Are you looking for inspiration on gardening for kids? These ten great projects are perfect for getting kids gardening and having fun outdoors.
As well as being lots of fun, gardening for children is a great way to explore their senses, learn about nature, and develop an interest in healthy living. Gardening is also a fantastic way to spend time as a family or to celebrate Earth Day, and can have a hugely positive impact on everyone’s mental health.
My new book, *A Year of Nature Craft & Play has lots of fun ideas for getting kids gardening, plus crafts, games, art and science experiments. There are 52 budget-friendly nature play activities, one for every week of the year, all with easy-to-follow instructions and colourful photos.
Gardening for kids: fun projects to have a go at
If you’d like to encourage your children to try some garden projects, you’re in the right place. I’ve rounded up ten great garden activities for kids that will help them to spend time outside and get active.
Lots of the kids gardening ideas on my list will also help to make your garden look great!
1. Grow salad from seed
If you’re gardening with children, getting the kids planting seeds is definitely a project that will always go down well. My kids love the magical process of planting a seed and watching it grow; it’s just a really exciting thing to do! Choosing an edible plant is a great way to encourage kids to try new flavours and learn about where their food comes from.
When it comes to simple grow your own for kids, salad is hard to beat. It’s easy to plant, it doesn’t need lots of care and attention, and it grows really fast. It’s perfectly happy growing in small pots and containers too. A packet of *mixed salad seeds is a good option as it will give children a few different varieties to try.
To plant your seeds, just fill your pot with compost, sprinkle your salad seeds on the top, cover them with a bit more compost, and water them. In the warm summer months you can expect a harvest of tasty leaves within a few weeks.
2. Make wildflower seed bombs
Seed bombs are a super-easy way to grow flowers from seed, and they’re lots of fun to make too. Using *wildflower seeds to make your seed bombs is a great option. Wildflowers will help to make your garden more wildlife-friendly, and kids will be able to observe and learn about the different creatures that visit the flowers.
To make seed bombs, mix 3 handfuls of compost with 1 handful of flour, and add a little water to make it stick together. Shape your mixture into balls, then roll them in your seeds so that the seeds stick to the surface. Once your seed bombs are dry you can throw them into your garden borders, where they will create a lovely display of wildflowers.
My post on how to garden for wildlife has lots of other fun wildlife gardening ideas for kids to try.
3. Create a mini garden
Mini gardens are fantastic garden crafts for kids to have a go at. They can be as simple or as complicated as you like, and you can use whatever materials and plants you already have in the garden.
To make a mini garden, you need a container full of soil, plus the materials to put on top. Small sticks, stones, moss, leaves, flowers and small plants all work well. You could also raid the recycling bin for materials (small foil trays and bottle lids make great mini ponds).
When it comes to designing their garden, kids can let their imagination run wild! Just remember to keep watering your mini garden if it has growing plants in it.
4. Make a bird feeder
Putting a bird feeder in your garden is an easy way to encourage more wild birds to visit. You can buy a *bird feeder, but it’s fun to make your own too. You could use a pine cone covered in peanut butter and rolled in bird seed, make one from an old plastic bottle with a wooden spoon perch, make homemade bird feeders in paper cups or yoghurt pots, or make a pumpkin bird feeder in autumn.
Another nice idea is upcycling a teacup and saucer to make your bird feeder. This video shows you how to do it:
Once you’ve made your feeders, children can have fun identifying the different birds who visit them. They might like to keep a wildlife diary, draw their feathered visitors, or find out more about them online.
5. Make plant markers
Homemade plant markers are a great garden project for kids. They can use them to decorate their own little patch of land or container, or make some as gifts for friends and family.
A really simple way to make plant markers is to paint or colour *wooden lolly sticks or wooden spoons. If you’d like to get more creative, you could have a go at painting stones, writing on wine corks and adding a wooden skewer to the base, decorating *wooden pegs, or using *chalkboard paint to create reusable labels.
6. Grow microgreens
How about an indoor gardening project for kids? Microgreens are brilliant plants for kids to grow, because you can harvest them in as little as two weeks after planting the seeds.
Microgreens are seedlings of herbs and vegetables which are harvested and eaten while they are still tiny. To grow microgreens, simply scatter the *seeds onto a small pot of compost, sprinkle a little compost on top, then water them and pop them on a sunny windowsill. Keep the compost moist, and turn your container around if the plants start leaning towards the light.
To harvest your microgreens, snip or pinch them off just above soil level. They’re packed with flavour, and are lovely in sandwiches, salads and smoothies.
You can find more micogreen growing tips and advice in my blog post on how to grow microgreens.
7. Make a nature garland
Nature crafts make perfect garden projects for kids. Making a nature garland is an easy way to turn nature treasure into a unique garden decoration. Children can collect fallen nature items while you’re out on a walk, or from around the garden. Leaves, flowers, feathers, seed pods and twigs all work well.
Once you’ve got your nature treasure, cut a length of string and tie each item onto it, spacing them out and leaving about 15cm at each end of the string. When you’ve finished, hang your nature garland in a tree or bush.
8. Plant a bulb lasagne
Another must on the list of gardening activities for kids is planting a bulb lasagne. This is a clever way of layering *spring-flowering bulbs in a pot to create a long display of flowers. It’s a perfect gardening activity for kids because bulbs are easy to handle and plant, and they can cope well with the scale of planting in a container.
My bulb lasagne post has a step by step guide showing you how to plant your bulbs, plus suggestions for which bulbs to plant on each layer.
Growing sunflowers in pots is a brilliant alternative container gardening project for spring.
9. Make a bug hotel
A bug hotel is a fantastic way to encourage bees, ladybirds and other insects to make a home in your garden. In return for a home, they will do a great job of pollinating your plants and controlling pests like greenfly.
You can make your own simple bug hotel by adding short lengths of garden canes to an old plastic bottle which has some modelling clay in the bottom, then using string to hang it up in the garden. Or you could fill an empty plant pot or length of tubing with twigs, pine cones and straw.
Once your bug hotel is in place, children can enjoy observing and identifying the creatures that move in.
10. Grow your name in a courgette
This is wacky plant growing for kids, and they love it!
If you’re growing courgettes in the garden, kids can choose one that’s small and still attached to the plant, and grow their name on it.
Use a toothpick or pointy stick to scratch your name onto the surface of the courgette, then leave it to grow. As it gets bigger, the name will grow too. If the kids can be patient they’ll end up with a huge name, and some real wow factor gardening!
I hope these garden ideas for kids have given you lots of inspiration for ways to get kids gardening and having fun outdoors. Which one will you be trying first?
More gardening with kids projects
If you’d like some more inspiration on family gardening and kids garden activities, take a look at the gardening with children section of the blog. I’ve also got lots of fun outdoor activities for kids in my free printable bucket lists for spring, summer, autumn and winter, and a bumper list of nature books for kids.
Twinkl also have a great list of outdoor activities for families which is full of ideas for garden fun.
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