This weekend we spent some time sowing seeds to prepare for our first garden! I have never (NEVER) had a garden before. But a few years ago I started really wanting a garden. I think as I lean towards trying to feed my family healthier, the idea of knowing where my produce comes from has really appealed to me. This year I remembered the desire to grow a small crop early enough to start by planting some seeds indoors. Despite the warm temperatures, the threat of frost isn't quite gone until next month.
To say that D is excited is an understatement. He kept running around offering to get more water or wanting to count the seeds. His exuberance led to a couple of seed sowing mishaps which means I gave him the task of pushing seeds down with a popsicle stick.
I didn't want to miss the opportunity to foster the gardening excitement (he has snuck downstairs each morning to check the seeds) so I of course broke out as many of my flower/plant/garden growing books I could find. I have a few favorites that you might want to check out too (links are affilates).
This book takes a look at not only what is happening above the ground, but under the soil as well. It is a rhyming book with a minimal amount of text making it perfect to keep the attention of younger kiddos (think 2-3) while still being engaging for older ones (4-6). This book is great to start a discussion about spring growth, nature, and animals. There is also a winter version (Over and Under) that I enjoy sharing with my students as well.
I love this book for a number of reasons. First of all, any time I can share a concept book (i.e. covers basic concepts like numbers, shapes, colors, ABCs) and have him love it so much he requests it again and again, I know it is special. Even better, this book introduces children to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. J is for jicama! K is for kumquat! Each page is chock full of so much colorful produce! This book is a great opportunity to not only teach new vocabulary and alphabet knowledge, but to start up a great conversation.
Here is just one of the many fantastic books by Eric Carle. This story follows a tiny seed on its long adventure before it can grow. It starts off traveling with many seeds but ends up alone and on its own in the end. This book also takes the little reader on the adventure of a flower's lifecycle! And of course, it also has beautiful Eric Carle illustrations.
Finding picture books that include non-fiction elements makes for extra special reading. Non-fiction texts give children an opportunity to develop critical thinking and connect with literature in a way that is real. One of my favorite things to do with D after we've read a book over and over (and over and over) is to help him find those connections in our day to day. At the grocery store I might point out some of the vegetables we read about. Or while planting seeds discuss what kinds of steps you will take to make sure they grow. While preparing the garden bed, help your child dig down into the earth and find what is below the dirt.
I plan on beginning to include more book lists. If you enjoy hearing about new books, sign up for our newsletter. I include one new book we are reading each week. If you have a theme you're interested in finding for quality books for, feel free to let me know and I'll do my best to help!
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