It’s time to get growing! Discover the joys of gardening and have your children explore the bounty of nature by getting your hands dirty and helping them grow their own garden.
Spring has officially sprung and we’re filled with anticipation as we wait for the great outdoors to come alive with warmth and colour once again. As the grass begins to grow, the trees begin to fill with plush green leaves, and the blossoms begin to bloom, you and your little ones can start adding some life to your own backyard (or windowsill!) with these 10 gardening activities for kids.
1. Easy Plants for Kids to Grow
Whether you have a garden bed, a garden box, or even just a planter sitting on your porch, gardening is a fun activity for kids of all ages. Vegetables are resilient and a great place to start if you’re trying to encourage your kids to get out into the garden. Veggies like beans, peas, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and (if you have the space) squash, are great growers for beginners!
Toddlers and young children can contribute by helping plant the seeds in the soil, intentionally picking them up one at a time and placing them in the correct spot, and helping to water the garden throughout the season, using either a small watering can or a spray bottle. These are also great activities to help your little ones practice their fine motor skills!
Older children can take on more responsibility by having a section of the garden or one specific plant to care for all on their own. Starting from seed and watching the plant grow under their care and, eventually, enjoying the fruits (or veggies!) of their labour will help boost your children’s confidence and teach them the benefit of a little hard work.
Here at BrightPath, we introduce children to the beauty of nature and gardening through our Green Program, which is designed to develop a deep connection with the natural world. It focuses on the importance of sharing the planet, fostering environmental stewardship and offers rich sensory stimulation.
2. Plant a Pollinator Garden
Flowers are another easy-to-grow garden must-have. Flowers like marigolds, calendula, lavender, cosmos, agastache, and sunflowers are perfect for attracting friendly pollinators to your garden. Pollinators, such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, are essential to not only your garden but to our ecosystem. Have your child help you add some of these flowers to your yard for a beautiful, and pollinator-friendly garden that will be buzzing all summer long!
3. Make a Butterfly Puddle
Take your pollinator garden one step further by adding a butterfly puddle. Fill a shallow container, like a clay or plastic saucer, to the very top with sand. Mix a small amount of soil or a pinch of salt into the sand, then smooth it out and create a slight indentation in the middle of the saucer. Fill this indentation with water then place the saucer in your garden and sit back and watch the butterflies stop by for a drink! Depending on the weather, you may need to add more water every few days.
4. Make an Eggshell Garden
This is a fun and easy gardening activity for kids and a great way to bring the garden indoors! Simply break the top portion off a few eggs, emptying the yolk out (saving it for breakfast or dinner later!) and gently cleaning out the inside of the empty eggshell with water. Then, use a spoon and have your children fill each eggshell with soil and seeds. Herbs work very well with this activity and can thrive on the countertop or on a windowsill with bright, indirect light.
5. Toilet Paper Tube Starters
Similar to the eggshell garden, you can use old toilet paper tubes as starters for your seeds as they will decompose over time. Simply make four cuts at the bottom of the roll and fold them into one another to create a base, then fill the tube with soil and place a few seeds in each. Water the seeds and plant the starter in your garden soon after creating as the water will begin to make the toilet paper roll soft.
6. New Life from Vegetable Scraps
You don’t always have to start your garden with seeds! Another great way to reduce food waste and start gardening with your kids is using vegetable scraps. Veggie scraps like herbs, green onion, carrots, lettuce, celery, onion, and garlic can easily be used to grow new fresh vegetables. Once you’re done chopping your vegetables, keep the base and have your children experiment with what vegetables can grow from scraps! Many herbs and vegetables can be started in soil or water in order to regrow over and over again.
7. Grow Your Own Vegetable Sprouts
Did you know that vegetable sprouts are a high source of enzymes and essential vitamins and minerals? Vegetable sprouts like bean and broccoli are delicious on their own or in smoothies for a hidden healthy treat! Have your little one help grow their own vegetable sprouts by planting vegetable seeds in a container on your counter or by using the eggshell garden activity above. Sprouts can grow in as quickly as 3-10 days and can easily be trimmed for continued use.
8. Paint Garden Stones
Painted garden stones are a fun and creative way to add a little extra colour to your garden. Plus, they make a great rainy day activity! Start by collecting rocks from your garden, your local park, or even the beach. Collect a variety of different shapes and sizes to bring home and paint however your little ones please. You can also use your painted garden stones as markers in your garden to indicate where different plants are growing.
9. Create a Seed Viewer
Create your own seed viewer at home! This activity is a great way to help introduce gardening to kids of all ages and allow them to explore how plants grow. Plus, it’s easy to do! Simply get a clear container (like a plastic cup), line the bottom with construction paper, fill the container with balled-up paper towel, place a few dried beans between the paper towel and the cup, water regularly to keep the paper towel moist, leave on a windowsill and watch the beans sprouts and grow! For older children, have them keep notes and record the changes they see daily.
10. Keep a Wildlife Journal
Now that you have a beautiful garden full of pollinators and a variety of different plants, have your children keep a wildlife journal of all the different bugs, birds, and animals they discover in the garden! Cut out some images from old magazines or take your own pictures and print them out to add visuals to your wildlife journals, then search for some fun facts about each new species you find.
Bonus! DIY: Garden Seed Bombs
Craft by: ConservaMom
These fun and easy-to-make Garden Seed Bombs are a creative way to get your kids involved in the garden, even on rainy days!
- 6 pieces Construction Paper, assorted colours
- 3-5 pkg. Flower Seeds
- Food Processor
- Cut each piece of paper into about 1-inch squares and put them into a small dish. Keep each paper colour in its own dish.
- Fill each dish with water just until the paper is covered. Soak the paper for about 20 minutes.
- Take one of the bowls of paper and wring it out about halfway. Put it in the food processor and pulse the paper into a pulp. Repeat this with all the paper colours and put the pulp back into each of their bowls.
- Sprinkle some seeds into each bowl of paper, mix them in a little, and press the pulp and seeds into balls. If the pulp is a little dry, put a few sprinkles of water on the pulp. It will help it to hold its shape better.
- Set the seed balls on a sheet pan to dry overnight.
- Plant in your garden or anywhere you want flowers to grow.