We recently received the book "The Garden Classroom". The cover describes the book as having "hands-on activities in math, science, literacy, and art" and says it "contains creative ways to use the garden to inspire learning for children ages 4 to 8". I would say this book provides ideas for creative and imaginary play and outdoor/nature projects for kids. It does not contain curriculum or full lesson plans as one might expect from the word classroom in the title, but does show how learning is possible through fun activities and it is fully usable by any family, homeschooling or not. Although this is not a complete review (because we have only begun to use it), I figured I'd go ahead and offer you a little peak. My nature-loving girls snatched the book up as soon as they laid eyes on it and began to flip through to see if it was worthy of their attention. With growing excitement, and despite saying that every activity or project was their favorite, they chose to start with the Mud-Pie Tea Party!
To facilitate a special and more grown-up feel to the experience (because mud pies, rocks, and grass in tea cups are a common sight among grown ups, of course), we made a quick stop at the local thrift store to get a few more dishes for this cute creative play activity. The girls found some great treasures for a steal of a price, including a nice woven tray and an adorable little tea pot/tea cup combo. As soon as we got home, the girls were outside and loving it. Here are some pictures of the results.
The book hasn't yet offered anything extraordinary, but it did (so far) provide a springboard for hours of fun, involved, imaginative outdoor play. We intend to continue to use it and try out more of the projects within.
I ordered and paid for this book on my own. Everything I have to say about it is entirely my own unbiased opinion. Perhaps I will get a moment to come back to offer you a full review in a few months. Until then, if you're considering getting the book and need some inspiration for projects and props for play in the garden/yard, this might be worth looking into further.
I'm a homeschooling mom of three, enjoying our time in Hawaii and hoping to share some of that experience with you, including ideas, reviews, resources, and information.