Great Garden Activities For Kids
There’s no better place to be than in the garden. Planting seeds, watching your garden grow, soaking up the sunshine—gardening is a mood booster and a welcome escape from life indoors. It’s also a great place to teach kids about growing and tending. Kids are great help when it comes to digging, watering, and harvesting, and gardening together will provide precious time together and fun memories to keep forever. From digging in the dirt to planting pots to sowing wildflowers, there are lots of fun garden activities kids will love to get involved in and help out with. You don’t need lots of extra tools or complicated plans—simple is often best. Even if it’s just enlisting kids’ help with garden tasks that are already on the agenda, these are great opportunities to spend time as a family. Get the kids outdoors with these simple garden activities for kids, and enjoy the time together.
Planting sunflowers is one of the biggest garden payoffs—they grow big and tall and their cheery flowers are sure to put a smile on your face when you glimpse them in the garden. Because of their height, kids love to play in a towering patch of sunflowers. Teach your kids about the flowers while they grow, and watch together in astonishment as they rise up. Learn how to plant sunflowers here.
Growing a Mini Garden
Pick out a small plot in the yard to be your kids' very own garden. Let them choose what to grow and have them draw out the placements of the plants. Make a schedule for tending the plot and watch the garden grow. (Or start even smaller and build a fairy garden together!)
Kids love to dig. They’ve been practicing since they were playing in sandboxes, so it only makes sense that they’ll be great diggers in the garden. Enlist their help and provide them with mini shovels and trowels to till the earth and get the garden ready for planting.
Depending on their ages, kids can help with all manner of planting. Whether it’s placing seeds at intervals in the garden or transplanting flowers from flats to garden beds, small hands can be great helpers. If they’re very young, kids will get a kick out of spreading wildflower seeds around the garden, which involves less precision and more haphazard fun. Find a list of the South's favorite flowers here and learn more about wildflowers here.
Plain clay flowerpots can turn into works of art during a fun afternoon of crafting. Gather up your pots and paint and let the kids get creative with decorating them. (Then plant some pretty things!)
Planting Their Own Pots
Kids love seeing what they plant emerge from the soil and grow big and tall. Present each child with their own pot, help them decorate it with their name, then plant seeds. Visit the pot each day to tend it together, ensuring it’s getting the water and sunlight requirements it needs, and learn lessons about how things grow!
Growing a Victory Garden
This idea was popularized during wartime food shortages throughout the 20th century, and it involves planting healthy vegetables so that you always have a supply of food growing nearby. This often included carrots, leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, and squash, among many others. Kids will love to watch the vegetables grow, and they'll have lots of fun harvesting the bounty when the time comes. Learn more about planting a victory garden here.
Tending a Surprise Garden
Plant a patch of “surprise seeds” with your kids. Don’t tell them what’s growing, and as you visit, water, and watch the plants rise up from the earth, ask your kids guess what’s growing. Keep track of their guesses and how they change as the plant grows. Once the leaves, blooms, or fruits appear, the surprises are revealed!
Planting Fruit Seeds
Wonder where fruits come from? Take the seeds of the fruits you’re eating in the kitchen and try planting them. Watermelon, plums, avocados—lots of what we eat come with seeds and pits that have the potential to grow. Learn about starting seeds indoors here.
Water hoses are a perfect pairing for hot days. Unwind the watering hose and get the kids to spray the plants, or fill up a watering can and send them out to water the potted plants and flowerbeds on their own.
Planting a Tree
Everyone has a wall in the house with marks tracing children's heights, and planting a tree can be a similarly fun yardstick. Plant a tree and watch it grow. Measure its height with your kids and keep track of how tall and how quickly it’s growing. Find a list of flowering Southern trees here.
What are your favorite garden activities to do with kids? What are you growing this season?