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Garden activities for children

Updated on October 8, 2011

Gardening and child development

Gardening with the children is a great way to spend quality time with them and also develop their knowledge and understanding of the environment. Children love to help and feel useful, and this is an ideal activity for them to be involved in as it enhances their development in many ways.

Gardening activities for children

It doesn't matter the size of the garden, as there are plenty of activities that children can do. These are some of the things that they can be involved in:

  • Planting and growing seeds
  • Digging and preparing the ground
  • Weeding
  • Creating a little wildlife garden
  • Growing fruit/vegetables to eat
  • Raking fallen leaves
  • Watering

Sunflowers are ideal for children to grow.
Sunflowers are ideal for children to grow. | Source

Safe gardening

When gardening with children, there are a number of factors to consider to ensure that the gardening activities are safe:

  1. Ensure that the tools they are using are safe and age appropriate
  2. Supervise the children at all times
  3. Gloves should be worn whilst gardening
  4. Ensure children wash their hands when finished
  5. Check that any plants you have are not poisonous
  6. Ensure that the soil is free from chemicals
  7. Always ensure that children cannot get access to dangerous tools or substances - keep in a locked shed.

How gardening can aid your childs development

Gardening encourages communication and language as they talk to you about what they are doing. Encourage them to perhaps count plants or leaves while they garden - this increases their numeracy skills.

Their physical development is enhanced by the movement and excercise they do whilst helping in the garden. Children's knowledge and understanding is also enhanced as they learn about growing and nurturing plants. An idea would be to allow your child to have a small piece of the garden that they are responsible for. They could sow some seeds or grow a few plants. Get them to take photos of their little garden and plan and record what they see as their plants grow. Maths skills could be put into practice here as they could measure the plants. Make them responsible for maintaining their plot by giving them the opportunity to weed and water when required.

A great idea for getting children interested in wildlife and insects is to allow them to create an insect garden. All that is required is an old log with some holes drilled in several places. After a few weeks, they can see the different insects who live there, and by lifting the log carefully they will see a number of different creatures that they can study. Always get them to replace the log carefully in the same spot afterwards. Children like to feel useful and valued, so another way that they can encourage wildlife into the garden is to leave some food out on the bird tray or allow them to fill up the bird feeders. They will soon see in the winter months that the birds will regularly visit the garden in their search for food.

We are lucky enough to have a family of foxes living at the bottom of our garden, so I encourage my daughter to leave out some food scraps and we can usually see them come out to feed at night.


Gardening with children is beneficial in many ways apart from enhancing their knowledge, understanding and development. It is also a great way to spend quality time with them whilst outside in the fresh air. Giving your child the opportunity to experience different activities throughout their childhood will help their self esteem, boost their confidence and give them a sense of achievement.


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    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      Hi Textured Ideas - It's an activity that gets them away from tv, laptop and console games and out in the fresh air. My daughter is 10 now and still loves being in the garden weeding and planting. It's great exercise too and like to say, it's beneficial to everyone.

    • profile image

      Textured Ideas 6 years ago

      A lovely hub and it's great to get children involved in gardening and create a sense of outdoors adventure! Best to get them out and in the fresh air! Everyone can benefit from doing a bit of gardening =)

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      @ Angie Jardine - Thanks for stopping by. When I was younger, my parents also let me have a little patch of the garden and I grew rhubarb. My daughter has a little log which I drilled holes in and she loves to investigate it to see what insects she has living in her "Insect Hotel", as she calls it. Lots of kids nowadays are glued in front of the television, laptop or on their console games. You cant beat an hour or two in the garden in the fresh air. Best wishes.. Jacqui

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Well done, jacqui ... good wholesome idea to get them away from the X-box and computer!

      I had my own garden patch as a six year old and found that when it got too weedy it was easier to think laterally and take out all the plants to sort them out and then replant the 'proper' plants and throw away the weeds!

      My daughter also had her own patch as a small child and grew the most amazing poppies. Her bit of the garden was the area that looked best ...

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      @ Movie Master - Hi. Kids seem to just love gardening and planting. It's a great excuse for them to get dirty and not be in trouble! Thanks for the vote up.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Jacqui, I absolutely love gardening with my grandchildren and am always amazed at their enthusiasm!

      A great hub, voting up!