As the weather warms up, why not use the garden as part of the new homeschooling experience? Start by creating a children’s reading garden for lessons on botany, ecology, gardening, and more. And then bring reading activities outdoors.
Creating a Reading Garden for Kids
Reading in the garden with kids can be a great way to take lessons outside, even if the lesson is simply to enjoy nature. But first you need to create the garden that suits quiet, reflective time for reading as well as reading activities.
Get your kids involved in the process of designing and building, if not an entire garden, at least one corner of the garden that they’ll use for these activities. Here are some factors to consider:
- A reading garden should have space for quiet, solitary reading. Use hedges, shrubs, trellises with vines, or containers to delineate space.
- Try building a garden tent. For the ultimate in reading privacy, create a tent. Make a sturdy structure with scrap wood or trellis material and grow vines over it as cover. Sunflower or bean houses are fun places for kids to hide.
- Create seating. Kids are often comfortable right on the ground, but there are other options. A soft grassy spot in front of an old tree, a garden bench, or even stumps make great seating for reading.
- Make sure there is shade. A little sun is great, but too much can ruin the experience on a hot day.
Reading Garden Activities
A youth reading garden can be just that: a place to sit and read quietly. But there are also ways to make the experience more interactive so include reading lessons and activities:
- Take turns reading out loud. Pick a book the whole family will enjoy and read aloud together.
- Learn garden vocabulary. The garden is a great place to learn new words. Collect words for things you see and look up any the kids don’t know yet.
- Act out a play. Study a play, or a short act from a play, and put on a family production in the garden. Alternatively, have the kids write a play and perform it for you.
- Create art projects. Include art by creating signs for the garden with quotes from your kids’ favorite books. Decorate pots and plant tags with the correct names for plants or with literary quotes.
- Build a Little Free library. This is a great way to promote reading in the garden and to share books with neighbors.
- Study nature. Read books about nature and gardening, and do it outdoors. Then have a scavenger hunt with items found in nature or the garden.