According to the Montessori principles for natural learning, children feel competent and confident with their tasks when provided with real but child-size tools.
It’s never too early to teach kids how to garden. It paves the way for kids to appreciate nature and hopefully make them better custodians of the planet. So to help them get into the act of gardening, give them the right tools. According to the Montessori principles for natural learning, children feel competent and confident with their tasks when provided with real but child-size tools.
Scouting for these kiddie-sized tools may not come easy, though. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of gardening tools for your little ones which you might have never thought were available.
Table of Contents
The right trowel makes it really easy for little kids to help out by digging holes for seeds or seedlings in the garden. While most trowels may be small enough for a toddler to handle, buying a trowel that is specifically made for them is a good idea as it will be a lot lighter than one that is made for an adult. This means that not only will toddlers be able to help for longer periods of time before becoming frustrated but there is very little chance that they will injure themselves.
Source: Home Depot
All kids love to help rake the yard in the fall as it allows them the chance to jump in the leaves. Rakes made for toddlers are going to be significantly shorter and lighter than ones that adults will use, which allows your child to help out without concern of injury or tripping over the rake. Look for one that has soft, flexible tines when buying a leaf rake as it will allow your toddler to easily rake piles without worrying about the ties becoming stuck in the ground.
These rakes are different than leaf rakes because the tines are not long and flexible. This is because bow rakes are generally used to move objects or more solid material than leaves. You’ll want to invest in a bow rake for your toddlers if you are going to be spreading a lot of mulch or gravel on your property and they want to help out. While it may be tempting to allow them to use a leaf rake if you already have one that is their size, these rakes are not nearly strong enough to move heavier objects and your toddlers will only become frustrated. Also, the tines on leaf rakes are much more flexible and your children could become injured by bits of gravel becoming stuck on the tines and then flinging off when they are raking. It’s best to have the right tool for the job and your toddlers will love having the exact tool that you do.
Source: Home Depot
Your toddlers are going to get messy and dirty in the garden but it’s even more important that they have gloves that fit well so that they can pick up sharp items without being injured. Whether they have the job of picking up briars that you have clipped or helping move sharp rocks, you want to make sure that you keep their hands protected from being damaged and the best way to do that is with a good pair of gloves. Ones that are too big will slip and slide and ones that are too small will cause blisters so make sure that you find ones that are just the right size.
If you are going to be working in the garden at all and want to be able to tackle the weeds or dig a small trough for seeds, then you’re going to need a hoe. These garden tools tend to be a little tricky to use if they aren’t the perfect size, which is why you need one that is smaller for your toddlers. Not only will the handle be much smaller but the head of the hoe will be smaller too. This will allow your children to have a lot more control over how and where they use the tool and will keep them from becoming frustrated. Look for one that has a head that is solidly attached to the handle so that there isn’t any concern over it rocking or accidentally coming loose while your children are using it.
It’s a known fact that kids love to dig holes and you can let your little helpers dig to their hearts’ content when you give them the perfect-sized shovel. A shovel is a great garden tool for toddlers as it can be used in so many different ways. They can use their new tool to dig holes for plants, try to remove roots from the garden, or even pry up large rocks that need to be moved. When looking for a shovel for your toddlers, you will want to make sure that it is sharp enough to easily go into the ground so that your children aren’t frustrated. While it may be tempting to find a shovel that doesn’t have as sharp an edge so you don’t have to worry about the safety of your toddlers, these are actually more dangerous. A sharp edge means that your toddlers will be able to push the blade of the shovel into the ground easily, which will prevent them from becoming frustrated or striking the ground with the shovel to try to break though.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, then you already know that each time you go out to shovel the driveway, your children want to come too. This is a great way to get them involved with the chore of cleaning off the driveway and the sidewalks but without the right tool your children are sure to become injured when trying to do this work. Snow is very heavy and an adult shovel will become way too difficult for your children to fill and then move without being injured. The best way to get your toddlers out shoveling snow without worrying about their safety is to invest in a snow shovel that is their size. This allows them to help you but since the shovel won’t be able to hold nearly as much snow, it keeps them from injury.
Every toddler loves to haul things and is likely to try to use the full-size wheelbarrow when you’re not looking. This is very dangerous and can result in your children tipping over the load or even dropping it on their feet. Because wheelbarrows can be so difficult to control when they are full, you have to make sure that you make the situation as safe as possible for your toddlers when they are going to be helping you in the garden. Even light loads such as leaves are almost impossible for children to move in a regular wheelbarrow. A child’s wheelbarrow, on the other hand, is built with kids in mind. While these are not going to hold nearly as much yard trash or mulch in them, they are the best way for your toddlers to help out when moving items from one location to another. Look for a wheelbarrow that allows your toddlers to use it without having to stoop so much that they accidentally injure their backs. On the other hand, the wheelbarrow shouldn’t be so high that they have trouble lifting up the handles.
Keeping plants watered during the summer is an important job and your toddlers will want to help out with this chore. Instead of dragging the hose all of the way across the yard and dealing with rolling it back up each time, when you buy your toddlers a watering can, they can tote their own water to the plants. Unfortunately, larger watering cans are going to be much too heavy for children to carry when full and this will have two results: a lot of lost water and a very frustrated child. Instead of trying to let them use the adult watering can, simply buying a smaller one that they can carry when it is filled all of the way up will reduce the frustration for them and you. Look for a watering can that’s a bright color so when it gets left in the garden, you can easily spot it.
Source: Home Depot
Your toddlers are going to get dirty in the garden and will likely wear holes in the knees of their pants but this shouldn’t mean that they shouldn’t get used to having a kneeler. Not only will using a kneeler that is their size allow them to be just the same as you when out gardening but it will allow them to work in areas that otherwise might be too painful for them to kneel on. If you have jagged rocks in your garden or know that you’ll be working around holly leaves, then investing in a kneeler for your toddlers will protect them from getting hurt while helping you.
Source: Home Depot
An apron does much more than keep you clean in the garden; it also has pockets for your toddlers to store their tools and any treasure that they find. You won’t have to worry about them losing their trowel or gloves as long as they have a place where they can stash them when not in use. Make sure that you clean out the pockets regularly as you are sure to find some treasures that they put in there during their time outside.
Probably the easiest way to get all of the garden tools that your toddlers need all at once is to buy a kit that has everything included. You won’t have to worry about finding individual pieces and your children will likely love that everything matches. When tools from the kit get damaged or misplaced, you can easily buy replacements but starting with a kit is a great idea and is sure to get your toddlers very interested in helping out in the garden right away.
Source: Home Depot
There are few things more frustrating than losing garden tools and not having any idea where they are but you can combat this happening when you buy brightly-colored tools for your toddlers. Chances are very good that they will set their tools down somewhere and you will be forced to go and look for them later. You can increases your chances of actually being able to find them when you opt for tools that are bright and will stand out from the darker colors of your garden and the woods. Additionally, your toddlers will likely be attracted to brighter-colored garden tools and more likely to use them happily.
Source: Home Depot
Just as you don’t want to get blisters or a sore back when working in the garden, you don’t want your toddlers to suffer either. There are few things that will turn your children off of working in the garden faster than being uncomfortable. Look for tools that have rubber grips so that you don’t have to worry about them getting hurt while helping you out.
Mommy and Me Kit
All kids love to match their parents and when they have the same garden tools as their moms, they are much more likely to want to head outside and help out in the garden. The tools will all be sized differently, of course, so that they fit the child and the adult but there are few things more fun than having the exact same tools as the person that you love. Your toddlers are sure to get a kick out of matching tools and will love helping with their matching set.
While it will be a long time before your children are old enough to mow the lawn, they can still walk behind you and pretend. There are a few types of toy lawn mowers that you can choose from. Bubblers are very popular and release a steady stream of bubbles into the air when your children “mow” while others have balls or blocks inside that hit against each other to make a noise.
Home Stratosphere is an award-winning home and garden online publication that’s a result of our talented researchers and writers who work directly with hundreds of professional interior designers, furniture designers, landscape designers and architects from around the world to create helpful, informative, entertaining and inspiring articles and design galleries.