50 Gardening Projects for Kids (Step-By-Step Series) by Clare Bradley
After an opening section introducing basic gardening concepts, such as equipment, soil amendments, beneficial and harmful insects, etc., the projects are organized by season of the year. Thus “Spring” includes growing flowers in a boot and planting vegetables like cherry tomatoes in a window box, while “Winter” includes propagating a piggy-back plant and making and growing a “Crazy Grasshead.” Attractively illustrated with color photographs. This book is out of print, but may be available at libraries.
Accessible Gardening for People with Physical Disabilities: A Guide to Methods, Tools, and
Plants * by Janeen R. Adil. Woodbine House, 1995. $13.56 Contains general guidelines, ideas for plants and projects, and listings of catalogs which supply
A Child’s Garden: Enchanting Outdoor Spaces for Kids and Parents * by Molly Dannenmaier. Simon & Schuster, 1998. $24.50
This full-color exploration of the family garden--stuffed with resourceful ideas and
easy-to-complete projects--shows how to create thriving gardens that serve both the child's need for creative play and the adult's yearning for beauty and serenity.
All About Seeds (Do-It-Yourself Science Series) by Melvin Berger. Reading level: Grades 2– 3
Simple text, basic experiments, and colored illustrations teach what seeds need to grow. This book is currently out of print, but may be available in libraries.
All About Seeds by Susan Kuchalla. Troll Associates, 1982. $10.55 Reading level: Ages 4-8
Brief text and pictures present several kinds of seeds and show how they grow into plants.
Backyards and Butterflies:Ways to Include Children with Disabilities in Outdoor Activities. Greenstein, Doreen. New York State Rural Health and Safety Council, 1993.
The Big Bug Book by Margery Facklam. Little Brown & Co, 1994. $5.06 Reading level: Ages 4-8
Describes thirteen of the world's largest insects, including the birdwing butterfly and the Goliath
The Blossom on the Bough: A Book of Trees by Anne Ophelia Dowden. Ticknor & Fields, 1994. $16.95 Reading level: Ages 9-12. A Notable Book of 1975 is made available once again, to introduce young readers to the often unfamiliar flowers and fruit of trees in the seven major forest regions of the United States.
Blue Potatoes, Orange Tomatoes by Rosalind Creasy. Little Brown & Co, 1997. $5.91 Reading level: Ages 4-8. Describes how to plant and grow a variety of colorful vegetables, including red corn, yellow watermelons, and multicolored radishes.
Bugs, Beetles, and Butterflies (Puffin Science Easy-To-Read, Level 1) by Harriet Ziefert. Puffin, 1998. $2.79 Reading level: Ages 4 - 8. From bugs that swim to beetles that eat mice to butterflies of many colors, beginning readers will learn about the exciting world of bugs, beetles, and butterflies in the Science Easy-to-Read book.
Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! (Eyewitness Readers, Level 2 [Paper]) by Jennifer Dussling. Dk Pub Merchandise, 1998. $3.16 Reading level: Ages 4-8
Describes the hunting activities of various bugs, including the praying mantis, wood ant, and
Bugs and Other Insects (Crabapples) by Bobbie Kalman and Tammy Everts. Crabtree Pub., 1994. $5.06 Reading level: Ages 4-8. Simple, informative text describing the biology of various insects is illustrated with color drawings and photographs of the insects in their natural habitats.
Butterfly Gardening. Xerces Society Staff. Sierra Club Books, 1990. Information on how to create a butterfly habitat, overview of the life cycle of butterflies and moths, regional lists and pictures of the most common North American butterflies and moths, and much more.
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss. Harper Trophy, 1989. $3.96 Reading level: Ages 4 – 8
A reissued “classic” from 1945, this book’s simple text and pictures clearly illustrate what a child
needs to do to get a plant to grow from seed. (However, the sudden emergence of a full-grown plant is a distortion that will need some explaining.)
City Kids and City Critters: Activities for Urban Explorers. Roberts, Janet Weir and Carol Huelbig. 1996. Learning Tiger Press, McGraw Hill.
Compost: Growing Gardens from Your Garbage by Linda Glaser. Millbrook, 1996. $7.16 Reading level: Ages 4 – 8. Striking illustrations show the basics of composting and how compost is used. Intended to present “composting as an entertaining family activity.”
Common-Sense Pest Control. Olkowski,William, Sheila Daar, and Helga Olkowski. Taunto Press, 1991. Offers proven, practical solutions to pest problems that use
physical, mechanical, cultural, and biological control rather than chemicals.
Natural Insect Control: The Ecological Gardener’s Guide to Foiling Pests. Schultz,Warren, ed.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Inc., 1994. Information on how to tell good insects from bad insects, how to naturally control pests, and much more.
Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the Trees by Jim Arnosky. Simon & Schuster, 1992. $11.25 Reading level: Ages 4 - 8. Crinkleroot invites youngsters to come along as he walks through hard and softwood forests. How do you tell the difference? Crinkleroot knows: it’s the light and the air. His charts show the leaves, stems, and seeds that help young readers identify trees.
Digging Deeper: Integrating Youth Gardens into Schools & Communities * by Martin Kemple and Joseph Kiefer. FOOD WORKS, 1998. $19.95
An illustrated step-by-step guide for organizing, designing, and constructing children’s gardens.
Focuses on nutrition and food production. Includes hands-on activities, charts, and projects.
Down to Earth : Garden Secrets! Garden Stories! Garden Projects You Can Do!
Michael J. Rosen. Harcourt Brace, 1998. $13.50 Reading level: Ages 9-12
The variety of ideas, stories, styles, and illustrations makes the book a wonderful resource for gardening projects, class lessons, and story hours, as well as just plain reading enjoyment, and each page is uniquely illustrated by a contributor or with Rosen's own artwork.
Earthwormology; Break it Down; Truly Insects. The book is currently out of publication, but is scheduled for re-printing by October, 2000. One copy is available for loan through the State Master Gardener Office.
EcoInquiry: A Guide to Ecological Learning Experiences for the Upper Elementary/Middle Grades by Hogan, Kathleen. Kendall Hunt,1994.
Education Activities Journey to the Heart of Nature: A Guided Exploration by Cornell, Joseph. 1995. Dawn Publications.
Exploring our Insect World I (4-H 644): Kids collect, mounts, and label 25 different insect species representing eight orders. Distributed by The Ohio State University.
Ecology for All Ages: Discovering Nature Through Activities for Children and Adults by Hunken, Jorie. Globe Pequot Press, 1994.
Enabling Gardens: Creating Barrier- Free Gardens. Rothert, Gene. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX, 1994. Information and techniques on how to make a garden accessible
or individuals with mobile, visual and other impairments.
The Environmental Gardener. Marinelli, Janet, ed. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Inc., 1992.
Exploring Our Insect world II (4-H 645) Insects’ helpful and harmful effects on the environment. Expands the insect collection initiated in the above project. Kids also study insects’ helpful and
harmful effects on the environment. Distributed by The Ohio State University
From Flower to Fruit by Anne O. Dowden. Ticknor & Fields, 1994. $15.95 Reading level: Ages 9 - 12. A new edition of the critically praised 1984 book once again offers young readers a thoughtful, illustrated examination of the reproductive cycle of various flowering plants, tracing all steps in the process.
From Seeds to Flower (4-H673): 9-13 year olds Learn about growing annual flowers from seeds and then growing them in the garden or in containers.
From Seed to Flower (4-H 673) by Jane C. Martin et al. Distributed by The Ohio State University.
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons. Holiday House, 1991. $12.71 Reading level: Ages 4-8. Explores the intricate relationship between seeds and the plants which they produce.
Garden Crafts for Kids: 50 Great Reasons to Get Your Hands Dirty *
Diane Rhoades. Sterling Publications, 1998. $11.96 Reading level: Ages 9 – 12
Over 50 projects for kids of nearly all ages, including: growing potatoes in tires, building a gardening tool station, making a purple martin house from a gourd, and discovering the joys of composting. Contains simple explanations of plant physiology and discussion of garden-relevant wildlife, such as birds and bugs.
Gardens for Growing People by Ruth Lopez
Gives justification for gardening with a child and some of the basic information about designing a garden, preparing the ground, planting vegetables and some flowers, and dealing with insects and diseases. Good material for a one-on-one real gardening situation, rather than for classroom instruction. Illustrated with line drawings. This book is out of print, but may be available in libraries.
Gardening with Wildflowers and Native Plants. Sawyers, Claire, ed. Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, 1990.Suggests native plants and wildflowers for an attractive
Gardening Wizardry for Kids by L Patricia Kite. Barrons Juveniles, 1995 $12.71 Reading level: Ages 4 - 8. Containing over 300 projects, this book focuses on kitchen and windowsill gardening projects. The author includes science experiments, craft projects, and historical information.
Go Plants! is a new 4-H Group Project Manual that can be used by teachers or adult leaders for
groups of kids. The project is designed as an introductory plant science unit for grades 2 - 4. It incorporates activities from the National Gardening Association’s Grow Lab program, the Wisconsin Fast Plants program, plus other activities. The five-unit curriculum focuses on seeds, roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. It is intended to improve student comprehension and application of plant science concepts and build critical science thinking and process skills.
Going Native: Biodiversity in Our Own Backyards. Marinelli, Janet, ed. Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, 1994. Suggests native plants to use in your landscape and the benefits of doing so.
The Gray Gardener’s Notebook: Creative Curriculum Materials for Community Gardens by Vernon Mullens. Bexar County Extension Service. Vernon Mullens, a Bexar County Master Gardener, coordinates a community garden in a low income, racially diverse neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas. Some of the theme gardens he has developed include “ethnic gardens,” the “Dietcise Garden” program for people with diabetes, and the “Athlete’s Garden,” which focuses on kids with athletic interests. To order a copy, contact the Bexar County Extension Service at (210) 467 – 6575. Price is $10.00 plus shipping and handling.
Green Thumbs: A Kid’s Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening *
Laurie Carlson. Chicago Review Pr., 1995. $10.36 Reading level: Ages 4 – 8
Kids’ gardening projects such as raising praying mantids from egg cases and growing a mold garden.
Growing Things; Things to Make, Facts, Activities
Ting Morris and Neil Morris. Franklin Watts, 1994. $20.00 Reading level: Ages 4-8
Part of the Sticky Fingers series, this activity book for budding gardeners features simple instructions and calls for materials that are, for the most part, readily available.
Growing with the seasons (4-H 692) More advanced than Vegetable Gardening, covering topics such as intensive gardening techniques, pest management and covers three growing seasons: cool, warm, and cold tolerant vegetables
Growing with the Seasons (4-H 692) by Jane C. Martin and Robert L. Horton. Distributed by The Ohio State University.
Growing Together: A Volunteer’s Guidebook for Teaching Horticulture in Elementary Schools * by Angela Boeker Eckert. The Ohio State University, 1996.
This guidebook was specifically prepared for OSU Master Gardeners to use in public schools. It was also designed to reinforce the State of Ohio science objectives for grades 3 & 4. However, the activities can be adapted to older or younger students. Units include: Pollination Jubilation; Leaf Detectives; Treasure Trunk; Sensational Soil; Cycle of Life; Insect Tools; All About Bulbs;
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert. Harcourt Brace, 1990. $4.80 Reading level: Ages 4 – 8
Ehlert’s typically bright, bold pictures trace plant growth from seed to soup. Includes recipe.
Habitat and Biodiversity: Teacher Resource Guide. Dale Seymour Publications,
1998. Activities which use the school grounds as a research laboratory for grades K-12. Topics covered are biodiversity, landscape management, xeriscaping, composting, and integrated pest management.
Hands-On Nature: Information and Activities for Exploring the Environment with Children.
Lingelbach, Jenepher and Purcell, Lisa, eds. Vermont Institute of Natural Science, 2000.
Well organized and effective nature-based activities.
Hollyhock Days: Garden Adventures for the Young at Heart * by Sharon Lovejoy. Interweave Press, 1994. $8.50 Introduces kids and grown-ups to the joys of nature through facts, memories, stories, garden plans and projects. Contains watercolor illustrations.
Homes forWildlife: A Planning Guide for Habitat Enhancement on School Grounds. Wyzga,Marilyn C. 1998. New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Excellent step-bystep
guide for creating a schoolyard wildlife habitat and integrating it into the curriculum. Geared toward K-8 teachers. Available through the Acorn Naturalist 1-800-422-8886.
How a Seed Grows (Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Books)
Helene J. Jordan. Harper Collins, 1992. $3.96 Reading level: Ages 4-8
Explains how a seed gets water, nutrients, and sunlight. Detailed, full-color illustrations dramatize how a small seed may become a flower, a vegetable, or even a huge oak tree.
How Does Your Garden Grow? : Be Your Own Plant Expert
Dominique and Philippe Joly. Sterling Publications, 1996. $14.95 Reading level: Ages 9-12
How to Attract Birds. McKinley, Michael and John Dennis. Ortho Information Services, 1995.
How-to information on attracting birds by providing food, water, shelter, and nesting sites.
How to Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies. Dennis, John and Matthew Tekulsky. Ortho
Information Services, 1990. Provides plant selection lists and necessary design elements for the most common species of hummingbirds and butterflies.
The Hummingbird Book. Stokes, DonaldW. and Lillian Q. Stokes. Little, Brown and Co., 1989. Information on how to attract and identify hummingbirds.
I Can Grow Things: How-To-Grow Activity Projects for the Very Young (Show-Me-How)
Sally Walton, Stephanie Donaldson. Sixteen projects, many with a whimsical turn like: “Coconut Head,” “Birdseed Surprises,” “Sunflower Race,” and “Vegetable-Top Forest.” Step-by-step color photographs featuring children working on the projects. This book is out of print, but may be available in libraries.
Indoor Gardening (4-H 674) by Timothy J. Rollins et al.. Distributed by the Ohio State University.
Kids Garden!: The Anytime, Anyplace Guide to Sowing & Growing Fun *
Avery Hart and Paul Mantell. Williamson Publishing, 1996. $11.01
Reading level: Ages 4 – 8.
Plant a sidewalk-crack garden, grow a broom, and discover bug remedies and composting with this book which involves kids ages four and older and their families in the gardening process. The attention to urban as well as outdoor gardens makes for a lively and fun focus.
The Kid’s Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences by Susan Milord. Gareth Stevens, 1997. $23.93 Suggests activities, poems, and stories to explore nature throughout the year. Recommended by Denise Ellsworth, Stark/Summit County Extension Agent.
Landscaping for Children The Challenge of the Urban School Site. Learning Through Landscapes. 1996. Instruction and inspiration for creating successful outdoor learning areas at urban schools. Offers practical advice on multicultural issues, making use of limited space, seating, shelter, arts, vandalism, and removing asphalt.
Landscapes for Learning: Creating Outdoor Environments for Children and Youth. Stine, Sharon. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997. Provides useful information on what makes a schoolyard habitat successful using 11 case studies and numerous photos and drawings. Also outlines essential elements for any play environment
Landscaping for Wildlife. Living With Wildlife. California Center forWildlife Staff. Sierra Club
Books, 1994. Describes more than 100 North American wildlife species and their interactions with humans. Provides advice on how to care for wildlife in distress, prevent human-wildlife conflicts, and deal with problems in a humane manner.
Landscaping for Wildlife. Henderson, Carroll. Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, 1994.
Guide, reference, and resource book for creating natural landscaping that support wildlife.
Landscaping with Wildflowers and Native Plants.Wilson,William H. Ortho Information Services, 1985. Information on how to design and create prairies, meadows, alpine, and desert gardens. Also suggests where to find native plants and seeds.
Learn and Play in the Garden by Meg Herd. Barrons Juveniles, 1997. $7.96 Reading level: Ages 9 – 12. It's hands-on activity fun and natural science all in one bright, profusely illustrated book of garden projects for boys and girls of early school age. Children can learn how to make a scarecrow, grow strawberries, make a worm farm--and even create art out of leaves collected in autumn.
Let’s Grow! 72 Gardening Adventures with Children.Tilgner, Linda. Story
Communications, 1988. ProjectWILD K-12 Activity Guide. Council for Environmental
More Than Just a Flower Garden by Dwight Kuhn. Silver Press, 1990. $15.98 Reading level: Ages 9 - 12. Describes the living things in a flower garden, focusing on the dynamic variety of plants and the creatures that depend on them. Includes tips for starting your own flower garden.
My Backyard Garden by Carol Lerner. Morrow Junior Books, 1998. $12.00 Reading level: Ages 4-8. This easy-to-follow, fully illustrated handbook helps youngsters enjoy the pleasures of gardening, whether they have a green thumb or not. Carol Lerner covers everything from planting the seeds to harvesting the crops.
Native Plants Native Perennials: North American Beauties. Beaubaire, Nancy, ed. Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Inc., 1996. Information on how to include native plants in your garden design and how care for them. Also provides lists of native wildflowers suppliers.
The Natural Habitat Garden. Druse, Ken and Margaret Roach. Crown Publishing Group, 1994.
Information on how to create a beautiful, wildlife-friendly landscape using native plants. Covers many different types of ecosystems (grasslands, drylands, wetlands, woodlands, etc.) and has numerous full color pictures of the recommended plants. www.nwf.org. NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
Natural Learning: Creating Environments for Rediscovering Nature’sWay of Teaching. Moore, Robin C. and Herb H.Wong. Moore, Robin C. MIG Communications, 1997. Uses a specific school as a case study to guide teachers, administrators, designers, and parents through naturalizing a schoolyard and integrating it into the curriculum.
The NaturalWater Garden: Pools, Ponds, Marshes & Bogs for Backyards Everywhere. Burrell, C. Colston, ed. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Inc., 1997. Helps you select the best type of water garden and plants for your site and region. Offers step-bystep instruction for designing,
creating, and installing ponds, marshes, and bogs.
Nature Crafts for Kids by Gwen Diehn. Sterling Publications, 1992. $11.96 Provides instructions for using leaves, flowers, twigs, and shells to make fifty craft projects, including kites, kaleidoscopes, and clocks.
New Junior Garden Book (Better Homes and Gardens) by Felder Rushing. Better Homes and Gardens Books, 1999. $11.17 Reading level: Ages 9 – 12. Written for kids and not parents, this book contains 38 kid-tested gardening projects and over 50 illustrations
Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards. Stein, Sara. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. Inspiring story of the author’s experience of transforming her conventional yard into a wildlife haven. Provides practical information on the way ecosystems works.
Our Endangered Planet : Soil by Suzanne Winckler and Mary M. Rodgers. Lerner Publications, 1994. $22.60. Reading level: Ages 9-12. Discusses the formation and the role of different types of soils and how they have been endangered through unwise farming, mining, and grazing.
The Plant-and-Grow Project Book by Ulla Dietl. Sterling Publications, 1993. $14.95 Reading level: Ages 9 – 12. Twenty-six projects for growing plants from seeds, cuttings and sprouts. Color photographs. Green thumb and fingers indicate the difficulty and length of time a project takes.
Plants Are People Too! by Jana Paulson. Berry Books, 1999. This 16 page, full color cartoon book is available through the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association. Contact ONLA at (800) 825 – 5062 for pricing and ordering information.
Plants for Play: A Plant Selection Guide for Children’s Outdoor Environments. MIG
Communications, 1993. Offers suggestions on plants that have educational value and are
safe for children.
Project Learning Tree: Environmental Education. The American Forest
Foundation. 1996. Pre K-8 Activity Guide.
Project Seasons: Hand-on Activities for Discovering theWonders of the World by Parella, Deborah. Shelburne Farms. Elementary activities focused on science through the seasons.
Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots: Gardening Together with Children *by Sharon Lovejoy. Workman Publishing Company, 1999. $11.16 Features 12 easy-to-implement ideas for kids’ theme gardens. Plans, a list of needed supplies, and growing instructions for each garden are included.
Ready, Set, Grow! A Guide to Gardening with Children by Suzanne Frutig Bales. IDG Books Worldwide, 1996. Imaginative sections, some quite offbeat, on gardening topics such as planning and planting a garden. Projects include specialized gardens such as a teepee garden, butterfly and hummingbird garden, sunflower house, etc. Also included are crafts and activities relating to gardens, such as making a scarecrow, drying everlasting flowers, beneficial insects, and pages on specific “fun and funny plants.” Attractively illustrated with color photographs and colored drawings. This book is currently out of stock, but may be available in libraries.
The Rodale Book of Composting. Martin, Deborah L. and Grace Gershuny, eds. Rodale Press, 1992.
Sharing the Joy of Nature: Nature Activities for All Ages. Cornell, Joseph. 1989. Dawn Publications.
Sharing Nature with Children. Cornell, Joseph. 176p. 1998. Dawn Publications. Provides activities and insight on ways to involve kids with the outside world.
Simple Nature Experiments with Everyday Materials by Anthony Fredericks and Frances Zweifel. $4.76 Reading level: Ages 9 – 12. Contains over 100 discoveries, investigations, and experiments about the natural world.
Soil (See for Yourself) by Karen Bryant-Mole. Raintree/Steck Vaughn, 1996. $21.40 Reading level: Ages 4-8. An introduction to the composition and uses of soil presents one topic on each double-page spread, using straightforward but sometimes sketchy text and clear full-page color photographs.
Soils. Bowles, John Paul, ed. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Inc., 1990. Information on the properties of soil, plant requirements for soil, how to test your soil, how to improve your soil, and much more.
Sunflower Houses: Garden Discoveries for Children of All Ages by Sharon Lovejoy. Interweave Press, 1995. Reading level: Ages 4 - 8. A collection of gardening projects, stories, and poems.
The publisher is currently out-of-stock of this book, but it may be available in libraries.
Starting Gardening (First Skills Series) by Sue Johnson, Cheryl Evans. EDC Publishing, 1997. $4.95 Reading level: Ages 4-8.
Theme Gardens by Barbara Damrosch. Workman Publishing Company, 1982. Contains garden plans and plant lists. The publisher is currently out of stock of this item but it may be available in libraries.
Vegetable Gardening (4-H 691) by Timothy J. Rollins et al. Distributed by The Ohio State University. Raising vegetables from planning, designing, light, temperature, soils, nutrients, planting and composting.
Victory Garden Kids’ Book * by Marjorie Waters. Globe Pequot Pr., 1994. $12.76 A guide to growing vegetables, fruits, and flowers with children.
Wild Weather – Lightning! by Lorraine Jean Hopping. Cartwheel Books, 1999. $3.19 Reading level: Ages 4 – 8. Describes the incredible power of lightning and its positive and negative effects on living things.
Worms Eat My Garbage: How To Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System. Appelhof, Mary. Flowerfield Enterprises, 1982.
WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands: An Educator’s Guide. 1995. Background information and 50 activities for grades K-12. Special appendix on creating a schoolyard wetland habitat.
Your BackyardWildlife Garden. Schneck, Marcus. Rodale Press, 1992.