The Best Gardening Tools and Sets for Kids – (2018 Reviews)
Sometimes the best toys are the simplest. Playing in the garden has been a fun pastime for kids dating back centuries. Digging in the dirt, planting seeds and watching plants bloom is often endlessly fascinating for little ones.
Kid-friendly gardening sets are a great introduction to nature, nutrition and many other educational subjects. Plus, regular outdoor play promotes great development both physically and mentally.
Looking for gardening tools perfect for play? We’ve rounded up the best gardening sets for kids for 2018. Plus, we’ve also created a complete shopping guide to help you find the perfect gift for your little one and his or her green thumb.
Gardening helps kids grow and blossom! Here’s what you need to know:
Our #1 Pick – Liberty Imports Garden Wagon and Tools Toy Set
Durable, colorful and downright adorable, this 16-piece set of toy tools, pots and a wagon is perfect for the garden, beach and snow day fun.
- Complete kit with 16 toy tools
- Cool wagon makes transport and storage easy
- Great for play in loose dirt, sand and snow
- Items made from durable, safe plastic
- Rake is too short for most kids
- Tools aren’t very strong
An all-in-one set perfect for kids four and up, this garden toy set includes 16 pieces. Features three rakes, a hand shovel, a hand fork, four flower pots, a water spray bottle and more. Plus, all the garden gear fits neatly into the included pull wagon.
All pieces are made from durable, colorful plastic free from BPA’s and other harmful chemicals. Materials are CPSC and ASTM certified. Tools can dig through loose soil, although aren’t designed for hard soil or actual gardening.
Keep the fun going year-round. Beyond the garden, the toys are also great for playing in sand and snow. Even little ones can easily (and safely) build towers, castles and more.
Our #2 Pick – ROCA Home Pink Gardening Tools
A delightfully cute pink and purple bag of kid-friendly garden tools which helps kids learn about STEM subjects.
- Safe, kid-friendly real gardening tools
- Includes fun STEM-centered activity book
- Purple and pink colors
- Tool variety is limited
- Color scheme might not appeal to child
These are real gardening tools safe for kids as three and up. Includes a spade, hand shovel, hand rake and watering can. All tools fit into a pink and purple gardening bag for easy carry around the garden. Tools have durable plastic handles which are easy for little hands to grip. The heads on the tools are metal with rounded, non-sharp edges.
These are real toys kids can use to dig in the soil and otherwise garden. Also includes a detailed learning guide featuring fun lessons about STEM subjects, gardening, animals and more. A fun, early introduction to science and nature which combines both reading and hands-on learning.
Our #3 Pick – G&F Products Kids Garden Tools Set
A simple, classic garden tool set for kids with three wood-handled tools and a colorful garden bag.
- Kid-safe gardening tools with wooden handles
- Colorful, durable bag for carry and storage
- Includes rake, shovel and trowel
- Small selection of tools
- Tools will probably be too small for kids over seven
Kids can work in the garden right alongside mom and dad with this three-piece garden set. Features a six-inch hand rake, eight-inch shovel and eight-and-a-half inch trowel. Each tool is metal with rounded, non-sharp edges and a sturdy, classic wooden handle.
Also includes a tote bag for easy carry around the yard. Bag is durable fabric with a multi-colored design. Bag has extra front and side pockets.
Tools are recommended for ages five and up. Note that you might be a bit surprised at how small these tools are, but they’re usually the perfect size for little hands to easily hold.
Our #4 Pick – Toyrifik Little Gardener Tool Set
An all-in-one kit which focuses on teaching both gardening as well as safe tool usage. Includes five wooden and metal tools plus a durable canvas tote.
- Five kid-friendly gardening tools
- Durable tote bag for easy transport
- Tools are designed for easy carry
- Metal tools not safe for younger kids
Do you know a kid who has already shown an interest in gardening and is eager to learn more? This Little Gardener Tool Set is both fun and educational. Includes a shovel, rake, watering can and fork. All gardening equipment fits into the included durable and lightweight tote bag.
The tools are kid-friendly and safe but still capable of real gardening. All tools have metal heads with wooden handles. Each tool is specifically designed to be easy to hold. Plus, they have colorful designs. Included kid-sized gloves help provide additional protection.
Our #5 Pick – Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Blossom Bright Gardening Tote
A high-quality set of plastic gardening tools complete with colorful tote from beloved children’s toy maker Melissa & Doug.
- Quality Melissa & Doug Craftsmanship
- Includes spade, small rake and spray bottle
- Colorful, durable canvas tote bag
- Limited tool selection
- Plastic tools limited to play only
This is another high-quality product from Melissa & Doug. The small set of durable but safe plastic toys is perfect for kids between the ages of three and five. Includes a spade, small rake and spray bottle.
While probably not suitable for actual gardening, they’re great fun for digging in the dirt and playing pretend.
Plus, this set includes a vibrantly-colored tote bag which easily fits all the included tools. The durable canvas bag is easy for kids to carry while also providing a convenient storage location for when play is done for the day. All plastic tools can simply be rinsed off with water while the bag is machine washable.
Our #6 Pick – Fun Little Toys 16-Piece Garden Set with Wagon
A large gardening set featuring 15 plastic tools along with a durable wagon.
- Durable child-sized storage wagon
- 15 plastic gardening tools
- Great for play in soil, sand and snow
- Plastic tools for pretend gardening only
Great for gardening on the go. This tough but lightweight blue wagon is packed with 15 separate gardening tools including shears, hand shovel, spade, watering can, spray bottle and more.
All tools are made from BPS-free thick plastic which is non-toxic and safe for kids ages three and up. Aside from the garden, wagon is designed to be pulled across beaches and snow. Plus, includes a complete 90-day warranty.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Gardening Tools for Kids?
Budding gardeners can start early with kid-friendly gardening tools and sets. These tiny, functional toolkits let kids play alongside mom and dad in the backyard garden or anywhere else where greenery grows.
Gardening kits for kids can be divided into two types:
- Toy tools used for pretend and practice gardening
- Functional tools designed to be safe for young users
Toy kits will typically be made from durable plastic. While they’ll be strong enough to move around loose dirt, these toy tools typically won’t be able to dig significant holes or do much actual gardening. Instead, these plastic toys are the best choice for toddler and younger kids who simply want to play in the dirt.
You can also find child-friendly gardening toys which are real tools with some slight alternations. Generally, the tools will be smaller so they can fit comfortably in little hands. Additionally, any metal edges on the tools will typically be rounded to prevent accidental pokes and other injuries. These tool sets are best for older kids who actually want to help out in the garden.
What Should I Look for When Choosing Tools and Sets for Kids?
First, check the age range. Plastic, toy tools are generally safe for kids as young as two or three. But metal tools should only be used by older kids, usually age seven or older. Make sure kids know how to safely handle the tools, and that they should never throw them and use them to hit others.
Next, you want to look for the types of tools in the set. Toy sets will typically have more tools than a set of metal tools, as the toy versions are easier and cheaper to make. Toys sets will typically have 10 tools or more. For example, the Liberty Imports set contains over 16 tools including rakes, shovels, water cans and more.
Functional toolsets are often smaller. You’ll want tools which can actually be useful. At a minimum, you’ll want the set to include a hand rake, hand shovel, spade and trowel.
What are the Benefits of Gardening Tools and Sets for Kids?
Spending time in the garden isn’t just fun, it’s also educational.
First, gardening helps kids learn about nature. They can watch fruits and vegetable grow from small seeds into complete plants. Plus, aside from plants, kids can also learn about local wildlife, too. Generally, learning about nature is a great introduction to a variety of other scientific subjects.
Gardening is great exercise, too. Unlike video games or smart devices, gardening forces kids to get outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Regular outdoor play has a wide variety of benefits for growing children including:
- Improved physical fitness
- Reduced stress levels
- Increased cognitive development
(Looking for more outdoor toys? Check out our Outdoor Toy Review section here.)
Plus, gardening can be a fun shared activity between parents and kids. Younger kids can use plastic tools to copy what their parents are doing. Older kids can use metal tools to actually help plant and harvest fruits and veggies.
Also, gardening helps kids learn about health and nutrition. Homegrown fruits and veggies are free from pesticides and other potentially harmful toxins. Kids can learn about the impact vitamins, minerals and other nutrients have on their overall health.
Finally, gardening is often great for picky eaters. After all, when a child grows something in the garden, he or she will be usually be very interesting in discovering what it tastes like.
What are Easy Options to Plant and Grow?
If your child will be helping to actually tend to the garden, you’ll probably want to plant vegetables which are relatively easy to grow. After all, you want edible food by the end of the season. Here’s a rundown of some veggies which are great for beginning gardeners:
Grows quickly and is easy to harvest. Doesn’t require a ton of garden space. Can grow around other plants.
Grows easily in any sunny area. Starter plants are usually available from your local garden center, too.
Carrots grow quickly and easily even in shaded areas. Plus, most kids typically love to eat carrots.
Are Gardening Tools Safe?
Generally, plastic gardening toys are safe even for toddlers and young kids. While you want to always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, most toy tools should be too large to pose a choking hazard. Plus, the plastic used isn’t usually hard or strong enough to cause accidental injury.
However, you want to be more careful with metal tools. Even if the edges are rounded, metal can still cause injury. Make sure the child is old enough to know not to throw the tools or bang them against objects or people.
Usually metal tools are best for children ages seven and older. You’ll also want to supervise their use. Metal tools are a good choice if you plan to work in the garden alongside your child, while plastic ones are fine for solo play.
Do the Toys Have a Use Outside the Garden?
Depending on where you live, gardening might not be available year-round. But these toys actually have fun uses in practically all-weather conditions.
All the gardening toys on our list are great for also playing in the sand or snow. Build castles, towers and other structures.
However, do keep in mind that many toy wagons are difficult to pull on snow and sand. Instead, you’ll probably want a gardening set which includes a tote bag or other way to physically carry the tools.
Pay attention to the size and weight of the set. Kids should be able to pull the wagon or carry the tote without stress or strain. This is especially important if the set contains metal tools. Always make sure the child can safely carry any metal tools, as any trips or falls could result in accidental injury.
Final Food for Thought
Gardening tools can help your child grow physically and cognitively. Even a small set of plastic tools is a great way to introduce your child to the beauty and wonder of the natural world. Helps kids understand nature, STEM subjects, nutrition and more.
Plus, playing in the garden encourages kids to get outside and away from video screens. The whole family can get together to have fun in the fresh air and warm sunshine. Gardening is about more than just growing foods and veggies; it also helps kids grow into healthy adults!