Hi everyone! I live in the same house I grew up in. It’s a 1970s house that sits on 3/4 acre of land – a big backyard and a big front yard. It’s very sentimental to me and part of those feelings stem from the time I got to go outside with my Dad (he’s 87 now) and garden with him.
He really had gardening stuff all over the property – a peach tree he used to cover with a plastic tarp and hang a warm light in to keep it from freezing right outside my room, a row of blackberry bushes separating our property from our neighbor’s, and a pear tree in the front yard that made pears so hard you’d break a tooth trying to bite into one. LOL!
The backyard was an oasis though – my dad was a fantastic gardener. He had rows of beans, watermelons – you name it. I grew up on those fresh vegetables and fruits. The blackberries were so big I could only fit two of them in my little girl hands. As a result, I’m the kind of person who likes just about any fruit and vegetable.
My Mom would also garden – indoors. She was always growing herbs and spices in little potted planters inside. Fresh mint leaves for our ice cold sweet tea here in the South. So I wanted to share the top 10 gardening toys for kids with you and maybe give you some ideas of what you can do with them to help your child – of any age – engage with you in gardening.
Not only will you and your child bond over those special times, but you’ll be creating fantastic future memories – and your child will probably grow into healthier eating habits as a result. If fruits and vegetables aren’t your cup of tea, then grow flowers – let them see the miracle of life in nurturing something and see it blossom.
#1 – Gardening Totes for Kids
Ah the gardening tote. Every kid likes to “suit up” and get down to business in the garden. It’s so fun to have a tote or tool belt type of contraption for kids. There are three really cute ones I recommend – one of which I bought for my daughter.
The Melissa & Doug Blossom Bright Tote Set (shown below) is the one we bought for my daughter Scarlett:
This one was sturdy and easy to wash off. Had some cute little tools in it but in all honesty, we bought more sturdy tools – these are little plastic ones and for real gardening, you need the metal kind. But the tote was really cute.
You can find more gardening totes for kids here, including some cute ones for boys – a Dalmatian Puppy Dog or Turtle gardening tote for kids.
#2 – Gardening Hats for Kids
As someone who just had several moles removed and who once had a pre-cancerous spot on her nose, I encourage you to make sure your child’s face is shielded from the sun during your gardening jaunts.
Besides, kids love to wear gardening hats anyway! I remember the ones my dad used to wear – some were big and round sombrero looking hats. LOL! Some were cowboy shaped hats. They were always made out of straw. Here’s the one we got our little girl – and note – it’s not a kids’ hat – it’s a woman’s hat – I’ll link you to the kids’ hats below:
We got her an extra large hat because that’s the one she wanted – and we let her decorate it with things we got from fabric stores so she could make it fashionable like she wanted. Here are some good boys, girls and unisex gardening hats for kids that you can choose from if you want something that fits better.
#3 – Gardening Tools for Kids
Gardening tools – yea! I had to use my dad’s big ones, and those are too bulky for a little kid (even though we made it work). There are two types of tools your child will need – the big kind for standing up and the little kind for sitting down and digging in the dirt.
This is my favorite set, but we don’t own it yet – we have the smaller sets that look just like this, only they’re the ones you use while sitting down and gardening. This is the Toysmith Kids’ Big Tool Set and I love the primary colors, the fact that it has all the major tools, and the size of it – perfect for all kids.
I highly recommend that you don’t do plastic. Even for the toddlers. They can handle a little metal kids gardening set. Unless of course they have a tendency to hit their siblings over the head with it. My favorite thing as a kid was when my dad let me make the rows that we were about to plant seeds in.
He’d show me how deep to dig and he would act so proud of what a good job I’d just done. There was never a moment of aggravation for not doing it perfectly. Be that way with your kids.
#4 – Wheelbarrows for Kids
I LOVED wheelbarrows when I was little! My dad would let me climb in and he’d take me all around the yard. I did the same with my son Dylan. Now they have kids’ wheelbarrows and they’re so precious! Perfect for boys and girls. This is the cutest one – and of course it’s Radio Flyer:
Word of warning. I’m going to link you to all of the wheelbarrows for kids, but make sure you don’t get any cheapo plastic kind that won’t work on regular outdoor terrain. You don’t want the wheels to get stuck. They should work nicely in grass and dirt.
You will see different types – some specifically for girls, like the Butterfly cart, some that are trolleys and others that are garden carts with a wheelbarrow attached. Pick what you think your little one would like best. Hint: If Mom or Dad has an adult version, then kids will probably want that kind.
#5 – Watering Cans for Kids
They have some of the CUTEST watering cans for kids. Sure, you can use the hose, but it’s so much more fun for kids to use a watering can! We had a contest in our front yard flower box between all 3 of my kids to see who could get their stuff to grow best. They all three loved using the watering can (even my oldest one). Here’s my favorite kids’ watering can – it’s the Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Verdie Chameleon Watering Can and I love it because it’s cute first of all, but it has a pouring spout, rather than the sprinkle:
There are all sorts of cute watering cans for kids, as you’ll see there in that link. There are plain ones, metal or plastic ones, ones that look like bumble bees, flowers, turtles, and ducks, small ones and big ones – you choose what your little one would have fun with!
#6 – Indoor Gardening Kits for Kids
If you don’t have any space outside, or just don’t want to do it (I hear ya, we’re in the sweltering state of Texas), then grow an indoor garden! I am ALWAYS buying these things for my kids – from Chia pets to full on indoor container gardening, these are SO much fun for kids of all ages. I usually buy some sort of stocking stuffer for my kids in this vein.
Now here’s the thing…you can grow herbs, spices, vegetables etc. inside. Look at the whole line of indoor gardening kits for kids and pick whatever you like best.
We have lots of fun with a variety of those. BUT…there is nothing like growing a Butterfly Garden! I know, I know! It’s not technically a GARDEN, but this thing is so fun – we get one every year. You wouldn’t believe how fun it is to nurture the little worms and then when the butterflies hatch, help them get strong so you can release them. It’s amazing! And we ordered an extra set of them so we can have more. My tip? Buy fresh flowers and put nectar on it. They love that!
What’s even better? Grow a flower garden OUTside while you grow the butterflies INside and then release the butterflies onto your flower garden. Double win!
#7 – Gardening Gloves for Kids
There are so many gardening gloves for kids – and they’re important. You don’t want them getting little insect bites or grime under their nails. Some plants can be prickly, too – especially if dealing with starter roots or something. I used to wear my dad’s large, man-sized sweaty gloves. Eew! Do your kid a favor and get them their own. LOL!
Here are the ones we got Scarlett – Melissa & Doug Bella Butterfly Gardening Gloves:
They’re really cute and colorful and they fit well on her (she’s 8 now and has had them since age 7). There are all sorts. I got these because they had great reviews. I wanted her to be comfortable. There are all sorts of kids’ gardening gloves, though – for boys, girls and unisex ones.
#8 – Gardening Aprons for Kids
Okay for our family personally, we don’t do the garden aprons. But that’s because my kids have their “get dirty” clothes where it doesn’t matter if you smear dirt on it because it’ll get clean later. Plus, with the heat here, adding any extra layers is torture. LOL! But if we did do garden aprons for kids, we would do this one:
This is the Mimi the Sardine Coated Organic Cotton Child’s Apron – and it would perfect match Scarlett’s tote and hat and gloves, and she picked it out as being the prettiest one. I love the little ladybugs, too.
#9 – Gardening Seeds for Kids
I’m going to link you to the entire seed catalog so you can get some good deals on seeds, but here is an idea of which ones I suggest are best for kids to grow – you want seeds that show sprouts fast and grow things they may want to eat:
- Sunflowers (ours were beautiful and HUGE and they grow fast)
- Beans (they sprout quickly and kids like to eat them)
- Lettuce (grows fast, is big, and kids will eat it)
- Radishes (they may not eat them but they grow fast and are pretty)
- Tomatoes (my kids’ grew wonderfully and likes the vine growth)
- Carrots (I love those root indoor planters where you can see the roots growing)
- Potatoes – these were my FAVORITE to grow with my dad – because I got to dig them up, and it was like a treasure hunt every time!
- Corn – fun seeing the tall stalks
- Onions (we STILL find onions growing in our back yard where my dad had them planted)
- Watermelon – yummy – and my favorite kind is shown below – I pick seeded because then you get to replant the seeds – double bonus!
#10 – Gardening Books for Kids
If your child can read, and even if they can’t and you have to read TO them, get them a good gardening book for kids to get them interested in the topic. There are some for all topics, like container gardening, grow your first garden, etc.
My favorite? Letting your child read about gardening for some specific result – like a food most kids love – PIZZA! The Grow Your Own Pizza: Gardening Plans and Recipes for Kids book is perfect for that – and it has a nice star rating from buyers, too.
The book is organized from beginner to medium to advanced levels. And it’s not all about pizza – there are different gardens and recipes in here. Pizza is just one 🙂
I hope you have fun with this list. Get one item from each one if possible – present your child with a whole gardening set. Start a free gardening blog on Blogger.com and chronicle their journey for them with pictures and priceless thoughts.
Make a big deal out of it for your child. Enjoy the memories.