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Children's Garden Tools

Updated on June 3, 2021
JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

Gardening is my escape and my passion. Learn how to grow some vegetables right in your own backyard.

Early spring school garden
Early spring school garden

Gardening Tools for Kids

There are few joys to match the fun of getting your children in the garden working side by side with you. To help them get the most out of their time in the garden we take a look at some simple garden tools that are perfectly sized for those little hands.

Just as a pair of shoes has to fit your feet to perform well, the same is so when a child is using tools. It will be much easier to master a technique such as hoeing with a child-sized model, instead of a tool that is taller than the child is. So here are some gloves, trowels, wheelbarrows and more to get your kids learning to love working in the garden just like mom and dad.

The Fun of Gardening with Your Kids

"Growing" A Hobby for Life

If you are a gardener, you know the simple pleasure of being outside and spending time in the natural setting of your garden, be it a vegetable garden or a flower garden. If you spend a lot of time in the garden, it soon becomes obvious that your children are naturally drawn to the experience as well. As they watch your labors, they naturally want to mimic what you are doing. Of course this usually involves walking down a row instead of the path, pulling up plants along with the weeds, and harvesting flowers and vegetables before they are quite ready. All these mistakes add up to gained knowledge of tending a garden and what a wonderful legacy to pass on to your children.

The first garden tools most kids might get are the simple plastic tools found in discount stores. While a plastic trowel or rake is fun for the kids, they will enjoy them in the sandbox or on the beach. When it comes to helping mom, dad or grandpa in the real garden, the plastic tools are likely to come up short. They aren't sturdy enough and may frustrate the little ones.

A popular gift, then, is a simple children tool set. A typical set will come with a trowel, a little rake, and a miniature hoe. Usually they come with a cloth carrier or toolbox. A great little addition is a watering can, which is almost always a hit, particularly in hot weather. Some of the water may actually make it to the garden! Many of the child-sized watering cans are in the shape of an animal or in bright, attractive colors.

Fresh peas in a bed of greens
Fresh peas in a bed of greens

Tools for the Older Kids

Once your little ones get to be about four years old, they are still interested in helping, but the old tools might be a little simple for them.

Long Handled Tools - You can find tools that have handles about 28 inches long, which are well suited to the older kids. Toysmith makes a set that has 2 rakes, a hoe, and a small shovel. This set is a great move up for them.

Another great idea is a small wheelbarrow. Both John Deere and RadioFlyer make a model for the youngsters, these are light in weight and sized just right for a 4 year old. Seeing your little guy or gal pushing a miniature wheelbarrow with a big smile on their face is priceless!

As their hands get a little larger, if they see you using gloves as you garden, they will want to use them as well. These are not very expensive, come in colorful prints, and fun to use. Not to mention keeping their hands clean!

Get some wider width row markers and have them help you label your plantings. Keep the seed packages and let them identify the seedlings as they come up. When the kids get this far involved, you can even get them to help you pull weeds!

There are some unique watering cans available in the shape of animals, bugs, or just regular watering can shapes. Kids love water so they will enjoy watering their seedlings. This is a good time to teach them how moist the ground should be kept and monitoring their plants every day.

Give Your Child Their Own Garden Space

When my youngest daughter was seven years old, she helped me plant the sugar snap peas. She put all the seeds in the ground. This veggie happens to be her favorite. She was very motivated each day after school to romp out to the garden and see "her" seeds making progress. When the flowers finally emerged and she knew the peas were coming very soon, she could hardly wait to eat them! It was a breeze from start to finish including her weeding the rows of peas. There is nothing quite like the crunch of fresh sugar snap peas!

After harvesting and putting the remains in the compost, my daughter was still talking about how tall the plants got and how good her peas were.

"Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow..."

Gardening Tips for Wee Ones

It's important for kids to get their hands dirty. Help them to understand that the soil is our sustenance from which all fruits and vegetables come from and also the place our meat-eating animals feed from.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Joanie Ruppel


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