These simple garden projects are a great way to get the kids outside, entertained and away from the TV or computer screen. All of the activities are suitable for children of primary school age, but it’s easy to tailor them to suit older or younger kids. Little ones will need a bit of extra help and guidance, while the more grown up can be given planning and decision-making responsibilities, and the use of tools such as hand drills and shears.


Browse our suggestions for garden projects for children, below.

For those with younger kids, our friends at Made for Mums have compiled a creative list of outdoor activities for toddlers.

Pot up colourful containers

Children planting summer containers
Children planting summer containers

These instant container displays are easy to plant and will quickly fill the space allocated to them. Let your kids choose plants from the seasonal displays at the garden centre, then use a cheerful pot to match. Choose either a coloured plastic pot or paint a terracotta pot with a brightly coloured paint – if your kids are old enough they could help with this. Ensure there are drainage holes in the base, then add peat-free multi-purpose compost until it’s two-thirds full. Remove the plants from their pots and place them on the compost – arrange into an attractive display. Fill in around the roots with more compost and firm in well. Water the plants in and place the pot in a sheltered, sunny spot. Continue to water regularly over summer and pinch off faded flowers to encourage more to grow.

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Make a fairy garden

Child playing with fairy garden
Child playing with fairy garden (photo credit: Getty Images)

Help children create an enchanted garden at the base of a tree or in a hollow in the ground. Kids will love collecting stones for paths and twigs for fences, and you could add ferns and other small plants around the trunk. Help little ones to tie ribbons to branches and make a fairy door for a tree or wall by decorating a piece of cardboard or the lid of an ice-cream tub.

Create a dinosaur herb garden

Gardening projects for kids - dinosaur herb planter
Herb planter with child adding plastic dinosaurs to the display

This project has lots of elements to capture kids’ attention. Stencil the name of your child onto the crate to make the garden extra-special for them, and use colourful dinosaurs as plant labels. Grow scented herbs such as thyme to add an extra sensory element, as well as things they’ll love to eat, like strawberries. You’ll need one dinosaur figure for each plant in your container – simply use a marker pen to write down the name of each plant in the display. Position the display in a sunny spot and water regularly. Pick the herbs and fruit with your children.

Build a twig teepee

Twig den, Getty
Teepee made of branches (photo credit: Getty Images)

Encourage your kids to build an adult-free space, using branches stacked against a wall, fence or tree. Help them arrange the branches to make walls that are dense so they provide privacy and with an opening that’s just wide enough for them to crawl through. Older children will enjoy designing the den and could try building a freestanding one too.

Create a terrarium mini-world

Terrarium with Lego figures
Add small toys, such as Lego people, to your terrarium to create a miniature world

Glass jar gardens or terrariums are the perfect size for little hands. Let your children select an array of succulents from the garden centre. Place gravel in the base of a large jar, top with a layer of compost, and then add in the plants and arrange into a display. Firm in with fingers or a pencil. Add a little water, plus a layer of gravel to hold in the moisture. Stand the jar on a bright indoor windowsill, out of direct sunlight.

Make a bug box

Children making a bug box
Children making a bug box

This simple bug box project just requires an open-fronted box – the kids can run around the garden for the materials to fill it with. A drilled log may provide a home for solitary bees, while stacks of pine cones, stones, broken pots, twigs and dried grass can be added to attract ladybirds, woodlice and, if you’re lucky, the odd mouse or toad.

Collect seeds

Collecting seeds by hand
Collecting seeds by hand

Plants and crops are bursting into flower everywhere at this time of year. If you allow a few to go to seed, children can have fun spotting them in the garden and collecting them for sowing next year. Show them how to burst seedpods and shake seeds from ripe seedheads. They can then have fun designing and making paper seed packets to store them in.

Make a pond in a pot

Frog in a pond
Frog in a pond

Container ponds are easy to make and kids will love getting wet and muddy, especially on a hot summer's day. They’ll also attract birds and insects, so should provide some quiet wildlife-watching time too. Use a large, shallow container with no drainage holes, and add a selection of pond and marginal plants, plus an oxygenator to help keep the water clear. Site it in a little shade, rather than in full sun, and keep the water topped up.

Grow micro-greens

Sowing seeds in pots of compost
Sowing seeds in pots of compost

Micro-leaves are all the rage and kids will love growing, and hopefully eating, them too. You don’t need special micro-leaf seeds – just use seeds of any veg with edible leaves, such as basil, broccoli or spinach. Choose any container, from plastic cups, yoghurt pots or biodegradable pots - all the better if you can draw a smiley face on them. Fill your pots almost to the top with compost – just leave a little gap to make watering easier. Scatter the veg or herb seeds thinly across the surface, then cover with a little compost. Water to dampen the compost, then check them regularly to make sure it doesn't dry out. Then simply place the pots on an indoor windowsill to grow. To harvest the microgreens, simply snip them off at the base. Alternatively, wait until they have a pair of true leaves then cut off just these, and you may get a couple of harvests.

Create a succulent plant display

Kids planting up succulent displays
Kids planting up succulent displays

Succulents planted in a pot look good for months on end and require very little maintenance. Let them choose the plants they want to grow from the garden centre. Arrange the plants so they're evenly distributed around the pot and fill around them with cactus compost. Top-dress with horticultural gravel to complete the look. The kids can add their own accessories - in this case toy dinosaurs - to make the display more individual to them. This display can stay outside over summer and then can be transferred to a bedroom windowsill in autumn, providing interest for many more months.

Make a grass bucket seat

Dense mat of grass gowing in a tin bucket
Dense mat of grass growing in a tin bucket

This grass seat will last all summer and beyond, and older children will enjoy keeping it in trim with shears or scissors. Choose an old metal bucket or bin and add drainage holes in the bottom. Fill it to the brim with compost, firm down and then sprinkle lawn seed over the top. Water it well and leave to germinate, which in summer should only take about a week. Don’t let it dry out and, when it’s nice and thick, encourage one of your older children to cut it, using shears.

Make hanging tin-can planters

Gardening projects for kids - fence planters
Colourful fence planters

Children will love this vertical planting project using recycled tin cans. Simply punch holes in the base of each can with a hammer and nail, then one near the top for hanging. Paint them different colours and leave to dry. Let the children decide where to place the pots, then hammer the nails ready to hang your cans and let your kids hang the cans on the nails. Let your kids choose what to grow in them, part-fill with compost and plant the plants. Water the pots daily and encourage your children to help remove dead flowers to keep the plants blooming.

Plant up a funny face

Gardening projects for kids - funny face planter
Funny face planter

This project is a fun activity for kids on a rainy day. Combining gardening with a bit of craft will get children excited about growing their own plants. Cat grass not only looks fantastic but it is also tactile – children will enjoy the feel of the grass and have fun transforming it into a funny face. Use a pot of cat grass bought from the garden centre and cut a 2l soft drinks bottle to size. Lift the cat grass from its pot and place the plant in your new plant pot. It should fit snugly, with the top of the roots level with the top of the container. Then get your kids to decorate the pot how they would like, using PVA glue , goggly eyes and fabric scraps to make a funny face. Place on a sunny windowsill and water regularly.

Grow radishes

Gardening projects for kids - edible marbles
Children sowing radish seed

The magic of seeing a seed transform into a plant is sure to get kids excited about gardening. Radish seeds are quick to grow but quite fine, so also try larger seeds like courgettes or runner beans (which will need to be planted into the ground after a few weeks). Children will love getting their hands dirty and there’s a good chance they’ll eat more fresh produce if they’ve grown it themselves. Simply fill a container with peat-free, multi-purpose compost and firm down with your hand so the surface is level. Encourage kids to make holes in the compost with their fingers – about 1cm deep, spaced about 2.5cm apart. Drop a seed into each hole and cover with more compost. Water the container well after sowing. Containers dry out quickly, especially in summer, so you will need to water your plants frequently. It will take about four to six weeks until the radishes are ready to harvest.