Kids love to play in the mud––so you may as well turn their affinity for dirt into a fruitful hobby! We’ve found six gardening classes that let little sprouts dig into nature to make things grow while also planting seeds of knowledge on topics like nutrition, worm compost and water conservation. Read on to see where the fun is in full bloom.

sdbotanicgarden1Photo: SD Botanical Gardens

Mommy and Me Garden Exploration at Olivewood Garden Center
Inspire your little sprout’s green thumb through the senses of touch, taste and sound. Investigate a lush organic garden, taste some fresh-picked produce, and listen to a garden-themed storytime in this one-hour class that surrounds you both in nature. Olivewood Garden Center is a nonprofit that teaches little ones the importance of food and nutrition.

Time: Mon.-Fri., 9:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
Cost: $10/class
Age: 2-5 years

2525 N. Avenue
National City, Ca
619-434-4260
Online: olivewoodgardens.org

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Photo: Kim Love via Flickr

San Diego Botanical Garden Activities for Little Sprouts
Spark a sense of wonder about things that grow by exploring San Diego Botanical Garden and participating in activities for wee ones. Little gardeners get to plant a succulent in a biodegradable pot and it’s theirs to take home. The Toddler Tunes class includes a planting activity, a garden storytime, and a sing-a-long. The Garden Crafts class includes a planting activity and a creative craft. Classes are free with admission.

Toddler Tales and Tunes
Time: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, Tues. of the Month; 10 a.m.-Noon
Ages: 4 and under

Garden Arts and Crafts
Time: Weds., 10-11:30 a.m.
Ages: 6 and under

San Diego Botanical Garden
$14/adult; $8/child; 2 and under free; parking $2/car
230 Quail Gardens Dr.
Encinitas, Ca
760-436-3036
Online: sdbgarden.org

sdcdm1Photo: SDCDM

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum: Garden Exploration
Pique your little bud’s garden curiosity by letting him get hands-on experience watering plants, exploring worm compost, tasting, smelling and touching his way through this discovery garden. Kids can also find butterflies and classify bugs while exploring.

Hours: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Visit website for garden hours.)
Cost: $8.00/person; 12 months and under free

320 N. Broadway
Escondido, Ca
760-233-7755
Online: sdcdm.org

Alta Vista Botanical Gardens: Kids in the Garden Class
Learn gardening basics at this engaging Kids in the Garden class. With a focus on watering, recycling, nutrition and conservation, this workshop is spot-on for cultivating eco-conscious growers. When done, strike a note in the musical garden and admire the dinosaur and dragon sculptures throughout the property.

Time: Second Saturday of the Month
Cost: $5/child; $3/adult

Alta Vista Botanical Gardens
1270 Vale Terrace Dr.
Vista, Ca
760-945-3954
Online: altavistagardens.org

themintstudioPhoto: The Mint Studio

Succulent & Terrarium Crafts at The Mint Studio
Want to do a Pinterest-worthy plant craft? Then head over to The Mint Studio for a drop-in session. With many succulent and terrarium projects to choose from, your blossoming botanist can bring home a cute potted plant. The studio gets busy, so it’s best to reserve your spot in the class in advance. DIYs come with materials and instructions.

Time: Daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: About $15/project (depending on the project you choose)

Pacific Highlands Ranch Village
5965 Village Way, Ste. E105
San Diego, Ca
858-348-1778
Online: themintstudio.com

Plot it Out: DIY Family Gardening
Teach your little ones the art of gardening by renting a plot at a local community garden. What could be better than showing your little seedlings the wonder of a big, red, juicy strawberry (that they grew) plucked and eaten straight from the vine?

Online: sdcgn.org

Do you know of an activity for little gardeners? Share your thoughts below.

—Nikki Walsh