Get outside with your kids. You’ll be glad you did! The book choices below are fun and easy to follow. There are amazing ideas that are fun and educational in a hands-on, get your clothes dirty kind of way.
Interested in gardening? Your kids will be intrigued, and it is so much fun watching seedlings peek out of the ground and grow throughout the summer. Of course, the rabbits love your efforts as well, but that’s all part of the experience.
“Kids in the Garden: Growing Plants for Food and Fun” by Elizabeth McCorquodale. Black Dog Publishing 2010. This colorful book published in England covers everything from the parts of a plant, germination, watering, homemade compost to gardening on the wild side, making a bird feeder, pest patrol and more. There are kid-friendly projects and recipes for the fruits and veggies including blueberry popsicles, barbeque corn, cucumber pinwheels, alphabet soup, potato wedges and more.
“Let’s Go Outside! Outdoor Activities and Projects To Get You and Your Kids Closer to Nature” (2009)and “I Love Dirt: 52 Activities To Help You & Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature” by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Susie Ghahremani. Trumpeter Books, 2008. From Kick the Can to Five Fine Forts, Jennifer Ward brings an infectious enthusiasm to activities to do outdoors with your kids. Let’s Go Outside! was written with preteens and their parents in mind while I Love Dirt! is for the younger set.
“Gardening With Kids” by Catherine Woram and Martyn Cox, photographs by Polly Wreford. Ryland, Peters and Small Publishing, 2008. Information galore plus fun projects, garden crafts, games and treasure hunts.
“A Child’s Garden: 60 Ideas to Make Any Garden Come Alive for Children” by Molly Dannenmaier. Timber Press, 2008.
- Stories from Bug Garden by Lisa Moser, illustrated by Gwen Millward. Candlewick, 2016. Sometimes we forget that a garden is more than the plants and vegetables. There are all kinds of creatures making their homes in the garden. This book of story-like poems with rich illustrations helps children imagine the microcosm of creatures within the garden.
- Eddie’s Garden and How To Make Things Grow by Sarah Garland. Frances Lincoln Limited, 2004. This is a British publishing house so the Mom is called “Mum” but the illustrations are fun, and the story is informative and fun. Eddie wants a garden of his own so he and his mom (and Grandpa) start at the beginning. From seeds to plants to worms, slugs and birds, he tends his sunflowers, bean plants and pumpkins. The best part is the parent friendly “How To” at the back of the book with easy to follow details and instructions for gardening in the Earth and Container Gardening.
- And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin Stead. Neal Porter/Roaring Press, 2012. A love letter to spring, in which a child is rewarded for what he plants – not just a garden, but seeds he sows on earth. Great of ages 4-8.
- Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott. A Candlewick Press Big Book, 2007. This over-sized book has fabulous pictures with lots of details to follow and a simple text for children 2 – 4 years of age (or a great “learning to read” opportunity for 5-6 year olds). What a colorful introduction to seeds, plants, food and gardening!
- The Inside Tree by Linda Smith, illustrated by David Parkins. HarperCollins Children’s Book, 2010. Mr. Potter is not a gardener, but he is a little silly. One day he decides to bring his outside tree inside his house where it grows through the roof and eventually crowds out Mr. Potter. Your child will laugh at this, especially when Mr. Potter moves to the barn!
- Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden by Edith Pattou, illustrated by Tricia Tusa. Harcourt Books, 2001. The author originally wrote this book as a gift for her daughter’s kindergarten teacher, whose watchful and nurturing spirit reminded her of a gardener tending her garden. The text is simple; the gardening illustrations delightful. Preschool and elementary.