Toddlers tend to love being outside. Whether playing, getting dirty, finding bugs, or all of the above, toddlers are fascinated by their surroundings. Why not teach them about gardening, while they are outside anyway? Whether you love flowers or food, toddlers can be a huge help in the garden. Here are a few tips for getting them involved.
Gardening with Toddlers
#1. Help Them Choose What to Grow
Toddlers tend to have a short attention span, so be sure to have a variety of ideas for them to choose from.
Flowers can be planted from seed, but can also be bought at your local gardening center and encouraged to grow.
For food, go for something above ground where they can see the progress quickly such as cherry tomatoes, carrots, or spinach.
If you want to grow from seed then check out our guide to quick-growing vegetables and flowers for kids.
#2. Provide Pint-Sized Tools
In order to start and maintain a garden, the correct tools are needed.
Be sure to provide gardening gloves, a hoe, and shovel (all child-sized).
Having tools toddlers can carry and use correctly will pique their interest and allow you to teach them the fundamentals necessary to be helpful.
We have written a guide on gardening equipment for kids that we use to garden with them at home.
#3. Teach the Fundamentals
Teach your toddlers what it takes to maintain a garden in order to see growth.
Don’t forget to show them how to clean up after themselves, too!
Designate a few small windows of time a week to tend the garden – watering and pulling weeds.
Teaching time management and responsibility can never happen too early!
You could also teach them some of the science behind plants why not grow carrot tops with them so they can learn about watering, light levels and more inside and see it happen every day.
Or even grow beans in a jar! That way they can see what happens under the soil.
#4. Watch or Eat
If you grow edible items, have your toddler help you harvest the crop and create a meal to go with it.
If you planted flowers, enjoy the color and beauty as they flourish.
Encourage your toddler that the growth is because of their hard work.
Take pictures so they can show their friends and family what they accomplished or take samples of the food or flowers as gifts to promote sharing and generosity.
#5. Take it a Step Further
Help your toddlers understand where their food comes from by taking them to a farmer’s market.
Introduce them to the hardworking people who grow the food they eat every day and encourage them that what they grow at home makes a difference!
Why not make some cute garden crafts with your toddler to add to their gardens and encourage them to grow more things.
Growing Seeds and Plants with Toddlers
- Grow carrots with kids
- Start seeds off indoors with egg carton seed trays
- Grow salads in containers for kids to enjoy
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.