It always amazes me what I learn from my children. In five years my knowledge of trucks, diggers and transporters has multiplied. I now know more characters from Star Wars than Darth Vader and the difference between a cocoon and a chrysalis.
As my boys develop their interests it’s a reminder to me that they are not extensions of me but unique individuals, each with their own hobbies, special abilities and passions.
My five-year-old son has always been keen on plants. This year his kindergarten teacher called me to comment on his enthusiasm and existing knowledge base while they studied plants and root systems but his interest is nothing new.
As a toddler he waddled about the garden after my 85 year old grandmother with a watering can between his arms, and drops of water splashing him as he followed her in earnest. By the time he was four, he could easily spot the difference between a regular garden weed and an immature tomato plant. He knows when to pick the cucumbers, how much water our hydrangea needs and how to transplant a growing bean.
He knows all of this in spite of my “black thumb”.
This summer he continues to toil in the vegetable gardens of his grandmothers and eagerly anticipates this season’s hull. He has also taken to growing beans in his room with the intention of relocating them to the patch when they prove to be “ready”. Naturally, I have no clue when this might occur but he seems to be confident in his assessment.
He has a knack for making things grow, like the avocado roots he is experimenting with (see below), and I have an uncanny ability to do the complete opposite. How many people can say with certainty that they have killed a cactus? How exactly does one care for a cactus?
Well learn, I will. Next week our library swag will include some highly sought-after green thumb books geared to kids. Thank you to Delightful Children’s Books for their top ten gardening books for kids and the inspiration.
The books on my son’s library list include the following:
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Elhert
Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow: A Compost Story by Linda Glaser and Shelley Rotner
The Gardening Book by Jane Bull
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots: Gardening Together With Children by Sharon Lovejoy
Our boys are always out back gardening with their dad, but I could beef up their gardening reference material – thanks for the list.
They’re not how-to books, but I also love these two books about gardens: The Curious Garden by Peter Brown and The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and David Small. The latter is a Caldecott Honor Book and has to be among my favourite children’s books ever, for both the illustrations and the story.
Those books are on the list suggested by Delightful Children’s Books. I intend to get some stories too to supplement the non-fiction. Thanks for the tip. I am hoping we enjoy a few of them enough to make them permanent additions to our home library.