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Planting Your Own Children's Garden

Updated on September 7, 2012
Brightly colored flowers will often attract butterflies to your garden.  This will really excite your children.
Brightly colored flowers will often attract butterflies to your garden. This will really excite your children. | Source

Gardens for Kids

Planting a children's garden in your own yard can be both exciting and educational. After a recent visit to the children's garden at Michigan State University, I got to thinking about how I could recreate that for my own children.


Five Senses Garden

Children, as many of us know, are like sponges. They seem to take in everything around them. One of the best ways to create a children's garden is to think about the five senses. Once you have included each of the five senses, you will have touched upon each of the ways that children learn. They will be in awe of the amazing sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes that they will find as they step out into their own garden.

Purple Irises
Purple Irises | Source

Sense of Sight in Gardens

The visual appeal is what first attracts most people to a garden. For children the focus may be just a little different. Children are often attracted to the use of color. If you have young children, you could help them to learn their colors by creating a sort of crayon box area of the garden. Why not plant flowers that are the colors of an eight box of crayons?

Of course the beauty of flowers will make children want to engage in gardening, but how about adding some statues. You could include a statue of children, a favorite animal, or even a little bench to sit on while enjoying the amazing colors, sounds, and smells that surround you.


Smaller water elements in your garden are not only beautiful but delightful to listen to.
Smaller water elements in your garden are not only beautiful but delightful to listen to. | Source

Listening to the Sounds in Gardens

Adding sound to your garden can be very exciting. I love the sound of chimes in the summer blowing in the gentle breeze. It really makes me feel very relaxed. Children always seem to be in awe of the sound of the music that they make. There are many kinds to choose from and the beauty of the chimes are just as intriguing as the sounds that they make.

If wind chimes are not your thing, how about some ornamental grass? The gentle sound of the wind blowing across some tall grass always makes my head turn. It is a very calming sound and is also gorgeous to look at as well.

Strawberry picking.
Strawberry picking. | Source

Tasting the Bounty of Your Garden

Of course the tasting part of a garden is always the most fun. There are so many plants to choose from when you are deciding to plant fruits or vegetables. Strawberries are one that come to mind for me almost immediately. They are bright and inviting and very easy to grow. It would even fit in with one of those colors of that crayon box! Some other great choices would be tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, or even peppers. None of these plants need a great deal of growing space and you could even use the carrots or lettuce as a border in your garden.

Lamb's Ear is very soft to the touch.
Lamb's Ear is very soft to the touch. | Source

Touching the Variety of Textures in Gardens

The sense of touch is one of the top ways that young children learn. Babies start out watching and listening to the world around them. As their motor skills develop, they begin to touch the objects that are closest to them.

Plants are not designed just to be looked at and smelled, they are also meant to be touched. The texture of plants varies greatly. Some are very rough and prickly while others are quite soft. Lamb's ear is one example of those soft touching plants. They are abundant in grassy and wooded areas in the Midwest and we often find them on our nature walks. There is actually a little tale that claims that if you want to find fairies, look for lamb's ear for this is where they rest their heads at night.

There are quite a few other plants that lend themselves to be touched. Another one that kids love is called the Mimosa Pudica. It is more commonly called the 'Tickle Me Plant' or the 'Sensitive Plant.' The excitement of this plant is that as you touch it, the leaves fold up. It is really neat to watch and kids are always amazed by it.

Stop and smell the flowers!
Stop and smell the flowers! | Source

Smelling the Beautiful Aromas in Gardens

The aroma of something will capture your attention even before you can see it. There are many plants that are very aromatic and would be great additions to a children's garden. Lavender is one that is perfect for this. You can even pick some of the flowers and dry them out for use in your home.

Herbs are always a great way to add a little scent to your garden. Of course you could add herbs like Rosemary or Basil, but how about adding something fun like Chocolate Mint or Rocket Candytuft with it's sweet smelling flowers. Creativity is the key!

Gardening in Small Spaces

If you have a limited area, think about how the plants you choose can fit within more than one of the five senses. Many of these plants can serve as a multipurpose plant for your five senses garden. For example, if you plant purple lavender, it can touch both the sight and smell senses. Many of these plants will even have the added benefit of attracting beautiful creatures of nature such as hummingbirds or butterflies.

Even if you do not have a large area in your yard to plant a children's garden, consider using pots. Almost all of the plants mentioned can be grown in containers of some sort. Anything that is living and children can watch grow will delight them to their core. Kids love to see the fruits of their labor, plant a garden and enjoy the view!


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    • cardelean profile image
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      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Gail, I always appreciate your support. Hope all is well with you.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Came back to pin this beautiful hub on my "Stunning Flowers" board.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you Lilleyth. Nice of you to stop by.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Kids love gardening (anything when it comes to getting diry!) so this is a great way to include kids. Thanks so much for your visit and comments thebookmom.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for the share sgbrown! I'm glad that you enjoyed the ideas that I included here.

    • cardelean profile image
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      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks cclitgirl, it was a fun one to write. I appreciate the share!

    • thebookmom profile image

      thebookmom 5 years ago from Nebraska

      What a fantastic hub! It is beautiful and shows such a fun way to approach gardening with kids in mind. I love the idea of planning with your senses. Great Job.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is a wonderful hub! I really like the way you incorporated the five senses into your garden. What an excellent idea! Vote up, awesome, and socially sharing this! Wonderful job! :)

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Beautiful hub and beautiful ideas! This is the time of year that people are gearing up and getting ready to order seeds, start seedlings and planning their gardens. For that, I must SHARE! :)

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Leah, glad you liked it!

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      Aha! What a great article - I love the use of the five senses in a garden. Touch, smell, and sound are all so very important for kids. I love it!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks NotTooTall, so glad that you found some great ideas in here. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

    • NotTooTall profile image

      NotTooTall 5 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

      I enjoyed reading your Hub! Lots of great ideas! Thanks.

      Voted Useful! :)

      N T T

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for reading and commenting Joe. I completely agree with you. My children and I try to spend as much time outdoors and exploring nature as we can. Great idea about the root vegetables. Thanks for that great contribution!

    • Joe Macho profile image

      Zach 5 years ago from Colorado

      Most children these days get caught up in front of the TV, and its sad to see. Gardens can be just as exciting and way more rewarding than Spongebob. I really like the idea of having a garden separate for your child. It teaches responsibility and respect for mother nature. I'd recommend some root crops such as potatoes and carrots, because what kid doesn't love to dig in the dirt?

      Thanks for the hub. Voted up and useful.

    • cardelean profile image
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      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      You are welcome tangoshoes. I love taking my children to visit different gardens and we just discovered a children's garden just 5 minutes from our house yesterday. They had a blast. Glad you stopped by to comment.

    • tangoshoes profile image

      tangoshoes 6 years ago

      Great hub with some very cute pictures. Thank you so much for your contribution!

      I remember my grandfather taking me to our local children's garden. I always found something to entertain me even as an adult : )

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      What a wonderful opportunity for your grandaughter to share in this growing process. I'm sure that it was a great tinme spent together. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • catchadream profile image

      catchadream 6 years ago from Lakeland, Florida

      I had a garden area in my yard for my grandaughter. It was great, everytime we went to the store I let her pick out a plant and she had her own tools to dig in the dirt. I bought plastic fence for the border and had a trellis and stepping stones. Of course I did most of the work while she played but we spent time together enjoying the outdoors.

    • cardelean profile image
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      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Mrs. Menagerie. I really appreciate your comments.

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

      Mrs. Menagerie 6 years ago from The Zoo

      This is beautiful...I love your photos, ideas and descriptions! Fantastic! Up, beautiful...the works!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      That's awesome! Keep trying and maybe it will work one day. What a special time to spend with your granddaughter. I'm sure she will always remember it and treasure that time.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Superb hub! I don't have a green thumb at all AND I have tried repeatedly BUT that doesn't prevent me from attempting to grow something with my granddaughter....we are shooting pumpkins and sunflowers at this time. Good luck to me! Voted UP/Awesome/Useful :)

    • cardelean profile image
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      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      I'm glad you think so acewebdesign. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • acewebdesign profile image

      acewebdesign 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      This is the best out door activity which every child should be exposed to. This helps child to learn a lot about future life.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks John. I am a very amateur photographer but I do love taking and sharing my photos. Thanks for the comment and vote up!

      Thanks Mom, I appreciate your encouragement.

      You should try it iamageniuster. Gardening is such a wonderful way to relax. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Naomi, I have those same great memories of my grandfather's garden and am creating those now with my own children. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Sriparna, you are very right. It is so important to teach children about the importance of nature and this is one way to do that. I agree that gardening is theraputic, at least it is for me. Thanks so much for adding that tip about the water, I will be adding that to my garden area. Glad you took the time to read and comment, thanks.

      You are very welcome RTalloni, I'm glad that you found it useful.

    • iamageniuster profile image

      iamageniuster 6 years ago

      This is a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing. I was thinking about doing this too.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Congrats, Cara on having a wonderful hub chosen as hub of the day. Two thumbs up, daughter!

    • johncimble profile image

      johncimble 6 years ago from Bangkok

      Beautiful photos and great hup! vote up for you :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Definitely bookmarking this. Thanks for sharing the concept of a sensory garden for children.

    • sriparna profile image

      Sriparna 6 years ago from New Delhi

      Great hub, rightly deserves the accolade of being the hub of the day. Planting a garden of five senses and involving children will be a great learning for both parents and children. In this way sensitivity can be instilled in them towards biodiverse species around us. And for adults it's going to be therapeutic to caress the garden and see the results. Excellent idea, I would like to add one more point: Keep a tumbler or a suitable vessel with water at one corner of your garden every morning, birds of various hues and sizes will come to drink water, it'll be a great watch for your kids.

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 6 years ago from United States

      I have great memories of my kids and I in our veggie garden. They loved being a part of it. Nice Hub and beautiful pics.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Great SilverGenes, I'll be sure to check it out.

      Absolutely not Thelma! I believe that gardens touch everyone's senses and make them feel good, both big and little kids! :)

      Thanks Stephanie, I agree. The more creative we can be with teaching children, the better. Thanks for the congrats, votes, and comments. BTW, check your email. I sent you a message about you having stolen content on another site.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on being named Hub of the Day! This is a beautiful hub with wonderful ideas for a garden that would be appreciated by any age! Planting a garden to appeal to 5 senses would be a unique way to teach children about the joys of gardening. Voted up across the board.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 6 years ago from Germany

      A great idea for planting in the garden with the use of our 5 senses. It does not have to be a childrens garden, does it? Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 6 years ago

      I linked to it from my Preschoolers site. There is an article there about things to do with your child and your hub on gardening was just so perfect I wanted to link to it. The page I linked from is: http://preschoolers.mysilvergenes.com/category/art...

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Little is ok! :)

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      It's going to have to be small-I live in a condo

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you so much SilverGenes. I think that we are all kids at heart! I feel honored that you found it that useful that you linked it to your site, I really appreciate that. I checked out your profile, which site is it?God Bless you.

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 6 years ago

      This article is excellent and I loved every bit of it (and I'm a looooong way from childhood but I'd still love one of these gardens myself). I've linked to it from my site. Up and awesome!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Flora, it's never to late to plant one, even if it is small. My inlaws have a farm so I don't plant the large garden that I used to but I still have some things in pots. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

      John I bet your son loves that herb garden. My kids like to pick the leaves of the herbs in our pots and smell them. Thanks so much for your comments and congrats, I appreciate it.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Oh Gail you bring a smile to my face with your kind comments. I am very honored that I have already had two hubs selected as hub of the day. I just wish I knew what I was doing "right." I truly just write from the heart about what I know and interests me. It would be nice to make some money along the way too but I'm glad to help people make their lives a little easier or brighter with my writing. Maybe I should have saved these two hubs for the July contest. :)

      Thanks again for the votes, read, and comments. It's always a pleasure to hear your thoughts.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you so much Vanessa. I'm sure your daughter would love it. Kids (at least mine) love to garden and it is such a great way to learn.

      Angelina, thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad the ideas were explained well for you!

      John, thanks for the congrats. Keep that dream in your sight and one day it will become a reality, even if you have to start small. Thanks for reading and good luck!

    • Michael Conley profile image

      Michael Conley 6 years ago from Fresno, California

      Great Hub every year we plant a small garden with our son this year we did a small herb garden. Congratulations on Hub of the Day. You deserve it.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      Ooh, you make me wish I still had a garden!

      Congratulations on your hub of the day

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Bravo!! I think you are teaching us all how to make really great hubs that are unique, useful and lovely to look at. I can see why this was another one chosen as Hub of the Day!

      I loved the idea of planting flowers that are the colors of an eight box of crayons, to help young children learn colors. And the fact that the children's garden is designed to stimulate all their senses and encourage them to reach out to touch, smell and eat the home grown plants. Am rating this hub up, useful, awesome and beautiful.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great hub. I'd like to one day plant a garden/pond style backyard setting - one of my life dreams!

      Thanks for posting and congrats on winning "hub of the day"

      John

    • angelina1607 profile image

      angelina1607 6 years ago

      Great Hub! lots of idea explained well.

    • Vanessa Anderson profile image

      Vanessa Anderson 6 years ago from The Sunshine State

      This is an awesome hub! Lots of great ideas. I have a 5 year old daughter and she would absolutely love her own little garden! Voting up and voting useful :-)

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Maren I'm glad you enjoyed them. I took that picture of my daughter at a fairy tea that we attended a couple of years ago. My kids are often my hub models, like it or not :)! Others are from our visit to Michigan State University's Children's Garden. Thanks for commenting.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Loved all your pictures along with the Hub - especially the child wearing her fairy wings - absolutely precious.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      We do feel good when we use our senses don't we thoughtforce? I hadn't really thought of it in that way. My grandpa was an amazing gardener and he is the one who brought the love of gardening to me. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my hub. I appreciate your comments.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      A wonderful hub! I also remember the evenings out in the garden when I was a child. There was always something to do, and it was funny too. I guess that is why I still love gardening and because of all the things you mentioned in this hub, we feel good when we use all our senses! Thanks for a great hub. Voted up!

      Tina

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Glad you liked it. You are welcome for the link and you can borrow those little ones any time!

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Great hub! I really enjoyed reading this and thought it was a clever way to garden with and for children. The little fairy in your garden is beautiful!

      I miss having little ones :(

      By the way, thanks for the link to one of my CSA hubs, The hidden benefits of a CSA. :)

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      I actually found the chocolate mint plant at our local nursery when I bought my flowers and herbs but I didn't actually buy it. Glad you're learning, I am too!

      Simone, I always enjoy reading your comments. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      I love the idea of incorporating the five sense into a garden. Fabulous Hub!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Cara, this is an outstanding hub with very useful ideas. I loved the crayon box idea. Chocolate Mint plant? Rocket Candytuft? I'm always learning something new in your hubs.

      Voted up;awesome, useful-and of course beautiful with those wonderful photos. BTW-thanks for linking the 'sounds of music' to my Favorite sounds hub. :) I enjoyed reading this and bookmarked it.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      The sights and scents of gardens are amazing WillStarr, I agree. As always, it's a pleasure to have you read and comment.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I know I enjoyed the sights and scents in my mother's flower garden (she was a florist) when I was very young.

      Great ideas!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Glad you enjoyed it Alocsin. Thanks for the comment and vote up!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      What a great idea for kids. Voting this Up and Awesome.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Ashlea. We have a few pots with plants in them bot I'm planning on trying something like this next summer too. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

    • profile image

      Ashlea B 6 years ago

      Cute ideas. I hope I remember this next year. I think my daughters would enjoy a little plot of garden for themselves. I like the 5 senses idea... and the "touch" plants sound very fun. Thanks.