I have to admit right off that this is one of my favorite books because I feel it brings the experience of a wonderful gardener and Kindergarten teacher and marries it to an imaginative approach to nature and gardening for children between the ages of three and seven.
This is one of my favorite quotes in the entire book, presented in the “About This Book” section (and this is after the author presents a case that children live in pictures, in stories, in the imagination): “Many grown-ups, by contrast, live in a world of the intellect, of logical cause and effect. This is foreign territory for a small child. The child can make little of this approach, and quickly becomes bored. Worst of all, a child fed nothing but intellectual fodder can later become emotionally stunted. An intellectual adult often finds it more difficult to conjure vivid images than does a more intuitive person. But we can all try. Otherwise, what we give to children goes right over their heads.”
Many parents coming to Waldorf lament that they “don’t know how to NOT teach” or they have no idea how to answer children’s questions in a pictorial way. This book will give you some great ideas!
The first chapter of this book talks about some of the practical aspects of gardening with small children that the adult needs to be aware of: soil acidity, plant preferences, soil acidity, weather, fitting gardening into your schedule. The next four chapters cover each season with plentiful suggestions and examples of stories, activities, songs, arts and crafts ideas, baking and cooking ideas. Such traditional festivals as Advent and Candlemas are also covered. After that, there is a section on “The Town Child” for folks who live in densely populated cities and how to work with that, and the last chapter includes a month-by-month gardener’s calendar.
This book packs in a lot of information and suggestions for its 136 pages, and I feel is a resource one will refer to for multiple years. Again, this would be an especially wonderful resource for those just starting out in gardening and those unsure of how to approach gardening and nature in a more imaginative, wonderous way.