Gardening Books for Children

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

Post written by Contributing Writer, Daniele.

Spring is upon us and with it comes planting season — a much anticipated time for many!  But whether you’re a seasoned gardener or one who simply enjoys the produce of others’ efforts, this time of year is an excellent opportunity for teaching children where food comes from.

Understanding the process from seed to plant or from fruit and veggies to table can be explored through literature and simple projects.  I’ll share some books our family has enjoyed in the past ~ your local library may carry some of these titles:

Roots Shoots Buckets & Boots ~ An excellent book on gardening together as a family! Detailed watercolor illustrations, many ideas for planning including garden themes , nutritional information, art ideas, etc. makes this book fun and informative as well. (Michele’s note: I think this one is our family’s personal favorite!) :)

The Vegetables We Eat ~ Great information on how veggies are grown and the process of traveling to the grocery store. Use this to teach how botanists categorize veggies–by the part that we eat: tuber, leaf, stem, bulb, flower bud, root, seed, or fruit.

A Seed is Sleepy A personal favorite of mine! This picture book’s gorgeous illustrations are captivating and the information on seeds and their ‘abilities’ well presented. Such as… “a seed is clever: it knows to seek the sunlight, to push itself up, up, up through the soil.”

Up, Down, and Around ~ Wonderful for preschoolers! Have fun learning about veggies that grow underground, some that grow above ground and others that grow all around the garden.  A pleasing read-aloud for young ones.

Tops & Bottoms ~ This book will make you laugh! A lazy bear falls prey to one smart hare’s tricks through several gardening seasons — promising to eat either only ‘tops’ or ‘bottoms’ of various plants, not actually understanding much about what parts of plants can be eaten.  A great follow-up to Up, Down and Around!

The Carrot Seed ~ Gardening takes patience and lots of faith that the seed will actually grow into something more. This little book emphasizes these aspects in a very short and quick read-aloud (could also be an early reading book for some).

If your family plants and grows a garden, practical opportunities abound for teaching children about seed germination, plant growth and care and much more.  If not, approaching a small project with simplicity can also be a rewarding experience for your child.

Grow a bean plant :: a quick result plant!  Take a few pinto beans and soak them in water for 15-30 minutes.  Place between two wet paper towels, slip into a plastic bag and tape to a warm window which receives moderate to strong sunlight (this way your child can watch all of the action).  The skin will get soft & wrinkly and begin to sprout.  When about several inches, transfer to a larger flower pot.  A great book to go along with this simple project is One Bean or From Seed to Plant.

The idea is to explore with children the nature of food and the gardening process.  Dig into a few books (pun fully intended! :)) for fresh ideas and further explanations of what is happening underground.  Spring is here, so enjoy the season!

Daniele is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mama of five–a woman on a journey towards intentional living.  She celebrates family, gathers up grace, and nurtures the spirit over at Domestic Serenity. You’re welcome to visit!

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7 comments to Gardening Books for Children

  • great book list–I’m off to reserve some of these at our library!
    Sarah M

    [Reply]

  • I love how something as tiny as a seed can be such a tremendous testimony to God’s creative hand. We grow a big garden and preserve much of it to be enjoyed year round. My little girl is already hooked on “diggin’ in the dirt”. She’ll really enjoy these books. We’ll definitely be making a trip to the library to look for them.

    [Reply]

  • Thank you thank you thank you! I was just telling my husband last night that I would be requesting some gardening books from the library today… but I wasn’t sure which ones. I just requested all of these!

    One other that I requested was How Groundhog’s garden grew by Lynne Cherry. We used it around Groundhog’s day too. It teaches gardening and hybernation, etc as well as talking about how taking what belongs to others is not right. A sweet little book!

    [Reply]

    Daniele Reply:

    @Babychaser, thanks for this book title, we’ll be looking it up at our library! Happy Reading, Daniele

    [Reply]

  • […] {Read the rest of this post with several book titles we’ve enjoyed over at Frugal Granola, where Michele has graciously invited me to contribute monthly.  We are gearing up for enjoying the outdoors more & I’ll post some of our adventures — Spring is here; the calendar says so!} […]

  • Jenni

    Thank you so much for this list of books. Our library, unfortunately, does not carry any of them, so I will probably end up ordering a few. I used to have a community garden plot before I had kids, and now with three little boys ages 3 1/2 and under, it is really hard for me to drive somewhere to garden. Hopefully we will be moving soon, though, to a place where we will have a yard and space to grow a few things.

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    @Jenni, Before we moved, we lived in a tiny 3rd floor apartment, but I had a “container garden” by filling the little patio outside our door with lots of little pots of plants. We grew tomatoes, squash, peas, beans, kale, lettuce, and more! :) Our little girl was about a year & 1/2 old at the time, and she loved “helping” us garden- planting seeds, watering, and harvesting (with supervision). Driving to garden would be a challenge!

    You may also want to try submitting a request to your library, asking them to purchase books. (I do that often.) :)

    I hope the coming year goes well for you & your family!
    Blessings,
    Michele

    [Reply]

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