Use an old tire to create a small backyard pond. My kids, 3 sons, have been helping with yard work and planting. They keep asking for a pond. I think this is a great DIY project to do outside with them. Looks simple.
Elf house on a tree! That would be cute in the garden, especially in the tree over grown with ivy. How about some battery tea lights in the windows during outdoor parties. I hear the fairies/elves whispering "home school project" in my ear.