- Author: Lanie Keystone
It's summer—hooray!! Kids are out of school and on vacation—now what to do with them?! Garden—of course!
And, here's the perfect book to guide both you and the kids in your life through hours of play, discovery, growth and fun: Gardening for Kids Learn, Grow and Get Messy with Fun STEAM Projects.
The author, Brandy Stone has teamed up with illustrator, Katy Dockrill, to create a compelling adventure in gardening for kids ages 8-12 and their adult counterparts—parent, grandparent, teacher, aunt, uncle or friend—who are invited to help guide the projects and process.
By way of explanation, STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math. Used as an integration tool in learning, the book sets out to view the gardening fun through these five lenses. But don't worry, Gardening for Kids presents irresistible adventures and is anything but pedantic and boring. The key to this book is structured fun and discovery. Stone opens the book with two forwards, one to the “grown up” participant where she maps out the journey asking the key question, “Why garden with kids”? In addition to providing fun, sun and exercise, she informs us how, through projects and experiments, the children will gain insights and knowledge into the many facets of STEAM. She advises how to enjoy the activities with the children and how to establish rules and safety measures. The kids' introduction is a wonderful invitation to discover.
The chapters are divided into: The How's and Whys of Gardening; Lets Grow; Gardening Experiments and Projects; Observing Your Environment; Starting Your Garden; and Harvesting and Enjoying Your Garden.
Each section is written in a breezy, intimate way with easy to follow ideas and projects. The fact that the book is enhanced with bright, original and inviting illustrations makes the reader and gardener want to jump right in and garden, experiment, create and learn. Both Brandy Stone and Katy Dockrill know and understand their audience well and have received many honors and awards for past books.
One of my favorite parts of Gardening for Kids comes at the end of the book. Stone has provided space for a garden journal, and one for experiment outcomes. And finally, there is a detailed and authoritative resource section—including books and websites for gardening zones, plant ID, bees, and on-line garden shopping sites among many others.
This is a book that respects kids and their capacity to wonder, create, experiment and learn.
Whether you are a parent, grandparent, educator or any other significant person in a child's life, everyone will benefit from the excitement of doing, discovering and learning.