Whether you’ve got your very own green-fingered kid or are trying to encourage your child to embrace nature and take some interest in gardening, most children, at some point, will get involved with watering the plants in the garden or in the home. But one thing’s for sure, they’ll need a good watering can by their side.
Watering plants or vegetables is a good way for children to develop their motor skills, learn about cause and effect, and embrace the great outdoors. Who knows, making the humble watering can appeal to children may inspire the next generation of gardeners.
When testing the watering cans – along with the help of our five-year-old reviewer – we were looking out for certain qualities. First and foremost, they need to be child-sized. Generally, we found around 1 litre capacity to be large enough, and for testing, we were filling about halfway. Handles need to be easy to grip, and the material used can affect that. They need to be robust, too, so we were looking for durable products that seemed likely to last. We also awarded extra points for those made from recyclable materials.
Spout style can affect a child’s enjoyment, and we found the “rose” sort, which creates more of a sprinkle with lots of small holes, is better for giving more of a light shower than a downpour – also great if you want to double it up as a bath or beach toy.
But a big factor for us was the fun design of the product – whether that’s an interesting shape, bright colours, or featuring animal characteristics – because that will ensure it’s your child’s new garden pal.
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Quut cana large watering can
Made from durable, recyclable plastic, the cana is BPA-, latex- and phthalate-free, and, somewhat deceptively, holds up to a litre of water. There is a smaller 500ml version available, but our five-year-old tester had no problem carting around the large one, mainly thanks to the child-friendly built-in handle.
Unlike the other watering cans we tested, this has two functions. The left side has a spout allowing the water to pour out, and the right side has a “rose” patch of small holes that creates a spray. Our reviewer loved switching between the functions, and it also makes it great as a bath toy. It’s available in three striking colours too.
Scrunch watering can
A watering can you can fold? Now we’ve seen it all. In fact, it can be squished, bent, and rolled up without ever losing its shape – handy when there are heavy-handed children involved. Made from food-grade recyclable silicone, the Scrunch watering can holds up to 800ml of water, although with its large, open design we’d recommend less than this. It’s incredibly strong and durable, and is so portable that it makes a great beach toy too.
Melissa and Doug petals watering can
Our five-year-old tester nominated this as the prettiest watering can, and we can see why – it’s like a sunny spring day with blossoming flowers. It’s the largest one too, and we tested it with a litre of water – any more would be a bit heavy for a five-year-old to use independently – but there’s room for more. The cute flower spout scored points with our mini gardener and the rose top caused an effective showering, while the handle seemed comfortable enough to hold.
Liewood Lyon watering can
Danish brand Liewood creates some wonderful products for the whole family. Its products are known for being sustainable, and the same green approach can be expected with the Lyon watering can, which is made from 100 per cent silicone. Designed to last, this watering can is the most robust of those we tested, but while the silicone composition is soft and flexible we also found it pretty heavy – particularly when filled with water. When testing with our five-year-old gardener we made sure we only filled it halfway (capacity is around a litre), but the handle seemed very comfortable and the adorable panda face is a sweet addition.
Melissa & Doug sunny patch camo chameleon watering can with tail handle and branch-shaped spout
It’s unlikely that this chameleon watering can will blend into your garden with its bright colours, but mini gardeners will love having this item in their clutches. The design is full of fun, and our tester loved grabbing hold of the animal’s tail and watching the water pour out of the spouting branch that they cling on to.
Kids’ watering can
There’s something rather nostalgic about a tin watering can, and this example by Dunelm is perfect for little gardening enthusiasts. Holding an impressive 1.6l of water – although we didn’t fill to the brim – our tester commented on the lovely bright colours, and the sprinkling effect from the spout was a hit. The top handle also folds down and our reviewer loved swinging the can, so prepare for some splashing! For just £6, this will soon become the ultimate friend to your little gardener.
Toucan watering can
Bring a touch of the rainforest into your garden with this toucan watering can, which was quickly in the clutches of our five-year-old tester. It’s great fun, with water pouring out of its long orange beak. It holds a mega 1.5l of water and will guarantee plenty of giggles in the garden.
This one is only available in-store at Dobbies Garden Centres.
Janod happy garden little gardener playset
This set from French brand Janod will take their gardening game to new levels. This isn’t just a watering can: you’ll get a rake, shovel, and a pair of gloves too! We love that all of the tools are made using solid wooden handles and steel, while the handy gloves are made of cotton – all materials which are kinder to the planet than plastic, and super robust too. The watering can, with a sweet hedgehog illustration, was a good size for our five-year-old tester, and we were impressed with how well made all elements were.
New Sprouts grow it!
Before your little one takes on garden tasks of their own, they may need a little encouragement and practice. We tried out this New Sprouts set from Learning Resources with our soon-to-be three-year-old tester, and it’s been a real hit. The nine-piece set includes a watering can, two flowers, a carrot, radish, shovel and three pots, allowing you to mix and match, which is great for little imaginations. The watering can is a great item for transitioning to watering real garden flowers, as it doesn’t fit much water but is a great size and shape for toddlers.
The verdict: Kids’ watering cans
Quut’s cana watering can delivers and then some: it’s incredibly sturdy, has two pouring functions, and is so easy for little ones to hold thanks to its super cool design. A deserving winner!
For more products to encourage your little ones to embrace the outdoors, check out our round-up of the 8 best garden games the whole family can enjoy
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