Summer Gardening Projects for Kids

When I was a kid, the end of school meant the beginning of a magical period of long lazy days, catching fireflies at night, camping out in the backyard and playing with my sisters, cousins and friends all day. Although, I sometimes long for those days of summer, what I look forward to now is making memories with my grandchildren and what better way than playing outside in the dirt?

Getting children involved in gardening is a fun way to sneak in a little summer education and exercise. Gardening teaches kids about nature, ecosystems, and healthy eating. It also teaches them the benefits of putting work into something and seeing the reward at the end. Making garden crafts lets kids be creative and gives them some ownership of what is going on in the landscape.

Here are just a few summer gardening project ideas for kids:

  • Make bird feeders out of tin cans by painting the cans with acrylic or spray paint. Glue a wooden dowel to the inside of the can leaving at least 6 inches extending from the can to create a perch. Tie a colorful ribbon around the can to hang the bird feeder from a branch. Add birdseed.
  • Create a butterfly garden with your kids. Talk to them about the life cycle of the butterfly and the relationship between plants and wildlife. Plants like plumbago, frogfruit and autumn sage attract butterflies and are well suited to our semi-arid climate. Milkweed is especially important to any garden because monarch butterflies use it exclusively to lay their eggs.
  • Make a fairy garden using a fanciful container and plants of different heights, colors and textures that will stay small with minimal maintenance. Succulents work particularly well for fairy gardens. Complete your fairy garden by putting in colorful stones, tiny dishware or furniture from a child’s playhouse or make benches and swings using twigs.

The projects you can do are limited only by your imagination, but then again that’s why you have us! For even more inspiration, check out our Kids Garden Projects on Pinterest.

Picture of Vickie Castilleja
Vickie Castilleja
Although no longer with SAWS Conservation, Vickie thoroughly enjoyed her time here learning all aspects of gardening and landscaping from her colleagues. She continues with her interests of vegetable gardening and the food-to-table movement.
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