Dirty kids = happy kids. It's a simple equation that has another benefit. Gardening and playing in the dirt helps teach toddlers about environmentalism. I've tested out a batch of cool gardening toys and want to share my finds:
Sassafras Kid's Gardening Kit (shown above )
Sassafras has done it again! This is a wonderful gift for toddlers. It's colorful and stuffed with tools that look just like mom's and dad's gardening gear.Includes: a nylon tote to with plenty of pockets to organize the gear, three tools (well-made with wooden handles), pots, gloves, apron and more. $22.95
If you don't have much outdoor space to work with at your house, I'd recommend these cool terrariums from Dunecraft. With instantly recognizable characters (Diego and Dora, the Backyardigans, etc) these kits are a big hit. They really do work and sprouted in just a couple days (got to love instant gratification). The lids keep the mess to a minimum, but try to do the initial set up outdoors. These make excellent party favors for summer birthdays. $8.99 each.
From Green Toys, I liked the recycled packaging and hardy nature of this toy. But sadly the sunflowers never blossomed for us. The basil and zinnia did sprout right away and my almost-three-year old loved watering and watching these plants grow. It's a tad messy for indoor fun (as it is marketed), but ideal for a balcony, deck or backyard project. Comes with a shovel, seeds, pots and tray. $27.42