Make a bug hotel to get kids interested in gardening
Gardening Methods,  Plant

Get Kids Outside and Gardening with These Easy Tips

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Gardening with kids can be tricky since it takes patience to grow a garden, but even more when teaching children how to garden. But there are many ways to develop patience and make the process fun for everyone. There is so much more to gardening than just planting seeds that kids can grow, keep reading for ideas on how to get kids that don’t love dirt or outdoors involved and making a difference.

If you are looking for spring or summer plants for children to grow that are easy-peasy, here is your guide to make gardening kid friendly and easy on you! 

A few ways to get kids gardening include:

  • Kids gardening tools to get them interested
  • Kids seeds that will grow quickly
  • How a bug hotel can help kids get over their fear of creepy crawlys
  • Kids fairy garden ideas from the dollar tree
  • Summer activity books for gardening with kids
  • Setting up an indoor sensory garden
  • Craft ideas for recycling plastic bottles and tin cans into garden projects 

Gardening tools for kids are a great way to show spending money can be practical and fun

Often times we forget just how little kids still are, between all the pictures and hustle bustle of busy living, we tend to focus on how they are getting. But slow down and consider just how hard this full size gardening tools may be for lite hands. Imagine trying to learn a new skill at work, but with tools that are just bigger than life sized. That kinda how children can feel. Go ahead and splurge on the mini size tools and gloves so your kiddos can feel special and peak their interest. 

To get kids interested you may need to be willing to invest in some kids sized tools.

Never underestimate the power of kids gardening tools to get little ones outside. They are happy to work along side, mimicking what you do when they have the right size tools!

As adults we are able to buy the supplies whenever we start a new program, fitness routine, craft idea etc… You know what I mean. When you want to start juicing or making smoothies to eat healthier, we buy the kitchen tools. When we want to start running or working out, we go get the cute leggings and workout shirt hoping we can persuade ourselves to get started.

With kids its no different, so try to see encouraging them with a new tool set as a simple way to peak their interest.

Try these kids yard tools to get them involved with outside chores like racking leaves. Some of the simplest outdoor chores that are great to get started out with includes racking leaves. You can get the little rack, or try these lady buy hand racks to keep busy hands focused.

Found these cute

Have you tried making a bug hotel when you have little ones scared of creepy-crawlys!

Do you have little ones that are just NOT a fan of anything that crawls, flies or wiggles? Well, welcome to the club! First of all, its okay to have a kid that doesn’t like bugs. You can still teach toddlers and kindergarteners how to garden by making a buy hotel! Creating a comfy home for the good bugs is so important because good bugs like bees and butterflies need somewhere to hatch eggs in order to continue playing their part in the ecosystem.

No need to enter and email. Just an instant download to make life easier.

Here’s how you can make a bug hotel for free!

For the main frame – Find an old tin can or jar and stack leaves of all sizes with sticks alternating. There is no need to go out and buy supplies when the bugs in your area are used to the material in nature. Instead, go for a scavenger hunt and use this bug hotel checklist from what you have outside. Don’t have yard space with trees? Take a trip to the local park and bring home some supplies!

For the bedding – Gather leaves, sticks, grapevines, stems, bark, pinecones or bamboo. This gives bugs a cozy area to crawl into and call home. Bees will especially enjoy hollow bamboo sticks since it’s similar in size to the hives they build. But other flying creatures such as bees or moths will enjoy the luxury.

Don’t worry about the spaces being perfect or even, bugs will like the options to find a snug place to lay eggs or huddle on chilly nights.

Take a trip to the dollar store to get items to make a kids fairy garden. Create a kid friendly fairy garden that offers a shallow watering hole for flying creatures

A kids fairy garden is another great way to encourage kids to watch and observe nature.

It doesn’t have to be fairies, make a bug watering hole for tired bees or butterflies or mini garden to encourage pollinators. The Dollar Tree has tons of sweet options from jars, bags of dirt, moss covered balls, trinkets and do dad’s. Here’s some of the items perfect for making your own garden decorations 

Supply list to make a kids fairy garden

  • Old spaghetti jar Mason jar or glass
  • Cardboard, pie pan, pizza pan or mismatched lid
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush 
  • Rocks (gathered from outside or bought)
  • Seashells (for a ocean theme)
  • Acorns (painted for seats) 
  • Moss covered balls for landscaping
  • Battery operated lights 

Get creative and straight outside the garden theme and make a beach theme. Let kids design their own furniture and include a water drinking pond for bees and butterflies to safely drink from by making a shallow area. Tired pollinators will thank you for offering a local watering hole that has a steady supply of water. 

Bust boredom this summer with a gardening theme activity book

Don’t feel stuck at home or inside with this activity pack that is filled with games, coloring pages and scavenger hunts. Teaching kids how to garden in an interactive way that uses play learning to install gardening basics. Kids learn best when they don’t know they are learning. Use these flash cards to sort colors, identify common herbs, vegetables and flowers. Or try your hand at planting a paper garden! 

Get your Gardening with Kids Summer Activity Book from this Etsy Shop

Setting up an indoor sensory garden

(Psst…instructions are in the activity pack)

If you have little ones that don’t like getting dirty, no outdoor space or just need an indoor activity that will keep kids attention, try a sensory garden. Use materials laying around like dry beans, beads or orbies to mimic the garden soil. Then add these cut felt vegetables for kids to plant and harvest.

Prefer to buy a kit? Here’s a ready to go sensory garden!

Kid friendly gardening tools you can make yourself!  Show kids you don’t always have to buy gardening tools that are kid sized. Instead they can make them!

*Pictures coming soon – these projects are on our summer 2021 bucket list so be sure to come back for visual ideas! 

Lady bug tin can scoop – paint an old tin can red and let them use their thumb to add their black spots. And you have a simple garden scoop that can be personalized if you have multiple children. 

Plastic bottle self watering pot – take a 2 liter or 16 oz plastic bottle and recycle it into a self-watering planter. Mark off the top 3rd or just above the label and make a straight cut the best you can. Turn the lid facing down and add water to the bottom. You can even add a string that reaches to the bottom of the pot and is added to the top section before dirt. The string should hang down through the opening you would normally drink from. This gives plants an easier way to soak up water as the roots are becoming established. Leave the plastic bottle clear or paint to disguise any roots the choice is yours.

Animal face flower pot – take an old 2 l and cut off the rounded top but instead of cutting in a straight line add some bunny ears using a sharp knife. Have your kids paint accordingly. Add some facial features with a permanent marker and you’ve got an adorable window garden! 

Craving Some Creativity has a great tutorial you can find here

Tin can garden tower – before throwing away all those tin cans from making chili consider stashing them to make a garden tower. Simply take the top and bottom off of the can to create a cylinder. Stack as high as you need three or four tin cans high works pretty good for root systems like spinach lettuce carrots or even bigger things like beans or peas. Stack the tin cans, hot glue and then paint! Or leave b and give the tin cans their natural look. Group them together to make a table strawberry planter or leave as a tiers garden planter.

Kids size greenhouse made from picture frames

Get kids interested by repurposing an old cake tray so they can see a greenhouse up close and personal. If you really wanted to get fancy you could take five or six picture frames and turn them into a terrarium Garden for kids to watch vegetable seeds sprouting up close. 

Tutorial coming soon! (it’s on our summer 2021 bucket list)

Plant a butterfly garden for kids to watch 

If you’ve read my post on how to make wildflower seed bombs to encourage pollinators you are halfway there. Little kids love having a special kid size garden to take responsibility to weed, water and watch grow.

In fact you can request a free pack of seeds from Cheerios #Bringthebeesback program specifically for encouraging butterflies and bees. Further that love and independence by giving them a garden to watch first hand how pollination works. Try planting a wildflower garden that encourages bees and butterflies for a more low-key garden for kids.

There is less involved since fertilization isn’t required as with vegetable gardening. For older kids you can certainly step up your game and plant easy to grow vegetable seeds. Plants for kids to grow include cucumbers, bush beans, carrots and lettuce. They are the easiest to grow and best tasting veggies to harvest and eat straight out of the garden.

Don’t feel confined to just be before mention vegetables when it comes to seeds for kids grow, really anything can be good for kids if you make it fun. But the best seeds that are mature the quickest tend to give a quick reward, keeping their interest better.

Kids friendly seeds that make gardening for children possible

Below are some easy plants for kids that grow fast, because with kids you gotta keep their interest. Try these quick growing vegetables plants that are pretty hands off, will take some abuse (like over or under watering) but will still produce a harvest.

Seeds that are ready in under 45 days include

  • Lettuce
  • Microgreens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Some varieties of Zucchini (round de nice)
  • Tomato (Varieties like Tiny Tim or sub arctic plenty)

Seeds ready in under 60 days include

  • Beans (bush and pole)
  • Basil
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Marigolds
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Summer squash (yellow)
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini

Here’s an article you may like on Container Gardens for Your Small Space

Hopefully you are inspired and have some ideas to get your kids outside and gardening. Don’t feel like you have to spend money to have fun and learn a life skill, instead repurpose what is around you and teach kids an ever richer listen by using what have. After all sustainable living is taught within the everyday actions and habits we do. Now go out and grow your kid friendly garden. 

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