Watering The Garden – An Ongoing Experience

Watering the garden - an ongoing experience

An all time favourite activity

Watering the garden & potted plants with a hose (if your game!) or watering cans is one of the simplest ways to encourage sustainability & engage children with the natural world.  This experience is ongoing & packed full of learning opportunities.


  • Ensure you have enough watering cans depending on the number of children you have.  (We have 1 large & 3 small for 20 toddlers to share)
  • Make a special home for your watering cans.  Somewhere the children can see them, so they can remind you “today is watering day”.  (Ours hang from S hooks above the sandpit.)
  • Create a watering schedule.  Depending on the time of the year, water restrictions & garden size & needs.  (We water our smaller pots & seedlings Monday, Wednesday & Friday.  Our larger pots & hardier garden beds Tuesday & Friday.  This really helps with under or over watering)


Materials Needed

  • Watering cans –  We use smaller watering cans that are easy for children to carry when full with a handle on the top & side.
  • A tap with easy access for filling.



  1. Obviously watering plants is very straightforward. Teaching children to give our plants “a drink” at the base of the plant, takes a little more time.  Not many plants need their leaves watered, whereas all plants need watering down at soil & the roots.
  2. Managing a group of toddlers who all want a turn of watering “right now thanks very much”, can also take some preparation.  Learning to share & take turns is a very important social skill & this activity is great for building patience.  
  3. Early in the mornings or late afternoons is also a great time to water.  It’s kinder on the plants & there’s often time to spend with the children at this quieter time of the day.

Extending on this experience

Nurturing nature & developing observation skills

  • Learning plant anatomy – Seeds, flowers, roots, stems, leaves.
  • Nature study – observing the differences & similarities between plants.
  • Water conservation – measuring the amount of water used each day.
  • Using a water probe to see & record the soil moisture content.
  • Upcycling other containers as watering cans eg plastic water bottles

Now I’d love to hear about your time in the garden with the children!  What season is it where you are ?

Should you have any questions or feedback, please contact me here.  


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