A Child's Quick and Easy Garden Tote

Nothing encourages a child to join you in gardening tasks like creating this inexpensive carryall together.

Encourage a Garden Helper

Encourage a Garden Helper

Encourage a garden helper with a customized tote.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Ashley English

Image courtesy of Ashley English

Encourage a garden helper with a customized tote.

As I grew up, my father and stepmother were particularly fond of monogramming. From beach totes to hand towels, if there was a surface on which initials could be placed, they’d likely already considered doing so.

It stood to reason, then, that they’d share their customizing enthusiasm with me. I can vividly recall two sweaters, both wool, one fire engine red, the other butter yellow, emblazoned with AMA, for Ashley Marie Adams, my maiden name. I tell you, there’s nothing like truly calling something one’s own to endear it to you. I loved those sweaters, and wore them until holes formed and stitches began to unravel.     

That affinity for “ownership” of an object is precisely why creating customized garden totes serves as an ideal means of fostering an interest in gardening for wee ones. While any old vessel can be filled with gardening implements, one ornamented with a child’s name, nickname, initials or date of birth creates a truly distinguishable, one-of-a-kind gardening tote. Just as research has shown that children are much more likely to consume fruits and vegetables they had a hand in growing, they’re also much more inclined to get engaged in the entire gardening process if they have a container all their own.

Creating a customized garden tote couldn’t be easier. It’s also quite affordable to make. Any vessel with a handle works well. Plastic and metal are good considerations, as they can withstand the ravages of harsh weather better than a natural material such as a rattan or wicker basket, should they get left outdoors (as children often tend to do!). Craft, thrift and dollar stores are all locations to scour for sourcing a suitable vessel at a low cost. Craft stores will also have lettered and numbered stickers, which you’ll need.

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