Best Gardening Activities for Kids this National Children's Gardening Week

This month we celebrate National Children’s Gardening Week from May 23rd to June 2nd, so what better time to consider how your children can help out in the garden with some gardening activities for kids?

This week is a great reason to get your young ones outside, learning about nature while having some fun, too. There is so much education involved in gardening, so even if science isn’t their favourite subject at school, there are countless lessons to be learnt outside in the garden. Planting and maintaining your outdoor space is not only therapeutic, but also offers a distraction from devices and screens, allowing kids to reestablish a valuable connection with the earth.  Read on to learn about childrens gardening ideas and activities from Antony Henn…

Gearing up for garden safety

Keeping kids safe in your outdoor space is vital, so here are some tips to help:

It’s obvious really but make sure you do not leave sharp or dangerous tools lying around. Weedkillers and fertilisers can be hazardous so keep out of reach.

If you have a pond, which is great, be aware that young children are drawn to them so do not leave them unaccompanied. (Swimming pools need even closer supervision with young ones about)

Have the correct tools for them to use which are designed especially for children. Kids gloves may be useful too or wash hands thoroughly afterwards. Get them to wear clothes that can get dirty!

Plant a seed of adventure

When I was young my folks left me a small area in the corner that was MY GARDEN! This worked really well as I remember growing Nasturtiums and courgettes which went mad and took over the space which I loved.

Creating a small raised bed from Timber defines an area, is easier to manage and they can create their own little world. A VegTrug is a great starter garden for young kids as it is a good height and you can pack a lot of flowers and veg in them. These are ideal for sitting on the patio or balcony so you don’t actually need a garden at all! 

Vertical gardens are fantastic if space is limited and can create a wonderful environment for wildlife and look amazing too.

Growing minds and plants together 

There is so much subliminal learning that happens while gardening with children that they wouldn’t even realise at the time! Activities like counting seeds, learning about insects and wildlife that live in the garden and which plants grow where and why they thrive in certain habitats. Big leaves have evolved to cope with shade and thick, fury,fleshy leaves cope better with full sun and drought for instance. 

By creating their own mini compost bin, kids can see how plant materials decompose and turn into humus-rich compost which can nourish the soil and help plants grow. What a great fun biology lesson and the perfect gardening activity for kids! 

Getting crafty in the garden 

It’s really fun to plant up an unusual item that you don’t usually associate with gardening - such as planting up an old Wellie boot or teapot for instance. I remember planting up an old toilet with ‘bog plants’, which I thought was really comical! 

To add decoration or a sculptural element to a kids garden try searching for an unusual piece of driftwood or twisted branch that may personalise and add a finishing touch to their patch. 

Little explorers, big discoveries 

Some children have never been introduced to wildlife and nature, especially if they live in the city. One of the best gardening activities for kids that live in cities is to create even a tiny habitat in a confined space that will attract insects and birds very quickly. I have tested this on a balcony in Central London with a trough and a few pots filled with nectar rich-flowers and a small, shallow bowl of water; this swiftly turned into a mini nature reserve within a few hours!

Bird boxes, feeders and a bug hotel can really add to the appeal and bring in a whole host of interesting creatures to their gardens. 

How we can help your little one have fun while gardening 

The great thing about gardening with children is that it is such a sociable activity that brings the whole family together!

It gets kids outside in the fresh air and away from the distractions and potential obsessions with social media and technology. It helps educate about where food is from and how we fit into the natural world and why we should preserve and respect all of nature around us.

Garden on a roll helps children discover gardening through our ready-made garden borders. Our planting by numbers philosophy makes planting fun for the whole family this Children’s Gardening Week.