For A Great Garden Make Sure You Have Great Tools!

I have enjoyed gardening with my kids at home, and for the past few years I have also enjoyed heading up a gardening project at their school. As a pediatrician it’s been awesome to see these kids eating the great food they grow and knowing that they are building healthy habits.

What I have learned from gardening with kids is that it’s so important to have the right tools in order to maximize the fun and success they have.

Here are five items that are helpful to have when you are planting a garden with kids:

1) Great shoes. As we learned from my post Get Messy and Plant a Garden! kids love to get messy in the dirt and mud. This is good for their health, well being and even their learning. But for parents, messy hands and feet can be tough to manage as the kids come back inside. Have a great pair of rubber boots, rubber clogs, or sport sandals that can be hosed off can make the job of cleaning up easy.

2) Gardening Gloves. Colorful garden gloves can be fun to wear and also protect little hands from sharp objects like thorns and sticks as kids explore in the garden. They are also great for keeping dirt from getting under tiny fingernails!

3) Shovel and rake. There are so many of colorful shovels and rakes that are also kid-sized and safe for young gardeners. Kids will enjoy using these to help plant and maintain their new garden (digging up every worm they can find along the way). Find a shovel and rake with short handles for small jobs like potted plants and longer handles for bigger jobs that need more muscle!

4) A Gardening Tote. Keep all your tools safe and easy to carry with a tote. Some gardening kits for kids come with their own colorful tote. A dollar store plastic caddy also works great!

5) A watering can or sturdy hose. A small watering can will make it easy for little ones to share in the job of watering their plants. If you are using a hose, find a sprayer with many settings. A fine mist or spray is best for smaller seedlings, while a wider more forceful setting may work better for more mature plants. Stand back, the kids WILL get wet!

Published on: February 26, 2014
About the Author
Photo of Dr. Nimali Fernando

Dr. Nimali Fernando is a board-certified pediatrician practicing in Fredericksburg, VA. She is the founder of, a recipe and parenting resource, and The Doctor Yum Project, a nonprofit organization that empowers families with information on illness prevention through a healthy diet.

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