Fun gardening activities and ideas for kids

Child outside gardening

Springtime is here, and that means it’s the season for gardening! Whether you have a garden at home, a balcony with some planters, or even a sunny window sill, it’s the perfect time to let your kiddo get their hands dirty with some gardening activities and crafts.

Gardening offers tons of benefits for little ones, aside from yielding some beautiful flowers to pick and some delicious veggies to snack on. It’s an amazing activity for developing children’s motor skills and fostering an early love of nature. Kiddos learn how to take care of plants and discover the important role they play in our environment.

How do plants grow?

Kids are naturally curious creatures. They’re eager to learn about the world around them and understand how things work. Gardening activities give your kiddo an opportunity to discover how plants grow from a tiny seed, and it’s almost guaranteed that your little one will have lots of questions about how it all works. Here’s a kid-friendly way to explain how plants grow:

Most of the plants in the world grow from seeds. In order to start growing, seeds need dark and damp conditions – this is why we bury them in the ground. With the right temperature, these seeds sprout! When the seeds are watered or when it rains, they absorb water until the seed is able to break open and grow roots. Then, above the ground, shoots emerge from the dirt and grow up towards the sunshine. Then, the stem and the leaves grow!

Plants can live for months or even for years, and each plant needs different properties to grow and complete its cycles. For instance, some plants like humidity while others prefer dry environments. Talk to your little one about what types of plants naturally grow in your area and see how many you can spot on your next nature walk!

Fairy garden ideas for kids

If you’d like to get into a little gardening with your child, why not start small? This magical fairy garden idea for kids will create an adorable indoor garden your little one can care for, and they’ll have lots of fun making them!

LEGO Fairy Garden

LEGO is one of the most creative, versatile toys a kid can have. It boosts imagination and it’s full of different ways to build, play, and experiment. Plus, you can break and make new things with the same kit! Grab some LEGO pieces to make a structure for your fairy garden, but other blocks or building materials will work too.

You will need:

  • A clear plastic container or a jar
  • Pebbles and stones
  • Moss
  • Paint and brushes
  • LEGO bricks
  • Decorations of your choosing, like small toys, craft supplies, etc.

There are lots of ways to customize this craft, so feel free to let your little one’s creativity take the lead! First, paint some stones or any other materials you’d like to add to the fairy garden. While they’re drying, work on assembling the garden in the jar. Put some soil into the jar, add moss, pebbles, rocks, or small branches for decoration. If you’re not able to find real moss, you can use grass or even artificial moss or greenery. Build a small fairy house of LEGO bricks, then arrange your magical fairy scene inside the jar. If you’ve used real moss, be sure to keep it moist so it lasts!

Looking to take the magic outdoors? Use a weather-resistant pot filled with soil and let your kiddo get creative with creating their own miniature wonderland for their fairy friends.

Plants for kids: Growing beans

Growing bean plants is a classic gardening activity for kids. With this super easy activity, kids can watch their plant grow every day and see how it changes. Beans grow fairly quickly, so your little one won’t have to wait too long to see their seed start to sprout. Plus, this activity doesn’t necessarily have to be done in the springtime. With a sunny windowsill, your kiddo can grow a bean indoors even in the wintertime.

You will need:

  • Three or four dried beans
  • Paper towels or cotton balls
  • Glass jar or plastic container with a lid
  • Water

Soak the beans overnight to help speed along the growing process. Put a damp paper towel or cotton balls in the jar and place the beans between the paper towel and the side of the jar. This will ensure your little one can watch the bean as it grows. Keep the paper towels or cotton balls moist by pouring in a bit of water or spritzing them with a spray bottle. The beans should sprout in no time! Once your plant starts to grow, it can be planted in a pot with some dirt.

Outdoor garden games and crafts for kids

Gardens are magical for kiddos, and you can make them even more magical by adding some handmade decorations! These also make great gifts for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, birthdays, or just as a cheerful surprise for a friend or family member. Here are a couple of gardening craft and game activities to get your little one outside in the sunshine!

Child rock painting – gardening activity

Cute veggie garden markers

You don’t need to have a garden to make some super cute garden markers! This rock painting activity is a great way for kiddos to just get their hands dirty and have some fun. Ideally, these rocks should have a flat surface to make the painting process a little easier.

If you’ve got a vegetable garden at home, ask your little one to go look for rocks with shapes that resemble the plants growing in your garden. Then, get some paint and brushes and go wild! Your kiddo can paint the rocks to look like the veggies and place them at the end of each row in the garden. It’s a helpful visual cue for little ones to know what’s growing where.

If you don’t have a vegetable garden, create some painted rocks to decorate your garden, or even in a potted plant indoors. Your little one can turn their rock into bugs, flowers, animals – whatever they’d like!

In order to weather-proof your painted rocks, spraying them with a clear coat when they dry will help the paint from coming off in the rain.

Outdoor tic-tac-toe

Here’s another way to put those new painted rocks to use! Ask your little one to collect some branches to create a tic-tac-toe board on the grass or in the garden. Then, use the painted rocks as your game pieces and play a friendly game al fresco. There’s something extra fun about taking an indoor game outside into the garden!

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