Gardening Projects for Kids – Growing Your Own Little Gardener

The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher is much more than a “how to” garden book. It is more than suggestions for getting started with gardening with your children. It is in fact a book that encourages a gardening way of life..spending lots of time with your children in the outdoors in your backyard working and playing together. I love this message found throughout the book.

It is exciting to find a resource that gathers many easy to use ideas, presents them in a way that is enjoyable to look at, and lights a fire inside me to get outside into our garden as soon as possible. This book does a great job at showing how ordinary families with ordinary kids can get outside and make memories that will last a lifetime. What a great supplement to the Outdoor Hour Challenges!

Want to get a glimpse into what this book has to offer? Here is a short video on YouTube!

Gardening is an important way to connect our children with nature. Gardening allows for casual talk about things we observe as we plant seeds, water seedlings, weed, and harvest the goodies from our garden beds. The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids is a visual feast for the eyes and will inspire you to make room for a garden in your yard. This delightful book is just so much fun to look at and paging through it I just can’t help but smile.

Don’t have a garden yet? Don’t worry! It is never too late to get started.

Backyard - Early Spring
I garden and my son takes a scooter break.
“Your joyful work in the garden is the most likely thing to encourage your kids to join in…..Simple role model gardening with a joyful attitude and an open mind, and your kids may find it contagious.”

Making Gardens Fun for Kids section 

Gardening is a time for them to work as well as to play. They can explore the garden while you do the garden chores. The book shows ways to incorporate play in your garden from the smallest toddler all the way up to teens. This book shows you how to “weave the garden into your everyday lives”.

The projects in this book are more than your average list of things you would expect. Here are a few that caught my eye and make me wish my children were much younger.
1. Solo Garden Ramble- You set up a trail of notes for your child and as they follow your directions on their own they are cued to do certain things in the garden like smell a flower, look for shades of green, hug a tree, etc. I love the idea of fostering independent exploration.
2. Making Dolls From Flowers- This would have been a huge hit with my daughter when she was younger.
3. Blindfolded Meander – You guide your blindfolded child through the garden encouraging them to use all their other senses.

There are many projects in the book that are appealing to me even now that the children are older.

1. Growing a Rainbow of Cut Flowers
2. Homemade Tea Bags
3. Making Your Garden a Certified Wildlife Habitat
4. Rock Plant Markers
5. Lots and lots of recipes using produce from your garden

garden box beginnings
Creating Their Own Garden Box – Always a Highlight Each Spring

Gardening Projects for Kids is a book that families will want to look at together as you pick a few things to add to your garden each year. I am keeping it with my garden reference books so when I am picking seeds and planning when to sow them, I can pull this book out and be reminded that we need to have fun in the garden too!

The summer is nearing its end but there are still plenty of warm days and sunshine to start enjoying your garden with your children.

A in the butterfly garden
Older children can design their own garden space.

I can’t share all the wonderful ideas in this review but here are the chapter titles to capture your interest.

1. Making Gardens Fun for Kids
2. Designing a Play-Friendly Family Garden
3. Digging in With Kids: Planning, Growing, Thriving
4. Pizza Pies and Pumpkin Jungles: Theme Gardens
5. Wings, Webs, and Whiskers: Animals in the Garden
6. Garden Adventures and Games
7. Art in the Garden: Fun Projects for All
8. Cooking from the Garden: Snacks, Meals, and Other Tasty Activities
9. Preserving the Harvest
10. Let the Festivities Begin: Garden Celebrations

There is something to learn from each chapter in this book…in fact, there are 101 ideas packed into the pages. Our family gives this book a huge thumbs up and we are excited to use a few of the ideas when we plan next year’s garden.

I have one copy of this terrific book to giveaway! Please enter using Rafflecopter below. You will need to make a blog comment and then enter on Rafflecopter. See details on the Rafflecopter Widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received this book to review and the giveaway copy from Timber Press and no other compensation. As always, the opinions expressed in my reviews are my own and are a fair and honest account of my experience with the product.The Amazon links are affiliate links.


  1. On hot days like we are having now, it is hard for me to get motivated to be outside for 15 minutes. We went out yesterday, and I thought the kids would just endure it, but they found something fun to do and got really interested in the project.

  2. This is something I need to work more on. The kids love being outside, but I don’t tolerate either the extreme heat or cold well. We were out together during cooler weather on Saturday, and now that the cooler fall is coming we’re planning some family camping trips.

  3. Oh what absolute fun. Creative ideas to ‘weave the garden into your everyday lives’

    My eldest way just saying this morning that she is going to carve out her own little spot in the backyard next year. And then I see your photos of your older children doing the same. And… now I think – she should do this now and just grow some wildflowers…

  4. We were out earlier today to pick tomatoes and dump compost. We were on vacation last week and took a walk.

  5. I just did this morning. We had a story and some verses outside after they swam in their little pool.


  6. My daughter has an absolute green thumb, and she’s only 5. She would love to do all of these activities in the book! We do play for almost an hour outside, broken up throughout the day, but gardening would be play and productive at the same time.

  7. It’s been so incredibly hot this summer! We went out of town last week, and the girls went swimming.

  8. Hubby works in the veggie garden and I have my flower beds, but I do not always have the children join us. I really need to work on this more. This would be a great resource to help us draw the children into our love of gardening.

  9. We were just out in the yard yesterday, and my boys split one of only two luscious strawberries in our garden. They love playing in our alternating dirt/mud pile, and we’re waiting to see if the snap pea wrapped around the sunflower will bloom.

  10. Just this morning. We went out and each of us found a treasure to sketch. My son choose some feathers from a bird the cat killed, by daughter choose a leaf and I choose a piece of bark

  11. Love flower gardening and getting a little bit better at produce gardening! My girls love the dirt so new ideas are always welcome!

  12. last week DH found a turtle walking down the middle of the road. we gathered everyone up and took him to the pond that is just down the street, took a few pictures and watched him go.

  13. This sounds like to much fun! We have a small patio and I’ve tried growing a few things here and there, but I would love to have an actual ‘garden’ out there. :-) ([email protected])

  14. Oh gosh I didn’t include what I did with my kids!

    The last time I spent 15 minutes with my kids outside, we played with water guns and I taught them how to use them on the wooden fence to make pictures. I also taught my daughter how to draw some faces with sidewalk chalk. :-) We always love spending time in our simple yard with our bird feeders! When we don’t do that, we go for walks down the street and look for nature in our neighborhood. :-)

  15. The last time I spent 15 minutes outside with the kids was last week Thursday when we went to the beach. Thanks for the chance to win!

  16. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for offering the chance to win.

  17. Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the Sacramento zoo with some friends (the mom was my student in 4th and 5th grade 25 years ago), including a toddler of 2. The most incredible thing happened at the chimpanzee exhibit. There were glass windows into their space and an old chimp sat at one window right up against the glass. Our little Jojo (my student’s littlest child) went right up to that chimp and sat down in front of him. The chimp nodded his head at Jojo, looked him straight in the eye. And then he put his hand up to meet Jojo’s on the glass. It was beautiful and amazing. Brought tears to my eyes. I generally hate zoos, especially for primates, but this was an experience I hope we all never forget.

  18. Oh, fun! This book sounds wonderful. We haven’t attempted gardening yet.

    We do try to spend time outdoors every day, though it doesn’t always happen. We are blessed to be blue to live near a river and an open field. We often see deer, beavers, rabbits, coyotes, hawks, and various water and song birds – all from our front yard.

  19. We just got back from camping and there was a lot of outdoor family time.

  20. We just went on a long nature walk this morning (and for exercise too)! Little man discovered cactus (and took some home too) along the side of our county road, we were greeted by a herd of cattle that actually ran to the fence to say “hi” to us, we looked for milkweed, and our journey ended by discovering a tick on our dog–which I removed after many attempts of different concoctions! When we got home (Barb, you were the first person I thought of when this happened), Evan noticed that our Monarch Cocoon was now…a butterfly! About two weeks ago, my son found the caterpillar on some milkweed on our bike ride. He brought home the milkweed and caterpillar (mind you Evan is just 6) and let the caterpillar eat, eat, and eat until it went into it’s cocoon. He was adament that it was indeed a Monarch! Well, today confirmed that! Anyway, I will try to snap some pics of it and send it to you. Thank you for the wonderful review and giveaway! My son had a true love from the Lord for His creation, and he would be over the moon excited to own this book!

  21. What a cool book! Would love to have it to help with ideas on our raised garden beds. (Which are sitting 3/4 empty, gah. Obviously in need of help!)

  22. We were just outside yesterday, trying to catch butterflies and moths.

  23. It’s been super hot here, at least for us, but we did go for a nice long walk yesterday. We stopped many times along the way to examine things :)

  24. It’s been super hot here, at least for us, but we did go for a nice long walk yesterday. We stopped many times along the way to examine things :)

  25. Anonymous says:

    We spend way more that 15 minutes outside each day.. lol We have chores, then we go to the garden to check everything out, and water.

    That’s not counting the times we are called out because they found something really cool, that we just have to see right now.. :)

  26. I spent 15+ minutes with my girls a couple of days ago. We swam and played in our little backyard pool. It’s been raining the last couple of days though.

  27. Well I took them out last week to our local park when it was over 100 degrees. It’s so very hot here, usually over 110degrees lately so it’s been difficult for me to get out. But when it’s a little cooler, I’m out daily with them.

  28. We spent the whole afternoon at our friend’s community garden plot yesterday. We sat under ancient apple trees and shared the Word, then foraged through the garden. We harvested about 40 lbs of produce — a blessing from sunshine and Sonshine. My little guy slept all the way home.

  29. I think I may have to get this book! My Kathryn lives helping in the garden but I could use more ideas on how to get her more involved & keep it fun. Most mornings she goes out with me to water, & to see if anything is ready to be picked.

  30. I don’t get outside with my son nearly enough. (Apt living with lots of concrete and fast-moving highways all around.) We’re hoping to be living somewhere with a yard by next summer, though.

  31. Oh well these days we are garden-challenged. I used to get the garden started
    when the kids were at school. I haven’t figured out how to work it in with homeschooling, and Spring Saturdays at Regattas. I love second chances though. This book would be a huge help! I didn’t get my email finished in raffle copter…sara

  32. Today we went across the street and took our nets. We watched dragonflies,found snails and identified jewelweed, stinging nettles and watercress near the stream.

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