It seems like most kids have a natural proclivity for getting covered in dirt, so why not channel that mud-magnetism into a fun new activity? After all, we’re betting you’re in need of a new kid-friendly home project for spring right about now, and small-scale gardening can help you *and* your little ones feel more connected to nature.
Whether you carve out a mini-plot in your front lawn or set a planter table on your porch or even just pop some pots on a sill, gardening is an engaging project for little hands that already love to get dirty.
We’ve rounded up all the tools you’ll need to get started, from mini spades and trowels to help with weeding to a real metal wheelbarrow to help “move mulch” to a sweet seed kit for growing real veggies. Ready to dig in? Here are some of best kids’ gardening tools that your own little sprouts are sure to love. Get ready to sing “Let it Grow” a lot, and if you haven’t yet seen The Lorax, save that for the next rainy day.
Your hardworking little farmers need proper tools to till the earth. This wood and metal set is super durable yet sized perfectly for little hands. Whether they’re raking leaves, scooping gravel, or moving dirt, all tasks are covered with the included shovel, rake, hoe, and leaf rake. Just give them their own mini pile to work on while you handle the heavier lifting.
“My 4-year-old twins like to ‘help’ me with the lawn work, which these are perfect for…sturdy and functional,” says reviewer Paralelle on Amazon. “Admittedly, I’ve used these myself for some weeding, they are pretty solid,” writes another dad on Amazon.
We found it: a raised wooden planter box that’s just the right height for youngsters, which means they can check the progress of their plant friends and water and harvest veggies all by themselves (your next challenge? Getting them to eat those veggies!). The My First Garden Planter provides a slick outdoor space for keeping the mess (somewhat) contained—and it can easily move around your porch or deck without taking up too much room. They’ll love trying their hand at growing tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, and you’ll love the fact that there’s virtually no weeding to keep up with!
These garden/beach toys come with 16 sturdy, brightly hued pieces that your kiddo will go bananas for. Watering can? Yep. Tiny gardening shears? Of course. A tiny garden wagon for toting everything? You bet. There are also at least three different versions of a gardening fork for only the most discerning of weed-pullers. But talk about a bonus buy: Use these in the garden now and in the sand come summer—after all, who says you can’t play-garden at the beach? They may not grow veggies, but shells and snails still count for time with nature.
Wide handles and a sturdy rubber wheel make this metal wheelbarrow relatively easy to maneuver, even for smaller sprouts. They’ll adore hauling things around the yard (or, um, your living room) and it’s an ideal way to tucker them out (win!). Help them with their hauling routine by giving them small jobs, such as bringing a pile of weeds to the compost, or carrying a small amount of mulch to dump onto the front flower beds. When the work’s done, you can give them a lil wheelbarrow ride back to the house! “My son loves this. He’s always in the yard digging,” says Patrick on Amazon.
Dirt averse? If you’ve got a LO who still has a tendency to eat everything they come into contact with, maybe a felt garden is more their speed. Crate and Barrel’s 19-piece play set is perfect for make-believing with a garden that’s always blossoming (i.e. no clean-up!). Get your little one excited about learning where food comes from by pretending to harvest lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, radishes, and flowers. Plant this play kit next to your toy kitchen and watch them serve up a real farm-to-table dining experience (hey, imagination is everything, right?).
With a small metal garden fork, rake, shovel, watering can plus a pair of gardening gloves and a tote to transport it all, your kiddos will want to take these durable tools everywhere. Capitalize on this newfound energy and passion for growing by signing them up for planting flowers at Grandma’s house, raking leaves at your neighbors’, or helping to water your indoor plants (let’s call it learning through chores, shall we?). We swooned over the bright colors and natural wooden handles that are durable enough to last for years to come.
And of course off-season, they can tote around dolls and other necessities. We know they love stuffing pockets with treasures.
Made in the USA from recycled milk jugs, the indoor gardening kit from Green Toys is one you can feel good about. What’s more sustainable than gardening in sustainable containers? These three mini pots come with individual soil discs and three packs of organic seeds (zinnia, basil and teddybear sunflower) so your little seedling can try their hand at sprouting. If you’ve got limited space (and patience), these kits grow quickly, meaning impatient toddlers will see results fast, and the small footprint of these mini pots are sure to fit on nearly any windowsill (which means less space to clear). They can sing “Let it Grow” everytime they check on their growths, and we know you know the words, too, mamas.
Williams Sonoma’s kids’ garden kit makes for a darling Easter/spring gift for budding gardeners. The kit comes complete with a kids’ gardening guide, grow tray, seed packets and plant markers—basically everything you need to get their tiny hands dirty ASAP. Looking for a learning experience? Small farmers can learn all about how food grows and exactly how much work and time it takes to grow even just a single tomato (that they’ll promptly spit out). But the joy they’ll get from watching their plant pals grow each day? Priceless.
Looking for more kids’ toys to keep them entertained? We’ve got you covered.