Let Them Grow: Early Spring Garden Prep Activities for Little Hands

Let Them Grow by Candice Chouinard

Fun Gardening Activities for Little Hands!

Garden starts like tomatoes, pea shoots and other delicate plants are not something a toddler can easily handle without destroying. However, there are some really great garden prep activities that even the littlest of the little ones can help with. Watering, raking, and weeding may be the obvious places to start, but here are a few more fun early spring garden prep activities for the younger green thumbs.

Stockings & Soap

Stuffing Ivory soap into panty hose is a great deer deterrent and actually a lot more fun than it sounds! Let your toddler open the bars of soap and stuff them into the stockings. Hang the stockings around your garden or in fruit trees to prevent deer from nibbling.

Spreading Straw

Mulching is very helpful to the garden and straw is fun to play with. Get a few bales of straw and let you kids use them to climb on and enjoy… then destroy, ie. make mulch!

Worms, worms, worms!

Collecting and finding worms is a toddler favorite! I love this, too. Exploring the dirt seems to be an innate desire for children — so let them explore. If you want to add a few worms for them to find, you can order red wrigglers and fill the garden or you can just get a container of night crawlers or worms at most convenience stores.

Planting Pea Seeds

Pea are just big enough for little fingers. With young children, I like to use spike pods instead of loose soil. The pods can’t be dumped and allow aggressive little fingers to shove seeds deep down inside. Let you toddler plant the pea seed in the pods or directly in the ground and water.

Gardening doesn’t have to be a huge overwhelming experience. It can be as little as herbs in a window. Just the experience of growing and knowing where food comes from is a blessing! If you don’t have space, find your local garden like Abundance Farm and Grow Food Northampton and volunteer! That’s a great way to spend time in the soil with your Little’s!


Candice Chouinard has worked with youth of all ages and backgrounds, creating and implementing programming for children. She revels in hand-on, long-term, messy projects that are both fun and educational. Candice comes from a background in creative writing, as well as, child development and psychology. She owns and operates a day care in Northampton, MA.


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