Dos And Don’ts When Gardening With Children

Dos and Don'ts When Gardening With Children

In 2021, the average weekly screen time for children rose to 5 hours and 33 minutes. In the age of ‘iPad children’, it’s more important than ever to ensure your child has physical activities and outdoor hobbies to engage in.

Considering trying out gardening with your little one?

Read on as we provide the dos and don’ts to make your child’s outdoor time safe, happy, and filled with fun (more fun than an iPad screen!).

Benefits Of Gardening With Your Little One

Hands holding sapling in soil surface with green grass background.

Are you unsure whether your child will take to gardening? Here are some reasons why it’s worth putting in the time and effort to share this hobby with your child:

  • Connecting with nature: Spending time outdoors is revitalizing. The fresh air and connection of hands to earth is a great way for children to experience nature, setting them up to enjoy nature and outdoor time later in life.
  • Bonding time: When screens are involved, getting your child’s attention is hard. Maybe you’re also guilty of checking your phone and responding to emails during quality time. With an outdoor activity like gardening, your child gets your complete attention and focus.
  • Rewarding: When your flowers bloom and your vegetables grow, your child will learn the meaning of hard work and that the fruits of their labors will literally and figuratively create a beautiful harvest.
  • De-stressing: This hobby will do just as much for you as it will do for your little one. Finding time to relax is difficult, and gardening is a great way to combine mindful, simple tasks with parenting.

Though it may be a simple hobby, gardening can bring so much to your life, de-stressing you while allowing you to have quality screen-free time with your child.

Gardening With Children: Dos

Child, woman and high five for plant gardening at park with trees in nature environment, agriculture or garden. Happy volunteer family celebrate planting for ecology and sustainability on Earth day

Here are some of the best ways to make gardening a fun hobby that your child actually enjoys!

Staying Hydrated

It’s easy to get lost in the task at hand and forget to stay hydrated. Since the sun will be beaming down on you and encouraging you to sweat while you work, you’ll need to stay hydrated. Incorporating healthy ‘treat’ drinks into your gardening practice will help the day to feel more like a treat to your child, and they will look forward to enjoying a cool lemonade or watermelon drink with you in the garden.

Restricting Adult Tools

Not all tools are safe for children to use, so be sure to establish which tools your child can touch, and which ones they can’t. For instance, ensuring they do not use power tools, strimmers, hedge cutters, or sharp tools should be the first part of the learning journey.

UV Protection

Since you’ll be out in the sun all day, it’s important to invest in some UV protection for your gardening hobby. Your child won’t be best pleased if they’re pink in the cheeks the day after!

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Protective Clothing

Gloves, sunglasses, and gardening overalls are essential investments before you begin. You don’t want to be scraping out dirt from your little one’s fingernails before school, and you don’t want their best clothes to be covered in muck – so prepare carefully and have protective clothing at the ready!

Staying Consistent

If you don’t keep up your gardening hobby consistently, your plants will die. And, your child won’t get to experience the joy of bringing plants to life – which is the core benefit of gardening. So, be sure to water and check the plants together regularly, teaching your child about plant nutrition and plant sickness every step of the way to problem-solve together.

Practicing Tidy-Up Time

You won’t enjoy your new hobby much if you clean up piles of leaves and mud every time you garden with your child. Involve your child in the clean-up process so they understand not to make as much mess when gardening next time.

Gardening With Children: Don’ts

Father And Children Looking At Tomatoes Growing

Here are some of the top mistakes you can make when gardening with your child that might put them off or in danger.

Don’t Scold Your Child

Mistakes are a learning opportunity. If your child destroys a plant, ask them what they’re going to do to fix it, and help them come up with a solution. Scolding your child for mistakes will only turn them off the hobby, which isn’t ideal for your future bonding activities.

Don’t Walk In Your Garden Beds

It’s crucial to establish a no-walking zone with your child and family when you start gardening. If dogs, children, and adults are stomping over your garden beds, this will ultimately inhibit plant growth and ruin the pay-off of your hours of hard work. If you need to, create a small fence or taped-off area around the beds to stop people from wandering onto the soil.

Annual and Perennial Flowers For Sale

Don’t Overcrowd Or Overwater

Your child may wish to plant as many seeds as possible and may get excited about the prospect of watering and nourishing the plants, doing it more than necessary. So, teach your child about the importance of spacing out the plants to reduce nutrient competitiveness, as well as the importance of moisture regulation. 

Don’t Use Cruel Pest Control Measures

Rat traps, poisons, and pesticides aren’t entirely necessary, and there are plenty of cruelty-free ways to control pests. Your child may become distressed if their hobby is causing the death of moles, mice, slugs, rats, and fluffy bunnies. Here are some alternative ideas:


Cute toddler boy and his young mother watering plants in the garden at summer sunny day

Starting a new hobby with your child will bring you closer together, and gardening allows you to see tangible results and reap the rewards of your hard work. You can harvest your tomatoes, potatoes, and strawberries when ripe to create healthy and delicious meals. So long as you pay heed to the best practices listed above, you’re bound to have a great (and safe) time!

Other Recommended Reading

open book with a branch of blooming lilacs
The Garden Doctor YouTube Video

At Jung Seed Co, we strive to be your go-to guide for all your gardening needs. Our YouTube channel The Garden Doctor by Dick Zondag is where he provides gardening tips for all levels of gardeners. When you need reliable gardening advice, turn to the trusted experts at Jung.

View our new catalog online or browse our website for your gardening favorites. To receive info on new products, exclusive deals, and specials, be sure to sign up for our weekly email. Join our Facebook page, to discuss all things gardening!

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