Tips For Parents

For children, having a garden tool or two to call their own can add to the excitement of helping outdoors.
Before buying such equipment, however, parents should evaluate each child's age, size and skill level, as well as the quality of the tool, said Evelyn Neier, Junior Master Gardener program coordinator for Kansas State University Research and Extension.

Pride of ownership is a plus for children, as is learning to care for tools, Neier said.

But, children can quickly outgrow child-sized rakes, hoes, and shovels, she warned. Some for-kids tools may not live up to quality expectations, either.

"Hand tools and child-sized gloves may be the better buys. Start slowly, selecting just one or two items that the child can call his or her own," Neier said. "But, keep safety in mind. For example, a small trowel can be less hazardous than a sharp-pointed dandelion weeder or hand rake."

More information about Kansas´ Junior Master Gardener Program is available at any local K-State Research and Extension office, as well as on Kansas 4-H Web site: (click on "Programs" and choose "Junior Master Gardeners").


Comments on "Choose kids' garden tools carefully"

Julia June 10, 2008 | 5:24 AM

Cool! I never heard of a Tickleme plant! I just ordered the greenhouse and will surprise my 5 year old with it. I am trying to get her more interested in gardening. I know watching a plant move will do the trick! Thanks for the post

samantha June 07, 2008 | 5:50 PM

I thought other readers would enjoy an activity I got at the botanical gardens. Have you or your children "Ever Seen a Plant Move When You Tickle It?" If you wanted to share your love for nature with yourchildren, here is an activity I have done with mine. This may change the way you and the kids react to plants for ever. Imagine giving your children some seeds. Having them watch them sprout and grow. Then shortly after the second leaves appear they tickle the plant and it moves its branches down and closes its leaves! Give them more than a gift; give them a learning experience they will never forget. I found information and my growing kits at http://www.TickleMePlant

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