A Garden for Every Child

Reconnecting Children to Nature

Developed with new-to-gardening educators in mind, this free guide offers the resources needed to teach kids ages 3 to 8 how composting closes the loop of organic recycling and enhances gardening. The activities are designed to be simple and require minimal materials. (See the scavenger hunt below!)

This guide also includes tips for starting a school garden, nutritional concepts, composting, theme gardens, and information about gardening with GardenSoxx.

In This Guide

Gardens are a fun and valuable way to incorporate outdoor learning and play into any early childhood classroom. Whether you choose to start with a large garden bed or a GardenSoxx® garden (a ready-to-plant, specially designed, mesh container filled with compost that allows you to garden anywhere, even on concrete), the goal of this guide is to inspire you to dig into garden-based learning.

The guide contains eight lessons:

  1. Plant Parts
  2. Life Cycle of Plants
  3. Digging into Decomposition
  4. Plant Needs
  5. Composting Indoors
  6. Gardens are for Eating
  7. Who Lives in the Garden
  8. Environmental Stewards

Why Garden with Children?

A garden is a unique and engaging setting for teaching subjects across the curriculum. By channeling children’s energies and sparking their imagination, gardening offers effective and powerful educational experiences, and can help teachers reach academic performance standards and Grade Level Performance Indicators for their curriculum.

Growing food in compost helps address a serious threat that our children will face in their lifetime--healthy soil! As explained in The Need to Grow, A Film by Rob Herring & Ryan Wirick, we have an estimated 60 years of farmable soil left on Earth. In the film they show how GardenSoxx are part of the solution because GardenSoxx: 

  • Use 70% less water
  • Require 50% less fertilizer
  • Grow two and a half times faster
  • Yield more nutrient-dense food

Wildlife Scavenger Hunt

Each Lesson in the guide provides background information, at least one group activity, and ideas for related exploration stations for kids to pursue on their own or in small groups. One example is to organize a wildlife scavenger hunt using the worksheet below or make a pictorial worksheet of your own featuring plants and animals your students are likely to find in your garden.