A garden is a wondrous place for the entire family to enjoy. This includes young preschool-aged children as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of gardening activities for preschoolers to enjoy. Allowing your child to get out in the garden with you is a bonding experience and helps them develop important motor skills. Teach your child about the care and growth of plants and instill a love for gardening in them from the ground up.
1. Grow Plants from Scraps
This is the perfect way to reduce food waste while also teaching young children how edible plants form. Use discarded onions, potatoes, pineapple, and avocado parts to regrow the plant and create a kids’ garden. Start with an empty jar filled with water, and place the onion root, potato chunk, pineapple tops, or avocado seeds in the water while suspended with toothpicks.
Over time, the onion will grow further up, the pineapple will sprout new roots and shoots, and the avocado will germinate. Then, show your preschooler how to plant them all in the garden and watch them continue to grow!
2. Make Garden Decor with Painted Rocks
Use this gardening activity for preschoolers to teach your little one about the wildlife that is in their garden. Find and catalog the wildlife in the garden together, like ladybugs, bees, and caterpillars.
Then recreate your favorite finds on rocks with sharpies or paint pens. Place the rocks out in the garden for some pretty homemade decor.
3. Re-use a Carton for a Bird Feeder
In this garden activity for preschoolers, make a bird feeder by upcycling an old orange juice or milk carton. Clean out the carton well, then let your child paint on his or her masterpiece with waterproof paint.
This will allow your child to practice arts and crafts while learning how to reuse items in an Eco-friendly way. In addition, you can teach your child to identify some common birds as you watch and journal about the kind of birds that visit your garden to feed.
4. Grow Edible Flowers with Vegetables
What fun it would be to let your child pick and eat the flowers! Imagine their delight when you tell them they can taste and smell the pretty purple blooms of lavender or freshen their breath with the petite blooms on your mint plant!
Plant edible blooms around your vegetable garden and ask them to describe each flavor.
5. Teach your Preschooler Seed Germination
If you are eager to get your garden started, let your preschooler in on the fun with this fun seed-starting experiment in a jar. Place paper towels in a glass jar, add some seeds, then dampen the paper towels.
As the seeds germinate and grow, you can give your child a visual of what other plants are doing in your garden, minus all the dirt. This is a great experiment to try in the winter a few weeks before the last frost when spring is on its way.
6. Make a Mud Pie
If you have a preschooler that is eager to play in the dirt, let them! Playing in dirt (the organic kind) is shown to have numerous benefits for your child’s immune system. Plus, it’s just plain fun.
An ideal way to expose your child to different textures in the garden, as well as those helpful microorganisms, is by making a mud pie. Let them use thrift ed pie tins, rocks, flowers, and soft dirt to make pretty designs…you can even add cupcake liners for a cute look.
7. Teach your Preschooler How to Plant Seeds
Whether they’re for food or decoration, learning how to plant seeds is a staple in teaching your little one about gardening. Point out the patience it takes, and the environment required for different types of seeds to flourish. This is a good lesson in showing that good things can take a long time to happen, as well as teaching about the daily care of items.
8. Build a Fairy Garden
A fairy garden nestled within your garden can be one of the best ways to get a child excited about garden care. Using old or new pots and items from your garden, creating a fairy garden can lure your little one to the yard to experience nature in its beauty.
This is a highly customization activity that can span a long time. Help your child draw up a rough plan for what they want it to look like then shop together and watch them bring the vision to life.
Outside of all the preschool garden activities above, there are several other tasks children can help with. What may seem run of the mill to us is a world of imagination and delight for our little ones!