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Dear Caroline,   The apron was for my son's 10th birthday and as he is keen to assist wi ...

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Top Ten Tips for Gardening with Children

You have bought the children’s garden tools and you are ready to start.  Read our top ten tips for gardening with children.  Have fun with your little garden helpers.

Top tips for working with children in the garden include:

  1. Keep Active - Make sure everyone has something to do.  Watching Dad prune the roses or big sister pot on seedlings is not as much fun as digging your own trench or raking leaves.
  2. Children’s Own Garden  - If possible give children their own small area.  Let them stick in a stake saying “Jessie’s Garden”.  They will still want to contribute to the family garden but will love having their own mini-plot.
  3. Beware of the Sun - Don’t forget the sunscreen and hat – even on cloudy days.
  4. Start at the Beginning - Involve them with all stages of growing plants and flowers.  The joy of planting a seed and ultimately taking food into the kitchen or picking flowers for a gift is hard to match. 
  5. Spot Learning Opportunities -  Whatever the age of your children, it is easy to make art, mathematics, science and language development or reading and writing a part of gardening.    You can draw a plan for the garden, work out how many seedlings will fit in an area, write plant labels, read instructions, spot the shortest and the tallest sunflowers, test the effects of more or less watering and much, much more.
  6. Listen - You’ll be amazed at what children will tell you whilst they are busy in the garden.  Some days they may provide fascinating insights about gardening whilst on other days, you may find out more in half an hour about what they are doing at school than they will usually tell you in a month.
  7. Enjoy Autumn – The autumn tasks such as raking leaves, sweeping, scrubbing out plant pots and digging are activities which most children adore.  The best bit is jumping in the piles of leaves – after checking for sleepy wildlife!
  8. Remember the Wildlife - Putting up nesting boxes, feeding the birds in winter and identifying mini-beasts are always popular with children of all ages.
  9. Move Inside - During the winter months, the traditional favourites of growing cress on the window sill or planting hyacinths as Christmas presents can help to keep children’s interest in gardening alive even if the weather is really bad.
  10. Get the Right Tools  - Simple trowels and hand forks are great to get children started but  quality garden tools and wheelbarrows designed specifically for children make gardening easier and more fun.  Look for tools with metal heads and wooden handles.

Finally, for more ideas on gardening with children, have a look at our Children’s Gardening Calendar.

Children's Gardening Tools