With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be hard to get in touch with nature. Children living in the city may not be as aware of how important it is to appreciate the earth and all its gifts.
Gardening is a great tool to create an interest in this aspect of the world that parents and children can share together. Not only does it demonstrate the scientific wonder all around us but it encourages key skills such as patience and kindness. The rewards from this family activity can grow much deeper than whatever you may plant in the ground. Here is a list of fifteen gardening books for children to help plant the seeds of a love for nature.
Nana's Garden by Larissa Juliano
A short, wholesome story about a young girl who spends every Sunday gardening with her Nana that will leave you with a fuzzy feeling every time. Simple colour coded language and vibrant images on every page makes for a lovely easy read for preschool kids. This will help expand their vocabulary and aid learning about gardening and growth.
A Perfect Day for Digging by Cari Best
Here we meet Nell and her loyal companion Rusty as they wait for the perfect moment to dive into the dirt and search for underground treasure. A very cute story that will delight kids who enjoy getting their hands dirty, it teaches the basics of gardening while also sharing an enjoyable and relatable adventure.
In the Garden by Emily Guiliani
An interactive and informative book, follows a mother and her son as they tend to their garden throughout the year. With this story, the kids will learn about what kind of produce can grow in each season and they are sure to enjoy the pages of interactive flaps that reveal fun facts and charming illustrations.
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert
Strikingly colourful and educational, this book is all about learning the names of different flowers. The large text and bold pictures will make for an easygoing and interesting read for younger kids. This is presented in a similar style to "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and aims to please children at the picture book stage.
Goodnight, Veggies by Diana Murray
Even vegetables need a break sometimes! In this sweet storybook, we follow a worm through his adventures under the ground. Along the journey, he meets some vegetables ready for bed after a long day of growing big and strong. The potatoes close their eyes and the turnips get tucked in, this sleepy story is a great bedtime book for parents and kids to read together. For more a durable option than a paperback, you can find a board book version of this story to suit little hands.
Tiny, Perfect Things by M. H. Clark
This book has some absolutely stunning visual storytelling. Here, we join a young girl and her grandfather as they take a walk through nature together. On this quaint adventure, they notice how beauty in nature appears in many different forms. Featuring pages of gorgeous art from Madeline Kloepper, this book teaches preschoolers to appreciate and observe the world around them. A wonderful read for parents and children alike that will leave you with that warm fuzzy feeling.
The Keeper of Wild Words by Brooke Smith
Illustrator Madeline Kloepper lends her magic touch to another gardening book here, this time featuring a girl and her grandmother learning about nature together. On their journey through nature together, young Mimi starts to learn some new words for plants and animals in the nature around her home. A touching story with easy language that young children definitely enjoy.
My Friend Earth by Patricia MacLachlan
The compelling illustrations and poetic text in this book are sure to engage the kids. Reading this will show them all the ways in which the earth is our friend and how we can be a good friend back. Learning to care for the environment in a fun and fantastical way will get the kids involved in active care for the ecosystem and introduces the idea that humankind should care for our planet.
Outside In by Deborah Underwood
Nature connects everything together in ways we don't even realise. With charming watercolour illustrations across the pages, this book shows how nature is firmly rooted and entangled in our lives. Modern kids may be used to technology and the latest trends but this book is a timely reminder of how fundamental the outside world is to humankind.
Secrets of the Garden by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
Alice's family plants vegetables in their garden every year, but how do they grow? An excellent book for inquisitive young minds that teaches all about the life cycle happening right outside the back door. Told from Alice's perspective the information is accessible for kids but also contains scientific facts as well as featuring some cheeky commentary from two clever chickens.
The Big Book of Blooms by Yuval Zommer
Bright and beautiful, this gardening book focuses on learning about different plant species that grow at home or in local environments. It will get the kids more involved in nature day to day as they learn to identify various flowers and shrubs growing all around them.
The Magic and Mystery of Trees by Jen Green
Well written and wonderfully illustrated, this is the perfect book for kids to learn about the interesting life of trees. These scientific facts will not leaf you hanging as it reveals the secrets of how forests grow and even communicate with each other in their own magical way.
Roots Shoots Buckets and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy
This is a practical gardening book full of activities for you and the kids to do at home together. From planting seeds in the spring to reaping summer harvests, Sharon Lovejoy provides plenty of gardening tips to get your hands dirty. This book also includes recipes you could make with homegrown produce which will truly get your children to learn about the process of growth and appreciate every pea on their plate!
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
This book brings us down to the ground, exploring under every leaf and stone. We get to the root of life in a home garden, meeting creatures like worms, bees and birds and learn about their individual roles in the delicate circle of life. Young kids will love the pages of detailed pictures and easily understandable language in this gardening adventure.
We are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines
Meet the Gaines family as they work together to grow a fruitful family garden at home. This book breaks down the basic constructs of gardening into fun bite-sized pieces with interesting points to learn on each page. It shows that home growing doesn't always work out as planned but with hard work and patience, anyone can reap the rewards of this wonderful hobby.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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