"Think back. Can you remember a natural, outdoor space that held some magic for you?"
Thus starts the book I recently read, instantly taking me back to that hidden, magic hollow in the forest behind our house where we played so often as kids.
The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher not only takes you back to your childhood, but it is an absolute treasure trove of inspiration for things to do in the garden with your children or grandchildren. It give a lot of recommendations for how to involve kids in gardening in ways that are both educational and just plain fun!
|Oftentimes, all kids need to have fun in the garden is a pile of dirt and some water!|
The book covers everything from planning different themed gardens to interacting with animals in the garden to even cooking with one's harvest.
|My kids are much more likely to eat the produce that they picked from the garden!|
(Well, except for that jalapeño...)
The authors give a lot of advice about making gardens child-friendly and about how to give your child positive experiences with gardening and nature, planting seeds that may mature into a long-lasting relationship. Peppered throughout the book are many projects for kids in the garden, some of which I can't wait to do with my kids!
|my daughter's wildflower garden|
The only criticism I have of the book is that it could possibly have been organized a little better - I am not a very organized thinker, so I like my books to be very organized for me :) There are points where the insertion of projects seems to interrupt the flow of narration. However, aside from that, I really enjoyed this book and learned a few things as well!
|releasing a Black Swallowtail after it has emerged from its chrysalis|
It is important to me to plant seeds of positive experiences with nature in my kids, and this book gives so many great ways to do just that. I think my love of the outdoors and my love of gardening stem from so many great memories I have as a kid being outside.
Growing up in Alaska, you might think that I would remember the snow and ice the most. On the contrary, what I remember most vividly are the buttercups, bluebells, fireweed and roses that grew wild among the forest, the irises and the profusion of wildflowers that my mother grew, the little garden that my father made me out of a old tire -
and, of course, that magic hollow in the forest that was always adorned with reindeer moss and imagination.
|Black Swallowtail on zinnia|
What about you? If you love gardening, do you think it stems from your memories of the outdoors as a kid?
For more reviews of gardening books, check out the site Roses and Other Gardening Joys.