Books for Gardening Together with Children

Looking for activity ideas to incorporate into home, school or community garden projects? Here’s a “growing” list to help you get started. (Updated 3/2015).

 

books-for-gardening-with-children

 

Note: Linked titles go to Amazon for further information and reviews. Just so you know, I am an affiliate with Amazon. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, the proceeds of which will help pay for maintaining this website.

 

Gardening Projects for Kids: Fantastic ideas for making things, growing plants and flowers, and attracting wildlife to the garden, with 60 practical projects and 500 photographs by Jenny Hendy

 

With 60 projects to chose from, how can you go wrong?

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Southwater; Original edition (February 16, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1780190190
ISBN-13: 978-1780190198

It’s Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden by George Ancona is a warm and delightful picture book about a school garden at the Acequia Madre elementary school in Santa Fe. Ancona provides both color photographs and samples of the children’s art work to document the changes that occur with the seasons (review Wrapped In Foil).

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Candlewick (January 8, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0763653926
ISBN-13: 978-0763653927

The Nitty-Gritty Gardening Book: Fun Projects for All Seasons (Nonfiction – Grades 4-8) by Kari Cornell

The beauty of this book is that it is geared for year-around fun. Most of the projects can be done in a relatively small amount of space.

Library Binding: 48 pages
Publisher: Millbrook Press (January 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1467726478
ISBN-13: 978-1467726474

 

 

Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden (Hands-On Family) by Renata Fossen Brown, Vice President of Education at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

 

Although the term “experiments” in the subtitle might suggest scientific trials or investigations, for this book “experiment” is actually used more in the sense of “to try something new.” Gardening Lab for Kids is a lovely collection of hands-on activities for children to do for every week of the year, from designing a garden and making seed tape, to planting a garden in a shoe, growing a pizza garden, and constructing a wind chime. In addition, children will certainly learn some science as they explore parts of plants, investigate soils, try out composting, and learn about watering.

Age Range: 5 – 12 years
Publisher: Quarry Books (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1592539041
ISBN-13: 978-1592539048

 

Math in the Garden: Hands-On Activities That Bring Math to Life, Ages 5-13 by Jennifer M. White, Katharine D. Barrett, Jaine Kopp, Christine Manoux, Katie Johnson, and Yvette McCullough

Grades K-8
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: National Gardening Association (2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 091587346X
ISBN-13: 978-0915873463

Botany on Your Plate: Investigating the Plants We Eat by Katharine D. Barrett

Science curriculum for grades K-4

Hardcover: 88 pages
Publisher: National Gardening Association (2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0915873494
ISBN-13: 978-0915873494

Success with School Gardens: How to Create a Learning Oasis in the Desert by Linda A. Guy, Lucy K. Bradley, and Cathy L. Cromell

success-with-school-gardens

Although written with the Southwest gardener in mind, it contains many tips for managing a school garden that could apply anywhere.

Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Arizona Master Gardener Press (September 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0965198707
ISBN-13: 978-0965198707

A Child’s Garden: 60 Ideas to Make Any Garden Come Alive for Children (Archetype Press Books)
by Molly Dannenmaier

The hardcover copy I have has a slightly different title/cover. It says “Enchanting Outdoor Spaces for Children and Parents.” Enchanting is the right word. Mixed with informative text about how children play and how important it is for them to play outdoors, are photos of fairytale settings for children to play in. On pages 158-159 is a photo and list of the plants in the George Washington River farm alphabet garden.

Series: Archetype Press Books
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Timber Press; Updated Pbk. Ed edition (January 15, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0881928437
ISBN-13: 978-0881928433

 

Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy

 

roots-shoot-buckets-boots

This is a classic that deserves to be on every gardener’s shelf.

Series: Gardening together with children
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition, First Printing edition (May 1, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0761110569
ISBN-13: 978-0761110569

 

Growlab: Activities for Growing Minds by Eve Pranis

 

This book is hard to find, but it is worth the search.

Paperback: 307 pages
Publisher: Natl Gardening Assn (May 1990)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 091587332X
ISBN-13: 978-0915873326

 

Gardening with Children (BBG Guides for a Greener Planet) by Monika Hanneman, Patricia Hulse, Brian Johnson, Barbara Kurland, Tracey Patterson, and illustrated by Sam Tomasello

 

This books gets raves. It is indeed the high quality you would expect from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Series: BBG Guides for a Greener Planet
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Reprint edition (April 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1889538787
ISBN-13: 978-1889538785

 

Do you have any favorite gardening books for working with kids? We’d love to hear your suggestions.

Related Resources:

Find books to share with children in these two lists:

 

childrens-books-about-seeds List of Children’s books about seeds.

 

Plant Science Books for Children

Gardening activities inspired by children’s books:

childrens-garden-weekChildren’s Garden Week Activities at Growing With Science Blog

 

You might also be interested in our Gardening/Science Pinterest Board:

 

Pinterest-gardening-right

Plant Science Books for Children

Below is a list of children’s books that focus on plants and gardening, organized by reading level and genre. They were chosen to support and inspire plant science projects. Be sure to visit our earlier list of children’s books about seeds, as well.

Do you have any favorite plant science books for kids? We’d love to hear your suggestions.

 

Note: Linked titles go to Amazon for further information and reviews. Just so you know, I am an affiliate with Amazon. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, the proceeds of which will help pay for maintaining this website.

 

Nonfiction

Beginning Readers

Plants: Real Size Science by Rebecca Rissman

Don’t let the short sentences fool you, this informational book is full of vocabulary and concepts, such as what are roots, stems and flowers. Be sure to read the notes for parents and educators in the back to get the most from the book.

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Publisher: Acorn (July 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 143297887X
ISBN-13: 978-1432978877

Picture Books

New Books:
Plants Can’t Sit Still by Rebecca E. Hirsch and illustrated by Mia Posada

Although they can’t run around like some animals can, plants can move quite a bit. Sunflowers follow the sun, tendrils can creep around, and seeds can shoot away. A deeper look into the life of plants.

Isn’t the cover beautiful?

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Millbrook Press (September 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1467780316
ISBN-13: 978-1467780315

 

flowers

Flowers (Plant Parts) by Melanie Waldron is the perfect introduction to flowers in the garden. This informational book covers what a flower is, the parts of a flower, how flowers make seeds, and become fruit, etc. It also discusses how flowers attract insect pollinators. Two hands-on activities are included with clear and well-organized instructions to help reinforce learning.

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Grade Level: 2 – 4
Series: Plant Parts
Publisher: Raintree Perspectives (January 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1410954269
ISBN-13: 978-1410954268

seeds-and-fruit

Seeds and Fruits (Plant Parts) is also by Melanie Waldron and is part of the same series as Flowers. It covers variation in seeds and fruits, what seeds and fruit are for, the parts of a flowering plant, how seeds are made, what’s inside a seed, what seeds need to germinate, different types of fruit, methods plants use to disperse seeds, and how humans interact with seeds and fruits. This book contains an activity of finding seeds in fruit and an experiment to investigate germination of bean seeds under different conditions.

These books in the Plant Parts series would work well with a school garden as well as in the classroom for a unit on plants.

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Grade Level: 2 – 4
Series: Plant Parts
Publisher: Raintree Perspectives (January 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1406274801
ISBN-13: 978-1406274806

 

weeds-find-a-way

Vegetables aren’t the only plants we can study. Weeds Find a Way by Cindy Jenson-Elliott and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher introduces young readers to the wonders of the natural world by exploring these often ignored, deplored plants. Jenson-Elliott’s text conjures up lighthearted word pictures. For example, can’t you imagine seeds coming out of pods “…like confetti from a popped balloon?”  The back matter, however, includes a serious discussion of weeds, why they are interesting and important, and a list and descriptions of some common weeds.Pick up a copy and you will find out, as the author says, “Weeds are amazing!” (Review with activity suggestions at Growing with Science).

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (February 4, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1442412607
ISBN-13: 978-1442412606

plant-a-pocket-prairie

Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Betsy Bowen is a perfect introduction because it encourages planting of locally-adapted plants in pocket wildlife gardens. The book may focus on the prairies of Minnesota, but it carries a message about preserving habitats that is important anywhere in the world. Get the full scoop at Growing with Science.

Ages 5-10
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (April 15, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0816679800
ISBN-13: 978-0816679805

 

Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

This creative picture book walks the line between fiction and nonfiction. Although Alice is the narrator, leading the way to her discoveries in her family’s garden, two chickens provide the science concepts in informative sidebars.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Printing edition (February 28, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0517709902
ISBN-13: 978-0517709900

 

Older favorites:

a-seed-is-sleepy

A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

This is an absolutely gorgeous and well-researched book. Highly recommended!

Age Range: 5 – 10 years
Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0811855201
ISBN-13: 978-0811855204

 

 

pumpkin-circle

Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson, Shmuel Thaler (Photographer)

When I lent this one to someone and never got it back, I knew I had to go out and buy another copy. This book is really one of a kind. The photographs are exceptional, although they do have a flower fly identified as a honey bee, which is a common mistake. The website has good information, too.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Tricycle Press (August 7, 2002)
ISBN-10: 1582460787
ISBN-13: 978-1582460789

 

 

planting-a-rainbow

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

You can see what it is about in this video.

 

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (February 28, 1992)
ISBN-10: 0152626107
ISBN-13: 978-0152626105

 

Middle Grade

Linnea’s Windowsill Garden (Linnea books) by Cristina Bjork, illustrated by Lena Anderson, and translated by Joan Sandin

For fans of Linnea’s Garden (see fiction section below), this gardening how-to is a useful introduction to indoor gardening. It is written in a cozy, journal style.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Grade Level: 4 – 7
Publisher: R & S Books (October 1, 1988)
ISBN-10: 9129590647
ISBN-13: 978-9129590647

 

Related Fiction

 

Picture Books

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small

Lydia Grace Finch isn’t used to living in the city, let alone with her dour uncle. Can she work miracles with a small suitcase full of seeds?

Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Publisher: Square Fish; Reissue edition (May 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 031236749X
ISBN-13: 978-0312367497

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

This classic picture book reveals how planting flowers can make a difference.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (November 6, 1985)
ISBN-10: 0140505393
ISBN-13: 978-0140505399

 

Middle Grade

Our School Garden! by Rick Swann and illustrated by Christy Hale

Discovering the joys of the school garden helps lonely Michael make friends.

Winner, 2013 Growing Good Kids Book Award, Junior Master Gardener & American Horticultural Society

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Readers to Eaters (March 6, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0983661502
ISBN-13: 978-0983661504

 

Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Cristina Bjork, Lena Anderson (Illustrator), Joan Sandin (Translator)

If you are interested in art, artists, Monet, nature, gardening or traveling to Paris, this is the book for you. Definitely inspires me to want to grow a “Monet Garden” of my own. Beautiful, sweet, and informative, I keep our copy with the art books, but it wants to be with the nature and gardening books, too.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: R & S Books; 1st American ed edition (October 1, 1987)
ISBN-10: 9129583144
ISBN-13: 978-9129583144

Grow: A Novel in Verse by Juanita Havill and illustrated by Stansislawa Kodman

Twelve-year-old Kate helps Berneetha turn a vacant lot into a community garden, gathering help and friends along the way. Can they protect the garden when the lot owner decides to build on it?

Age Range: 9 and up
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (April 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 156145575X
ISBN-13: 978-1561455751

 

Related Resources:

Compost and Decomposition Books

 

childrens-books-about-seeds List of Children’s books about seeds.

books-for-gardening-with-children

Gardening activity books for adults working with children

childrens-garden-weekChildren’s Garden Week Activities at Growing With Science Blog

 

You might also be interested in our Gardening/Science Pinterest Board:

 

Pinterest-gardening-right