Kids' Garden Gear
Nothing makes little kids feel more like big kids than their own pint-size gear. Here are some gardening basics that will serve children (and their grown-ups) well in the garden
Nothing makes little kids feel more like big kids than their own pint-size gear. Here are some gardening basics that will serve children (and their grown-ups) well in the garden.
Invest in some flexible child-sized gardening gloves. Even if your kids love to get dirty (believe me, they'll manage to do that anyway), they'll be thrilled with this bit of gear. Waterproof Mudd Gloves are cotton dipped in green rubber for a comfortable, no-slip grip.
About $8; gardeningwithkids.org
Once kids can read and write, making their own plant markers can be a favorite activity. One way to do it: Use large flat stones and write or stamp plant names on them with permanent ink; embellish with paint or markers. Another way is to use these easy-to-write-on copper plant markers; just press the letters in with a ballpoint pen.
About $15 for a set of 10; gardeningwithkids.org
Little kids can have fun for hours with a simple dime-store plant mister; likewise, they love nothing more than showering plants with love using a pint-sized watering can. A classic Haws watering can has traditional styling in lightweight plastic.
About $40; Smith and Hawken
Whenever I pull out the pruners my boys swarm me like bees on honey. The possibility of wielding a sharp object is irresistible. Instead, I let them use Total Control Scissors to deadhead flowers or cut me a few stems. It seems to satisfy the urge.
About $4; fiskars.com
There are some kid-size wheelbarrows around, but their three-legged nature makes them tippy and, frankly, tempts some of the less-well-behaved little boys out there (are you listening, kids?) to use it as a battering ram. For my money, the red Radio Flyer Pathfinder is a kid-friendly way to load up tools, soil, or mulch and roll it where you need it. Wood-sided wagons are handsome, metal is sturdy, but plastic is hose-down friendly. Besides, this one has two flip-up seats to take the kiddies for a ride when the work's done.
About $80; target.com
Here's a great invention for kids who aren't yet squeamish about insects—or even for those that are. The Backyard Safari Bug Vacuum sucks the specimens up and holds them in a little chamber that comes complete with a magnifying lens for close-up inspection. The thrill of the hunt can keep them happily playing in the garden for hours—a catch and release activity, of course.
About $15; amazon.com
For dozens of gardening projects to do with kids, check out these charming books by Sharon Lovejoy: Sunflower Houses: A Book for Children and Their Grown-Ups and Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Activities To Do in the Garden. Her fanciful ideas will keep you busy season after season.
About $13.95; Amazon