Spring has sprung, opening the door for lots of outdoor play. In addition to swinging and blowing bubbles, our children have shown an interest helping around the yard. My son and I grew sunflowers last year, and watching that process piqued his interest in gardening.
One of the challenges for him when helping plant seeds and flowers is finding the right tools. Regular gardening equipment is still a bit big for him, but most of the tools designed for children are quite flimsy and frustrating. Luckily we have some help this year from The World of Eric Carle Garden Collection!
We headed out to the garden this weekend with our new hand shovel, hand rake and watering can. The shovel and rake are decorated with bright colors from the Eric Carle series and are both the perfect size for little hands. They are made of durable metal, allowing for children to truly help with digging and other gardening tasks.
My preschool age (almost 5) son especially loves the handle of the shovel, which features the face of the “Very Hungry Caterpillar,” a familiar story in our household. He was able to dig holes for our new seeds and also rake the mulch for us as we spread it around the garden beds.
I was a bit more cautious and attentive when my 2-year-old grabbed the tools, since they’re not the typical plastic she’s used to. We learned quickly that these tools are probably best saved for children a tad older, perhaps four and over.
The watering can was my favorite item, made of tin and painted with a red and green caterpillar image; it’s adorable. It holds a decent amount of water while not getting too heavy. The purple handle is easy to grip and very sturdy for little hands. My daughter was easily able to use this watering can, and she was excited to help while we all were gardening.
The World of Eric Carle Garden collection also includes a tote bag to carry all the garden tools, latex-dipped gardening gloves, a tin pail, a set of larger gardening tools (hoe, two rakes and a shovel) and a cute folding chair for resting little feet with the “Very Hungry Caterpillar” adorned on the back.
In addition to gardening tools, the collection includes a butterfly net, critter keeper with mesh sides to house all your child’s collected bugs, a magnifying glass, binoculars and a lantern for nighttime exploring. All the items were designed to “spark a love of the outdoors, of learning and of exploring,” according to the designer.
My children love the bright colors and familiarity of the “Very Hungry Caterpillar” character, and I appreciate that the products are well designed, functional and durable. They are well worth their price tag, and I recommend checking them out if your children are interested in exploring nature and getting dirty in the garden this summer!
World of Eric Carle Garden Collection
Manufactured by Kids Preferred
Available at Toys R Us (www.toysrus.com), Amazon (www.amazon.com), and Yoyo.com
Hand Rake $8.99
Hand Shovel $8.99
Watering Can $12.99
Appealed to the advertised age range: 5
Instructions were easy to follow: 5
My child played with this multiple times: 5
Small pieces were a problem: No
Would travel well: No
I would purchase this for my family: Yes
I would purchase this as a gift: Yes
Overall rating: 5
All ratings on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being highest.
Meet the Reviewer!
Christy Petrak is a systems engineer currently taking a leave of absence to raise her two children, Thomas (5 years) and Eliza (2 years). She enjoys spending time with her family, swimming and baking/decorating cupcakes.