7 Engaging Gardening Activities for Toddlers and Kids

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*Post updated April 10, 2020

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Springtime is my favorite time of year. Flowers are in bloom, the days are getting warmer, and fresh produce is on the horizon. 

This is the perfect time of year to spend more time outdoors. Enjoy time as a family with these exciting gardening activities for kids and toddlers.

As a family, we belong to a community garden, which has been such a fun experience for all of us.  

We love being able to plant and grow our own produce, meet others in the community, and eat delicious fresh food all Summer and Fall.

Gardening is such a therapeutic activity, which allows you to spend time out in nature.  It is so easy to unwind and clear you head while planting seeds or weeding the garden bed.  

This is my favorite escape after a busy day stuck in the office.  

Also, there’s nothing more satisfying than eating produce you grew and harvested.  You don’t have to worry about what chemicals or pesticides may be in the food you eat because you grew it yourself.

Getting Kids Involved in the Garden

Gardening Activities for Kids and toddlers for outdoor learning

Now that we have a child it’s even more enjoyable to share our love of gardening with her.  

She’s been coming to the garden with us since she was about 1 week old.  She loves watching us work and helping out with her own gardening tools.

The best part of including kids in gardening is you get them excited about eating fruits and vegetables!

Seriously, what can be better than that?

Get your kids involved in the family garden in order to share your love and excitement of gardening.  Toddlers and kids love nothing more than helping out.  

Kids of all ages, from babies to teens, can help garden and spend time together outdoors. Make gardening fun with these gardening activities for kids and toddlers.

Garden Activities for Toddlers and Kids

1. Planting seeds

Those small little fingers are actually more effective at planting seeds than our large fingers anyways.  

With gentle guidance on how far apart to place the seeds, allow your little ones to get a little dirty and plant the seeds into the soil.

You can also start seedlings during the winter indoors.  

This is a fun way to prepare for the upcoming planting season. Plus, starting in the wintertime helps you get a head start on some plants which take longer to grow.

We love this herb and flower starter kit that’s perfect for young gardeners. We keep the plants them in our daughter’s windowsill.

Our little one loves checking on her plants each morning to see how much they grew.  

As an added bonus, diaper changes have never been easier because she looks at her plants while we change her!  

It’s a win-win for all!

2. Watering

Watering plants is an easy activity for all ages. Provide your child with a lightweight-watering bucket and let them get to work. 

There are loads of cute kid-friendly gardening sets for toddlers and young children. These come with different tools and buckets to help them feel involved.

Also, watering plants a great way to cool off in the hot sun.

When water is involved, everyone is bound to get a little wet.

3. Weeding

As long as you check first for any poison ivy depending on where your garden is, weeding is an excellent activity for toddlers.

Toddlers love ripping paper into a million tiny pieces.  This is the gardening equivalent to that.

Just make sure to supervise while your child is weeding to ensure they don’t get carried away and “weed” your plants.

4. Harvesting

Harvesting what you grew is probably the most exciting part of gardening.  For children, you can make harvesting into a game to see who can find the most tomatoes or who can pick the most spinach.  

Also, searching for berries and vegetables is like an Easter Egg Hunt.  You have to search among the leaves and stems to find them.

However, I recommend you provide some guidance to ensure they are picking things that are ripe and ready to be picked.  Otherwise, you may end up with too many unripe vegetables.

5. Outdoor Play

If they lose interest but you have more work to do, bring along a few outdoor toys or plan some outdoor activities and let them have fun while you finish up.

Gardening should be relaxing and fun for everyone. If your child loses interest in the garden, let them play with a ball or bubbles.  

At the end of the day, you are all spending time in the sun and outside together. 

That’s what matters most.

6. Reading about the Garden

Reading books about gardening is a fun way to learn about gardening in the wintertime.  

Also, if you need a little break while gardening you can read together.

Our little one is a bookworm, so we love to read in preparation for everything (holidays, gardening, etc).

Our favorite garden books are Who’s in the Garden and Hello, Garden Bugs.  We have read these countless times.

6. Eating!

This is the best part– eating what you grew.  Find a new recipe and cook up the vegetables you grew.

Prepare a fun salad or grill them up and enjoy as a family. Use your eggplant to make kid-friendly Ratatouille.

Teaching kids that vegetables are fun and exciting will instill lifelong healthy habits.  The larger the varieties of food children are introduced to, the healthier they will eat long term. 

This is a good opportunity to broaden your own diet as well.  I personally never tried beets until we grew some last year, but found out that I love their earthy taste.

Start your Garden with Your Toddlers and Kids

Sit down as a family, pick out some produce to grow and start gardening!  

Make sure to look up what grows well in your climate in order to have a game plan ahead of time.

If you’re brand new to gardening, I recommend starting with lettuce or spinach that is pretty low-maintenance and grows well.

If you’re home with the kids all summer, time in the garden will help keep everybody busy in a productive and fun way. Also, try these fun summertime activities with your family.

For tips on traveling with your children, check out this article on keeping kids busy and entertained.  Also, sign up for the mailing list to stay up to date on the latest healthy recipes for kids and families.  

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2 thoughts on “7 Engaging Gardening Activities for Toddlers and Kids”

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      Thank you! And thank you for the inspirational books!
      I guess I should have included a section on learning about earth worms and bugs from garden friends too!

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