Gardening With Kids: 10 Lessons They Can Learn

Disclaimer: This post was originally published in May 2018 and was sponsored by Miracle-Gro and Bonnie Plants. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links.

When I started my garden three years ago it was something to take my mind off the business of life. I loved the idea of being able to nurture and grow my own food, and while I knew it would be a learning experience for me, I never dreamed of the lessons it would teach my kids.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

Year after year, our children have become more involved in helping me in the garden. They both love digging in the dirt at the beginning of the season, picking the vegetables during the middle of the season and digging in the dirt again at the end of the season to help me put it to sleep for the winter. However, it’s all the knowledge they gain throughout the process that I know will stay with them for years to come, and the learnings will shape them as they grow into adults who will one day be responsible for their own little place in the world.

Here are 10 lessons my kids, and all kids, learn from gardening.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

Gardening With Kids : 10 Lessons They Can Learn

Dirt won’t hurt

Some kids (my daughter when she was younger) think dirt is, well, dirty. But playing in the dirt while helping in the garden shows them that it’s part of the growth process. Instead of just being something that makes their fingers “yucky” working in the garden shows them how useful dirt is to life.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

What it takes to grow

When kids help in the garden throughout the planting season and the summer they understand what it takes to grow, and not just plants. They begin to understand that plants need nutrients from the soil like the nutrients they get from Miracle-Gro Garden Soil. And, just like them, they begin to understand that plants need water and food like Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food to grow and stay healthy.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

To begin each year, we always rake up the beds to get them ready and then top off the soil with the Miracle-Gro Garden Soil so the plants have a good base with solid nutrients. We use it each year because I trust it to yield fantastic results.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

We have planted straight from seeds before, but more often than not we use Bonnie Plants and start them inside around the same time we get the beds raked out. Both my kids like to help with this and even though it creates a big mess, I love that they learn things like how to soak clay pots before hand, how big to make the hole, how much to water in the pots and finally how to transfer the plants to the garden when we can trust the weather at night in Chicagoland. Because we can’t start planting in the ground until Mother’s Day weekend, I appreciate that Bonnie Plants give us a head start on the growing season.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

Engages all the senses

Gardening can be a complete sensory experience for kids. Growing plants isn’t about just digging in dirt, although that’s a great way to experience using the touch sense, but kids can use all their other senses while learning how to grow their own food. Site plays a huge role as they watch their plants get larger and larger with the help of Miracle-Gro soils and plant food. Later in the season sound comes into play as bees and bugs fly around the plants, and of course taste comes into play when they get to experience the delicious fruits of their labor (pun intended).

gardening with kids

Encourages healthy eating

Learning to grow your own food encourages you to eat it. As you and your family eat more and more fruits and vegetables as your garden produces they may be experiencing new foods for the first time and discovering new favorite foods too. My daughter loves to grow and taste the baby strawberries we grow, and my son is finally eating cucumbers.


Everything has a season. Big lessons can be learned in the garden about life and the lifecycle of plants, bugs and animals is one of them. From new baby rabbits (that you want to keep out) to mature bees carrying honey back to the hive and to the life of the plants themselves, they can literally watch life happen in the garden.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

Bugs are important

Sometimes kids (my daughter again) are afraid of bugs. But the garden shows kids how useful bugs are in the world. They begin to understand that even earthworms have a place in the circle of life. They learn that bees really help to make the world go round and that even pesky bugs have a place because they provide food for birds. Helping them to understand how bugs help make them seem less scary.

Nurturing & Responsibility

These two are technically different skills but they really go hand-in-hand. Helping plants grow teaches kids how to nurture a little life and it teaches them responsibility since they will have to help water and feed the plants with Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All-Purpose Plant Food. Remembering to do this and helping adults keep an eye on the plants is a big responsibility for kids, especially young ones. My kids love to help water, but they sometimes forget that there are other steps involved and need a little nudge. They love to watch as their hard work pays off and the garden vegetables grow huge. Thanks to Miracle-Gro Garden Soil and All-Purpose Plant Food the plants can grow twice as big (vs. unfed plants).

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

Environmental responsibility

Just as they learn responsibility for the life of the plants, gardening teaches kids to be responsible for the environment too. Taking care of the beds so that they can be sustainable year-after-year is a hugely important piece when providing a home for plants that will be good. Knowing how to use the beds as a sustainable food source is important.

Family bonding

For us gardening is a family experience. My husband even gets involved with it. It’s fun for us to do it together and experience growing our food as a unit. Not only is it fun but it gives us a chance to teach them kids so much and that’s fulfilling for us and them.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

Gardening is good for the soul

With all the craziness in the world today, gardening gives us a chance to pause and just take time out with each other. It keeps the kids busy exploring, thinking, learning and still allows them to be active. No screens are involved so that’s a big bonus. It’s a time out from the rest of life when they just get to concentrate on the dirt between their fingers.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

As you begin to think about and plan your garden for the year, keep in mind that you can find everything you need from dirt to the plants to the plant food at Walmart. At no additional cost you can order everything you need online and pick it up at the store, which makes life convenient when you’re lugging around children who like to stop at each gum ball machine for 15 minutes.

Do your kids help you in the garden? What’s their favorite part of the planting and growing process?

For more kid experiences and tips, click here.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life


  1. This is a great post! My husband and I started a small vegetable garden when we first bought our house a few years ago and we just had our first child 5 month ago. I’m excited to get him involved in the process as he gets older!

  2. I used to love gardening with my daughter. When she was younger, she was curious and loved to get her hands dirty. She’s not so into it now that she is 17, but I remember that time fondly. Thanks for sharing. ?

  3. Nothing is better than fresh ingredients from your own garden. And I love how you’ve included the kiddos in this! Gotta teach them young haha!

  4. This year will be our second year gardening. I love that my kids have learned so much about where our food comes from and have also gained a greater respect/appreciation for the environment.

  5. It really is awesome all the amazing things kids can learn from getting their hands a little dirty! WE have very little space to garden here in NYC…actually we did some in plat pots recently for home grown herbs – so fun!

  6. We have been planning pumpkins for years. This year my kids helped mulch and plant flowers. It was amazing family bonding.

  7. There is something about gardening and growing things eh? We have a little backyard and we cannot wait to start planting all kinds of lovely things in it.

  8. I love this! My boys (ages 3 and almost-5) love to help in the garden. This year, they both got their own small area to plant a few things. They both have tomatoes and squash growing right now. I thought about a few of these things but didn’t think about how it’s teaching them that some bugs are good, and the lifecycles.

  9. I only recently started gardening again and my children have no interest as they are teenagers. I loved helping my mom in the garden when I was young. I loved the feel of the dirt.

  10. I think gardening is the perfect activity for kids. My son loved helping me to plant our window boxes in our yard.

  11. I just love gardening with my daughter when she was a little girl. We are actually planting an herb garden together this weekend so we’ve kept the tradition going. Soon, I’ll get to do the same with my grandson.

  12. Each year, we assign one vegetable to each child, so they can take ownership and be responsible for the outcomes. Gardening is a great teaching tool!

  13. My kids love to garden! They especially love to plant flowers. Digging in the dirt is good for every kiddo!

  14. This is really a creative ideas. I am agreed with you. Gardening is such an important task for children to learn. I think children are benefited from here in future. Every parents should have to concern with here. I used to love gardening when I was younger and i hope my son will be same like me. Thanks for the sharing such a helpful also informative article.

  15. I and my mother often plant trees in our small garden. It’s a good job when we have free time. I feel happy to look my trees growing up each day.

  16. My kids and I planted flowers yesterday. I have a little one that likes gardening. We may plant a few vegetables soon.

  17. I love me a Miracle Grow products. Every year I try to start a vegetable garden around this time. I love the results that I received with their products. It’s so much fun getting the kiddos involved and watching the veggies they planted grow.

  18. I used to garden with my mom a little bit when I was a kid. She used to always get lots and lots of flowers in the spring and get to planting – it was a spring tradition and always got me excited 🙂

  19. I used to garden with my father when I was a kid. What a lovely way to bond as a family, spend some quality time together and teach the kids abiut having responsibilities!

  20. Aw, this is too cute. I love doing things outdoors with the kids, more so gardening. There’s a lot kids can learn from doing so, more so how to be compassionate of things.

  21. Those are all great lessons for kids here. I think I should have done this with my daughter earlier. Getting her to understand dirt won’t hurt is a good thing for sure.

  22. I like all the different benefits you think of for gardening. I don’t have kids but I feel like gardening, in general, is so peaceful and relaxing so I loved reading about it.

  23. I remember how I loved helping my mom in the garden when I was young (and how I still love it, but now I’m raising my own plants in my mini apartment). This is really a great thing to do with kids!

  24. We did a ton of gardening this weekend, and my kids are such good helpers in the garden. My older daughter eats tomatoes right off the vine. My younger one is pickier, but here’s hoping gardening will make her more adventurous with veggies!

  25. I love this list. These are all the things my grandparents did and for all these reasons. I wish I had them around to share, but even a little bit, like herbs in a pot, can still get this point across. God bless Joanna Gaines – We are all Gardeners.

  26. I used to love gardening with my kids when they were younger and you are absolutely right about all the things they learn when they help in the garden. I remember my son would not even look at broccoli and after the first year we grew it in our garden, he suddenly became a fan. Even though the garden broccoli was very small, at least it got my son interested in eating it! 🙂

  27. I remember gardening with my grand parents when I’d go to their house for a week long visit. They were patient in teaching me about the different vegetable plants, as many have different needs as far as soil, sun, etc. I think it’s great to get kids involved in gardening if you can.

  28. Such a good activity for kids. Great for them to understand the importance of soil and nature and where food comes from. As well as nurturing and growth!

  29. I wish more parents taught their kids gardening. It’s a skill that will serve well for a lifetime. My daughter started with small pots of strawberries last year, and I hope to add a few more fruits and veggies this year for her to tend to.

  30. I would love to start gardening with my niece. She don’t want to hold on dirty things like soil. I think it will make her more mature.

  31. This is an awesome post! I grew up learning naturally from the lifestyle my family had. These days, the kids are more removed from the land and from the gardening principles we learned as a way of life.
    BRAVO, Mama!

  32. We love gardening! It’s definitely good for kids to learn how to garden – there really are so many things they can learn. There’s also just nothing like harvesting your own veggies!


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