One of my favorite things about spring is being able to get my hands dirty. Winter is (almost) done, the sun feels warmer, and the birds are chattering away … aaahh! It’s like settling into a great book.
Here in ‘HooVille, the outdoor planting doesn’t truly begin until Mother’s Day, when we are 99.9% certain there will be no more frost. But now is the time to start planning that summer garden.
Part of our mission at the Reading Tub is to help kids see how books and stories go hand-in-hand with daily living.
It is easy to find books on gardens and being outdoors, and we have plenty in our bookbag, but I wanted a short list of books that would inspire families to use reading as the “seed” to other activities that just happen to also have literacy benefits.
- Even if you’re not gardening, spending time together creates conversation. You can talk about what you see, share memories, and ask questions. [Communication]
- Bring out some toys to create stories while you play in the dirt. Make mounds of dirt for mountains, and collections of rocks as … let the kids decide how the story goes and what’s needed for your “scenery.” [Imagination, Abstract Thinking, Motor Skills]
- Take a walk. In the neighborhood or a local walking trail, both are great! What do you see? hear? smell? [Critical Thinking, Analysis, Communication]
Plan a Garden!
- Engage your children with questions and seek their input. Look at magazines or books, or take notes on that neighborhood walk! [Communication, Critical Thinking, Reading]
- What do they like in a garden – flowers, vegetables, herbs, benches?
- Do they have favorite flowers or vegetables?
- Do they want to attract birds? fairies?
- What are their favorite colors or color combinations?
- What will they make with their vegetables/herbs?
- Work together to research their ideas. With older kids, you can split the fact-finding work. [Reading, Critical Thinking, Analysis, Writing]
- What are the space requirements for their garden?
- Are they species hardy enough for where you live?
- What kind of space does Plant X need when it grows?
- Write down your plan. Grab two pieces of paper. [Writing, Motor Skills, Visualization, Concrete Thinking, Analysis]
- Draw a map. Even if your garden is a container, draw what plant goes where [based on how much space it needs].
- List your supplies. From the dirt and seeds to containers and tools, put everything you need on your list.
Children’s Books to Inspire Young Gardeners
Books are grouped by audience age.
BOARD BOOK (Ages 0 to 4)
PICTURE BOOK (Ages 3 to 8)
EASY READER (5 to 8)