Complete a child's gardening tool kit with items you already have around the house and in the garage. Clean off a shelf in your potting shed, or in the garage where you keep your own gardening tools, for the child to keep his tools. Teach the child to gather up, clean and store tools properly. Gradually add a child-size shovel, rake and hoe to the tool kit when the child shows interest in gardening.
A large serving fork, bent at an angle so the tines point downward serves as a cultivator. Dinner forks bent the same way are smaller and get closer to the plant. The forks are small enough for little hands to use comfortably. A serving spoon makes a good hand shovel. Teaspoons are good for digging holes to plant seeds because they don't go very deep into the soil. Spray paint the handles a bright color so they don't get lost in the garden and to differentiate them from tableware.
Use an old pitcher as a watering can. Draw flowers and leaves on the pitcher with indelible markers. Or let the child draw the pictures and write her name on it. A small 1-gallon bucket, or completely cleaned out paint can, is handy for hauling dirt, compost or transplants, as well as for making mud pies.
Protection from the sun, dirt and germs is important for children. An apron protects clothing. Sew, or use fabric glue, to attach pockets to the front of the apron to hold seed packets, sunscreen, craft sticks to mark rows and a marker. A hat with a wide brim that ties under the chin keeps the sun off little noses and cheeks. Attach an umbrella to a wooden dowel and use it to shade the area where your little one is working.
Children like to pull things. Make a wagon out of a produce crate by attaching four wheels and a handle or rope for pulling. The wagon will be sturdy enough for garden work but not strong enough for the child to get in and be pulled around. Scout garage sales for a secondhand wagon. Give it a bright coat of paint and it will look nearly new.
Gardening tools aren't much use without seeds to plant. Seed packets can cost as much as $2.50. Drug stores often have seed of off brands for as little as three packages for $1 when they're on sale. Pick up an assortment of easy-to-plant and fast germinating seeds such as radishes, bush beans, marigolds, zinnias, sunflowers and summer squash to complete your child's garden.