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My folks tell me that I started gardening early, pulling up icicle radishes and eating them, dirt and all, at age two. One photo of me as a youngster shows me wielding a rather large pitchfork — but I don’t recall any pint-size gardening tools.

I know that getting children involved is the best way to teach them, and I want to train them to be safe. Should I be looking for under-sized chainsaws and jackhammers for my kids and grandkids? Are small tools the way to go? Let us know in comments.

Kids’ Garden Tool Set [eToys]


8 Responses to Hot or Not? Kids’ Garden Tools

  1. John says:

    I have a 1.5yr old, and he helps around the front yard while I weed and do stuff like that. I say go for the real tools. You can get small hand held tools that fit them and will be useful far beyond the toy tools. Even in the wood shop, I have plans to give my boy a small set of tools and let him use those in a few years then he’s ready. Toys are toys, and tools are tools. If you want them to play with tools, give them the real thing. (aside from utility knives and saws and other things that might actually hurt them, etc) And you’ll still be able to use them afterwards where a toy usually just gets thrown out or passed along.

  2. Zathrus says:

    Hot. And Not.

    Hot: Kid’s love them, or at least mine do. And the better ones actually are real tools that can do real work. Sure, it’s great to use small versions of “grown up” tools where possible (I have a plastic bush rake that’s just a small version of a full size lawn rake), that’s not always viable. I’ve never seen a scaled down hoe, for instance (like the one pictured, vs the hand-tool sized one). Ditto for a shovel.

    Not: Be warned, they’re pretty much all made in China, and many have been recalled in the past year for using lead paint. Including the set I had for my kids. And another set I was thinking about purchasing.

    So, hot idea, but be careful on the execution. I finally gave up looking for real tools and bought some plastic ones at Toys ‘R’ Us a couple weeks ago. No, I can’t possibly use them for anything real, but at $3, I don’t care much, and I won’t feel guilty about buying better ones later when I eventually find some that aren’t complete crap.

    Oh, and my girls also love the fake Home Depot tool toys (screwdrivers, drills, saws, etc). And at their ages (4 and 2), I’m certainly not going to allow them to use any real tools yet.

  3. John E. says:

    2.5 year old here. Mine will play with the mini-me tools for a little bit, but usually is interested in the tools I’M using at the time. Grass is always greener on the other side….

    If you do get them, get the metal variety. The plastic ones don’t hold up and will crack. It also teaches them if you throw a shovel, it CAN hurt. haha.

  4. Rob O. says:

    In his excitement, my little guy (2 yrs old) gets a bit, um, “flingy” with anything he has in his hands, so I’d rather get smacked with an errant plastic yard tool than a more damage-inducing metal version. Old dads don’t heal as quickly as their young sons…

  5. Aaron says:


    As a kid I had a small shovel (probably not a toy really, but just a small garden spade) and I loved to help my dad out in the yard with such things. This is probably why as a new home owner I’m doing it all myself now without even thinking about how to do it as I learned when I thought it was playing with dad.

  6. dan says:

    Hot. Anything that’s getting kids outside and working with their hands, rather than sitting inside playing video games is good in my book (and i’m a software developer… makin’ the stuff i’m trying to keep my kids away from)

    my 2 year old (almost 2 1/2 now, actually) has that exact gardening tool set… she loves it.
    i’ve found the shovel to be awfully handy when clearing the bottom of a utility trench, too 🙂

  7. Terry says:

    My 2 1/2 year old daughter loves it when I pull out the tools to fix something.
    I had part of an afternoon to kill on weekend so we fixed her wagon. We went to Home Depot and bought the bolts, washers and nuts. When we came home I helped her use the ratchet and a screwdriver. She gets more enjoyment out of real tools than the kids tools versions.

    But this Hot or Not is about kids garden tools. I say ‘not’. They’re made cheaply and they break too easily. Get the smallest size of the adult tools and know you’ll still have a use for them after the kid gives up on ’em.

  8. Donny B says:

    Hot : all toys that get kids excited are cool……

    I was rebuilding a head on a bmw at 8……

    All tools are cool

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