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The Definitive Guide to Gardening for Kids

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. 

Keeping Kids Safe in the Garden – The University of Vermont

#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:

Gardening for Children – Better Health Channel (Victorian Government)

Health Benefits of Gardening for Children – The Spoke (Blog)

Gardening for Kids – Rasmussen College

#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:

Botany for the Beginner – Australian Plants Online

Plant Science: An Introduction to Botany – The Great Courses

The Basics of Botany – New York Botanical Garden

#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:

14 Poisonous Plants for Kids – The Bump

Dangerous & Poisonous Plants – Raising Children

10 Toxic Houseplants that are Dangerous for Kids and Pets – The Den

#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. 

What Plants Need – Brain Pop

Slightly older kids (and adults) might appreciate the University of Florida’s guide as well:

What Makes Plants Grow – The University of Florida

Or the BBC’s own guide on the topic:

What does a plant need to grow? – BBC

#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:

The Field Museum: Soil Properties

#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:

Kids Garden Tools – Bunnings

Children’s Gardening Tools

25 Best Gardening Tools for Kids

#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:

Grow a Pizza Garden

How to Plant a Pizza Garden

Little Gardeners Pizza Garden Starter Kit

#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:

How to Grow Avocado from Seed

How to Grow Avocado Plants from Pits

Growing Avocado from Seed

#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!

DIY Bird Feeders

15 Bird Feeder Crafts

14 Easy DIY Winter Bird Feeders

#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:

Seed Bombs – Fact Sheets (ABC)

How to Make a Seed Bomb

#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:

DIY Rainbow Roses

#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:

100 Beautiful Indoor Container Ideas

Indoor Container Garden Ideas

#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:

Make a terrarium mini-garden – NASA

Terrariums for kids

How to Make a Terrarium with Kids

#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:

Toilet Paper Roll Seed Starter Pots – Preparedness Mama

Come Sow with Me – Juggling With Kids

Toilet Roll Seed Starter – You Grow Girl

#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:

Sundials – Britannica Kids

How to make a sundial clock

#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:

How to make a grass head – Bunnings

Cutest Grass Heads – Homemade Gifts Made Easy

How to Make Grass Heads – Red Ted Art

#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:

How to Make a Butterfly Puddling Pool

Butterfly Puddling

Puddle Parties

#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:

How to Plant a Butterfly Garden with your Kids

How to Create your own Butterfly Garden

Plant a Butterfly Garden

#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:

Herbarium Project for Children

Making a Herbarium

#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:

Observing Plant Growth Using Bulbs

Plant Bulbs – Help my Kid Learn

#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:

Creating a Home Made Composter for kids

A Kid’s Guide to Composting

A Compost Bin Project for Kids

#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:

Watering the Garden

Learning Activity: Watering Plants

#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:

How to Make Weeding Fun for Children

10 Tips for Weeding with Kids

#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:

Fertiliser Facts for Kids

Safe Lawn Fertiliser for Kids

Fertiliser – Students

#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:

Grow your Own Salad

Growing your own salad leaves

How to Grow your own Salad Greens

#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:

Hydroponics for Kids

Gardening Basics: Hydroponics

Hydroponics for Kids: A Complete Guide for Parents

#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:

Garden Scavenger Hunt for Kids

Gardener Scavenger Hunt Printable

30+ Free Printable Scavenger Hunts for Kids

#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:

How to Build a Dinosaur Garden

How to Build a Dinosaur Garden – Megan Zeni

How to DIY a Miniature Dinosaur Garden

#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. 

How to Build a DIY Pirate Sandpit – Bunnings

How to Make a Sandpit – BHG

Build a Sandpit and be your Kids’ Hero

#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:

Guide to Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous Plants Make a Fun Garden for Kids

Grow Carnivorous Plants in a DIY Mini-Bog

#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:

Make a Bug Hotel 

How to Make a Bug Hotel

Build a DIY Insect Hotel for Kids

#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:

Create a Beanstalk with your Children

Planting and Growing a Beanstalk

How to Grow a Beanstalk

#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:

Educational DIY Mini Grass Houses

#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:

Cabbage Water Movement Experiment

Kindergarten Xylem Water Movement Demonstration

Final Thoughts

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!

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