Gardening with Toddlers is as Messy as it Sounds! But FUN!


Sometimes you need to see something before you have the guts to try it yourself. I was recently inspired by some friends who did some gardening with their daughter, so I thought I would give it a try with the twins.

With my sense of humor, patience and tools ready we headed to my tiny garden. We were ready to get messy, and plant some flowers.

The mess was inevitable but being prepared made it fun.

1. I had a decoy – a distraction for when I needed to get something done without too many hands in the way. This came in the form of an automatic bubble machine. I turned on that baby and the joy was palpable!

2. Kid size tools: Make sure you have safe, kid size tools to let them explore the garden.

3. Patience: I wasn’t sure how chaotic it would be to garden with boys that are 2 1/4 years old, but I knew it had some serious “crazy” potential. So patience was my third and final tool in the bag.

The boys loved the digging. That I could have predicted :) I am a tiny bit worried they are going to find the spade and go and dig it all up again!!

Cameron was really patient with putting in the flowers, and he echoed every instruction I gave him in his little sweet voice. Once things started getting a little “crazy” I told them to go turn the bubble machine on for a little bit. I then filled up two watering cans and when they returned I let them water (almost drown) the new flowers!

All in all, I would do it again. It was fun explaining about the “dirt” and how plants need it to grow, how water is what the flowers drink, and to be “oh so gentle with the delicate flowers”.

You should try it, if you haven’t already :)

Happy Spring!

P.S. I just have to say “Oh my goodness, my boys look so grown up in these photos!!!” 😉


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About Twin Mom

34 year old, born in a small steel town in South Africa, now living in a large Steel City in the US. Mother of twins and loving every moment.
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16 Responses to Gardening with Toddlers is as Messy as it Sounds! But FUN!

  1. Oh I love to garden, and we get the kids into it too, I think it is so good for them to see how things grow and to know they played a part in that! Good on you Mom!!! We started seeds inside and my 2 year old in the beginning kept uprooting them I think he finally has gotten the idea that we want those in the dirt. I am so anxious to get planting outside. We still have snow :( it is melting now though and I think by next week it will all be gone!! Happy Spring to you!!

  2. OUPA says:

    They do look so grown up. Very shortly they will be off to SCHOOL. Enjoy the moment.

  3. Mary S. Morrow says:

    Someone was watching from the edge of the yard. The Secretly Wise Turtle was impressed with the way the Montgomery Brothers handled the delicate seedlings. When he took a few steps to get closer, Cameron looked at him. Turtle held very still. He pretended to be a statue of a turtle. People are usually fooled by this. Cameron was suspicious. Telling Mason that something was odd about the turtle statue, Cameron also stood still. Mason moved to the other side of the turtle and then held still also. Turtle was in trouble. These were no ordinary boys. They worked together and were hard to fool. Turtle could not watch them both at the same time without turning his head. Mason seemed to be moving closer so slowly that Turtle had trouble seeing it. Then it happened — the one thing that had not happened to Turtle in over a hundred years. One of the Montgomery Brothers ………

    • Twin Mom says:

      Can’t stop smiling!!!!! LOVE this story :)

      • Mary S. Morrow says:

        One of the Montgomery Brothers SPOKE to Turtle. Cameron looed right at Turtle and said, “You are NOT a statue! You are alive!” Mason was now right up beside the Secretly Wise Turtle. He crouched down and looked at Turtle closely. “Do not pretend any longer. We know about you, now.” Mason whispered into Turtle’s ear.

        What should Turtle do? These boys were probably too young to keep such an important secret. Should Turtle try to get away? He moved too slowly for that. If Turtle did not move, maybe the brothers would change their minds and think he was a statue. He had been pretending to be a statue for his whole life. It is how he stayed safe and how he watched the world change over the years.

        • Mary S. Morrow says:

          *looked* (oops)

          • Mary Sue says:

            The turtle chapter is finished and added to the rest. A camping chapter is taking form now. This story is a gift to your sons. If we decide to publish someday, they will have the original as just for them. I will try to get my old printer working and make the first hard copy to bring to them next week. There will not be pictures. If you want to add them, that would be great. But the story is spinning and growing and forming in my head and has to be let out.

  4. This is such a great activity, and they really learn so much! Plus it’s fun for the grown ups too;) I love gardening.

  5. Pamela R says:

    NOTHING is more fun then a boy in DIRT!!! They really did a good job!!! The bubble shots are super! Going to vote for you too =)

  6. Cody says:

    Looks like they did a great job! It will be so fun for them to watch their plants grow. I love this activity for little ones!

  7. Clare says:

    What fun they are having! I am very impressed with how gentle they are with the plants. Best of all they really seem to be loving the experience. X

  8. Christy says:

    I think it is a great idea to always include your kids in any activity as long as it is safe for them to do. It teaches them skills and helps them improve their motor skills. After all, what little boy wouldn’t love to play in the dirt.

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