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Raising Gardeners: Fun Garden Activities and Jobs for Kids

Allowing kids to be apart of the gardening experience is the beginning of instilling a lifelong appreciation for nature. In this blog post, I’m going to share a variety of garden activities and jobs, that I’ve done with my kids, that are particularly suited to fit their abilities. From planting seeds to harvesting vegetables, these hands-on experiences will not only teach valuable gardening skills but will also foster a love of nature. Let’s jump in.

Fun Garden Activities and Jobs for Kids

1. Planting Seeds

Bring your kids into the planting process and teach them about seeds. How to read a seed packet, how to dig the holes, how many seeds to drop in, what germination rates are, etc. Once they have covered the holes, allow them to gently water them. The best part will be waiting and watching until those first seeds begin to germinate and grow into plants.

2. Removing Weeds

Teaching your kids the importance of caring for the garden and keeping it healthy is a great way to introduce the workings of gardening. Weeding is not always the most fun task, but it’s one that needs to be done so the plants can grow and thrive. Show your kids how to identify weeds and pull them out from the garden beds, (making sure they get the entire root, or it will just grow right back).

(Jemima, our duckling, really enjoys gardening right along with the kids. Though, weeding is not her favorite, so I’m told.)

3. Watering the Plants

Give kids the responsibility of watering the garden. And yes, expect them to get a little wet, or you to get a little wet, or both. Managing a hose or a watering can can be tricky at first. Teach your kids to water at the base of the plants rather than on the leaves, and with gentle water pressure.

Watering the garden is always the coveted garden job in our family. Though, I’m not sure its because of the welfare of our plants. Its more than likely because its a hot day and being wet sounds pretty good.

4. Dead-Heading Flowers

Deadheading flowers is simply removing spent blooms. This process tidies up the plant and encourages it to produce more flowers. Deadheading is a wonderful garden job for kids because they can simply pinch off the faded flowers with their fingers.

If you don’t want to waste the spent blooms, depending on the flower, you could dry them and use them for seeds the following year.

5. Harvesting Vegetables and Fruits

Harvesting from the garden is so satisfying and rewarding. Kids can see the profit of all their hard work and care over the summer months, and begin to reap the benefits. Give your kids a basket, and let them fill it up! Kids will learn where their food comes from, and will be more apt to try the fresh, healthy produce that they helped to grow.

6. Create a Bouquet of Flowers

If you have kid-friendly flowers in your garden, another garden activity is to allow your kids to create their own flower bouquet. You can give them a few pointers on the stem sizes or flower combinations. Then let them fill up a vase!

There have been so many times, that my kids have surprised me with their creativity with arranging flowers. And seeing their displays in my kitchen or on the dining room table is one of my favorite budget-friendly ways to decorate for summer.

7. Observe Pollinators

Since pollinators play such a huge of the gardening process, it’s good to encourage your kids to really stop and observe what they are doing. They can start by observing flowers during different times of the day, noting which ones attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, or other pollinators. Then, see if they can describe their behavior, things like flight patterns, body movements, duration, etc.

8. Hunt for Worms

Teach your kids that another hero of the garden are earthworms because they aerate the soil and help to break down organic matter. Finding new earthworms to add to the garden is an exhilarating activity for kids, especially ones that appreciate a wet, squiggly challenge.

9. Keep a Look-Out for Pests

Along with teaching kids about the good bugs, it’s equally important to teach them about the pests that can destroy your plants and eat your produce. These things include (but are not limited to): aphids, tomato hornworms, slugs, snails, etc. It also can include larger rodents or mammals like mice, rabbits, possums, raccoons, and deer.

Living on a farm, we are always competing with wildlife for the food we grow. So teaching our kids what to look for has been helpful for getting the food to our table. (See how we protected our strawberries this year with this affordable Chicken Wire Cloche that we made.)

10. Garden Journaling

Another way to involve kids in the process of gardening is to have them keep a gardening journal. Keeping track of seeds planted, pests found, weather changes, and life cycle stages are very beneficial to learning the ropes of gardening. (Check out our Gardening Activities and Journaling Pages to get started.)

Getting kids involved in gardening is a rewarding experience that fosters a love for nature and encourages lifelong learning. By reading about these fun garden activities and jobs, I hope you feel inspired to help your kids develop these valuable skills, cultivate curiosity, and gain a greater appreciation for the natural world around them. Happy Gardening!

Garden Activities and Jobs for Kids Q & A

1. What are some of the easiest plants to grow with kids?

Some of the easiest plants to grow with kids include: tomatoes, sunflowers, strawberries, carrots, and squash. These plants grow quickly which helps kids to stay engaged in the tending and care process of gardening.

2. How can I get my kids interested in gardening?

The best way to get kids interested in gardening is to invite them to join you. Let them plant the seeds, water the plants, and harvest the vegetables. The more kids experience the garden, the more likely they will become more interested in it.

3. Are there any education benefits to gardening with kids?

There are tons of educational benefits to gardening with kids. Gardening will build the character skills of hard work and patience, it will develop life skills and motor skills, and it will offer tons of science information to for their minds to feast on.

4. How do I teach my kids to be safe while gardening.

To teach your kids garden safety, encourage them to wear gloves and work carefully with tools at all times. Next, make sure you instruct your kids about safe plants and plants that are poisonous. Making sure they understand not to put any plant in their mouth unless they are 100% sure it is edible.

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