Gardening is a great activity for kids; it’s a lot of fun and it’s educational as well. There are lots of different activities that you can do, but when we looked around we couldn’t find a good collection of activities.
This is the definitive list of fun gardening activities for kids.
Let’s get started…
#1: Keeping Kids Safe in the Garden
If you’re gardening with kids, the first thing you want to do is ensure their safety. Gardening isn’t the most dangerous activity there is, but there are some dangers you need to account for.
Fortunately, the University of Vermont has put together a short guide to help you figure out what those dangers are and how to prevent your kids from running into them.
#2: Benefits of Gardening for Kids
Once you’re aware of the dangers of gardening, you might want to read up on the benefits of gardening for kids.
This one isn’t really for the kids; they probably won’t care that gardening can help with cognition, but you probably do!
There are lots of benefits for kids when it comes to getting into gardening and we’ve found three articles that do a great job of explaining them:
#3: Botany for Beginners
This is one activity that can be for both parents and kids. While there’s plenty in the world of botany for your kids to learn, if it’s been a while since you studied the subject yourself then you might want (or need) to brush up on things before you can impart the knowledge onto your kids.
There are no shortages of tutorials and guides on this topic, so sorting through them on your own can be a bit of a pain.
Here are three of our favourites:
#4: Good vs. Bad Plants for Kids
One of the dangers of gardening with kids is toxic plants. Just because something looks nice doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you or your kids.
So it’s important that you know which plants not to include in your gardening activities. There are lots of guides on this topic, but again, here are three of our favourites:
#5: What Plants Need
If your kids are into computer games, then learning through games about what plants need in order to grow and thrive might be just what they’re after.
Slightly older kids (and adults) might appreciate the University of Florida’s guide as well:
Or the BBC’s own guide on the topic:
#6: Properties of Soil Overview
You can’t understand plants without a basic understanding of soil, so another activity you could do would be to teach your kids the basics.
There’s a great tutorial from the Field Museum that goes into the basics as well as some fun experiments you can do with tools as simple as a pencil or a glass of water:
#7: Gardening Tools for Kids
While you might not want to get some tools before you start gardening with your kids, once it becomes an activity you partake in regularly then you’ll probably want to get your hands on some tools specifically made for kids.
Here are three pages you can look at to get an idea of what you might need:
#8: Creating your own “Pizza Garden”
Just about everyone likes pizza, so why not grow all the ingredients you need for pizza toppings? Growing a pizza garden is pretty simple but can be fun and it’s rewarding to know that at the end of the process you’ll be able to pick your own tomatoes, basil and other toppings and put them on your own pizza!
Here are three links to get you started:
#9: Grow an Avocado Seed in a Glass
Australians are known for their love of avocado, so why not get your children hooked early by growing their own avocados from seeds? Here are three tutorials that will show you how to do it step by step:
#10: D.I.Y Bird Feeders
Creating your own bird feeders is a great way to attract different species of birds to your garden. And seeing different birds is a great way to learn about them. Much better than simply looking at pictures of them!
#11: Flower Seed Bombs for Children
Seed bombs are balls of soil that are filled with a variety of plant seeds. When planted and looked after, they’ll eventually turn the area into an eclectic collection of different plants. How eclectic all depends on what seeds you choose! Here are a couple of links for inspiration:
#12: D.I.Y Rainbow Roses for Children
While you may have seen rainbow roses before, you might be surprised to learn that they don’t grow like that in nature! In fact, they’re done by dyeing the flowers and it’s actually something you can do at home.
It’s also a good way to illustrate to kids how plants work. Doing so isn’t that hard, so here’s a good tutorial on doing it at home with kids:
#13: Build an Indoor Container Garden
Australia has changed and not everyone has access to large backyards these days. If you’re one of these families then don’t fret as there are still plenty of activities you can do with your kids to teach them about gardening.
One great idea is the indoor container garden. There is no shortage of options when it comes to creating these at home, so check out the links below for ideas that suit you and yours:
#14: Terrariums for Children
Terrariums are taking off in popularity and if you have the time (and the energy) to create your own then they can be a great activity to do with your kids. Here are three links that will help you get started:
#15: Toilet Paper Planters
One thing all households have plenty of is toilet paper rolls. Instead of throwing them out all the time, why not put them to use? One popular activity kids can take part in is growing plants and flowers in these toilet paper rolls. Here are a few tutorials to get you started:
#16: D.I.Y Sundial for Kids
Sundials are the oldest method of telling the time known to man, so creating your own can be an interesting activity to do with your kids. Here are a few lessons that can inspire your own at home:
#17: Grass Heads
Grass heads are a project that most kids will love. Place some grass seeds inside a tennis-ball sized piece of stocking and watch the grass grow. Here are a few links to get you started:
#18: Butterfly Puddling Pool
Children are often fascinated by butterflies and one way to attract them into your garden and help them out is by creating your own puddling pool. While you can buy them commercially as well, you can have a lot of fun creating your own. Here are a few links to help you create one that’s right for you:
#19: Plant a Butterfly Garden
Staying with the butterfly theme, another way you can attract butterflies into your garden is to plant plants that butterflies love. You can even get fancy and plant certain varieties that attract different species of butterflies. Here are some links to help you out:
#20: Make your own Herbarium
A herbarium is a collection of plants stored in a binder for study by botanists. But you don’t need to be a botanist to enjoy creating one! They can be a fun project to work on with kids and here are a few links that can help you get started:
#21: Growing Bulbs for Children
Kids enjoy planting different sorts of flowers and bulbs can be interesting because they’re different. So growing your own bulb garden can be fun and a learning experience at the same time. Here are a couple of links that you’ll find helpful:
#22: Gardening with Garbage
Creating your own compost heaps is a fun activity that has real benefits to it as well. You’ll teach your kids about waste as well as how to put that waste to use. Here are three links to help you out:
#23: Watering the Garden for Kids
If you’re going to be doing any gardening with your kids then you’ll want to show them the importance of watering at some point. Understanding why water is important to plants and how to best deliver the water are important lessons to learn. Here are a couple of links to help:
#24: Weeding for Children
Another skill that you’ll need to impart onto your kids is weeding. It would be nice if we could get away without knowing what weeds are and how to deal with them, but if you’re going to be in the garden then you won’t be able to avoid it. Here are some lessons that can help you teach your kids all the necessary facts about weeding:
#25: Fertilising Tutorial for Kids
Another important part of gardening is the use of fertiliser. As with watering it’s important for kids to understand why it’s needed, what role it plays and how to actually use it. Exactly how much detail to go into will depend on the age of your kids, but here are some links that will help you tailor your lessons correctly:
#26: Grow your Own Salad
While salad might not be high on most kids’ list of favourite foods, growing the ingredients to make your own salads from scratch can be a fun activity that might even get your kids eating salad. Here are some links to help you with planning your lessons:
#27: Hydroponics for Kids
When learning about gardening, most of us learn that soil is needed for anything to grow. Hydroponics change that and kids can find growing plants in water to be a really interesting activity. Here are some links to provide you with activities that you can do with your kids:
#28: Garden Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are really fun; create a list of things to find in the garden and then send your kids out to see how many of them they can find. There are lots of ways to do this and a lot will depend on the types of things that can be found in your garden, but here are a few links that will be sure to help you generate all the ideas you need:
#29: Build a Dinosaur Garden
Lots of kids enjoy learning about dinosaurs, so creating your own small garden that looks like a landscape dinosaurs may have lived on can be great fun for them. Here are some tutorials to help inspire some ideas:
#30: Build a Sandpit Garden
While a sandpit might not strictly be gardening, it does get your kids playing outside. Building it yourself doesn’t have to be too tricky either; here are some tutorials that will help you build one that’s right for your backyard.
#31: Build a Carnivorous Plant Garden for Children
Carnivorous plants are really fascinating; it goes against our understanding of nature that plants would eat meat. Yet they exist. So it almost goes without saying that kids will find them interesting too. Here are some links that will help you create your own carnivorous plants garden at home without too much fuss:
#32: Build an Insect Hotel
Insects are an important part of any garden, so creating your own insect hotel to house lots of them is not only a fun activity to do with your kids, but it’s beneficial as well. You can choose to buy your own, but it’s much more fun and instructional to make your own. Here are some links that can help:
#33: Magic Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk is still a popular story among children. And while you may not be able to grow a beanstalk that reaches all the way to the sky, growing a beanstalk with your kids can still be fun:
#34: Grass Houses
Grass houses are little houses that you can make with your kids out of sponges. You then cover them with grass seeds, add some water and watch as they begin to sprout. Kids tend to love to watch grass grow from seed and here is a tutorial to help:
#35: Cabbage Water Movement
Some of the best activities are those that are both fun and educational. The cabbage water movement activity is one of these. It involves sticking pieces of cabbage into dyed water, then watching as the dye works its way through the cabbage. Here are a couple of links to show you how to do it:
That’s all we have for now.
Which one is your favourite?
Do you know of an activity that should be listed here?
If so, let us know in the comments!