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Gardening with Kids

See also: Garden Books for Kids

Selected Books for Adults

Christopher, Todd
The Green Hour: A Daily Dose of Nature for Happier, Healthier, Smarter Kids
The National Wildlife Federation recommends that parents give their kids a "Green Hour" every day -- a time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. What better way than to send them out into a natural garden?
 
Cohen, Whitney and John Fisher
The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun
SB457.C63 2012
Cohen and Fisher are directors at the Life Lab Garden Classroom in Santa Cruz, CA, an educational center that tries to get kids away from TV and videogames and into the world outside. Their website offers curriculum guides.
 
Dannenmaier, Molly
A Child's Garden: 60 Ideas to Make any Garden Come Alive for Children
SB457.D35 2008x
Dannenmaier, former children's editor of Garden Design magazine, offers ideas for gardens that any child would love.
 
Gardening with Children
SB457.G35 2011x
This Brooklyn Botanic Garden Guide for a Greener Planet #187 provides step-by-step instructions for more than forty garden-related projects, experiments, exploration, and handicraft, including soil searches, herbariums, scarecrows, and dissecting flowers.
 
Liebreich, Karen, Jutta Wagner & Annette Wendland
The Family Kitchen Garden: How to Plant, Grow, and Cook Together
SB321.L54 2009x
Because the book is written by three women who set up a school garden in central London, Pittsburghers will have to adjust the month by month schedule (delay by one month).
 
Louv, Richard
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
BF353.5.N37 L68 2005
Never before in history have children been so plugged in -- and so out of touch with the natural world. In this groundbreaking new work, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation -- he calls it nature deficit -- to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as rises in obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and depression. Plant a tree for a kid!
 
Lovejoy, Sharon
Roots, Shoots, Buckets, & Boots: Gardening Together with Children
j SB457.L827 1999
Lovejoy presents 12 easy-to-implement ideas for theme gardens that parents and kids can grow together. Illustrated throughout by the author's watercolors, each garden includes a plan, the planting recipe -- seeds, seedlings, and growing instructions spelled out step-by-step -- and activities. Lovejoy has other books about gardening with kids, including Sunflower Houses and Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars: Grandma's Bag of Tricks.
 
McCorquodale, Elizabeth
Kids in the Wild Garden
QL59.M33 2011x
This English book suggests ways for children to create a garden that will attract wildlife, including insects, frogs and birds. McCorquodale also wrote Kids in the Garden: Growing Plants for Food and Fun.
 
Nabhan, Gary Paul
The Geography of Childhood: Why Children Need Wild Places
BF353.5.N37 N32 1994
Nabhan, the ethnobotanist working to preserve food diversity, feels that today's children are losing touch with Nature. So make sure your garden is "where the wild things are".
 
Sayre, April Pulley
Touch a Butterfly: Wildlife Gardening with Kids
Creating a garden that invites wildlife opens up a wider world of nature for children to investigate and delight in. See your yard from an animal's perspective; discover plants that attract birds and bugs; embrace sensory experiences that native plants and creatures bring; and understand how your yard fits into the surrounding landscape.
 
Waters, Alice
Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea
q SB55.W38 2008x
Alice Waters, proponent of local food, champions the idea of Edible Education: having kids grow their own food in the schoolyard, and then cook it and eat it with their classmates. Edible Schoolyard is at once a visionary model for sustainable farming and childhood nutrition.
 
 

Selected Books for Kids

For more great books about gardening for kids, check out the American Horticultural Society's Growing Good Kids – Excellence in Children’s Literature Award Program.

Cooper, Elisha
Farm
Although this is a book about a family farm in the Plains (where it is flat) rather than a "garden", the watercolor illustrations are wonderful and the animal characters entertaining. The text is also poetic and memorable: "Morning chores would be better if they didn't happen every morning." Both young and old gardeners should enjoy it.
 
French, Vivian
Caterpillar, Caterpillar
Illustrated by Charlotte Voake
A little girl asks her grandfather why he lets the stinging nettles grow in his garden while her father pulls them out as weeds. Her grandfather shows her how the nettles provide a home and food for the caterpillars that turn into butterflies.
 
French, Vivian
Yucky Worms
Illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg
While helping Grandma in the garden, a child learns about the important role of the earthworm in helping plants grow.
 
Henderson, Kathy
And the Good Brown Earth
Joe and Gram grow a garden, with the help of the good brown earth.
 
 

Browse the Catalog

For additional titles, browse the library catalog under the subjects:
 

Web Sites

 

Pittsburgh Region

  • Grow Pittsburgh: Edible Schoolyard
    Based on Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, CA, Grow Pittsburgh has worked with the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS), in setting up The Edible Schoolyard program.