Gardening is a wonderful way to spend time with your kids! My son loves to work in our garden with me and I love using that time not only to bond, but to get a little bit of extra learning in! Even preschoolers or toddlers can have a lot of fun working alongside you in the garden!
This article is all about not only the gardening tools and supplies we recommend for actually working on the garden, but also contains a list of suggestions for accompanying learning materials that you can use to set up a gardening themed set of works and activities!
Even when choosing the proper gardening tools for my son (3 years, 8 months old), there are two main qualities, I I always search for:
- Real, quality tools
- Tools that are child sized
It is very important that your kids are able to use these tools to actually be able to garden. These tools should be durable, and functional. For instance, gardening gloves (if you choose to wear them!), should be child sized and fit your child’s hands properly so that they can work with tools, seeds, materials etc comfortably. Otherwise, it will be incredibly distracting for them.
Real gardening tools that allow your child to rake, dig, scoop, etc, are also so important when you are trying to accomplish gardening tasks. Plastic, ‘toy’ tools that will break are really just a waste of money as you will end up needing to repurchase them and your child will be disappointed.
Just make sure you watch your child carefully when using sharp or dangerous tools. My son does not use gardening shears for obvious reasons, but is perfectly fine using a rake.
Miniatures and pretend play
When it comes to extending gardening activities for pretend play or a gardening unit, we love using miniatures and small items. Safari ltd makes wonderful replicas that you can use to learn all about life cycles of plants, use for language building activities with younger children, or even enjoy for some imaginary play!
There are also so many wonderful resources that you can use to really learn about plants and flowers! Ranging from creating your own mini biome, to watching a seed grow into a plant, to a replica of a cell, there are so many educational tools out there! While my son wouldn’t quite be ready to learn about cells, the mini biome and root viewer style activities are ones that he absolutely adores (and has the patience for)!
Helpful gardening insects
Of course, every garden needs helpful insects and bugs in order to flourish! A gardening unit is the perfect time to learn all about bugs, their life cycles, and the purpose they serve in a garden! I recently started pointing bees out to Y outside. He is very intrigued by them and immediately started asking a lot of questions. We took this time to discuss how bees make honey, collect pollen, etc. Since then, he’s been asking me to tell him about bees everyday!
Interested in more? Check out these posts!
Garden themed shadow matching
Fruits and vegetables cutting strips
Fruits and vegetables unit for toddlers
Fruits and vegetables printables
Flowers 3 part cards
Spring prereading cards
March practical life and fine motor activities
Spring cutting strips
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Follow along for tons of spring themed inspiration on my Spring Activities pinterest board!
Today, I am linking up at: A little bird told me, Preschool and kindergarten community, Tot school Gathering Place, The Thoughtful Spot, Love to Learn Linky, The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions, Link and Learn, TGIF, Hip Homeschool Moms,