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Top 7 Tips for Getting Children into The Garden

Top 7 Tips for Getting Children into The Garden

Introducing children to the wonders of gardening can be a rewarding experience for both children and parents alike. Not only does it provide an opportunity for them to learn about nature and the environment, but it also fosters a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the world around them. However, getting children interested in spending time in the garden can sometimes be a challenge. With the right approach and a few simple tips, you can encourage your children to embrace gardening and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.

Make it Fun:

One of the most effective ways to get children excited about gardening is to make it fun and engaging. Incorporate games and activities that appeal to their interests and imagination. For example, you could create a scavenger hunt where they have to search for different types of plants or insects in the garden. Alternatively, you could set up a treasure hunt with hidden clues that lead to a special prise at the end. By turning gardening into a game, you can capture their attention and make it an enjoyable experience for the whole family.

Furthermore, consider planting flowers or vegetables that are visually appealing or have interesting characteristics. Brightly coloured flowers, unusual shapes, or plants that attract butterflies and other wildlife can pique their curiosity and make them more eager to get involved. Additionally, allowing them to choose their plants to grow gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility, making the experience even more enjoyable.

Create a Kid-Friendly Space:

Designating a specific area of the garden just for children can make them feel more involved and invested in the process. Set up a raised bed or container garden that is easily accessible and manageable for little hands. Make sure to include child-sized tools and equipment that they can use safely, such as lightweight shovels, rakes, and watering cans. Creating a welcoming and child-friendly environment will encourage them to explore and engage with the garden on their terms.

Consider adding elements like stepping stones, a mini greenhouse, or a playhouse to make the space even more inviting. Incorporating features that appeal to their sense of adventure and imagination will make them want to spend more time outdoors. You could also encourage them to personalise their garden space by painting rocks or making their garden decorations. By giving them ownership of their corner of the garden, you can foster a sense of pride and accomplishment in their gardening efforts.

Keep it Simple:

When starting, it's important to keep things simple and manageable for young children. Choose easy-to-grow plants that require minimal maintenance and have a fast growth cycle. Radishes, lettuce, sunflowers, and cherry tomatoes are excellent choices for beginners as they are relatively low-maintenance and produce quick results. This allows children to see the fruits of their labour sooner, keeping them motivated and engaged in the gardening process.

Additionally, focus on teaching them basic gardening skills such as planting seeds, watering plants, and weeding. Keep instructions simple and easy to follow, and provide hands-on demonstrations to help them understand each step. Encourage them to ask questions and explore the garden independently, but be on hand to offer guidance and support when needed. By keeping things simple and achievable, you can build their confidence and enthusiasm for gardening.

Explore the Senses:

Gardening provides a sensory-rich experience that appeals to children's natural curiosity and creativity. Encourage them to explore the garden using all their senses, from smelling the flowers to feeling the texture of the soil. Planting a variety of herbs and flowers with different scents and textures can stimulate their senses and enhance their appreciation for the natural world.

You could also incorporate sensory activities into their gardening routine, such as creating a sensory garden or herb garden where they can taste, touch, and smell different plants. Encourage them to close their eyes and listen to the sounds of nature, whether it's the buzzing of bees or the rustling of leaves in the wind. By engaging their senses, you can make the gardening experience more immersive and memorable for children of all ages.

Teach Through Play:

Children learn best when they are actively engaged and having fun. Incorporate educational activities into their gardening experience to help them learn about plant life cycles, ecosystems, and the importance of biodiversity. For example, you could set up a worm composting bin and teach them about the role of worms in soil health and nutrient recycling. Or you could create a butterfly garden and learn about the life cycle of butterflies and their importance as pollinators.

Encourage them to keep a gardening journal or diary where they can record their observations, drawings, and experiments. This not only helps them develop their literacy and numeracy skills but also allows them to track the progress of their plants over time. You could also use gardening as a springboard for other learning activities, such as measuring the height of plants, counting flower petals, or identifying different types of leaves. By integrating learning into their gardening adventures, you can make it a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

Lead by Example:

Children are often more willing to try new things when they see their parents or caregivers actively participating and enjoying themselves. Lead by example and involve your children in your gardening activities, whether it's planting flowers, weeding the garden, or harvesting vegetables. Take the time to explain what you're doing and why it's important, and invite them to join in and help whenever they're interested.

Show enthusiasm and excitement for the garden, even when faced with challenges or setbacks. Use positive reinforcement to encourage their efforts and celebrate their successes, no matter how small. By demonstrating your passion and commitment to gardening, you can inspire and motivate your children to develop their love for nature and the outdoors.

Embrace the Mess:

Gardening can be a messy business, but that's all part of the fun! Encourage your children to get their hands dirty and embrace the messiness of gardening. Allow them to explore and experiment freely, even if it means things don't always go according to plan. Remember that the goal is to encourage their curiosity and creativity, rather than striving for perfection.

Provide plenty of opportunities for sensory play, such as digging in the mud, splashing in puddles, and exploring the garden with magnifying glasses. Encourage them to use their imagination and think outside the box, whether it's building forts out of branches or creating mud pies in the dirt. By embracing the mess and encouraging unstructured play, you can foster a love for gardening that will last a lifetime.


Getting children into the garden is a wonderful way to instil a love for nature, foster a sense of responsibility, and encourage healthy habits from a young age. By making gardening fun, creating a kid-friendly space, keeping things simple, exploring the senses, teaching through play, leading by example, and embracing the mess, you can inspire your children to embrace the wonders of the natural world and enjoy all the benefits that gardening has to offer. So, grab your shovels and watering cans, and get ready for a gardening adventure the whole family can enjoy!

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