Gardening for Kids: Playing in the Dirt & Water

Published On: June 6th, 2022

an assortment of kids gardening tools watering can gloves spade shovels

Gardening for kids is a very popular family activity to get them active and engages in nature. And, naturally, kids love to play in dirt and water. Every gardener knows we’ve got plenty of both in the garden. Children and gardening are a natural fit!

Engage kids in the gardening process by equipping them with their own set of tools! We carry a full line of gardening tools specially designed for small hands and big imaginations.

When my children were little they loved helping in the garden. They took turns carrying the watering can to the potted plants on the patio, and bargained to determine who got to harvest the first cucumber. They ate sweet peas directly off the vine and grew their own Nasturtiums from seed. As adults, they carry on with healthy eating habits established in their youth, and they both remain deeply appreciative of gardens and green spaces.

A number of studies* have validated what we gardeners intuitively know – that gardening is good for kids. The benefits of gardening with children include:

  • Nurtures self-confidence
  • Encourages healthy eating habits
  • Strengthens the family bond
  • Develops responsibility and patience
  • Positively impacts mood & psychological wellbeing
  • Builds motor skills
  • Instills an understanding of life cycles
  • Teaches the importance of insect pollinators
  • Broadens understanding of ecosystems and the importance of the environment
assorted multi color kids tuff gardening gloves for children

Gardening For Kids With These Plants

An additional way to get children to engage with the garden and the outdoors is to incorporate plants that captivate their interest. Consider including some of the following:

  • Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla) – Collects rainwater and dew like jewels on leaf edges
  • Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema)-Children are fascinated by the floral “house”
  • American Ginger (Asarum) – Putrid-smelling flowers pollinated by flies (little kids love this!)
  • Butterflyweed/Milkweed (Asclepias) – Monarch butterfly and caterpillar “magnets”
  • False Indigo (Baptisia) – Legend has it that Native American children shook the seed heads of this plant to imitate their elders in ceremonies
  • Bleeding Heart (Dicentra) – Girls especially love these “heart plants”
  • Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda) – Fruiting body resembles a cinnamon stick
  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) – Flowers look like native American blankets
  • Obedient Plant (Physostegia) – Turn the blossom and it “obediently” stays where you place it
  • Balloon Flower (Platycodon) – Buds look like inflated balloons
  • Soapwort (Saponaria) – Early settlers used this plant to make soap
  • Hens & Chicks (Sempervivum) – Mother “hen” surrounded by baby “chicks”
  • Lamb’s Ear (Stachys) – Silky silver “lamb’s ear” foliage
assorted spades for gardening with children

Resources on Gardening for Kids