One of my favourite blogs for play ideas is Nurture Store. So I was not just a little bit excited when Cathy James, the woman behind Nurture Store, announced her ebook The Garden Classroom: 52 Kids Gardening Activities. She kindly sent me a copy to review for Nature Kids.
I expected a little book with a few activities. How wrong was I. The Garden Classroom is an ambitious ebook with not just 52 activities (it looks like lots more, I almost feel like counting as it feels more like over 100 ideas!), but also a lot of background information, wonderful photos illustrating the activities and an overview of how to set up even small gardens for maximum learning.
This book isn’t just about keeping kids busy. It is that of course, but it’s all about creating enticing environments which facilitate learning. And learning is key in this book, and so the activities are structured around topics of literacy, science and maths, gardening, arts and crafts (i.e. creativity), recipies and more. It really is all about learning opportunities and ensuring holistic and meaningful learning with and in the real world.
The activities are accompanied by many general tips and ideas and there’s lots of cross referencing for ease of use. They are also a starting point to get you thinking about how to best use even small outdoor spaces – something which is very close to my heart, living in a city.
This book will be all you’ll ever need to spend hours of fun and learning with your children in the garden. My favourite idea? Well, we’ve already done the long overdue diy watering can so that finally the kids don’t have to struggle with the heavy watering can, but I really quite fancy watching tatties grow in a plastic bottle. And you may think there’s a potato theme going on here, but arranging the harvested tatties according to size isn’t just fun but looks like a work of art.
The Garden Classroom: 52 Kids Gardening Activities is aimed at parents, teachers and kids’ group leaders who’d like to encourage their children to have a connection to nature. They don’t need to have a big garden or a green thumb / fingers, just a desire to make the most of the outside space they have. Most of the ideas are suited to kids aged 2-10.
At roughly £5.60 ($9.99), it’s a must have for anyone who is looking for ideas to enthuse children for gardening.