Little green fingers: gardening with kids 

A garden is a wonderful place for a child to grow. Inviting your kids to help you in the garden benefits everyone in the family. Little ones have a chance to spend quality time with you while getting muddy and exploring nature; while you have an opportunity to teach them new skills – including valuable life skills such as forward-planning, commitment and patience!

Here are five tips for your family gardening project:

  1. Tools

The first step is to invest in some child-sized gardening tools, such as a spade, watering can, trowel and rake. This will make it easier for your little one to muck in.

  1. Plan

Let your child choose what he or she would like to grow. Most often, this will be recognisable plants such as tomatoes or carrots. Kids love flowers too, especially ones with large seeds that are easy for small hands to sow like sunflowers and nasturtiums.

  1. Theme

A fun project for slightly older children is to plan a theme garden, such as a “pizza patch” featuring tomatoes and peppers as well as herbs such as basil and oreganum.

  1. Be Safe

Gardening often involves hours in the sun, so make sure your little one wears a hat and be liberal with the sun cream. Ensure he or she drinks plenty of water too (preferably not directly from the watering can). Also teach your child to be aware of poisonous plants, by consulting with you before putting anything into his or her mouth.

  1. Make it fun & rewarding

Make gardening fun, not work. Offer plenty of gentle encouragement and advice, yet also reward your child for work well done. It takes a while for them to see the fruits (veggies and herbs) of their labours – so why not make a special gardening star chart or give them garden-themed stickers after a particularly good session?

For more ideas, advice and hours of family fun, visit