The best gardening kits for kids you can buy

  • Gardening kits for children teach important lessons about how plants grow while encouraging kids to care for their gardens responsibly.
  • Our top pick, the Creativity for Kids Magic Bean Garden, includes a fast-growing plant and combines arts and crafts with gardening.

If you're looking for a fun gift or a way to keep kids entertained this summer, gardening kits for children combine education with entertainment. There are countless gardening kids designed to bring the fun of gardening indoors, making them suitable choices even if you live in an apartment or have no access to a yard. They get kids involved with gardening on a basic level, often combining gardening with arts and crafts. Plus, when plants require frequent watering, they teach kids about responsibility and caring for a living thing.

The gardening kits in this list are some of the best available. They include all of the supplies that you need (except water), and some incorporate fun arts and crafts activities so that your children can customize their gardens and put their art skills to work. All of these kits also include the required seeds, and fast-growing plants have been selected so that even younger children will quickly see the results of their gardening - some of these options are suitable for children as young as 5.

Depending on your children's ages, some (or a lot of) supervision may be needed both during set-up and when it comes to caring for the garden. All of these kits can receive the light they need when placed in a sunny window, and care is relatively low-maintenance. They're all designed with kids in mind, and even if the plants die on the first try, most of these kits include enough seeds so that you can replant and try again.

During this age of computer screens and technology, these gardening kits can be a welcome return to nature. They can be a great summer learning activity and may be ideal birthday gifts too.

Here are our top picks for the best gardening kits for kids in 2019:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

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The best overall

The best overall
Combining crafts and gardening, the Creativity for Kids Magic Bean Garden is suitable for kids ages 5 and up.

Whether your child's a fan of the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale or loves arts and crafts, the Creativity for Kids Magic Bean Garden combines crafting, gardening, and a little bit of enchantment. Designed for ages 5 and up, the fun starts with painting the flower pot. Five brightly colored paint and a paintbrush are included, so your child can express his or her artistic talents. Next, fill the planter with the included potting mix, and plant the beans. The kit includes three "magic" beans, and it's recommended that you plant one or two at a time.

The beans themselves are Sword beans, also known as Canavalia beans. Each seed is engraved with a message, and once the beans sprout you can see these surprise messages on the pods. You can expect to see growth within 3 to 10 days, and the pods grow between 10 and 18 inches long, resembling swords. Once the plants are established, you can transplant them to a larger pot, teaching your child about gardening in the process.

The Creativity for Kids Magic Bean Garden has a 4.5 out of 5-star Amazon rating, based on 42 reviews. One customer and her son were impressed with their bean plant's growth: "I was not expecting such a beautiful plant to grow from these beans! It took ours a pretty long time to sprout, but once they appeared they took off like crazy! Absolutely gorgeous healthy leaves- we will be repotting it soon to see how big it will get. A really fun and awesome experiment to do with my son!"

Pros: Kit incorporates painting with gardening, beans sprout to reveal special messages on their pods, can transplant bean plants to allow for further growth

Cons: Only three beans are included

Buy the Creativity for Kids Magic Bean Garden on Amazon for $15

The best for education

The best for education
Through guided experiments, the Thames & Kosmos Kids First Botany Experimental Greenhouse Kit teaches children about nature, gardening, and how plants grow.

When it comes to hands-on learning, the Thames & Kosmos Kids First Botany Experimental Greenhouse Kit allows children to be active participants in the learning process. This kit gets kids to conduct experiments within greenhouse domes that come with thermometers and ventilation. As children grow beans, cress, and zinnia flowers, they'll learn about how plants grow and discover the different needs of each type of plant.

A 48-page, full-color manual guides children through 30 different experiments and provides detailed instruction on planting and caring for different types of plants. Children will learn many valuable skills, such as how to make leaf and bark rubbings and how to force budded branches to grow in winter. Rather than planting seeds and waiting for them to grow, the kit keeps kids involved with plenty of activities and learning opportunities. The kit is suitable for kids ages 5 through 10.

The Thames & Kosmos Kids First Botany Experimental Greenhouse Kit has a 3.9 out of 5-star Amazon rating, based on 37 reviews. One reviewer wrote, "My son loves this. It's so much more than botany. The booklet is thick and filled with experiments. The supplies are copious and unexpectedly abundant. The experiments require upkeep, and the system is set up for success with lots of nice visual reminder components. Breeds responsibility, and rewards it with success."

Another customer also had a positive experience with the kit: "My 7-year-old son and I had a great time with this! It came with everything we needed to get us started. He enjoyed getting to watch and track the growth of all the plants."

Pros: Manual includes 30 experiments, unique greenhouse dome design allows for individualized experiments, keeps kids active, comes with supplies to grow beans, cress, and zinnia flowers

Cons: Requires frequent watering and monitoring, requires some adult supervision

Buy the Thames & Kosmos Kids First Botany Experimental Greenhouse Kit on Amazon for $27.99

The best for ongoing entertainment

The best for ongoing entertainment
The Zombie Plant Grow Kit from TickleMe Plant offers ongoing entertainment with its plant that seems to play dead at your touch.

Looking for something a little different as a gift for a zombie-loving kid? The Zombie Plant Grow Kit is a gardening kit with a twist. Rather than grow flowers or vegetables, this kit contains "zombie seeds" that grow into a plant (Mimosa pudica) that "plays dead" at the slightest touch. Just a brush of the mature plant's leaves will cause it to fold up and almost recoil from your touch, appearing to die before your eyes. With time, the plant will gradually unfurl again, returning to "life" until someone touches it and it curls up again.

This kit arrives in a coffin-like box and includes everything you need to grow a small army of zombie plants. Six growing pellets take the mess out of gardening, and there are plenty of zombie plant seeds to get you started. You can grow the plants indoors year-round and transplant them to pots to allow them to reach larger sizes.

The Zombie Plant Grow Kit has a 3.8 out of 5-star Amazon rating, based on 163 reviews. One customer wrote, "Overall great product. Followed the instructions on the book and the majority of the seeds germinated. Some seeds even germinated during the soaking period. I have been growing these on next to my work desk and have a small set up with a grow light and a timer. The plants have been growing at a steady pace and provide entertainment to myself and my coworkers who walk by and touch a branch or two to watch it close."

Another customer wrote, "Our family has enjoyed growing the zombie plant kit. My young daughter loves watching the leaves close when she touches them. They came up quickly and have been transferred to a bigger pot."

Pros: Fun packaging, kit includes everything you need to grow the plants

Cons: Some zombie-themed décor for the garden itself would complete the package

Buy the Zombie Plant Grow Kit on Amazon for $18.95

The best fairy garden

The best fairy garden
The Creativity for Kids Enchanted Fairy Garden Craft Kit combines gardening with arts and crafts to keep kids active in the experience.

With the Creativity for Kids Enchanted Fairy Garden Craft Kit, children can create, paint, and decorate a fairy garden all their own. The kit blends together arts and crafts with indoor gardening, as children start out by painting the 11-inch-diameter potting dish, resin fairy house, and resin toadstools. Then, kids can plant the wheatgrass and bean mixture seeds using the included potting soil. Included gravel, glass stones, fabric flower bouquets, pixie dust, and gems give kids plenty of creative freedom in how they decorate their fairy garden. Once the scene is set, kids can decide on the perfect place for Hannah, the included fairy figurine.

This product goes beyond many other gardening kits in terms of the overall activity it offers kids. From painting the dish and accessories to setting up — and redesigning — the scene, kids are more involved in play with this kit than with more traditional gardening kits. The grass grows within one to two weeks, so the "complete" garden will be visible promptly. While the garden consists mostly of grass, adding in some flower seeds that have relatively shallow root structures would add a little more color and variety to the scene.

The Creativity for Kids Enchanted Fairy Garden Craft Kit has a 4.3 out of 5-star Amazon rating, based on nearly 700 reviews. This customer found that kids of all ages enjoyed this kit: "Bought for a 6-year-old, 10-year old, and 16-year old sisters for a craft project. I even made one with them. They enjoyed it and so did I. The decorations are adorable. All items were intact in the boxes. It took us about 3 hours to complete."

Another customer wrote: "This fairy planter really grew great! My 8-year-old daughter loves it. We bought DIY planters but the seeds never grew out … Comes with a lot of seeds. You don't need to use whole bag."

Pros: Kit incorporates gardening with arts and crafts, includes many items that allow kids to decorate their fairy garden

Cons: Seeds are mostly grass, no drainage in the potting dish

Buy the Creativity for Kids Enchanted Fairy Garden Craft Kit on Amazon for $20.86

The best terrarium

The best terrarium
The Creativity for Kids Grow 'n Glow Terrarium includes enough materials for two life cycles and is easy to use.

The value of the Creativity for Kids Grow 'n Glow Terrarium kit lies in its ease of use. The kit has everything you need to create a terrarium, and the hard work has already been done for you. The plastic mason-style jar won't break if a child drops it on the floor, and the decorative lid already has fun shapes cut out of it for ventilation. The supplies are colorful and fun, and with plenty of stickers (both garden stickers and fun glow-in-the-dark options), your child can assemble the terrarium in one setting.

This kit includes enough materials for two life cycles, so if your child doesn't master the daily watering on the first try, they'll get another chance at it by rebuilding the terrarium. The mixture of chia and wheat grass seeds grow quickly, but they'll only thrive with daily watering with the included mister, a process through which your child can observe the visible results of caring for a living plant. Garden figurines, decorative sand, and river stones allow your child to express their creative side as they create their own mini ecosystem.

The Creativity for Kids Grow 'n Glow Terrarium kit has a 4.1 out of 5-star Amazon rating, based on more than 1,500 reviews. One customer's 8-year-old son loved the terrarium: "He put it all together the day he got it and has been so diligent about watering it every day. He'll do that before he does anything else when he wakes up in the morning!"

Pros: Includes all needed supplies, enough supplies are included for two grow cycles, seeds sprout quickly

Cons: Requires daily watering

Buy the Creativity for Kids Grow 'n Glow Terrarium on Amazon for $12.99
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