Welcome to the latest Touring Picture Book Club, our regular feature where we and three other bloggers share activities that the same book has inspired. This month our chosen book is Sunflower Shoots and Muddy Boots by Katherine Halligan and Grace Easton, a Child’s Guide to Gardening published by Nosy Crow with the National Trust.
With summer finally making its presence shown, now is the perfect time to get outside to start exploring and learning more about nature. And what better place to do that than in your own garden. This gorgeous little guide is a wonderful first book for little ones and it is packed with simple gardening facts and lots of fun ideas for little hands.
There is so much pleasure to be found just in being outside, especially for young children who are so fascinated by the world. This book reminds us of the simple joys of things like spotting tiny bugs and finding different plants. The bright, clear illustrations and the spiral bound sturdy pages make this an easy book for small people to navigate as well as being robust once you take it outside.
As well as all the accessible and handy gardening tips and knowledge, this book provides ideas for so many activites; from planting bean plants or building a garden den there are ideas to fill a quick 10 minutes or ones you can plan your whole day around.
And of course, you don’t need a big garden or even any garden to explore in nature, there are plenty of ways to enjoy gardening in the smallest of spaces, even an old hat!
Growing a Dinosaur Garden
For our Touring Picture Book activity we decided to try the Magic Garden Fun idea from the book. This is a really sweet activity and there are so many different things you can do with your mini garden. We had intended to decorate our pot like the ones in the book but my boys were keen to get straight to getting their hands dirty in the mud.
After filling a pot with compost we sprinkled some grass seeds in and gave them a good water. We decided that the pot would become a dinosaur garden so all that was left to do was keep on watering, and waiting.
It took a few weeks for our seeds to grow and we were starting to get a bit worried but we carried on watering and thankfully we soon had enough tall grass to set up the dinosaurs.
We gathered all our little dinosaur toys and some interesting rocks (which I’m sure, if you are a parent of small people, you will have plenty of) and added some big leaves that we found growing in our garden to create a bit more foliage.
The dinosaur garden was a great activity perfect for learning through play as well as teaching responsibility and care for plants. And, not only did it provide lots of small world play opportunities it can constantly change as plants grow or die and the children can make decisions about how they will continue to look after the garden or what they might like to add to it.
Buy Sunflower Shoots and Muddy Boots from Wordery with free delivery.