Encouraging kids to garden 23

We have been lucky enough to have a small garden for the last eight years and we love to make the most of it, but growing our own vegetables and using it as a wonderful place to eat and play.

kids gardening

Gardening is a great activity for kids, it teaches them where food comes from and is also for science learning too.

Encouraging kids to garden

maxi watering

  1. I have never really had to encourage the boys into the garden, they tend to be out there when we are out there, so my first tip would be to just get outside with the kids.
  2. Give them their own space.  When the boys were smaller they had their own little areas of the garden, where they could dig, over water and generally play in.  If you don’t have space, then give them their own container. This way they have freedom to play, but it also means that they are not digging up areas that you have planted.
  3. Involve them from the planning stage.  We ask the boys what they would like to grow and eat and also if they want a particular colour flow.  Make it exciting.  Nurturestore has some great activities around growing sunflowers, this worked well with my boys when they were younger as they love a good competition, so we decided to see who’s grew the tallest. If you want to try a vegetable growing competition then see who can grow the tallest bean
  4. Give them appropriately sized equipment.  There is no fun trying to lift a adult sized watering can when it is full of water, so make sure your kids have appropriate sized equipment including watering cans, gloves, rake and fork.
  5. Make it fun.  We have a number of waterbutts in the garden and this means the boys can fill up watering cans themselves.  Not only am I empowering the boys to look after their own plants but also saving water too!  All our water butts are from Aldi (they have gardening special buys this week, including 100 litre water butts and self watering troughs and pots. )
  6. Plant flowers and veg that are fast growing and germinating to start including radish, lettuce, herbs, poppies, marigolds and sweet peas.  You can intersperse these with other plants so they get some instant gratification.
  7. Let them mow the lawn and use tools as long as they are supervised.  My boys are ten and eight and they love helping out by using the lawnmower.  In fact we moved to a smaller one, so that it was easier to help. We have a Bosch Rotak 34 electric rotary mower from Homebase.  It is ace as it cuts right to the edges meaning that we haven’t used our strimmer since we received it.
  8. If planting isn’t their thing, then get them involved in composting and looking at natural pest control. An interest in plants may come at a different stage, so it pays to find out what your kids are interesting in and work with that.
  9. Grow something unusual such as an avocado or purple carrots. You could even grow their own pumpkin for Halloween!
  10. Link it to an activity or book.  Make a spiderweb trellis or these fab playdough garden activity mats.

gardening with kids

The Garden Classroom

facebook giveaway

My dear blog friend Cathy from Nurturestore has just published her first print book The Garden Classroom and I have ordered my copy and I am also giving away a copy on The Mad House Facebook Page.  It is jam packed full of a whole years outdoor play, gardening and learning ideas for teaching your child and also encouraging them to be an active gardener.

Our new Lawnmower


We are totally enamored with our Bosch Rotak 34 electric rotary mower from Homebase.  It is a self powered,  lightweight and easy to use with excellent results.  The collection box was a great size and easy to remove and empty.

The mower cuts right into the borders, minimalising the need for a strimmer, which is a big bonus for us.

It folds up to store and is really compact, perfect for people with storage issues.  It is a superb lawn mower for less than £100.

tips for gardening with kids

Disclosure: We were sent the lawnmower to review and are also being sent another waterbutt and trough from Aldi.  

23 thoughts on “Encouraging kids to garden

  • angela hamilton

    The nursery my son went to and my daughter will be going to have a garden and they get the kids involved in planting the seeds, watering them and maintaing the garden. My sons school has a greenhouse and they grow fruit and veg.
    My sister has a veg patch outside my parents house and the kids have been involved with that too.
    It is such a fantastic skill and hobby. I cant wait to we have a house with a garden! x

  • Kate Thompson

    Another fab post, gardening is so much fun for kids, all mine have thoroughly enjoyed gardening most years – and you don’t have to be too ambitious either.

  • Sara-Jayne

    Probably because I was a geography teacher my boys love to garden. I think they really love that they can eat things that they grow. Our favourite are the peas – not one has made it from the plant into the house yet, all ended up in someone’s tummy!

  • Louisa

    Brilliant post. We have a water butt that we are going to use at the bottom of the garden with the veg patch we are slowly building. The children are keen to help and hopefully will be happy to eat what we grow

  • Michelle

    I didn’t have a garden growing up as we lived in a pub, and when I grew up and got my own place with a garden I was so happy! When my boy was little we used to plant veggies. It’s such a fun experience for the kids and for us adults, nothing tastes nicer than something you’ve grown yourself!

  • The Reading Residence

    My daughter likes gardening with me, and I think you’re right with that top tip there, just get outside with them and they’ll get involved. She follows me round asking questions, learning the plants names, and now proudly has her own little patch of garden where she’s eagerly awaiting for the seeds we’ve sown to sprout up.

  • Lucy Dorrington

    I totally agree that if you want to encourage children outside, it’s a good idea to go outside! Leading by example is the best way and it’s lovely to enjoy the garden together.

  • Mammasaurus

    You know how much I love getting the kids out in the garden Jen, it’s just the best. We did the purple carrots last year and it really foxed them to pull them out as I hadn’t told them they were purple – you should have seen the confused look on their little faces !

  • Selena @ Look! We're Learning!

    I’ve never been interested in gardening, but I love this post! I’d like to spend more time outdoors with my kids and these tips are great for helping us start!

    Thanks for linking up with the Laugh and Learn linky! 🙂

  • Agata @BarkTime

    Kids have to be part of every task… so if we are gardening they should help as well

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