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Lots of good ideas here that my kids would go crazy for - bookmarking for later this spring when the weather warms up!

Natural Play Spaces: Children’s Veggie Gardens

Now that the bark has been laid, we’ve made one more major addition to our backyard natural play space.  But don’t get too excited – I haven’t had a chance to snap any photos yet, which means I’m not quite ready for the big reveal (I know, I’m such a tease).  In the meantime, though, I thought we’d take another look at gardening.


Anything that encourages kids to grow things seems like an obvious addition to a natural play space.  Last time we talked about play gardens, so this time around I wanted to highlight some of the kid-friendliest veggie gardens I’ve seen.  All of these setups were put together with child accessibility in mind and each of the creators have valuable knowledge to share.  Ready to start browsing?


  1. Dana of MADE recently converted her kids’ sandbox into a vegetable garden, which is a great idea if you’ve got an old box laying around.  Even if you don’t, her post is a great introduction to setting up a raised planter bed garden.
  2. How sweet are Rachelle’s little girls raking out their very own garden in their swimsuits?  This is a wonderful post on how to use a small patch of dirt to grow not just some veggies, but a couple of pint-sized landscape architects too.
  3. For tips on creating a completely natural garden (no plywood or bricks required), check out this kids’ organic garden which was dug out of the ground and trimmed with box woods.  There are even some extra cute homemade plant markers.
  4. This “snacking garden” is proof that you don’t need a backyard to cultivate something special for your little one.  Ari did an inspiring job of using potted plants to transform her small patio space into a lush, green wonderland.  And she even included a few farm animals and dinos to make the space extra enticing to her son.
  5. While there’s nothing particularly juvenile about Michelle’s garden, she has some lovely photos of it (including one of her little guy lending a helping hand).  And what I really love is the magnitude of her planting.  It gives me hope that I too can one day be a pro.

Not pictured above, but still worth a look are the aquarium garden and the three sisters garden.  The former is a clever way to see your plants grow down into the dirt as well as up and out of it.  The latter is a Native American method of planting that seems perfectly suited for kids.  Also, my friend Mariah just posted these super cool wooden crate theme gardens (hooray for eleventh hour additions!).

And don’t forget, even if you have no outdoor space at all, there are lots of community garden co-ops around.  Just up the street from us there’s a church where our family can rent a raised bed planter for the summer.  Just $35 gets us the soil and all the water we need.

Do any of you have a particularly green thumb?  Any tips you’d like to share with us newbies?

Similar Stuff:
How to Set Up Natural Play Spaces in Your Own Back Yard
Natural Play Spaces: Play Gardens



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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

rachelle | tinkerlab July 3, 2012 at 5:46 am

I love all the ideas you’ve been sharing and look forward to seeing what you all come up with for your own patch of soil. And thanks for including our tutu divas in this great roundup :)


Tansy Dolls July 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm

This is great! I wish our little tiny back porch at our apt got some sun. Next place we are so having a garden.


Dorothy-Life With Boys July 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Those are all very cute photos =) Over the years, I’ve found that the best way to incorporate kids into your gardens is to simply include them in all aspects of the garden. Layout, seed choice, planting, weeding–and ultimately, HARVESTING! All of my kids have helped in my vegetable garden and they all are more willing to try new foods if they’ve grown it themselves. :)


heather at wordplayhouse® July 7, 2012 at 2:52 am

Gardening is such a wonderful way to get families outside together. You have collected delightful gardening ideas here! Thank you for including a link to our three sisters garden too.


debbye @ Baby Sleep Site July 28, 2012 at 3:32 am

Love these tips! We are starting slow. This year flowers (and one mint bush), next year on to vegetables!


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