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41 fun garden activities and ideas for kids

Children doing gardening activities

Providing your children with activities to do in the garden is about more than spending time outdoors, it’s about providing them with a life skill that they can treasure for the rest of their lives. There are huge benefits to taking your pupils outdoors and teaching them how to care for plants and nature, not least of which is working towards positive wellbeing.

Spring, summer, autumn or winter, our list of garden activities for kids provides ideas for gardening the year through. You can show children all the phases a garden goes through as well as providing them with the skills to go home and care for their own patch of green.


Spring garden activities for kids


  1. The ultimate garden activity for kids; teach children about growing their own food. There are a few vegetables that benefit from being planted in the slightly warmer months of spring, including spinach, kale, carrots and beetroot. (BBC Good Food)


  1. Go old school and show your pupils how to make petal perfume. Roses, peonies, lavender and violets all have gorgeous smells that can be captured in a perfume. (Living Montessori Now)


  1. Collect eggshells and use them throughout your school garden as fertiliser, pest deterrents or even as seed-starter pots. (Natural Living Ideas)


  1. Create grass heads using a pair of tights! This is such a fun gardening activity to spark imagination in your children. (Red Ted Art)


  1. Collect up rocks from around your school property and use them to create your class’s own rock garden. (


  1. Is there anything more exciting than growing your own butterflies? Give your children the chance to be a part of one of the most impressive displays of nature. (Hope Education)


7. One of the loveliest garden activities for kids is growing sunflowers. Add a little competition to your sunflower fun by awarding a garden-themed prize to the child who grows the tallest sunflower! (KidsDo: Gardening)


8. Encourage your class of twitchers by going bird watching on your school grounds. Spring is the perfect chance to watch a huge array of birds building nests and feeding their young. If the weather isn’t up to scratch, you can also utilise Wildlife Kate‘s live bird box cameras. (RSPB)

9. Spring is when flowers begin to bloom. Take your children out and learn about different flowers and plants. It might also be a good opportunity to teach children when it is appropriate to pick flowers – and when it isn’t. (The School Run)


10. Mark out anything growing in your school garden, using the activity to develop children’s ability to identify plants, flowers and vegetables. (Active Kids)



Summer garden activities for kids


11. Host a Teddy Bear’s Picnic at the school and invite parents to come and join the fun. Picnics are the perfect chance to show children how they can enjoy nature, but also respect it by clearing up after themselves. (My Bear Shop)


12. The summer usually means better weather, meaning it’s a great time to set up an obstacle course and enjoy fun in your school’s outdoor space. (The Inspired Treehouse)


13. Create a space dedicated to attracting beautiful butterflies. (Royal Horticulture Society)


14. Go on a tree hunt with your pupils around your school grounds or beyond. You could even label the trees on your school property to begin your pupil’s tree knowledge. (Woodland Trust)


15. Weeding isn’t the most glamourous garden activity, but it’s integral to the healthy growing of plants and flowers. Teach your children what might be classed as a weed and get to it! (Royal Horticulture Society)


16. Take your children to a local community garden space to expand their flower, plant and tree knowledge. It’s also a great opportunity to get a local gardening expert to come and speak with your children about getting involved in community green spaces. (myCommunity)


17. Go on a bug hunt. The summer brings a wealth of life to green spaces and your pupils will love discovering all the different insects they can spot. (Kids Gardening)

18. Towards the end of summer, you can pick lavender and dry it out to make lavender bags. (Royal Horticulture Society)


19. Create a nature-themed treasure hunt by using natural materials to guide participants. You could get the class to create the trail and invite parents to come and complete it with them. (Royal Horticulture Society)


20. Create clay pressings using natural resources from your school grounds; a fun way to incorporate art in your gardening activities. (Growing Family)


Autumn garden activities for kids 


21. A most enchanting garden activity for children is to create a fairy garden. Try to pick out smaller sized plants and flowers to attract those elusive sprites! (Attachment Mummy)


22. Compost can be made all year round, but old plant waste can really rear its ugly head in autumn. Teach children about the natural cycle of growth and decay by making your own school compost. (BBC)


23. Collect the seeds from those beautiful sunflowers you have enjoyed throughout the spring and summer, ready to plant for next year. (Play of the Wild)

24. Rock painting is a great way to bring STEAM fun into the garden. (Pinterest)


25. Tidy the school garden and playground with the help of your pupils by collecting autumn leaves, acorns and sticks. (Play of the Wild)


26. Use the leaves you have collected from around the school grounds to do some nature sketching. Utilise the gorgeous autumn colours to create artwork. (The Imagination Tree)


27. A great gardening activity for older children is to show them how to propagate. Begin propagating to plant for the following year. (Gardening Know How)


28. Clear away all the old plants and flowers ready for new ones. This is a great activity to demonstrate garden maintenance with your pupils. (Talk Business)


29. Insects need a home too. How about putting up bug hotels with your pupils during the autumn months, ready to protect hibernating insects. (RSPB)


30. Plant hardy bulbs that will withstand potential winter frosts. Daffodils are a great flower to plant in winter and the reward in early spring will excite and delight your pupils. (Royal Horticulture Society)


Winter garden activities for kids 


31. Mud, mud, glorious mud! There’s never a better time to play with mud than in winter when the British weather inevitably declines. (Hope Education)


32. They were all the rage circa 1999, but time capsules are still exciting for pupils to get involved in. Send memories of your class deep into the ground to be uncovered by future classes. (Rockin Resources)


33. Get garden crafty with your children by creating seed (One Little Project)


34. Despite the threat of frost, there are still some vegetables that can be planted and grown in the winter, including lettuce, beetroot, onions and garlic. (A Fresh Legacy)

35. Paint plant pots for a fun and creative STEAM project. (Projects with Kids)


36. The winter can be a tough time for our feathered friends. Create and hang bird feeders for the birds who live on and nearby your school grounds. (The Spruce Crafts)


37. The RSPB Big Garden Watch takes place in January of each year and it’s a great activity to instil a lifetime love of birds in your pupils. (RSPB)


38. Continuing with the care of birds, enlist your class to build a birdbath using a shallow, watertight bowl, gravel and some tap water. Teach the children about the importance of clearing the bird bath of ice so the birds have winter-long access to fresh water. (RSPB)


39. Create beautiful ice mobiles using shaped cutters and leaves from your school grounds. Hang them outside the classroom so the class can watch them slowly melt away. (Royal Horticulture Society)


40. If you’re lucky enough to have water nearby to your school, you can encourage toads and frogs to hibernate safely on your school grounds by making a frog friendly home. (Growing Family)


41. Get festive and make a Christmas wreath using school garden plants. (Growing Healthy Kids)

<a href="" target="_self">Talitha McLachlan</a>

Talitha McLachlan

Hope Education writer

Talitha worked as a primary and secondary teacher for 9 years before turning her hand to writing. She is passionate about effective education of children and supporting teachers to do this. In her free time, Talitha enjoys sewing, films, and spending time with her two cats.

1 April 2021

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