Are you looking for inspiration on gardening for kids? These ten great projects are perfect for getting kids gardening and having fun outdoors.
As well as being lots of fun, gardening for children is a great way to explore their senses, learn about nature, and develop an interest in healthy living. Gardening is also a fantastic way to spend time as a family or to celebrate Earth Day, and can have a hugely positive impact on everyone’s mental health.
My new book, *A Year of Nature Craft & Play has lots of fun ideas for getting kids gardening, plus crafts, games, art and science experiments. There are 52 budget-friendly nature play activities, one for every week of the year, all with easy-to-follow instructions and colourful photos.
Gardening for kids: fun projects to have a go at
If you’d like to encourage your children to try some garden projects, you’re in the right place. I’ve rounded up ten great garden activities for kids that will help them to spend time outside and get active.
Lots of the kids gardening ideas on my list will also help to make your garden look great!
1. Grow salad from seed
If you’re gardening with children, getting the kids planting seeds is definitely a project that will always go down well. My kids love the magical process of planting a seed and watching it grow; it’s just a really exciting thing to do! Choosing an edible plant is a great way to encourage kids to try new flavours and learn about where their food comes from.
When it comes to simple grow your own for kids, salad is hard to beat. It’s easy to plant, it doesn’t need lots of care and attention, and it grows really fast. It’s perfectly happy growing in small pots and containers too. A packet of *mixed salad seeds is a good option as it will give children a few different varieties to try.
To plant your seeds, just fill your pot with compost, sprinkle your salad seeds on the top, cover them with a bit more compost, and water them. In the warm summer months you can expect a harvest of tasty leaves within a few weeks.
2. Make wildflower seed bombs
Seed bombs are a super-easy way to grow flowers from seed, and they’re lots of fun to make too. Using *wildflower seeds to make your seed bombs is a great option. Wildflowers will help to make your garden more wildlife-friendly, and kids will be able to observe and learn about the different creatures that visit the flowers.
To make seed bombs, mix 3 handfuls of compost with 1 handful of flour, and add a little water to make it stick together. Shape your mixture into balls, then roll them in your seeds so that the seeds stick to the surface. Once your seed bombs are dry you can throw them into your garden borders, where they will create a lovely display of wildflowers.
My post on how to garden for wildlife has lots of other fun wildlife gardening ideas for kids to try.
3. Create a mini garden
Mini gardens are fantastic garden crafts for kids to have a go at. They can be as simple or as complicated as you like, and you can use whatever materials and plants you already have in the garden.
To make a mini garden, you need a container full of soil, plus the materials to put on top. Small sticks, stones, moss, leaves, flowers and small plants all work well. You could also raid the recycling bin for materials (small foil trays and bottle lids make great mini ponds).
When it comes to designing their garden, kids can let their imagination run wild! Just remember to keep watering your mini garden if it has growing plants in it.
4. Make a bird feeder
Putting a bird feeder in your garden is an easy way to encourage more wild birds to visit. You can buy a *bird feeder, but it’s fun to make your own too. You could use a pine cone covered in peanut butter and rolled in bird seed, make one from an old plastic bottle with a wooden spoon perch, make homemade bird feeders in paper cups or yoghurt pots, or make a pumpkin bird feeder in autumn.
Another nice idea is upcycling a teacup and saucer to make your bird feeder. This video shows you how to do it:
Once you’ve made your feeders, children can have fun identifying the different birds who visit them. They might like to keep a wildlife diary, draw their feathered visitors, or find out more about them online.
5. Make plant markers
Homemade plant markers are a great garden project for kids. They can use them to decorate their own little patch of land or container, or make some as gifts for friends and family.
A really simple way to make plant markers is to paint or colour *wooden lolly sticks or wooden spoons. If you’d like to get more creative, you could have a go at painting stones, writing on wine corks and adding a wooden skewer to the base, decorating *wooden pegs, or using *chalkboard paint to create reusable labels.
6. Grow microgreens
How about an indoor gardening project for kids? Microgreens are brilliant plants for kids to grow, because you can harvest them in as little as two weeks after planting the seeds.
Microgreens are seedlings of herbs and vegetables which are harvested and eaten while they are still tiny. To grow microgreens, simply scatter the *seeds onto a small pot of compost, sprinkle a little compost on top, then water them and pop them on a sunny windowsill. Keep the compost moist, and turn your container around if the plants start leaning towards the light.
To harvest your microgreens, snip or pinch them off just above soil level. They’re packed with flavour, and are lovely in sandwiches, salads and smoothies.
You can find more micogreen growing tips and advice in my blog post on how to grow microgreens.
7. Make a nature garland
Nature crafts make perfect garden projects for kids. Making a nature garland is an easy way to turn nature treasure into a unique garden decoration. Children can collect fallen nature items while you’re out on a walk, or from around the garden. Leaves, flowers, feathers, seed pods and twigs all work well.
Once you’ve got your nature treasure, cut a length of string and tie each item onto it, spacing them out and leaving about 15cm at each end of the string. When you’ve finished, hang your nature garland in a tree or bush.
8. Plant a bulb lasagne
Another must on the list of gardening activities for kids is planting a bulb lasagne. This is a clever way of layering *spring-flowering bulbs in a pot to create a long display of flowers. It’s a perfect gardening activity for kids because bulbs are easy to handle and plant, and they can cope well with the scale of planting in a container.
My bulb lasagne post has a step by step guide showing you how to plant your bulbs, plus suggestions for which bulbs to plant on each layer.
9. Make a bug hotel
A bug hotel is a fantastic way to encourage bees, ladybirds and other insects to make a home in your garden. In return for a home, they will do a great job of pollinating your plants and controlling pests like greenfly.
You can make your own simple bug hotel by adding short lengths of garden canes to an old plastic bottle which has some modelling clay in the bottom, then using string to hang it up in the garden. Or you could fill an empty plant pot or length of tubing with twigs, pine cones and straw.
Once your bug hotel is in place, children can enjoy observing and identifying the creatures that move in.
10. Grow your name in a courgette
This is wacky plant growing for kids, and they love it!
If you’re growing courgettes in the garden, kids can choose one that’s small and still attached to the plant, and grow their name on it.
Use a toothpick or pointy stick to scratch your name onto the surface of the courgette, then leave it to grow. As it gets bigger, the name will grow too. If the kids can be patient they’ll end up with a huge name, and some real wow factor gardening!
I hope these garden ideas for kids have given you lots of inspiration for ways to get kids gardening and having fun outdoors. Which one will you be trying first?
More gardening with kids projects
If you’d like some more inspiration on family gardening and kids garden activities, take a look at the gardening with children section of the blog. I’ve also got lots of fun outdoor activities for kids in my free printable bucket lists for spring, summer, autumn and winter, and a bumper list of nature books for kids.
Twinkl also have a great list of outdoor activities for families which is full of ideas for garden fun.
You might also like to check out my roundup of 50 fun ideas to get kids gardening, and the Skinny Jean Gardener YouTube channel has even more kids gardening inspiration.
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- Make a fairy garden or dinosaur garden! Use an old flower pot, seed tray or any plastic tray or box. ...
- Shooting water into buckets. ...
- Painting stones. ...
- Make mud pies. ...
- Take your soft toys outside… ...
- Make a time capsule and bury in the garden. ...
- Nature sketching. ...
- Chalk gallery.
As children garden, they develop important motor skills that will help them improve their academic skills such as writing, cutting and typing. It's a well-known fact that if you engage children in growing their own vegetables, they gain a keen interest in eating them too.How can I make my garden fun for kids? ›
- Place the garden under your child's responsibility. ...
- Teach uninteresting lessons first. ...
- Give kids their roles. ...
- Allow kids to play in the dirt. ...
- Playing with bugs is allowed. ...
- Use plants for practical purposes. ...
- Track their progress. ...
- Have small gardening tools.
Gardening promotes mental health.
Sunshine can trigger the release of the hormone serotonin, which acts as a mood stabiliser and helps us to feel more positive and productive.
Gardens can be a great place to cultivate a meaningful and fun learning experience for children. It's a natural match. Gardening can offer children an opportunity to learn the life cycle process, by which plants are grown, as well as responsibility, caretaking, independence, and environmental awareness.What should be in a children's garden? ›
Kids get excited about eating their vegetables when they've helped grow them in their backyard. Growing a mix of fun edibles (like sugar snap peas and mint), soft and touchable plants (like lamb's ear), and fresh flowers meant for cutting means there is always something interesting to do in the garden.What are the 10 benefits of gardening? ›
- Stress relief. ...
- Using our creativity and problem solving skills. ...
- Reducing your time using technology. ...
- Enhancing your general wellbeing. ...
- Improving your memory as you age. ...
- Promoting exercise. ...
- Practising being present. ...
- You'll start healthy eating habits.
Research shows that families who garden together enjoy better health and well-being: Children eat more vegetables Gardening provides stress relief, relaxation and physical exercise Gardening together gives families a chance to spend quality time to- gether outdoors1 Families form long-lasting bonds by working together ...Why is gardening a life skill? ›
Gardening with children is very rewarding and gives youth an insight into where food comes from and how much energy it takes to grow it, as well as teaches them valuable life skills such as responsibility, problem solving, decision making, caring and team work.Why is gardening is important? ›
Importance of gardening to the environment. Gardens provide us with fresh produce, clean air and create habitat for wildlife. They also help reduce food miles and carbon emissions. But we shouldn't just stick to growing flowers - there are many different types of plants that can benefit our health too.
Discover health and happiness
A King's Fund report on the health benefits of gardening were found to be broad and diverse, with research studies showing significant reductions in depression and anxiety and improved social functioning(5). Gardening can also help maintain independence and prevent cognitive decline.
The most common vegetable garden structures are in-ground gardens, container gardens, and raised bed gardens. In-ground gardening consists of planting veggies directly in the ground, while container gardening involves using portable above-ground containers to grow plants.What is gardening in simple words? ›
Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture.What are some fun facts about gardening? ›
- Eggplants and potatoes are part of the same family.
- Watermelon is actually a vegetable and so is rhubarb.
- Tomatoes are fruits and the most popular fruit in the world at that.
- Broccoli and cauliflower are the only veggies that are also flowers.
A nurturing environment is one that gives children the security and opportunity to discover themselves and their world. In a nurturing environment the family spends more time gathered around the table than around the television. The family table is where the family is both nourished and nurtured.How do school gardens help children? ›
This inquisitive and rewarding approach to learning can even improve concentration inside the classroom. Furthermore, children will learn about the environment and sustainability. They can learn about insects and how they have an impact on the development of plants and vegetables.How do you garden with small children? ›
A sandbox-sized plot is perfect for the younger set. Give them their own sturdy, child-sized tools, and expect them to get wet and dirty. Set them up for success by making small raised beds that are easy for them to reach into but which keep them from climbing in and walking on the plants.Why is gardening an important exercise? ›
Gardening works all the major muscle groups: legs, buttocks, arms, shoulders, neck, back and abdomen. Tasks that use these muscles build strength and burn calories. Digging, lifting bags of mulch and pushing wheelbarrows all provide strength training similar to weight lifting, which leads to healthier bones and joints.How important is gardening at home? ›
What is the importance of gardening at home and how can it help the environment? Gardening is good for your health, your soil, and wildlife. It's a great way to reduce stress, set goals, and learn to nurture something. It's also a great way to become more sustainable at home.Why are gardens important at home? ›
It can be good for your health, good for your soil, and good for the wildlife in your backyard. It's a great way to relieve stress, to set goals for yourself, and to nurture something. On top of all that, growing your own produce is a great way to become more sustainable at home and to reduce your environmental impact.
Family Gardening is an educational program for all family members, both children and adults. It is designed to help participants understand the importance of good nutrition. Family Gardening also aims to help participants learn the connection between healthy bodies and healthy gardens.What is the most important thing in gardening? ›
Soil: The most important aspect of gardening.What are the social benefits of gardening? ›
Group participation in gardening activities can build social capital and enhance group cohesiveness and community well-being by providing a physical location to meet other people with shared interests and common goals.How does gardening help your social health? ›
Encourages social bonds.
Gardening with others at a community garden or other group setting takes teamwork to achieve shared goals. Being part of a larger group can benefit your mental health by increasing your social connections and your support system.
Sure, great gardens look good, but they have to feel good too. The gardens I admire most are relaxing, easy to move through, and not too hard to maintain. Paths and structures must be simple to navigate, while the plants selected must provide interest and serve a function without being bullies or prima donnas.What makes a garden beautiful? ›
Beautiful gardens appeal to our senses.
The colours and immense diversity of design combinations, fragrance, flavours, sounds from birds and insects attracted to the plants and variety of textures.
A garden should respond well to the adjacent landscape and buildings. Some gardens are very introspective, with apparently little attempt to benefit from any surrounding views or features, and designed without consideration of the impact of road noise, orientation, local climate and any other external factors.How I create a small garden essay? ›
- My house has a small garden. ...
- All flowers have different colors but I like roses.
- My mother also grows vegetables in the garden.
- We grow vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and coriander.
- My garden is very beautiful and daily birds come to drink water.
Seeds take time to grow into vegetables, and this can help you learn an important life lesson of patience. Being patient can help with a wide variety of situations, and it's an ability that you can work on and grow. Stop and smell the roses! This common saying is a great life lesson you can learn from gardening.Can kids do gardening? ›
Gardening is a healthy and inexpensive way for children to learn and have fun at home, school or the allotment. Research suggests children perform better at school if they're involved with gardening and many will develop a greater interest in healthy eating if they get to grow their own veg.
Soil, potting medium or compost, as long as it's dirty, kids love to play in it. And that's a good thing. Researchers from Bristol University and University College London discovered that natural “friendly” bacteria in the soil can actually boost the mood as effectively as an anti-depressant.What can we play in the garden? ›
From swingball, croquet and rounders, to giant Jenga, skittles and disco golf, we've rounded-up some of the best garden games for everyone to enjoy this summer - including our favourite, best ball garden game and the best giant garden game.Is gardening helpful to the family? ›
Gardening as a family offers a host of benefits, including promoting healthy eating and exercise habits as well as family bonding and stress relief. If you live in an urban area and/or don't have a yard, consider an indoor garden or working in a community garden.What is importance of gardening? ›
Gardens provide us with fresh produce, clean air and create habitat for wildlife. They also help reduce food miles and carbon emissions. But we shouldn't just stick to growing flowers - there are many different types of plants that can benefit our health too.What is the importance of home gardening? ›
Gardening invites you to get outside, interact with other gardeners, and take charge of your own need for exercise, healthy food, and beautiful surroundings. If you're digging, hauling, and harvesting, your physical strength, heart health, weight, sleep, and immune systems all benefit.What is the first thing you do in a garden? ›
- Start small and consider what to plant. ...
- Prepare the gardening tools and supplies. ...
- Pick the perfect spot. ...
- Clear the ground and get some good soil. ...
- Fertilizing the garden. ...
- Watering the garden. ...
- Organic Pest Control Solutions. ...
- Pick your plants.
Studies have shown that children without regular exposure to the germs found in dirt have increased cases of asthma, allergies and autoimmune issues. On the flip side, encouraging kids to enjoy the sensory activity of playing in the dirt can combat inflammation, fight bowel disease and prevent respiratory illness.Why children should play with soil? ›
Playing in the dirt can benefit the brain.
New research suggests that children who play in the dirt are exposed to a bacterium which accelerates learning and brightens the mood. This bacterium, which is found in the soil, is also said to have impact on depression and even on lung cancer.
There is no 'right' age for children to start gardening. When they are toddlers, they will naturally want to be with you outside and will join in with your activities – digging, helping to push the wheelbarrow, watering crops, adding weeds to the compost, and so on.Is gardening an indoor activity? ›
Indoor gardening, in particular, has amazing benefits for kids. It contributes to their health and happiness, engages all their senses and gives them a sense of responsibility. It doesn't require a green thumb and you don't have to leave the house or classroom!
Why outdoor play is important. Playing outside gives your child the chance to explore the natural environment and have adventures. Your child can play games, test their physical limits, express themselves and build their self-confidence. Outdoor play can also mean more mess – and more mess often means more fun!What are two benefits to outdoor play? ›
- It invites children to learn science. ...
- It creates opportunities for social interaction and collaboration. ...
- It promotes physical health. ...
- It invites new contexts for learning. ...
- It promotes better sleep. ...
- It gives children a chance to take appropriate risks.