Encouraging children to get involved in garden can sow the seeds for a lifetime’s interest. It is important however that children are provided with equipment and tools that are appropriate for them.
Children love playing with water so often the first gardening activity that will interest them is helping to water the plants.
For a young child an adult sized watering can is too heavy and toy can just don’t do the job. A child sized watering can that is fit for purpose with a real watering rose is the best option.
There are metal watering cans available in a range of colours and also scaled down 5 litre plastic cans designed specially for children to use.
Children like to be given their own special piece of garden which could be a raised bed of a size appropriate for the child. A raised bed is ideal for this purpose as the child can garden without standing on the soil and maybe also the plants that they are trying to grow Check this page for options Once the child has his/her own ‘garden’ they should be guided towards growing plants and seeds that grow easily. Failure at an early stage can kill any initial enthusiasm. The School vegetable Patch website has guidance on this.
The uses of hand tools are a good starting point for young gardeners. Using these tools closer to ground level they will have more control over what they are trying to do. Cheap plastic versions of adult tools will lead to disappointment although these do have a role to play if your child is very youngso choose something of good quality. You can always borrow them when your children isn’t looking. Children’s trowels and hand forks can be bought as a set or separately.
Try to get the children into the habit of using gardening gloves when handling the soil. Dog faeces can infect humans with Toxocariasis with and cat faeces can infect with Toxoplasmosis.
Young children love to push and wheel things about and will enjoy being like mum and dad pushing a wheelbarrow around the garden or plot.
As the child’s interest grows in gardening you may feel that it is worth investing in a set of long handled garden tools. These can be bought individually but are often more cost effective if you buy a set.