Tips for (Kinda) Gardening with Toddlers

Tips for (Kinda) Gardening with Toddlers by

When my daughter turned 2, I joined a community garden because it sounded like the motherly thing to do.  Don’t we all remember planting seeds in elementary school and bringing home the wobbly sprouts to our moms?  They’d smile and place it next to the other noteworthy crappy crafts we brought home.  Planting seeds was surely a staple on the “How to Be a Great Mom Checklist” right?

Well, if you’re here looking for a bunch of Pinteresting cutesy ideas for gardening with toddlers, this ain’t it.

As I start my 2nd spring of gardening with my toddler, I’m realizing that, as with most activities, the kid could care less.  When we get to the garden, she’s most concerned with soaking everything with water, yanking out other people’s plants, escaping to run out into the street, and — her favorite — pooping.  Yes, pooping.  Without fail, every single time we go to the garden, she gets the sudden urge to release her own little fertilizer.

Last year, I was frustrated with this.  I mean, the plan was to teach my child to be “one with nature” and “bask in an open field.” Instead, I spent most of the time chasing her and saying, “Stop!”.

Not this year.

This year, I’m letting her guide me.  By now, I know her attention span is short and her main purpose in life is to do the opposite of what I want her to do.  So, I’m going to go with her flow.  I’ll let her use

her destructive energy to pull weeds;

her love of yucky stuff to  deposit red worms;

her fascination with water to, well, water the garden, of course;


her urge to poop to….no, folks, I will NOT be using my kid’s poop in our soil (I’m weird, but not that weird).


  1. Amy A says:

    Laughing! I can’t tell you how many things I signed up for because it seemed like what I should do – that turned into a disaster! Good luck on redirecting her powers for good!

  2. jeanae says:

    I think that perfect pinterest parents, and the creators of what we “should do” have ruined it for most of us. It is so much easier, and less stressful, to go with the flow & enjoy our little expressive explorers.

  3. aimee fauci says:

    That is so true! I get this great idea and hope my girls share my enthusiasm and … they don’t! My daughter also poops are the worse moments.. I believe it is when she is most excited…

  4. Carly Fuller says:

    This reminds me of a commitment I made to made a while back.

    Every day in the morning, I would find myself saying, “Hurry, HG, we’re late! C’mon!” But at the end of the day, when she wanted to play around the yard, saying “Come look, mommy!” I would be the one dragging ass, and not moving or definitely not keeping up with HER.

    So I decided to do better! I stopped rushing her in the morning and then displayed SLIGHTLY more enthusiasm when there was every reason to relax and lounge around.

  5. Mecca says:

    Hi Groovy mommies!

    Just wanted to stop by. I would love to get to reading your blog in depth, because I’ve always wanted to chime in on one; but hesitant as I would prefer to know the bloggers. Since you guys are associated with Whitefoord Community, here I am.

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