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There is something so wonderful about gardens to a child’s eye.

Like a mini jungle, little footsteps seek out the adventure and wonder amidst the towering plants. There are so many things to discover, colours to look at and dirt to play in. The touch and feel of different leaves amuse little hands. With a little extra enthusiasm, you can add some elements to your garden to make it even more magical for a child to play in.

After all gardening with your children creates memories.

Why not make it even more magical?

Kids Garden Design by Sophie’s Patch

Photo from

Kids Garden Fort from Traditional Home

~Magical Vegetables for a Children’s Garden~

There are some vegetables that are a little more magical for children to grow as they’re related to some of the childhood classics.

  • Pumpkins will easily remind children of Cinderella. The large vining plants spread far and wide in all sorts of directions and children can carve the pumpkins for Halloween. Try heirloom and Cinderella pumpkins.
  • Jack and the bean stalk will have a whole new meaning when kids can plant the large seeds themselves and watch them climb upwards, open pretty flowers and pop out beans.
  • Vegetables that little hands can help open are fun like peas, shell beans and edamame.
  • Colourful veggies add another dynamic. There’s purple, speckled or yellow snap beans, rainbow carrots, easter egg radishes or even purple cauliflower or peas. You’ll be surprised at the variety of colours many vegetables come in! When selecting your seeds in catalogs look for the colourful fun ones. Here’s a list of purple ones we’ve grown.

~Garden elements for a Children’s Garden~


Is there anything more fun for kids to sit under than a teepee? Using large bamboo poles you can make a teepee and tie string across each pole and grow peas, beans or malabar spinach (a vining heat loving leafy green) up them. Teepee’s will be easier for little children to sit under than for older kids.

Image from Fix

We planted and grew a bean playhouse for our kids

~Sunflower Fort~

Sunflowers are beautiful to children and the height is amazing even to adults. By growing them in a circle or rectangle with a gap for an opening you can create a fort for them to play in. A nice bonus is that the inside will offer some shade from the hot summer sun, and kids can grow beans, morning glories or peas up the sunflowers for an extra crop. A sunflower fort is good for kids that are too big to fit under a teepee (even grown ups can enjoy them!).


Using large sticks or store-bought bamboo, you can build tunnels in your garden to allow beans, peas or even little pumpkins or squash to grow overhead. Tunnels are enjoyable for little ones to walk through and it’s a fun layout for them to harvest. Use two garden beds opposite each other and use the path way as the ‘tunnel’. Bean seeds or peas are easy for kids to plant and make perfect crops to grow and harvest in a tunnel.

~A Vegetable Patch of Their Own~

By creating a small space for your kids to grow their favourite vegetables you’ll be enticing them to eat more vegetables. By allowing them to choose what they grow, you’re giving them the opportunity to be closer to their food and appreciate the work that goes from seed to harvest.

~Flower Garden~

Flowers have an amazing effect on children. There is something fun and engaging about hand picking flowers of all sort of shapes, sizes and colours. By growing flowers for your children’s garden you’re also helping out the bees by giving them pollen and nectar which they in turn help to pollinate your food.

Some favorite garden flowers for kids

  • Calendula
  • Zinnias
  • Cosmos
  • Sunflowers
  • Nasturtiums
  • Wildflowers

~Fairy Wands~

Using flowers with long stems (or even sticks), your kids can have a fairy wand from the garden. My favourite ones are the allium flowers (onions, garlic, leeks that have gone to seed) as they have large pretty lobe flowers with stronger stems. I also love bachelor buttons for fun little ones.

~Magic for the Grown up World~

Perhaps the most magical thing about a children’s garden is for the adults to see their children want to eat vegetables. In our modern day world the convenience of grocery stores has greatly disconnected children from their food sources. In the garden they can observe a seed sprout or a little bee pollinate a flower and then a vegetable grows from that seed or flower. It will draw in new feelings towards these mystery vegetables and create a sense of curiosity and new appreciation.

Creating a magical garden for your kids is fun

and it allows kids to love gardening even more!

Check out this great list of age appropriate fun activities for your kids to do in the garden.

My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.

15 Ideas for a Children’s Discovery Garden

Presented by the National Association of Landscape Professionals in partnership with

By Laura Gaskill

Playing outdoors provides kids with physical activity and fresh air, encourages a love of nature and creativity, and can even help develop problem-solving skills. But the average big square of grass, while great for soccer matches, doesn’t provide much inspiration for little ones looking for adventure. If you have the room, consider adding some connected nooks and crannies designed to pique curiosity and support imagination. Here are 15 ideas to get you started, from burbling brooks and play meadows to fairy homes.

1. Outdoor chalkboard. A big chalkboard hung on a fence or an exterior wall can keep kids busy. Want to try something a little different? Hang Plexiglas instead, and let kids paint on it with washable tempera and shaving cream — you can wash everything right off with a hose, so you can reuse the Plexiglas as many times as you want.

2. Sensory table with shade. If you have preschoolers, you’ve probably spotted a sensory table at your child’s school — these kid-height tables are meant to be filled with water, sand or other materials (like dry beans) that kids will enjoy sticking their little hands into. Place the table in a shady area or use an umbrella to protect little ones from the sun as they play. On hot days try placing big chunks of ice colored with food coloring in the water table and let kids play with it as it melts.

Photo by Island Waterscape & Design Ltd

3. Burbling brook. A bit of running water can go a long way toward making your backyard feel miles away from civilization. The sound of a running stream, the feel of cool water on hot feet and curious hands pleases adults and children alike. Just remember that with young children at home, any water play must be supervised — even very shallow water, as shown here.

Photo by Helen Rose Wilson Garden Design

4. Tree-stump stepping stones. Natural tree stumps are a fabulous backyard accessory for kids. Line them up to make a meandering stepping stone path or circle them round to make a seating area. Smaller wood slices make great stepping stones for very young children.

5. Butterfly garden. Enchant children by attracting caterpillars and butterflies to your yard by planting milkweed, purple coneflower and other butterfly-friendly plants.

Photo by Ashley Camper Photography

6. Play meadow. Sure, regular grass is fine, but if you are tired of mowing, why not try something else? Some ground covers can provide a soft, springy surface that kids love running on, and they require little or no mowing.

If you do want to keep the grass, think about how much lawn your kids really use — a small patch may be fine, leaving more room for other creative elements like water, sand and edibles.

Photo by Matt Kilburn

7. Outdoor chalkboard with rock climbing holds. This is no ordinary chalkboard wall — those little holes are actually holds for rock climbing. Just make sure children don’t draw below while other kids climb!

8. Truck play zone. Any blank area in the garden can be quite easily turned into a “work zone” for toy trucks; simply leave a patch of dirt bare and plunk down some trucks and digging tools.

Photo by The Brickman Group, Ltd.

9. Edible beds with inviting paths. Kids get excited about eating their vegetables when they’ve helped grow them in their backyard. Growing a mix of fun edibles (like sugar snap peas and mint), soft and touchable plants (like lamb’s ear), and fresh flowers meant for cutting means there is always something interesting to do in the garden.

Stock an area nearby with kid-size watering cans and make clearly marked paths so kids know where to walk (and where not to).

Photo by The Pond Gnome

10. Garden art. Colorful sculptures and statues tucked into hidden nooks and crannies throughout the garden delight children. Kids can also get involved in decorating the garden by painting rocks and making plant markers.

11. Natural play area. A small dug-out area filled with sand and bordered with natural stones makes an inviting play area for young children. Add other found natural elements, like logs and wood slices, and plastic animals to complete the scene.

12. Sand pit now, veggie bed later. This is such a smart idea if you don’t want to commit permanently to a sandbox in the backyard: Build a raised veggie bed and fill it with sand instead. When your children are older, you can have the sand hauled out and fill the bed with soil.

Photo by Plan-it Earth Design

13. Fairy house. Small children are enchanted by other wee things, and the idea of a garden fairy house can be especially appealing. You can buy them, but it can be more fun (and is certainly more cost effective) to make one yourself using found natural materials.

Photo by Whitney Lyons

14. Swiss Family Robinson tree house. Inspire imaginative play with a rustic tree house made for outdoor adventures. This one was created using scrap wood and includes a bucket on a pulley — perfect for passing secret messages and other things up to those in the tree house.

15. Camp-style entertainment zone. A classic fire pit and picnic table are gathering areas the entire family can enjoy together. Having a casual, inviting outdoor space like this makes it more appealing to eat lunch outdoors in nice weather, or to head back outside after dinner for s’mores and songs around a blazing campfire. Just be aware that the ashes stay hot in fire pits for quite a long time — so keep kids away, even if it’s been a while since the last fire.

More from Houzz

Bring Out a Kids Table for Children to Play

Fire Pits for the Whole Family to Gather Around

Inspiring Kids Spaces – Indoors and Out

Horticulture Workshops for Children and Grown-Ups – Vertical Kitchen Garden

Last June, we saw the end of another workshop series on HORTICULTURE FOR CHILDREN AND GROWN-UPS, at the Dolce Vita Tejo (the biggest shopping centre in Europe).

These workshops were facilitated by Associação Chão da Terra, with support from Minigarden. The main goal of Associação Chão da Terra is to spread environmentally friendly growing techniques and foster contact with soil and nature.

For a few days, people had the chance to discover the benefits of urban kitchen gardens and learn about growing horticultural and aromatic plants.

In an urban setting, the use of raised seed beds and vertical systems with low space requirements may be the best solution to build a kitchen garden. All the participants had the opportunity to discover the Minigarden Vertical system. Everyone was able to feel the soil with their hands and thoroughly follow the suggestions to make a Minigarden Vertical kitchen garden without ever forgetting the general principles of sustainable agriculture.

It was a moment of dissemination and learning for all the attendees. There was plenty of fun for grown-ups and kids.

… And so the workshop series ended, with due credit to Associação Chão da Terra.

Welcome to the Urban Green Revolution!

A tip from Associação Chão da Terra:

1. Place the vertical kitchen garden in an area with at least 4-5 hours of daily solar exposure;
2. Fill the vertical kitchen garden bottom with a porous material to drain or absorb the excess water;
3. Choose an adequate substrate for the kind of plants you’re growing;
4. Adjust the plant and root size to your vertical kitchen garden dimensions;
5. Conciliate the plants according to their watering needs;
6. Increase watering in the hottest days.

Bulbs, Seeds & Propagation

Seeds & Propagation

If you’re keen to grow your own flowers, vegetables or herbs from seed, we have plenty for you to choose from! We stock a large range of seeds in the Garden Centre; the brands we currently stock are Suttons, Sarah Raven, Thompson & Morgan, Mr Fothergill’s, RHS and W. Robinson & Son. Included in the range by W. Robinson & Son are the popular “Mammoth Onion” seeds which are ideal for professional growers and exhibitors.

If for any reason a seed variety you require is not on our stands then please let us know and we will do our best to source them for you.

For younger gardeners, our Suttons ‘Fun to Grow’ fruit and vegetable seeds would be an ideal choice as they are easy to grow and specially designed for children.

We also stock a variety of products to help you with growing your seeds and seedlings such as propagators, cloches, seed trays and pots. If you would like any advice, please speak to our friendly and knowledgeable staff, we will pleased to help.


Depending on the time of year, we sell Spring flowering and Summer flowering bulbs. If you’re planning ahead, planting bulbs is a great way of adding colour to your garden, for you to enjoy in upcoming seasons. Some of our bulbs are sold pre-packaged and others are “pick your own” loose bulbs, so you can select whichever combination you would like. We offer a vast selection of varieties and colours to choose from, so hopefully you will be able to find your favourites!

Seed Potatoes, Garlic & Onion Sets

Seasonally, we also stock seed potatoes, as well as garlic and onion sets. We sell a wide range of different varieties to suit all tastes! (Availability will depend on the season).


Young person Leisure and Social

• A network of Special Needs Advisers at local level who are able to provide support and information for Leaders.

Advocacy for All

Advocacy for All run two groups in Sutton for people with learning disabilities. Information about both groups can be found below.

Speak Up: A group for adults aged 18 and over that have learning disabilities and live, work or study in the London Borough of Sutton. The aims of the group are to: give a voice to members to speak up on various issues affecting people with learning disabilities; have regular meetings to discuss useful ideas that members can take back to the council to resolve; represent people with learning difficulties at various national meetings; organise and support the Sutton Partnership board to give a voice to a wider community of people in the borough.

Action Voices: A group for young people aged 12-25 with learning disabilities. It encourages and supports it’s members to speak up and to help make important changes to make life better for young people with disabilities.

Disablility Challengers

Challengers play and youth schemes are where disabled children and young people feel that they belong, are safe, have fun and make friends. At every Challengers play and youth scheme there are lots of enthusiastic staff so that children and young people will always have someone to play and be with.

Disability Sports Coach

Disability Sports Coach (DSC) delivers a weekly multi-sport session at The David Weir Leisure Centre, Sutton. The pan disability session runs from 11.00am-12.30pm every Saturday during term time and is open to all people with a disability aged 11+ including adults. Sports offered include, boccia, football, polybat, basketball and more. Each term the Club focuses on a couple of sports which they then compete in a fun sports day against other DSC Clubs in their region.

Dolphins Swim Club

The Dolphins Swim Club is for children and young people with learning disabilities. The session takes place at the Latchmere Leisure Centre on Friday evenings, and is for children and young people aged 5-19 years old.We are a friendly Club who play Goalball seriously for fun: come and have a go, all ages very welcome.

Downsyndrome OK

There are 3 discos per year held in Nork, Banstead

The Zone – Friday night youth club for young people with Down’s Syndrome, and their close friends with learning disabilities. 7.30PM – 9.30PM, subscription payable half termly, £3 per session.

Epsom Riding for the Disabled Association

Epsom RDA is a registered charity and a member of the National Riding for the Disabled Association. We provide opportunities for disabled people to learn to ride to benefit their health and general well being. Sessions are held seven days a week at our own stables with indoor and outdoor riding schools.

Explorer Scouts

Explorer Scouts (14–18) Explorers are encouraged to lead themselves in deciding the programme and direction of the Unit, with support and guidance from leaders.

Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities as part of their programme. “Participation” rather than meeting set standards is the key approach and for the Scout who wants to be recognised for his or her achievements there are a number of Challenges, Awards and Activity Badges. Scouts take part in a balanced programme that helps them to find out about the world in which they live, encourages them to know their own abilities and the importance of keeping fit and helps develop their creative talents. It also provides opportunities to explore their own values and personal attitudes. The 15th Wallington Scout Group provides fun and adventure for young people with additional needs. We provide Scouting for young people aged between 6 and 14 years and have strong links to the sections providing continued Scouting for 14 to 25 year olds with additional needs.

Girls Win

Girls Win is a free and inclusive sports and games club for young women with SEN, aged 16-25.

For enquiries, contact Maddy Ford on: 07824 589443 / [email protected]

Palace for Life Foundation

Palace for Life Foundation run a wide and diverse disability programme that plans to give every person living with a disability the opportunity to participate in sport, improving their motor skills, physical fitness, and giving people the opportunity to develop self-esteem, confidence and gain vital interaction with new friends and the wider community. The Foundation is fully committed to reaching out to areas of the community that don’t have access to sports and physical activity.

The Springboard Project

Springboard is a unique community recreation and play centre that caters for all children and young people, including those who are disabled or have additional needs up to the age of 25.

Surrey Wheels for All

The Wheels for All initiative is a nationally recognised programme that embraces all children, young people and adults with disabilities and differing needs, to engage in a quality cycling activity.
By using specially adapted cycles, the activities are both physically and mentally stimulating and above all fun for everyone involved.
Surrey Wheels for All offers a great opportunity to provide a friendly, safe and fun environment for developing cycling skills for all and to take a lead in opening up new paths and promoting friendly group activities that can inspire others, irrespective of their individual ability or obstacles.

Sutton Community Farm

Volunteers come to the farm to learn new skills, share knowledge, meet people and be inspired. Keeping a community farm running involves a wide variety of work. Most volunteers help out with practical activities, and there are opportunities to work outside in the field or inside our veg shed helping to portion and package vegetables. To volunteer, you must fill out an application form – all applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For enquiries – Email: [email protected] / Call: 07419 740754

Sutton Eagles FC

We provide football training and tournament opportunities for children and young people aged 5-16yrs with a wide variety of special needs. The club targets players with SEND who would otherwise be unable to access football within a mainstream environment. The club aims to develop social and physical skills through football, and in doing so improves confidence and self-esteem and provides the opportunity to play in tournaments.

Sutton Mencap

Sutton Mencap provides children and young people’s services as follows:

After school clubs for children and young people aged 6 to 19, 3.15PM – 5.45PM, 4 nights per week, term times only.

Phoenix Rangers club for young people with Asperger’s aged 14 to 19, 4.30PM – 6.30PM, 1 night per week, term time only.

Saturday clubs for children and young people aged 6 to 19, 10.00AM – 3.00PM, term time only.

Holiday clubs for children and young people aged 6 to 19, 10.00AM – 3.00PM or 4.00PM, 5 days per week during school holidays.

Referral to our young people’s service is usually via the Children with Disabilities Service or the Transitions Team at the London Borough of Sutton. Please note that due to a high demand for our services there is usually a waiting list. For more information contact Asma Jacob, Sutton Mencap Children’s Services Manager on 020 8647 8600 or [email protected]

Sutton Mencap also provides a range of services for those aged 19 and over. For more information contact Tammy Satchell, Sutton Mencap’s Adult Services Manager on [email protected] or visit our website.

Sutton School of Gymnastics

Sutton School of Gymnastics offers gymnastics classes for all age groups and abilities.


Exclusive swimming session for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. There is also lots of other activities listed.

Wheels for Wellbeing

The club is open to anyone with mobility problems, balance difficulties, learning difficulties or who is visually impaired.

02/01/2020, 09:54:58

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