Children love to play with dirt and watch plants grow, so it makes sense that they would love gardening. Involve your kids in your gardening this year, no matter how old they are. Here are 25 excellent ideas for gardening with kids. Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, you’ll find something on this list that is perfect for your kids.
1. Plan a garden together.
Before you plant your first seed, plan out your garden with your kids. Younger kids will enjoy cutting out pictures of fruits, vegetables, and flowers from gardening catalogs and pasting them on paper to visualize the garden. Give them a section or a plant that they’ll be responsible for. Read more about this gardening idea here and check out the many other ideas in the article.
2. Create a spot in the backyard for your kids’ own garden.
Empower your kids to be responsible for their own little spot in your backyard. This sweet garden includes a fun blue picket fence and is perfect for a few flowers. Here’s another kids’ garden, a bit bigger this time, with step-by-step instructions and photos.
3. Build a bug-proof raised bed garden with pallets.
Any kid would love to walk through this cute veggie garden that was built with wood from pallets to check on the plants’ growth. You’ll enjoy building the garden with your kids and decorating it together. Check out dollar stores for fun lawn ornaments — the tackier, the better.
4. Plant flowers in an old toy, like a toy truck.
Put old toys to good use by repurposing them as creative planters! Toy trucks work well for this gardening idea and would look great sprinkled around your garden, as well as doll beds, wagons, large plastic animals (cut out a hole on top), and rain boots.
5. Make cute garden markers together.
Break out the art supplies and ask your kids to help you craft garden markers for the garden. This cute tutorial shows you how to paint rocks to turn them into garden markers.
6. Decorate the garden with rocks.
If you live in an area where it’s easy to find free rocks, consider beautifying your garden with them! This link is full of garden inspiration with lots of rocks – some painted, some not. Let your kids line them up in paths and swirls around your garden.
7. Grow vegetables that are kid-friendly.
Check out this great list of the best vegetables to grow with kids. Depending on your kids’ personalities, you’ll be able to choose a vegetable that they’ll truly enjoy growing. Impatient kids will appreciate fast-growing vegetables, while kids who love to chomp on raw vegetables will delight in crops like cherry tomatoes.
8. Give them a gardening journal to keep track of the garden’s progress.
A gardening journal is a great way for kids to make notes of plants’ growth, what gardening strategies worked and what didn’t, and the bugs and worms that they see in the garden. They can draw pictures, scribble down notes and list, and glue down photos they take of the garden. Here’s a sweet free printable.
Need more ideas on what to include in a gardening journal? Check out this link for great examples and ideas. Maybe you’ll be inspired to keep your own gardening journal!
9. Construct a green bean tepee frame.
The process of building a tepee frame for green beans is pretty simple, but once the plants grow your kids will delight in a green tepee that they can hide away in while you garden. Just watching the plants crawl up the tepee will be enough to get your kids interested in gardening and learning how plants grow. Here’s a tutorial for a tepee that includes pots, and here’s an awesome video tutorial that drives the poles into the ground.
10. Ask your kids to create a garden sign.
Hand your kids a piece of wood and ask them to unleash their creativity to make an adorable sign for your garden. I love this garden sign that was created by a creative little boy!
11. Show your kids how to attract butterflies to their garden.
Kids love butterflies; make gardening more alluring by inviting these beautiful flying creatures into your garden with the help of a butterfly nectar. Get the recipe here.
12. Start seeds in an egg carton.
If you live in an area where it’s slow to warm up for the spring and summer, you can get a head start on your garden with the help of your kids by starting seeds in an egg carton. As long as you use a biodegradable carton, you can simply plant the whole thing in soil when the seeds are ready to go!
13. Start seeds in a rotisserie chicken container.
A rotisserie chicken container can create a greenhouse environment, which can be a fun science experiment for your kids! Some seeds need to start in a greenhouse environment, so this gardening idea would be a great solution. Also, rotisserie chicken containers are easy to find and practically free, if you eat the chicken, so you can give each kid their own mini-greenhouse.
14. Design a play garden.
Get a young toddler or baby interested in gardening from a young age by creating a play garden for them! A well-designed play garden encourages imaginative play and experimentation. They’ll fall in love with the feel of soil and plants in their hands and keep themselves busy while you tend to your garden.
15. Plant a tiny garden in an aquarium tank.
16. Set up themed gardens in wooden crates.
If you’re short on backyard space, these themed wooden crates can be a great way to give your kids their own gardening spaces. Give each wooden crate a theme, such as a salsa garden (cilantro and tomatoes) and a salad garden (carrots, lettuce, basil) and let your kids choose which theme they want to watch over. When the veggies are grown, they’ll have a blast putting together all their plants into one dish!
17. Create a dinosaur garden.
Do your kids love to play with dinosaurs? They’ll love this dinosaur garden, which will keep them busy and happy while you grow your vegetables. They can help with planting “dino-friendly” plants, such as sedum.
18. Craft a kid-friendly watering can.
You (or your kids) can make a watering can out of a plastic milk jug. A half-gallon plastic jug would be great for younger kids and a gallon jug would work fine for older kids. This way, they won’t accidentally pour too much water in one spot!
19. Make a womery with your kids.
Some kids love worms, especially earthworms. If you have a kid like that, work with them to build a womery for your garden to compost your organic waste. Your kids will have lots of fun playing with the worms and you’ll get lots of plant food!
20. Plant flowers that are easy for kids to take care of.
Make your kids’ gardening experience a successful one by choosing one or two of these easy flowers to grow. For example, sunflowers are pretty simple to grow and they grow to tall heights, which will impress and delight your kids!
21. Grow flowers that your kids can actually eat.
What’s better than a pretty flower? A flower that you can eat! Check out this fascinating list of edible flowers and introduce your kids to the art of foraging!
22. Grow cucumbers in fun shapes.
This gardening idea for kids is just plain fun! Use shaped molds to grow cucumbers in the shape of hearts and stars. You can find the heart mold here and the star mold here. These are a bit pricey, though, so if you can DIY your molds somehow, that would work just as great!
23. Make DIY seed bombs for your neighborhood.
This DIY project would be great if you don’t have a garden of your own or if you have a neighborhood that could use some more flowers here and there. Make seed bombs with your kids and include wildflower seeds at home and then drive around town throwing these bombs. After a rainy days, drive back to these locations to check on how they’re growing. Make sure to throw them the day before a rainstorm and limit to 10 seeds per ball for best results.
24. Create grass caterpillars with your kids.
These grass caterpillars are so fun to look at and to make! Use pantyhose, of all things, to make these wiggly creatures to put around your garden. My caterpillar-loving daughter would go crazy over these!
25. Build vertical gardens with soda bottles.
Have a small yard? Show your kids how to build vertical gardens using this tutorial. A great way to upcycle empty soda bottles and a fun science experiment for your kids!
These 25 gardening ideas for kids are sure to get both you and your kids outside and digging your hands into the soil. What other gardening activities do you like to do with kids?
“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”