National Garden Month

April is National Garden Month

Spring is finally here, and since April is National Garden Month, it’s a great time to think about gardening with kids. When kids help grow fruits and vegetables, they are more likely to want to taste them!

Here are a few of our favorite books to connect kids with gardening, help kids discover where their food comes from, and encourage tasting of a variety of fruits and veggies:

1. Gardening Wizardry for Kids: Green Thumb Magic for the Great Indoors, by L. Patricia Kite.
2. Gardening with Children – Brooklyn Botanic Garden All-Region Guides, by Monika Hannemann.
3. Let’s Grow! – 72 Gardening Adventures with Children, by Linda Tilgner.
4. How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers, The San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance, by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Kathleen Pringle.
5. Outdoor Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family-Friendly Experiments, by Liz Lee Heinecke.
6. Gardening Lab for Kids, by Renata Brown.
7. The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids, by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher.
8. Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots: Activities To Do in the Garden, by Sharon Lovejoy.

For educators in search of hands-on gardening curriculum and activities, here ten favorites recommended the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (many are free!):

1. USDA Team Nutrition – pre-school through 6th grade.
Offers a variety of different nutrition and
gardening curricula.
2. The Growing Classroom – 2nd through 6th grade
Integrates nutrition information with the science of gardening, all with engaging, interactive activities, aimed at 2nd-6th graders.
3. Healthy Foods From Healthy Soils – A Hands-On Resource for Educators, by Elizabeth Patten and Kathy Lyons.
4. Growing Food and Farm to Table and Beyond – modules of Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE)
5. Arkansas’ Eating from the Garden – 4th through 5th grades
Through nutrition and gardening activities, Eating from the Garden hopes to increase children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables.
6. Dig In! – 5th through 6th grades
A gardening curriculum that focuses on growing, harvesting, tasting, and learning about fruits and vegetables. Can be added to Math, Science, English Language Arts & Health lessons.
7. The Great Garden Detective Adventure – 3rd through 4th grades
A standards-based gardening curriculum, based on garden type and size (container, raised beds, traditional in-ground).
8. Grow It, Try It, Like It – Preschool
Garden-themed nutrition education kit for child care center staff that introduces children to: three fruits – peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupe, and three vegetables – spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash.
9. Growing Minds:
Great lessons and resources.
10. Nutrition to Grow On and Discovering Healthy Choices (part of Shaping Healthy Choices Program)
Happy Planting!

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