I have had many suggestions on how to interest small children to the magic of gardening, but... I am the supervisor of a juvenile community garden, which means I have (non-violent) teenagers working off traffic/shoplifting fines by working in our city's garden and growing vegetables to give to a local food bank. I am always looking for creataive ways to involve and interest them in gardening. Most of them have grown up in a concrete world and are clueless about plants, soil, insects, amphibians, birds, composting--you name it. And I am constantly trying to teach and get them interested in becoming the future gardeners and caretakers of our earth.
I am dismayed about the ignorance rampant among these kids about the natural world. They think snakes, spiders, bees, wasps, etc. are extremely dangerous and out to get them, but I tell them that mosquitoes are the worst thing they can encounter in our garden because they carry life-threatening diseases. But most kids are deathly afraid of spiders--even though spiders eat the disease-carrying mosquitoes. No one ever comes close to guessing the mosquito. Most kids don't eat vegetables and don't even know what most of the vegetables taste like or even look like. I have had a kid (6'2"--250 lbs.) run screaming from another kid chasing him with a toad. I am pessimistic about what the future will bring. I think if these teenagers do not change their views, the only wildlife they will have will be rats and cockroaches. And, maybe, deservedly so.