Welcome to my latest, Touring Picture book blog post. Each month three fellow U.K. book bloggers and I hand pick a children’s picture book which we review and complete a bookish activity with. We have worked together on a number of picture books but this piece is dedicated to a wonderful non-fiction read.
Publishers Nosy Crow have published a brilliant activity based book all about gardening in collaboration with the National Trust. My family and I are great supporters of the National Trust and this book certainly lives up to our expectations. This is the first book in a brand new series encouraging children as young as preschool to explore the outdoors and be friends with nature.
Author Katherine Halligan and illustrator Grace Easton have created a fun, accessible text to encourage children to get gardening. From the spiral bound book with study pages inside to bite size chunks of information, this book has been completed so thoughtfully.
There are immense benefits for children to be outdoors, not only to embrace nature and for exercise but also for children’s mental well being. In a study the National Trust completed in 2018, they found that children are playing outside for an average of 4 hours a week compared to their parents who will have been outdoors for over double that amount when they were children. Books encouraging children to be outside could be a great resource in supporting children to be more nature inquisitive.
Sunflower Shoots and Muddy Boots is a gardening book that could support children in many different areas. The book supports various educational topics, encourages children to be responsible (and patient), supports children to eat healthily and lastly, gardening engages many senses.
The book is divided into chapters and is mindful of the various sized gardens children may have. As well as including things that children could be completing outdoors, there are also great ideas that could be completed in home or in learning setting. For example, sprouting baby beans using a glass jar and growing radiant raspberries using a yogurt pot to begin with.
The book also explores fun ideas such as growing your own garden den using bamboo canes and vine plants and explains to readers the importance of trees.
The book is an all round fun celebration of gardening for children and one we think is brilliant. I’m sure you will agree that the diverse illustrations through out are engaging and so appealing.
My two daughters love exploring outside and they adore role playing different jobs. As well as planting trees and different seeds in the book it also shares playing mud kitchens. Mud kitchens can be as simple or complex as you like. There are actual freestanding mud kitchens you can buy but we just like using our outdoor gardening table with lots of old kitchen utensils, packaging that’s not likely to recycle well and heaps and heaps of mud.
The scooping, the pouring of water, the exploring of mud and seeing the texture change is something my girls absolutely love. Mud kitchens are a great alternative to sand and water play and can soon turn into all sorts of imaginative play. My girls also enjoy pretending to plant using shells and small stones as seeds also which gives this another texture for them to explore. Once your little ones have finished, the mud can be put aside outdoors for another day.
A messy activity which is heaps of fun!
To read what my fellow Touring Picture book buddies thought of the book, do head over to their blogs. You can also explore what activity inspired them after reading this brilliant non-fiction read.
Disclaimer: The publishers kindly gifted us copies of the book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.
I love how simple your mud kitchen is – it goes to show you don’t need a big fancy one for the kids to have as much fun as they have with pots and a spoon!
Ah thank you. It seems to work well for my girls and it’s the height of the table is great for them. The wok and other things are just items from the kitchen that needed replacing. My girls love how they are real kitchen items.