Why You Need A Set Of Children's Garden Tools, According To Our Master Gardener

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

It may be unconventional advice, but I believe everyone should have a set of children's garden tools in their collection. While these tiny long-handled tools are made for little ones so they can help around veggie gardens and landscapes, these mini versions of grown-up tools can often reach where our full-sized options cannot. Sure, the shorter, thinner handles can make them a bit more difficult to use, but a little ingenuity can help solve that problem.

You can typically find single items or sets of children's garden tools for sale at big box stores and garden centers. I picked up mine at Aldi for a bargain price, where I buy quite a few of my garden supplies in the spring, but you can also find these sets at hardware stores like Home Depot or online on Amazon. The sets usually include a shovel, two types of rakes, and a hoe. Naturally, the manufacturers are not expecting children to do heavy-duty garden work, so these products should only be used for light jobs in vegetable gardens and landscaped areas.

Ways to use children's garden tools

These tiny tools are perfect for getting into those nooks and crannies between plants, where full-sized options will not fit. My favorite is the little leaf rake. The one I have is about 8 inches wide, making it perfect for removing leaves and sticks between plants and under bushes. Sure, you can do this job by getting on your hands and knees to remove that decomposing organic matter, but these protected areas are often home to insects, spiders, and snakes. While I appreciate their contributions to my garden, I don't particularly want to meet them face to face. That little rake has startled more than one snake in my garden.

For light weeding between plants like those early season grass and weed sprouts, the mini hoe is perfect for scraping the surface of the soil, which removes the green tops from the roots. Likewise, if you need to dig a small hole in a tight spot to plant some beautiful spring annuals between your perennial plants, the small shovel head works well in loose soil.

Making these versions more grown-up friendly

I don't need to make adjustments to my children's tool set — one the benefits of being a shorter-than-average gardener means I'm closer to the ground than others. However, if you're taller, you may want to extend the length of the handle to save some wear and tear on your back. Even if you don't need to make the handles longer, you can make them a little more comfortable to use by slipping a pool noodle over top, a great way to repurpose these foam items in the garden.

If you're buying these tools at a hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot, you can take the tools to the PVC plumbing pipe section to find the perfect size to slip over the handle and cut it to the ideal length for your height. By being able to find the right size in-store, you won't have to worry about getting an ill-fitting pipe, which won't make your work any easier. While you are in that section, make sure you get a thicker pipe that is stiff enough to mimic the sturdiness of the long handle. Once you have the right pipe cut to fit, put a cap on the end and slip it over the handle. Finally, secure the PVC to your mini garden tools with some duct tape or heavy duty glue.