9 Tips for Gardening with Children

Rose Morrison

Jun 28, 2024

Child running with a watering can in the garden.

We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Gardening with children can be a delightful and educational experience, fostering a love for nature, responsibility and patience. It’s an excellent way to spend quality time outdoors, encouraging little ones to be active and understand the importance of caring for the environment. Here are some tips to make gardening with children fun and rewarding.

1. Choose Age-Appropriate Tasks

Ensure you choose age-appropriate tasks your children can manage without getting frustrated. For young children, simple activities like planting seeds, watering plants and decorating pots are perfect as they’re easy to handle and provide immediate results. Older children can take on more complex tasks such as weeding, pruning or even planning and designing the layout. 

2. Select Easy Plants

Opt for fast-growing plants. Kids can be impatient, so selecting plants that grow quickly can keep their interest alive. Edible plants can also be an excellent choice. Growing fruits and vegetables can be especially exciting for little ones, as they can enjoy the reward afterward. Additionally, you can’t go wrong with hardy plants that can withstand a bit of rough handling. Some ideas include:

  • Radishes
  • Sunflowers
  • Marigolds
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Pumpkins
  • Beans

3. Teach Them Basic Garden Skills

Start with simple tasks like planting seeds, watering plants and recognizing different types of plants and seeds. These basic activities build their confidence and provide a hands-on learning experience about plant biology and the environment. Explain how each step, from planting to watering and weeding, contributes to the growth and health of the plants. This understanding helps children see the direct impact of their efforts and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. 

Kids get bored easily, so you need to find ways to keep them excited and engaged. Using child-sized gardening tools can make the experience more manageable for young gardeners. These tools are perfect for small hands and can help children feel more comfortable and capable in the yard. 

Additionally, teaching them to identify and understand the different stages of plant growth — right from seedling to mature plant — can be a fascinating lesson. Encourage their curiosity by answering questions and providing simple explanations about topics like photosynthesis, pollination, and the importance of sunlight and water. 

4. Ensure the Space Is Child-Friendly

Set specific areas in the garden where children can dig, plant and play around. This gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility and ensures they can have fun without worrying about damaging delicate plants. Consider using raised beds or containers, which are easier for kids to manage and allow them to reach plants without stepping on them. 

Incorporating fun and engaging elements into the garden can make it more appealing to little ones. Colorful plant markers, stepping stones and garden decorations can add a playful touch and encourage creativity. Allow them to help create these decorations, such as painting rocks or building small garden sculptures, which can make the garden feel more special.

Ensure paths are clear and free of hazards, and consider adding a small seating area where children can rest and observe their garden’s progress. By making the backyard a safe, interactive space, you can create a positive environment for children. 

5. Give Them Space to Explore

Children are naturally curious. Give them space to explore and discover to nurture this curiosity and foster a deeper connection with nature. Allowing them the freedom to dig, plant and water on their own encourages learning and helps them understand the various processes involved in gardening. 

By providing an area where they can freely experiment, children can learn from their successes and mistakes, gaining valuable insights into how plants grow and thrive. This sense of autonomy empowers them to take initiative and develop problem-solving skills as they figure out how to care for their plants. 

6. Help Out Behind the Scenes

While it’s important for kids to take the lead in their activities, adults can support them by preparing the garden space, ensuring the soil is fertile, moving sprinklers and managing any heavy lifting or complex tasks that might be too challenging or difficult for them to understand. 

This behind-the-scenes assistance allows children to focus on the fun aspects of gardening without becoming overwhelmed by the more demanding work. Additionally, by discreetly addressing issues like pest control or watering when necessary, you can ensure the garden remains healthy and thriving, providing a positive and rewarding experience for the young gardeners. 

7. Celebrate Their Achievements

Celebrating your little one’s achievements is a powerful way to reinforce their efforts and encourage a continued interest in gardening. Acknowledging milestones such as sprouting seeds, the appearance of the first flowers or the harvest of fruit and vegetables helps children see the results of their hard work. These celebrations can be simple yet meaningful, such as taking photos of their progress, creating a scrapbook of their gardening journey or even having a small garden party to share their successes with friends and family. 

8. Make Gardening a Regular Activity

Schedule garden time into your daily or weekly activities. Consistency helps children develop a routine and understand that plants need ongoing care and attention. 

9. Remember To Be Patient

Not everything will go perfectly so expect some imperfections along the way. Plants may not grow as expected, and that’s okay. Use these moments as learning opportunities. 

Pay attention to what aspects of gardening your child enjoys the most. Whether it’s watering, planting, harvesting or even labeling plants, tailor activities to their interests to keep them engaged. 

Above all, make sure that gardening is a fun and enjoyable experience. Celebrate successes, laugh at mistakes and enjoy the quality time spent together. 

Dig In

Gardening with children is more than just growing plants — it teaches them responsibility and cultivates a love for nature and the environment. By making gardening with children an enjoyable experience, you can nurture their learning and independence for years to come.

Did you enjoy this post? Join the Renovated community!

A house is more than just where you live. It's where you build a community. We'll give you all the latest trends you need to make your home your haven. Subscribe and never miss out!
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

About The Author