Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hollyhocks and HoneyBees - Garden Projects for Young Children: A Book Review

About The Book:

Dirty hands stimulate growing minds! This practical guide introduces teachers—with or without green thumbs—to the rich learning opportunities found in gardening with children.

Gardening can provide a full curriculum incorporating language and literacy, science and math, in addition to social sciences and the arts. It stimulates children's development in the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional domains. With this book, you can learn to plan fun themed gardens like the Bird and Butterfly Garden, the Dinosaur Garden, the Kitchen Garden, the Pizza Garden, and the North American Garden. You will learn everything you need to know about planning, preparation, plant selection, growing zones, and pest control. The authors also show how gardening can be incorporated into learning centers, circle times, and field trips, and provide ways to document children's learning. Other features include sample garden designs, recipes and activities, ideas for parent and community involvement, and a resource list. 

Age Focus: 3-5. Softbound, 208 pg

About The Authors:

Sara Starbuck is an assistant professor in Human Environmental Studies and the administrative director of the Early Childhood Centers for Training, Research and Education at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Marla Olthof is an early childhood consultant. She holds a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Marla has nine years of classroom experience, including five years at the Master Teacher at the Child Development Laboratories at SIU.

Karen Midden is an Associate Professor in the Plant Soil and General Agriculture at Southern Illinois University.

My Review:

This summer is the first time my family has planted a garden. We have always wanted to do it, but have never taken the time, nor had the extra money to do so. Until now. So imagine my delight when I was able to review Hollyhocks and Honeybees: Garden Projects for Young Children. What a fantastic resources for both parents and educators alike. 

The book starts out asking questions like, "why garden?", "why involve children in gardening?" and "how do I plan a garden with children in mind?". It takes you step by step answering these questions in the first three chapters. Then in chapters four and five, you will learn how to build your garden and how to involve the children in the daily care of the garden itself. Finally, chapter six is a "FAQ" chapter, answering all kinds of gardening with kids questions, which I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated. Chapter seven and eight bring you to the "meat and potatoes" of the book with both child friendly gardening activities and recipes, which were all easy to understand, implement and tasted really yummy! I also loved all the extras in the Appendix, including a list of poisonous plants and a list of the common names of plants. A great resource to keep handy!

If you are looking at involving your children in a gardening experience this summer, regardless of the size of yard or space you may have, this is a great resource!

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Hollyhocks and Honeybees: Garden Projects for Young Children online through it's publisher, Redleaf Press.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Redleaf Press, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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