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Toys For The Green Fingered Child

May 20, 2008
If you are at all green fingered, then the chances are that your little one has joined you outside, and wanted to join in with whatever you're doing. Fortunately there are plenty of alternatives to letting them use your electric hedge trimmer or ride on lawnmower, and children's garden sets tend to come in three main varieties.

The first type are the toy tools and garden sets, which are designed to be used indoors as much as out in the garden. These toys are for those children too young to really be trusted to do anything with your blessed plot, and just really want to role play rather than lovingly tend an ornamental rose. These garden kits are usually entirely plastic, and therefore incapable of really doing anything, and often include a spade, a fork and a rake. Children love using miniature tools that look like their parents' and it may well be that having their own set helps to foster an interest in gardening, which makes it much easier in later life when you need them to dead head the hydrangeas for you.

The second variety of garden kits for children are the toy tools that can actually be used to do some simple gardening, and these usually include things like a fork and trowel set, usually with gloves included. The idea is for them to work with you, and copy what you're doing. Often parents reserve a small patch of the garden and let the child use this patch to do whatever they like.

Giving them some seeds is a good idea, to help them learn about the growing process of plants, and watch a green shoot appear and grow, but also children require some more immediate fixes, and so buying a few plants that will flower quite soon, or simply look good straight away will help to engender a longer term interest in gardening. These tools are usually plastic, but very firm and reinforced plastic which will be perfectly adequate for tending plots with loose top soil. Clearly for digging bigger holes or in stony ground they may need a hand from a grown up.

The third type are the complete kits for children which usually include a large pot, with seeds, or seedlings, plants, and the tools needed to tend them. These kits can also be used indoors as well as outdoors, and really help to teach children about the whole growth process for plants, from seeds to seedlings, from sprout to shoot and beyond, if they're lucky enough and take care.

These kits are clearly designed for much older children, but all children have a natural interest in growing things - after all, they're doing it themselves. Sometimes very simple things, such as sandwiching a bean between blotting paper and the inside of a jam jar will show them how the roots grow down, the shoot grows up, and the plant develops. Similarly growing cress provides not only very quick results, which is satisfying, but then something which is edible. A child having a sandwich or salad with cress they have grown themselves is an excellent way of not only teaching them so much about the natural world, but also getting goodness into them at the same time!

The range and availability of garden kits is excellent, but it is of course important that these are usually supervised, and that children are aware of what they can, and can't do, and where they can, and can't dig. Your world famous incredibly expensive orchid is probably best out of bounds, for example.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about kids toys, dolls, and video games. You will find the best marketplace for kids toys, dolls, and used video games at these sites for kids toys, gardening kits, spades, dolls, and used video games.
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