Visit your local library to find books on gardening or plants in both fiction and non-fiction!
How to encourage your child to write:
Choose the level of your child:
Toddler/Preschool – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer
Preschool/Kindergarten – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.
Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.
Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response. (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)
Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).
As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or poem about gardening or a special or magic garden.
Show Me How I can Grow Things: Gardening Projects for kids shown step by step, by Sally Walton & Stephanie Donaldson, Armadillo, 2013 - these are all in-door projects in various containers with various plants that are perfect for kids who want to learn more about growing plants.
Wildlife Gardening: How to bring birds and bugs to your backyard, by Martyn Cox, DK Publishing, 2009 - this book offers different projects, ones that encourage helpful and beautiful garden animals to visit your garden.
READING AND WRITING
Try some of these nonfiction/learning titles if you can find them:
A Backyard Vegetable Garden For Kids, by Amie Jane Leavitt, Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2009 - A great book to get your family started if you've never considered adding a backyard garden before. Also in this "Gardening For Kids" Series try: A Backyard Flower Garden For Kids, by Amie Jane Leavitt and Organic Gardening For Kids, by Elizabeth Scholl. For apartment living for smaller spaces try A Kid's Guide to Container Gardening, by Stephanie Bearce.
A Green Kid's Guide to Garden Pest Control, by Richard Lay and illustrated by Laura Zarrin, Magic Wagon. 2013 - a great book for new readers that explains the best ways to control pests in your garden toxin free. (There are other titles in the series Looking Glass Library Series that deal with gardening but we didn't read them).
Green Gardening and Composting, by Molly Aloian, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2014 - easy to read and great ideas for you and your kids to try.
Growing Flowers, by William Decker, PowerKids Press 2016 - with a focus on flowers this might inspire your kids to help out in the yard by adding colour to your space. Also in the "Garden Squad!" Series: Growing Vegetables, by Louella Bath.
Plants Need Sunlight, by Christine Petersen, Cherry Lake Publishing, 2009 - a science based book for new readers with larger text to help your child learn about plants at a basic level.
Way to Grow! Gardening Composting, by Rebecca Pettiford, Pogo Books, 2016 - with limited text this is a good one for new readers who want to expand their vocabulary and learn about composting.
JOURNALING Question Prompt:
Write out one or more of the following questions in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in your scrapbook: What do you like to plant in a garden? How do you look after a garden? If you could plant a garden what would plant in it? Write about a time you visited a garden.
Copyright 2010. Family Theme Days. All rights reserved.
If you plant a vegetable garden try these books/cookbooks:
Grow It Cook It, by DK Publishing, 2008 - this book is full of gardening projects and learning activities, and also recipes to use what you grow (like tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, pumpkin etc.).
Grow It, Cook It with Kids, by Amanda Grant and photography by Tara Fisher, Ryland Peters & Small, 2010 - with nore text than the above book, this one is good to use as a family. It offers gardening basics and more complex recipes than the one above.
300 Step-by-step Cooking and Gardening Projects, by Nancy McDougall and Jenny Hendy, Lorenz Books, 2012 - This is a BIG book with part one being Fun in the Kitchen and PArt two Fun in the Garden but if you have kids who have taken to cooking or gardening this is a good one to get.
Try some of these picture books:
Eddie's Garden and How to Make Things Grow, by Sarah Garland, Frances Lincoln Limited, 2004 - Eddie and his mum (and little sister Lily) set out to plant and tend a garden.
Flower Garden, by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt, Harcourt Brace & Company, 1994—A little girl and her father buy flowers at the grocery store and plant them in a planter for their apartment window as a surprise for her mother in this beautifully illustrated and simply worded story.
Green Green: A Community Gardening Story, by Marie Lamba and Baldev Lamba and pictures by Sonia Sanchez, Farrar Straus Giroux, 2019 - A book that showcases the colours and wonder of a community garden in the middle of a city.
What Will Grow?, by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Susie Ghahremani, Bloomsbury, 2017 - This sweet preschooler book illustrated how different seeds produce different plants using simple repetitive text.
Here are more project and activity books to try if you'd like to garden as a family:
The Nitty Gritty Gardening Book: Fun Projects For All Seasons, by Kari Cornell and photographs by Jennifer S. Larson, Millbrook Press, 2015 - This book offers a couple of projects per season and offers easy to follow directions as well as pictures and illustrations. Some involve a backyard but lots do not, making this ideal for any family.
Ready, Set, Grow! A Kid's Guide to Gardening, by Rebecca Spohn, Good Year Books, 2007 - with illustrations and easy to follow instructions this has projects kids can try both inside and outside making it good for most families.
Ready Set Grow! quick and easy gardening projects, by DK Publishing, 2010 - filled with crafts and growing projects this is sure to inspire your child to explore the world of plants
Roots Shoots Buckets and Boots: Gardening Together with Children, by Sharon Lovejoy Workman Publishing, 1990 - a thorough and beautifully illustrated book with lots of ideas grouped together so you can pick a backyard project and work together as a family toward the goal. It starts with 20 plants for kids, then has garden themes like the Pizza Patch, Sunflower House, Snacking and Sipping Garden, Moon Garden...