Gardening projects for kids

Five summer garden projects for kids

Stuck for ideas on how to entertain the kids this summer? Browse our list of garden projects for inspiration.

Keep children occupied during the holidays with our easy gardening projects. Not only will these fun activities encourage them to spend more time outdoors and less time on screens, but it’s also a fun way to learn about plants and growing food. Our five projects are perfect for kids of primary school age – or even a little younger, with a bit more help. You don’t need any specialist kit and all the items are easy to find.

Advertisement

More advice on gardening with children:

Browse our list of summer gardening projects for kids, below.


Create a dinosaur herb garden

Gardening projects for kids - dinosaur herb planter
Gardening projects for kids – dinosaur herb planter

This project has lots of elements to capture kids’ attention. Using colourful dinosaurs as plant labels in a mini herb patch is sure to appeal to children – plus they can discover the benefits of  growing their own crops. Use 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.

You will need

  • Dinosaur figures
  • Wine crate
  • Children’s non-toxic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Permanent black marker
  • Compost
  • Parsley plant
  • Sage plant
  • Thyme plant
  • Strawberry plant
  • Watering can

How to do it: Stencil the name of your child onto the crate to make the garden extra-special for them. Place a layer of compost in the bottom of the crate, then plant the herbs and strawberry plant. Add more compost around them, then firm down lightly and water well. Paint the dinosaurs different colours and leave them to dry on a sheet of newspaper. Once they are completely dry, write down the name of each plant on each dinosaur, in marker pen. Position each dinosaur next to its plant. Then place the container in a bright spot and water it daily. Pick the herbs with your children.


Make hanging tin-can planters

Gardening projects for kids - fence planters
Gardening projects for kids – fence planters

Children will love this vertical planting project using recycled tin cans – especially painting them in bright colours. The planting is easy to do and the results will transform a dull fence. The flowers are also great for encouraging bees and butterflies.

You will need:

  • 10 clean 400g ring-pull tin cans
  • Hammer
  • 10 masonry nails
  • Tester pots of ‘toysafe’ metal paint, such as Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch
  • Compost
  • Pansies
  • Snapdragons
  • Watering can

How to do it: Punch holes in the base of a ringpull can with a hammer and nail, then one near the top for hanging. Paint each can a different colour and leave to dry. Let the children decide where to place the pots on the fence. Hammer in nails ready to hang your cans. Let your kids hang the cans on the nails. Water the pots daily and encourage your children to help remove dead flowers to keep the plants blooming. Fill the can halfway with compost. Place one plant in each can and fill around it with compost. Firm down well and water all the cans well.


Plant up a funny face

Gardening projects for kids - funny face planter
Gardening projects for kids – 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.

You will need:

  • Cat grass (Dactylis glomerata) in a pot
  • 2l soft drink bottle
  • Masking or white tape
  • Craft knife (use under adult supervision)
  • Scissors
  • PVA glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Pompom nose
  • Paint brush

How to do it: Measure the plant pot against the plastic bottle to see where you’ll need to cut. Stick masking tape around the bottle to use as a cutting guide (adult supervision needed here). Use a craft knife (an  adult must do this step) to pierce the bottle, then cut with scissors along the top of the tape to make a new pot. Remove the tape. 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. Paint glue onto the backs of the eyes and the pompom nose using a paint brush, and stick them onto the bottle. Place on a sunny windowsill and water often.


Create a colourful container

Gardening projects for kids - colourful container project
Gardening projects for kids – colourful container project

Planting up a pot is an easy way to introduce kids to gardening. Take them to the garden centre so they can choose their own flowers – bedding plants are ideal as they’re inexpensive and give instant impact. This one, packed with petunias and violas, will look bright and cheery for months.

You will need:

  • 30-35cm pot
  • Compost scoop or trowel
  • Peat-free, multi-purpose compost
  • Lantana plant
  • Petunia plants
  • Viola plants
  • Watering can

How to do it: Make sure the pot has drainage holes. Scoop multi-purpose compost into the pot until it is three-quarters full. Position the tallest plant first – probably the lantana. Carefully remove it from its pot and position it in the centre of the container, followed by the petunias. Add more compost to 5cm from the top, then place the violas around the edge. Fill in any gaps with more compost and firm it down. Water the pot thoroughly and place in a sunny spot. Keep on watering it daily throughout the summer.


Grow radishes

Gardening projects for kids - edible marbles
Gardening projects for kids – edible marbles

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.
Sow outdoors until mid-August in a cool spot.

You will need:

  • Wooden trough (or use a window box or 30cm pot)
  • Peat-free, multi-purpose compost
  • Radish seeds
  • Watering can
Advertisement

How to do it: Fill your container with 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 compost. Water the container well after sowing. Containers dry out quickly, especially during 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.