Stay-at-Home School Idea: Let’s Play in the Dirt!

One of the silver linings to the Coronavirus pandemic is that life has slowed down. All the “go-go-go” has stopped, and I have had more time to do the things that I kept putting off because I was busy.

As I mentioned the other day, I have been spending more time out in the garden. A steep hill that was a mountain of weeds is becoming a naturalized space for all those “extra” hosta, irises, daffodils, and ferns that I moved. A friend and I “social distanced” a plant swap, and I have some other great plants for the space, too.

So what does that have to do with Reading Tub? Actually, a lot. The core of our mission is to help families – and their young readers – understand the vital role literacy plays in our lives. Not just reading books, but using the information that comes from them, sharing ideas, being inspired, and yes, DOING something with that knowledge.

Activity: Gardening

Whether it is creating a collection of containers, building a vegetable plot, or redesigning a flowerbed, gardening is a great activity. Everyone can participate and have a role in creating this family space.

With the planting season upon us, I am kicking off our Activity series in the garden! Being outdoors not only creates a canvas for learning, but also lets kids move around. Activities like gardening can actually “clear space” for learning and improve focus.

Book Inspiration

Sometimes it helps to share a book or two built around a theme to create some motivation. We included some of our all-time faves at the end of this post.

Curriculum Fits

These examples in parentheses explain how gardening offers educational benefit. They are by no means the only ideas. Depending on the age of your child you may be modeling some of these activities, such as drawing a map or reading about a plant/seed. 

  • Physical Education (creating gardening space, planting seeds)
  • Science (plant cycle, photosynthesis)
  • Mathematics (calculating plant spacing, soil and water quantities, drawing a plant map)
  • Reading (learning about types of plants, planting conditions)
  • Social Skills (listening, cooperation with parents and/or siblings, patience)
  • Communication (deciding what to do, explaining ideas)

A Harvest of Garden(ing) Stories

Books are grouped by audience age. Links go to the Reading Tub reviews.

BOARD BOOK (Ages 0 to 4)

PICTURE BOOK (Ages 3 to 8)

Easy Reader (Ages 6 to 9)

Chapter Books (Ages 10 and Up)