Gardening Activities for kids

May 30, 2019

It’s National Children’s Gardening Week! So with that in mind and seeing all the lovely gardens on display at Chelsea last week and watching the Cambridge’s playing in the Duchess of Cambridge’s back to nature garden, it has motivated me to share with you how we have been getting the children involved in gardening activities this month. We are lucky to have a good outdoor space at our house, but being a property that is rented through Dougie’s employment,  we haven’t done much gardening with it yet.  So I decided that this year we would make a few cheap changes to the large area of grass and make it more fun and enticing for little gardeners and for myself.  I have heard that gardening is a really good mindful activity to do and as we love to be outside, I thought it a great activity to share with the little ones.   I’m also keen to provide a little nature haven at the same time as planting, so I have included some ideas on that at the end of this post.   Some of these gardening ideas can even be done with a small outdoor space, park or even a windowsill, so don’t dismay if you haven’t got a garden in your own home or many tools.

This post does have a mixture of gifted items that’s we received in exchange for a review and some of our own ideas that are inexpensive activities to do.a child digging in the mud

Getting Muddy

This for my kids is the best part-  Pop wellies and old clothes on your littles and find a patch in the garden or give them a pot and let them turn the mud over and fill pots with compost.  Let them play about with a spade and then this extends the gardening activity.  It also gives you a bit of time to do your own gardening.    My youngest has a really sweet garden trug with some handy tools and so she loves carrying this around the garden.  If you’re new to gardening then a beach spade or even a large kitchen spoon will do.A child picking up seeds in the garden

Planting

  1. Microgreens  There really is a lot of simple things that you can encourage children to plant and this is one of them.  Perfect for homes with or without gardens.  You can also reuse the garden to keep planting more.   Florence has really enjoyed using the My Fairy Garden kit to plant some magic pea seeds, or microgreens as they are more commonly known.  I would say that this is also a great activity for older children who can independently follow the instructions or in our case it was a really sweet activity and great introduction to gardening  with my youngest as the addition of the fairy and the fairy house really captivated her. It also makes it far more likely that they will eat their greens that are full of vitamins and nutrients, if they have grown them themselves.  Add to a sandwich or picnic tea this summer.
  2. Wildflowers                                                                                                                                       We found the wildflower seed kit from Johnsons Little gardeners kit fun for them to shake out to encourage bees to the garden or parklands.   Florence really enjoyed decorating the Sunflower pot and now she is checking on her seed every few days to see how tall it’s growing and whether it needs watering.A small child holding sunflower seeds
  3. Sunflowers                                                                                                                               Florence loved decorating her sunflower pot and planting with her seed kit .  We now have a sunflower shoot and it’s really fun to keep watering and checking on it.
  4. Fruit and Vegetables                                                Then there is simple fruit and vegetable planting such as tomato and strawberry plants.  There are varieties that can be planted in pots, hanging baskets and on the ground.  I have found these the easiest fruit and vegetables to plant. We have dug up a patch in the corner of the garden and edged it with some wood we reclaimed and with a bit of sweat from Dougie we have a small simple and rustic vegetable garden.   We are being more adventurous by planting vegetables such as pumpkins, so wish us luck!   Another simple one is potatoes – Once you have some seed potatoes sprouting, dig a hole and pop them in. Cover with a generous mound of soil and wait for them to grow. There are many easy to follow instructions and videos on the internet, and potatoes are so hardy they should grow well in most areas.a child planting herbs in a garden
  5. Herbs                                                                                                                                          Encourage the bees with flowering lavenders and thymes and also make a small kitchen garden pot/planter indoors or outdoors full of herbs.  My kids are quite fascinated by plants that have a scent and plus some like mint etc are a great addition to our meals. We found potting some already potted herbs in an area of the garden that they could decorate with painted stones and shells really helped grab their attention. It’s actually our pet tortoise’s enclosures so he is happy with his new dinner as well!a boy holding sheeps wool in the garden

Caring for your seeds and small plants

  1. Slugs and Snails. Yes here is where I’m going to contradict myself on my wildlife haven!  However we don’t want to eliminate them, just encourage them elsewhere in the garden. So we have taken a few small steps to look after our seeds and plants and tried to be mindful to not using any harsh chemicals as I want my garden to be safe for children, pets and wildlife.  We have used some broken eggshells around the plant base to deter slugs. I have heard mixed reviews on doing this but I know that our local National Trust property advises this as a method and it worked well last year for us on our tomatoes.   Please make sure you wash littles hands thoroughly after they have helped put the eggshells out as the egg membranes are still present in the shells. Another handy slug deterrant is sheep’s wool,  so go for a walk near a sheep field and collect the wool hanging from the farmers fences.  Slugs find it hard to move over the wool.a Childs hand holding egg shells
  2. Birds and Squirrels eating your plants  You can buy some netting to place over your plants, I recommend making sure you keep hold of the netting and use it each year to reduce putting it in land fill after a single use.
  3. Water My kids absolutely love a watering can!  Let them loose with watering once or twice a day as even if it rains the plants need it in the summer.
  4. Labelling your plants This can be a fun activity to do, maybe on a rainy day.  Paint/decorate some rocks, wooden spoons or lolly sticks to label what you have planted.   You could even upcycle any bits of wood or bamboo, such as a used bamboo toothbrush

Wildlife areasa small child sat in the mud with a homemade toads house out of a pot and rocks

This is a great way to get kids interested in starting gardening, as mine love to make little homes and encourage nature into the garden.  So it’s another way to extend their learning and get them involved in being helpful to habitats and the environment.two children digging up the soil

3 Little Buttons

4 responses to “Gardening Activities for kids”

  1. Kirsty says:

    I love it! We only have a small London garden, but the kids have been loving planting up pots and creating a vertical herb garden. Thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam

  2. Tracey Carr says:

    My two daughters absolutely helping me out in the garden too. It is so good for them I think to see how things grow. I got them their own little gardening gloves this year and a small gardening set in Aldi that is fantastic – money well spent. Your pictures are lovely, the kids look like they are really enjoying themselves! #dreamteam

    • teamsteinblog says:

      Aldi do some great little kits don’t they? That’s lovely that they’re getting involved. Thank you for reading x

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