Updated on May 5, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Surprisingly, toddlers actually do a great job helping with garden activities outside. Children are born with an innate love for caring and nurturing living things. They’ll love to watch you work and learn just what to do to tend a garden. They’ll also have a blast planting seeds and watching them grow. Your time in the garden will teach important lessons like cooperation, patience, perseverance and care.
Additionally, we list 7 free garden activities for toddlers towards the bottom of the article which will not cost a penny.
21 Engaging Garden Activities For Toddlers
There are so many exciting things to do in the garden but your toddler will most definitely never tire of watering the plants. A grown-up watering can is big, awkward and hard to carry. A perfect size watering can that’s durable and designed with two handles for extra support is the definite way to go! We love that this German-made brand comes in three adorable color options.
This handy garden set helps little ones dig in the flower beds and plant tiny seeds in the earth. Giving your toddler their own set of gardening tools, keeps them busy and fosters independence in the garden. A special coverall and tiny pair of gloves help keep them safe and protected during super dirty projects. And an adorable carry bag keeps all of their tiny garden objects organized.
Garden work is messy work and that’s just how it should be. Keep your little one covered with a waterproof apron. The waterproof material lets dirt roll right off and the special pockets are perfect for hiding hidden treasures like special rocks or a pretty picked daisy. Removable sleeves can be added for extra protection and the color is oh-so nature chic!
When starting a veggie garden with your little one, you may want to sow the seeds inside so they have a better chance at hanging on for the growing season. These little pots are perfect for starting seeds indoors with your toddlers. They are BPA-free and made from recyclable materials. The set even comes with some starter seeds for growing! Just remember to always help your toddler when working with actual seeds.
This is the cutest little gardening kit there ever was! The kit comes with everything you need to start a garden for your toddler. In this kit, you’ll find fiber pots that go right in the ground, soil tabs, a seed packet, a super cute watering can and gloves made for small hands. The best part is that it comes with cute little chalkboard markers and chalk to give all of your important vegetables a name.
One of the most important elements for gardening with a little one is to protect them from those UV rays while they work. Make sure to always use a toddler-safe sunscreen and cover their little heads with a great gardening hat. This adjustable option grows with your little one and comes in a ton of cute colors. It’s also perfect for any other outdoor activities.
When you’re watering plants or digging in the soil, you’re bound to get muddy. A great pair of rain boots will help keep those little socks dry. This little pair of ducks is made especially for toddlers and looks just about as springy as spring itself!
When your garden awakens from the winter slumber, you’ll need to do a whole lot of raking. Letting your little friend have a rake of their own will actually help you do your yard work. It will also, and most importantly, keep them right beside you and engaged while you get your own yard work done. We are also loving how this rake is efficiently-designed and easy-to-handle.
9. Small Mowers
There’s just something magical about a toy lawnmower. Toddlers love to watch you mow and they really love to pretend to mow the yard themselves. This super cute version from Melissa and Doug ups the fun factor with a delightful snappy turtle design. There’s even a little gas tank and fun dials to turn! Your toddler will absolutely love helping mow the lawn just like mom and dad.
10. Grab Your Caddy
This adorable caddy is light-weight and perfect for lugging around all those gardening essentials. Your wee one will love to work in their little area with the kid-friendly tools. Made specifically for tiny hands, these little tools help make light gardening so much fun. It even comes with planters and special signs for labeling all of your flowers.
11. Shovels & Spades
There’s nothing more important for crafting your garden than learning how to shovel some dirt. These little shovels are great for toddlers who are just learning how to control their body movements. They’ll spend a lot of time learning how to pick up the dirt. But once they do, they’ll love scooping up anything you need all day long.
Is there anything sweeter than watching wildflowers grow? Every time they pop up it’s like a beautiful little surprise. When the seeds come wrapped in sweet little biodegradable packages, it is pure magic. Your toddler will get the biggest kick out of planting these heart-shaped delights and they will love checking in on their progress. Once the rainbow-colored blooms actually pop up, it’ll be the greatest thing you’ve ever seen.
It’s more important now than ever before to teach your little one the importance of taking care of our glorious planet. Teaching your tot about composting can be a beneficial way to help the environment and increase the productivity of your little one’s growth. This little compost bin from OXO is the perfect thing to do the trick. Your little one will love to put the dinner scraps in the bucket and watch the miracle of decomposition take place.
Adding a fun little spinner to your garden can help keep away unwanted pests naturally and will look super cute in your garden. Use this sweet little one to add color and fun to your little one’s garden area. If your tot doesn’t have a garden of their own, they’ll love using this to mark their own imaginary garden.
15. Bug Catcher Kit
Toddlers are always toddlers. Without a doubt, they’re going to see some little multi-legged friends along the way. Having a super cute bug catching kit handy can help them capture a friend for a few hours. Letting them study caterpillars, ladybugs and worms can give them a first-hand look at nature’s powerful insects while fostering a love for science and the world around them. Just remind them to let their little friends return home at the end of the gardening day!
16. Follow The Rocks
The perfect accessory for a children’s garden is colorfully painted rocks. This special kit lets your child work with you to create beautiful creations for their garden. They’ll love painting the stones and putting them in the garden as a way to mark their own special space.
17. Pull Your Wagon
Are little red wagons not the stuff of a mama’s dreams? They are perfect for letting your little one pull around leaves and sticks and other fun debris. Your tot will love to collect everything they can find around the yard and bring it back to you to use. They’ll love that they can help and you’ll love how cute they’ll look pulling that little thing around the yard.
18. Take A Load Off
Little ones love to gather in the garden and take a lemonade break with you. These little chairs are toddler-sized and perfect for taking a rest. They’ll even work fabulous for those backyard campouts or time spent around the campfire.
19. Just Like Dad
Every little one would love to have their own leaf blower! This imaginative play toy lets little ones think they’re doing most of the work. The best part about this one is the smaller size and easy-to-hold handle. They’ll really have a blast in the yard with this one.
A toddler wheelbarrow is a must-have garden item. If you’ve got a little one that’s really into helping, they will follow you around the yard and carry all the things in this fabulous toddler-friendly wheelbarrow. They’ll be hauling plants, garden tools and leaves everywhere you need them to go.
Gardening is so fun for tots that it may end up being the only thing they want to do each day! Keep the love of gardening going during those days when you can’t go outside or when it’s raining. A gardening coloring book can keep them thinking about their flowers while understanding key elements to the gardening process. Plus, it’s oh-so adorable!
7 Free Garden Activities for Toddlers
1. Make A Garden Chalkboard
Having a garden chalkboard can help your little one keep track of their daily tasks and what fruits and vegetables they have planted. It can remind them to water their plants, weed their garden or clean out their flower beds. And let’s be real, it can also be a great place for them to play while you’re watering your tulips.
2. Create A Kid Sanctuary
Your toddler will love to have their own garden to take care of. Craft a fun kid’s section by painting boards fun colors, adding garden rocks, putting in fun colorful spinners and making everything toddler accessible.
3. Pick Up Sticks
Let your little one actually help in the garden. Have them pick up the fallen sticks around the yard and bring them back to a designated area. If you have more than one child, make it a game! See who can collect the most sticks in their pile. They’ll have a blast and you’ll get a head start on that yard work.
4. Learn About Weeds
It’s important to know what stays in a garden and what can smother out fruits and vegetables. Helping kids distinguish the two is a great step for them understanding the practice of gardening. Show them which weeds to pull and let them try their hand at it. They’ll love pulling things out of the garden. My little ones always pull a weed and exclaim, “Look! That was fun!” every single time.
5. Bring the Inside Outside
Let your little one bring out spoons, pots and pans and muffin tins. All of those household items can bring hours of fun for your little one. Let them scoop out the dirt, make homes for their bug friends, collect their favorite flowers and spend hours cooking mud (or clay) pies.
6. Tiny Harvester
When the seeds have been sown and the growing season takes off, it’ll be time for the most fun part of all: The Harvest! Make it a big deal with your child. Take pictures, have a dinner party and enjoy the sweet spoils of all that hard work.
Gardening with your little one is such a fun and rewarding experience. Giving your toddler the chance to become acquainted with nature, understand the food growing process and learn how much work it takes to care for a growing daisy is an irreplaceable gift. These special moments set them up for a lifetime of loving the environment and taking care of the world around them. These garden days with your babies will truly be the best days of your life.