With the blooms of spring close at hand, it’s time to get your little sunflower into the garden. From planting classes and make-your-own succulent pot to learning about composting and roaming sprawling flower fields, we’ve found ten gardening activities for kids to inspire your budding botanist. Scroll on for the details on where to dig in!

1. Take a Gardening Class at Olivewood Gardens Learning Center

Let them have fun in the dirt. If you have a budding botanist (ages 2-5 years old) who wants to explore a garden, then we recommend the Talls and Smalls in the Garden Class at Olivewood Gardens Learning Center. Half-pints will explore the gardens, read a story, and taste test! The cost is $12 per child with accompanying parent or caretaker. 

Next class: Friday, March 13th; 10-11 a.m.

2525 N. Avenue
National City, CA 91950
Online: olivewoodgardens.org

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2. Sing, Dance & Craft at the Solana Center Garden

Grab your little one (ages 2 to 5 years old) and head to this Solana Seedlings class for a morning of outdoor learning, song, storytime, arts and crafts, and nature-based games. The Solana Center is trying to stimulate curiosity about Mother Earth while having fun in the class. Each class has a different nature theme.

Date: Ongoing. Check website for next class.

Solona Center
137 N. El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
Online: solanacenter.org

photo: San Diego Botanical Garden

3. Plant a Succulent in a Pot at San Diego Botanic Garden

Spark a sense of wonder about things that grow by exploring San Diego Botanic 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: Tuesdays, except for first Tuesday of the month
Ages: 1-4 years old

Garden Arts and Crafts
Time: Thursdays, 10-11:30 a.m.
Ages: 1-6 years old

San Diego Botanic Garden
$18/adult; $10/child; 2 and under free; parking $2/car
230 Quail Gardens Dr.
Encinitas, CA 92024
Online: sdbgarden.org

4. Explore Worm Composting & Plant Watering at San Diego Children's Discovery Museum

It’s Garden Friday (at 11 a.m.) at San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum. Pique your little bud’s garden curiosity by letting him/her get hands-on lessons watering plants, exploring worm compost, tasting, smelling and touching his/her way through this discovery garden. Kids can also find butterflies and classify bugs while exploring.

Date: Certain Fridays (see website); 11 a.m.
Cost: Museum admission, $9.50/person; 12 months and under free

320 N. Broadway
Escondido, CA 92025
760-233-7755
Online: sdcdm.org

photo: Amber Guetebier

5. Make a Fairy Garden at Walter Andersen Nursery

Head out to Walter Andersen Nursery, ask the experts, and gather up supplies to make your own fairy garden. Even more, littles can check out the chickens and and the cool outdoor miniature train set-up. Then, it’s time to garden.

12755 Danielson Ct.
Poway, CA 92064
Online: walterandersen.com

6. Explore the Sweat Pea Maze at Summers Past Farms

Take your little sweeties to find their way through the towering, fragrant sweet pea maze at Summers Past Farms, where this event celebrates the dainty flower. You can cut your own sweet pea bouquets (while supplies last), have a picnic on the grass area or dine under the shady pavilion.

Date: Apr. 11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Free entry, sweet bouquets are a nominal cost

15602 Olde Hwy 80
Flinn Springs, CA 92021
Online: summerspastfarms.com

7. Dig in to Spring Planting at Alta Vista Botanical Gardens

Alta Vista Botanical Gardens teaches a class on spring planting and different types of soils, geared for kids (ages 3-6th grade). In this two-hour class they’ll learn about, soil, composting and spring planting of peas, lettuce, chard and broccoli. Sign-up and have tons of fun.

Date: Mar. 9, 10 a.m.-noon
Cost: $5/person

Alta Vista Botanical Gardens
1270 Vale Terrace Dr.
Vista, CA 92084
Online: altavistagardens.org

8. Explore The Flower Fields in Carlsbad

Budding botanists will love a visit to the Flower Fields to behold over 50-acres of rainbow-hued Tecolote Ranunculus flowers blanketing the hills. Even more, your little seedlings can weave their way through the sweet pea maze, ride an antique tractor wagon and learn (from the experts) about gardening and composting in the new greenhouses. Visit 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Date: Opens March 1, 2020
Times: Daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

5704 Paseo Del Norte
Carlsbad, CA 92008
760-431-0352
online: theflowerfields.com

9. Learn About Native San Diego Plant Gardens at Living Coast Discovery Center

Teach your little garden grower about the yucca, cactus, trees, and shrubs that are native to San Diego. Bring a lunch to enjoy at the gardens with the birds and the bees. What’s more, you can get ideas of low-water use landscaping for your own yard.

Cost: Admission to the museum; $14/adult; $11/child; kids 2 and younger are free.
Time: Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Corner of Bay Blvd. and E St.
1000 Gunpowder Point Dr.
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Online: thelivingcoast.org

10. Plant Your Own Home Garden

What’s more fun than creating your own garden? Whether it’s delicate flowers in painted pots or a small vegetable garden, digging in the dirt is always fun. So, head to your local gardening shop and help your half-pint find and plant their first little garden. Here are some easy gardening projects to get you started.

––Nikki Walsh

Featured photo: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

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