One of my favorite quotesâ€¦
It often happens to children â€“ and sometimes to gardeners â€“ that they are given gifts of value of which they do not perceive until much later.
– Wayne Winterrowd
Although it can apply to many things, I offer think of it when teaching children about gardening. I am passionate about gardening with children and love to sneak in ways to show them nature. One of the ways I foster gardening in our youth is through reading. I think it is important to show the soil to table connection at a very young age, and reading is a great way to teach children about gardening and food.
Today I wanted to share some of my favorite gardening books. Most are geared toward elementary school age children, but they are wonderful for all ages!
Books to Get Your Kids Excited & Asking Questions about Gardeningâ€¦
Flower Garden by Eve Bunting, ages 4 and up
Sunflower House by Eve Bunting, ages 4 and up
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, Ages 4 and up
How Groundhog’s Garden Grew by Lynne Cherry, ages 4 and up
Growing Vegetable Soup by Louis Elhert, ages 3 and up
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Elhert, ages 4 and up
Planting a Rainbow by Louis Elhert, ages 3 and up
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons, ages 5 and up
How Seeds Grow by Helen J. Jordan, ages 3 and up
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, ages 4 and up
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, ages 4 and up
Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants by Bonniw Worth (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library), ages 5 and up
And the newest addition to our reading listâ€¦ On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole, ages 4 and up. A lovely story about how Meadowview Street gets a real meadow from a thoughtful little girl.
Tips on Reading to Our Youth
Reading aloud to your children is as important as having them read to you. A great non-fiction book to read together is Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy (Workman, 1999). It’s a fun book to get the garden planning started. Lovejoy offers the how-tos on 12 spirited garden plots, like a Pizza Patch and a Moon Garden!
Another great non-fiction youth gardening books is New Junior Garden Book by Felder Rushing (Better Homes & Gardens, 1999). It has 38 kid tested and approved projects to try.
Remember to read outside on days the weather permits. We love to read at the park, on the boat, and in a shady spot in the backyard.
Reading doesn’t have to be expensive either. Spend your money on the garden! Local libraries offer a great system of children’s books. Some county libraries offer online catalogs, and you can easily reserve titles and renew your books. You can also browse local book shops and children’s consignment shops for great used books.
I will end with another of my favorite quotes:
“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” (Confucius, 551 BC to 479 BC)
Although reading offers knowledge and builds curiosity about gardening, it is important to get children outside and in the garden! If even you don’t have children or grandchildren, but love to garden, you can help teach the next generation of gardeners. Reach out and volunteer at a local school’s garden or in a community or church garden in your area. Maybe you have lots of kids in your neighborhood. Could you offer them a spot in your garden to learn? Children have a natural curiosity and love to get dirty; making it easy to teach them about the important relationship we have with our Earth.
growing vegetables and kids : www.FLgardening.wordpress.com
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