The sun’s out, so now’s the perfect time to introduce your kids to the beauty of weeding and worms, and get your garden in shape for the summer days ahead…
If your garden has gone to wrack and ruin over the winter months and looks more Amazon rainforest than Kew Gardens, now’s the time to introduce the kids to the pleasures of digging, weeding and planting. Not only is their labour free (usually), but strangely, little ones will think it’s an absolute hoot to be elbow deep in weeds and worms. But if they need any persuading, these gardening sets designed especially for little green fingers should do the job…
Arty and eco
From sowing seeds in tubs or window boxes, to planting bulbs in flowerbeds, this trio of tools can’t fail to encourage knee-high nippers to develop a love of gardening. The fork, spade and rake have brightly coloured wooden handles, each featuring a cheery bug character, and are perfectly sized for little hands to grip, yet sturdy enough to make sure they’re good to go for seasons to come. It’s a very satisfying feeling to know that as your little labourers work beside you, they’ll be learning, they’ll be having fun, and you’ll be growing your very own gardeners to take over the back-breaking, knee-crunching jobs of the future. Result.
Garden Tools (ages 2+): £5.99. bigjigstoys.co.uk
Pretty flowers and tasty veggies are all very well, but if your little darlings fancy something a bit wilder, then this gruesome twosome of sow and grow seed packs should be right up their street. The Bug-Eating Plant Seeds box contains Venus flytrap and pitcher plant seeds. Simply plant the seeds, wait for the carnivorous garden to grow, then sit back and watch the poor flies get gobbled. (Please note that carnivorous plants only eat insects, not your children.) The Monster Plants kit is for kids wanting to grow their own creepy garden featuring dragons and plants that move with prehistoric plants. Both sets contain seeds, starter pots, wooden plant markets and Sow & Grow booklet with tips and puzzles. Whichever set you go for, it’s sure to beat woosie watercress seeds any day.
If your little ones go shrieking back to the house as soon as a worm rears its head (if worms have heads, that is), then the Fairy Garden will prove a more gentle introduction to the beauty of gardening. Festooned with toadstools and perrrdy flowers, the set contains everything needed to create a magical garden. Following the steps on the 12-page activity guide, you add soil, water and kiddy-style imagination to create a magical living garden, complete with sparkly cottage, colourful gravel and the star of the show, a fairy figurine. Just be sure your fairy-worshipping kids remember to keep the magic alive with regular watering.
Fairy Garden (ages 3+). £12.95. prezzybox.com
Funky green fingers
This Funky Tools for Groovy Gardeners kit is just the thing to make kids feel important as they march down the garden with their very own tools. The kit contains a trowel, fork, bucket, gloves (will fit up to the age of 10) and colourful wooden markers, all carried in a special garden bag (available in pink or blue). All you have to do is give your budding gardeners a patch of garden and a pack of seeds, and pretty soon they’ll be asking for more space as they realise the thrill of growing things.
The Little Pals Funky Tools for Groovy Gardeners (ages 3+): £15.99. findmeagift.co.uk
Grow your own gardener
If you’re the lucky owner of a serious horticulturalist, nurture those green fingers with some serious tools. The Gardeners Apprentice Garden Tool Set is ideal for older kids (from seven years), and includes a proper spade, fork, hoe, leaf rake and soil rake. Although made for smaller hands, each tool in the set has a solid Ash handle and carbon steel heads, and can be used until your almost-grown Titchmarsh can comfortably handle adult-sized garden equipment. Which is when you can sit back on the sun lounger and admire your apprentice at work.
The Gardener’s Apprentice Garden Tool Set (ages 7+): £69.99. spottygreenfrog.co.uk