s own words: ‘Don’t be a glass-eyed zombie this summer!’ Kids can enjoy the fresh air and sense of achievement and pride that comes from getting out into the garden and having room to grow.’ 

37%* of parents worry that their children will have too much screen time this summer.

*Homebase survey 2016.

Get started with our step-by-step guides:

About the Skinny Jean Gardeners:

Brothers Lee and Dale Connelly develop garden spaces with a difference. In January 2013 they founded Skinny Jean Gardeners and the pair have quickly gone on to be an influential voice in horticulture. They are making gardening cool for a new generation with a mission to 'inject fun and creativity into gardening and get children, teens and students doing it’.


As well as their own weekly YouTube videos the brothers have contributed to CBBC’s Blue Peter and BBC Radio 1, created a kitchen garden for TV presenter Jimmy Doherty, designed a garden for the International Gardening World Cup in Japan and are ambassadors of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.


The Skinny Jean Gardeners are on a mission to get children gardening. They’ve teamed up with the Homebase 'Room to Grow' campaign to encourage children to get outdoors this summer, get messy, be independent, discover nature and experiment with gardening.

Skinny Jean Gardeners pic 1

Top tips from the Skinny Jean Gardeners:


  • Make being outdoors part of their everyday lives. It’s easy for ‘going outdoors’ to become a planned activity, like football practice or music lessons. Make it a normal part of your kid’s day and let them out at every opportunity, rain or shine, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

  • Build a den. Dens are awesome and you don’t need loads of room or special materials to build them – use sticks, leaves, old broom handles, an old blanket or whatever you can find! They’re brilliant fun and building them will teach your kids cooperation, resourcefulness, problem-solving and let their imagination run wild.

  • Start small: turn your wellies into garden pots. Plants can be grown in any size container from an old watering can to a bath tub. You can even upcycle your old wellies into quirky garden pots: clean them with warm soapy water, ask an adult to carefully drill holes into the bottom, fill with compost, plant your seeds and wait for them to grow!

  • Hunt for slugs and bugs. A bug hunt is a brilliant way for kids to explore the outdoors and they don’t need a big garden or even a green space to do it. Turn over almost any rock, brick, log or stone and let them discover the hidden world of worms, slugs, snails and other bugs and wildlife.

  • Get them interested in gardening… Kids love the touch and feel of nature and gardening is a great way to engage them with it. It doesn’t matter what they do - weeding, planting, watering or digging - it’s about being outside with soil between their fingers, being creative and having fun.

  • ….but make it quick. We know kids aren’t great at waiting. To keep them interested in gardening grow vegetables that show signs of life quickly. Beetroot, potatoes and peas all get going very quickly and can be picked when they are still young so they don’t have to wait too long to eat them either.

  • Create some wild art. Arts and crafts don’t have to be done indoors. Unleash their creativity in the garden by painting pots, making pictures with twigs, stones or leaves or crafting a mud monster: make a face out of mud and decorate it with moss, bark, acorns and anything else you can find.
Paint Room to grow

  • Let them climb trees. Kids love climbing! Climbing to the top of a tree is not only a great way for them to discover nature but it has loads of other benefits too including building self-confidence and teaching them to assess risk. You might want an adult to help you here too.

  • Get tweeting. Birdwatching is such an easy way to enjoy nature. Anyone can do it, just about anywhere, which makes it a great thing to do with kids. Create a bird-friendly space by hanging bird feeders and planting bird-friendly plants. Patience is the key here. If you feed them they’ll come!

  • Give them room to grow. Once you’ve got them outside, don’t tell them what to do too much. Kids are much better than us at inventing exciting games. Let them muck about, get dirty and create their own adventures.

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