This picture book can certainly stand on its own, but we think it makes perfect companion to The Secret Garden. Both have themes of forgotten things and the care that is need to restore them. While The Secret Garden is about emotional healing for two children, The Curious Garden shows how care and the beauty of nature can lift an entire city.
Book: The Curious Garden is a gorgeously illustrated book tells the tale of Liam, a little boy who nurtures a garden in an unlikely place. As his garden grows, it begins to spread through Liam’s city.
Games: Both garden and yoga can be therapeutic, so imagine them combined into a game. The Yoga Garden is cooperative, and great for little ones (and bigger ones) who want a change from sitting around the table for a game.
Snacks: What you eat for this box is much less important that WHERE you eat it. Sandwiches in garden make a perfect picnic; or you can pack chicken or egg salad on cucumber slices if you avoid grains like Erin’s family. If you plan to picnic through the spring and summer, it might be worth while to invest in a good waterproof picnic blanket (it also works well for the beach).
Activities and Crafts: This book hits you over the head with the message to, “GET OUT AND GARDEN!” But if you struggle with a black thumb and live in an apartment, you may want to get an all inclusive garden flower garden like this one from Miracle Gro.
Toys and Trinkets: Digging in the dirt and gardening really must be experienced first hand. This kit includes the tools your child needs for a real garden (or a pretend one at the beach) and a book to guide you through STEM activities!
Video: This song on YouTube is a summation of the book and teaches hand movements to go with the song for some fun movement.
Extra Education: Your older child can get a ton of benefit from this book, too. Here are some ideas from Hedgehog Reader to introduce vocabulary and build this book into a full language arts lesson. Just remember the focus should be on the beautiful themes, language, and illustrations that make this book. Even without a worksheet, your child is learning!
For a younger child, a Magic School Bus book will amp up the plant love and learning. Magic School Bus: How Living Things Grow take you inside of plants for a closer look.
Turn this into an extended project by creating a seed journal for your garden with the free printables from Spelloutloud.
And if that still isn’t enough, Finding the Teachable moments has an entire unit study for preschoolers using bean plants. It includes science, language, and sensory suggestions. And don’t forget that beans work excellently for counters in your math lessons.
Field Trips: Get outdoors or visit a green house. You might call your local garden nurseries and see if they would be willing to give a talk to a small group of homeschoolers explaining things like gardening zones or what kind of care a houseplant needs. Or just ask the neighbor down the street to allow your child to weed along side them for an hour or two.
Do you have an idea of something else that would work well for this box? Leave a comment! We love to hear from you.