Gardening

Gardening is both very easy and very hard to find resources for. There are thousands of websites about gardening with children with ideas for the practical side, but it’s hard to find more ‘worksheet’ style or game-based resources for those who would like to take on the more theoretical part of gardening.

There is also that fine line between botany and gardening. I have tried to keep all links within the scope of gardening, with only a few botany links that can be directly applied to growing plants.

Remember that gardening is not just for those with a garden! For years I’ve lived in flats and still managed to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables on my tiny kitchen windowsill.

Ultimate list of free gardening resources for educators and homeschoolers

Extension topics

The most direct extension topic to explore is botany and all that is related to it. Botany is a huge subject and covering it all would take years. Some smaller and easier to contain topics could be: seeds, flowers, formal gardens, evergreens, sunflowers, fruits, roses, carnivorous plants, poisonous plants… I could go on for ages!

You can also learn about mushrooms and fungi, not plants, but also grown on soil.

For those more interested in applied science, nutrition, food production and agriculture are all related topics. As well as herbalism.

Insects, and bugs in general, is another easy step from gardening.

Those interested in languages might also be interested in learning the scientific names of different plants, their origins and meanings. Or the names of different plant in a variety of languages.

Cooking is another possibility for those who grow their own vegetables, fruits and herbs.

For adults

Gardening at BBC at BBC: BBC’s archived gardening website. Still with a lot of information, some UK-based, some useful worldwide. Including an interactive gardening calendar, a fantastic mini-encyclopaedia of pests and the full archive of the message boards. Check the links on the side as well, that will take you to features such as ‘ethical gardening’.

The learning garden online course: Botany for K-8 educators: (scroll all the way down the page to find all the sections) by the US National Gardening Association. A bit dry, with very few black and white images, but full of information and ideas for educators.

Kiddie gardens: mostly tips for gardening with kids, and a nice section on planning a kid-friendly garden.

Gardening with children (blog): massive blog that goes all the way back to January 2009. Full of ideas, resources and information. You could spend a few years reading it, luckily it is very easy to navigate with organised categories and archives.

Gardening with children (things to do): gardening ideas according to the time of the year. Updated all the time.

Gardening with children (national curriculum): ideas on how to connect gardening to the UK national curriculum. Useful for the box-ticking part of teaching and homeschooling.

Fun plants for kids: ideas of plants to grow with and for children according to their characteristics.

Home gardening at Cornell University: massive resource. Includes growing guides for more than 200 flowers and more than 50 vegetables as well flower garden design and a lawn care calendar.

Level 0

Gardening with children at BBC: part of BBC’s archived gardening website.  Information about different plants and some botany basics, as well as many indoor and outdoor gardening projects. The information could be hard to understand but the projects can all be done at this level.

Kids gardening: over 1000 lesson and activity ideas in an easy-to-search categorised index. An absolute gem and must-visit for those interested in gardening!

The kid’s garden puzzles: 8 printable garden-themed games and puzzles. Not a lot, but fun.

Kids in the garden: a nice collection of garden (rather than gardening) activities that include garden design and garden games that the whole family can enjoy.

My first garden: all the information and resources children need to start their own garden from choosing seeds to harvest. Very complete. It is text heavy but it can be read aloud by an adult or older child as the images will keep the little ones entretained. Also in Spanish.

Vegetable Gardening: How to Plant a Vegetable Garden for Children Step by Step: step-by-step how-to video to start a 3-vegetable mini-garden. Short and easy to follow.

Peep and the Big Wide World: Peep Plants a Seed: a cute 9-minute cartoon that shows how a sunflower grows from seed and all that it needs to do so.

Gardening with children (things to do): gardening ideas according to the time of the year. Updated all the time.

Garden sensory bin: a how-to for creating a garden-themed sensory so children can touch and explore without destroying little seedling or hurting plants.

Garden Guru: a cute little online game to learn some common plants and other simple gardening topics. Quite short, but offers 3 levels of difficulty.

Plants Class Clips: 20 short videos about plants, most about botany but useful for gardening.

Gardener at DIY.org: allows children to earn a gardening patch in Scouts style but online though videos. Children can upload their projects if they want. From 8 but younger children can do most challenges with a bit of help.

Gardening unit study: multi-subject gardening-themed unit study.

Garden pack: garden-themed activity pack for preK and K, mostly numeracy and literacy related.

Growing vegetable soup: a multi-subject pack about vegetables and gardening.

Developing Christian Character though Gardening: for Christians (obviously!) but it has some ideas for secular and other religions if the Bible quotes are ignored. Multi-subject and multi-age.

Garden preschool pack: multi-subject and very hands-on.

A garden: mini-book about colours with a planting flowers theme.

How to garden with a toddler: Montessori-inspired sensory inspiration (not just for toddlers!).

Indoor gardening: ideas for those without outside space or for the winter months, includes multi-subject activities.

Level 1

Gardening with children at BBC: part of BBC’s archived gardening website.Information about different plants and some botany basics, as well as many indoor and outdoor gardening projects.

Dig in: BBC’s archived seed-to-plate website. Not very extensive and the videos can’t be accessed anymore, but it does provide colourful and easy-to-understand printables with all the information needed to grow common vegetables. A lot of information is hidden around the website, especially the FAQ section, but it’s not the easiest the navigate.

Kids gardening: over 1000 lesson and activity ideas in an easy-to-search categorised index. An absolute gem and must-visit for those interested in gardening!

The kid’s garden puzzles: 8 printable garden-themed games and puzzles. Not a lot, but fun.

Kids in the garden: a nice collection of garden (rather than gardening) activities that include garden design and garden games that the whole family can enjoy.

My first garden: all the information and resources children need to start their own garden from choosing seeds to harvest. Very complete. It is text heavy but children can use it on their own. Also in Spanish.

Vegetable Gardening: How to Plant a Vegetable Garden for Children Step by Step: step-by-step how-to video to start a 3-vegetable mini-garden. Short and easy to follow.

Peep and the Big Wide World: Peep Plants a Seed: a cute 9-minute cartoon that shows how a sunflower grows from seed and all that it needs to do so. It could be a bit slow for some children on this level.

Gardening with children (games): online games organised by age.

Gardening with children (things to do): gardening ideas according to the time of the year. Updated all the time.

Garden sensory bin: a how-to for creating a garden-themed sensory so children can touch and explore without destroying little seedling or hurting plants.

Life Lab: garden science exploration units. There’s 4 units each with 6 lessons.

Garden Guru: a cute little online game to learn some common plants and other simple gardening topics. Quite short, but offers 3 levels of difficulty.

Plants: part of BBC’s bitesize. Divided in 4 sections: what does a plant need to grow?, what plants can you find outside?, what are the parts of a plant? and what is the life cycle of a plant?. Interactive with lots of videos and images, and children can explore it on their own.

Plants Class Clips: 20 short videos about plants, most about botany but useful for gardening.

The Great Plant Escape: story-based botany  unit. Can be done online by children without help. It’s planned as detective cases, but it’s more of an interactive pop quiz with previous explanations. Still fun though. Children at this level might need some help with the reading. Available in Spanish.

Gardener at DIY.org: allows children to earn a gardening patch in Scouts style but online though videos. Children can upload their projects if they want. From 8 but younger children can do most challenges with a bit of help.

Gardening unit study: multi-subject gardening-themed unit study.

Growing vegetable soup: a multi-subject pack about vegetables and gardening.

Developing Christian Character though Gardening: for Christians (obviously!) but it has some ideas for secular and other religions if the Bible quotes are ignored. Multi-subject and multi-age.

How to garden with a toddler: Montessori-inspired sensory inspiration  (not just for toddlers!).

Indoor gardening: ideas for those without outside space or for the winter months, includes multi-subject activities.

Garden Notebook Pages: 20 common vegetable note booking pages and a blank one. You need to subscribe to access, but it is free. Younger students might need some help filling in the pages.

 

Level 2

Gardening with children at BBC: part of BBC’s archived gardening website.Information about different plants and some botany basics, as well as many indoor and outdoor gardening projects.

Dig in: BBC’s archived seed-to-plate website. Not very extensive and the videos can’t be accessed anymore, but it does provide colourful and easy-to-understand printables with all the information needed to grow common vegetables.

Kids gardening: over 1000 lesson and activity ideas in an easy-to-search categorised index. An absolute gem and must-visit for those interested in gardening!

Kids in the garden: a nice collection of garden (rather than gardening) activities that include garden design and garden games that the whole family can enjoy.

My first garden: all the information and resources children need to start their own garden from choosing seeds to harvest. Very complete. It is text heavy but children can use it on their own. Also in Spanish.

Vegetable Gardening: How to Plant a Vegetable Garden for Children Step by Step: step-by-step how-to video to start a 3-vegetable mini-garden. Short and easy to follow.

Gardening with children (things to do): gardening ideas according to the time of the year. Updated all the time.

Science of gardening: the why’s and how’s behind gardening. An interactive website with videos and image galleries.

Science behind your garden: very thorough. It can look a bit dry at first, but it includes some fun information and even recipes.

Garden science: a blog that documents a collection of gardening-based experiments that follow the scientific method, including goals, steps, possible outcomes and even data collection posts. Extremely informational and very interesting to read.

Plants: part of BBC’s bitesize. Divided in 4 sections: what does a plant need to grow?, what plants can you find outside?, what are the parts of a plant? and what is the life cycle of a plant?. Interactive with lots of videos and images, and children can explore it on their own.

Plants Class Clips: 20 short videos about plants, most about botany but useful for gardening.

The Great Plant Escape: story-based botany unit. Can be done online by children without help. It’s planned as detective cases, but it’s more of an interactive pop quiz with previous explanations. Still fun though. Available in Spanish.

Gardener at DIY.org: allows children to earn a gardening patch in Scouts style but online though videos. Children can upload their projects if they want.

Developing Christian Character though Gardening: for Christians (obviously!) but it has some ideas for secular and other religions if the Bible quotes are ignored. Multi-subject and multi-age.

Our vegetable travelers: history of some very common vegetables and their cultivation. A bit wordy but interesting nonetheless.

Indoor gardening: ideas for those without outside space or for the winter months, includes multi-subject activities.

Printable Garden Notebook: 18 printable pages to plan and run a garden. For the more ambitious gardeners.

Garden Notebook Pages: 20 common vegetable note booking pages and a blank one. You need to subscribe to access, but it is free.

 

Level 3

Gardening at BBC: BBC’s archived gardening website. Still with a lot of information, some UK-based, some useful worldwide. Including an interactive gardening calendar, a fantastic mini-encyclopaedia of pests and the full archive of the message boards. Check the links on the side as well, that will take you to features such as ‘ethical gardening’.

Dig in: BBC’s archived seed-to-plate website. Not very extensive and the videos can’t be accessed anymore, but it does provide colourful and easy-to-understand printables with all the information needed to grow common vegetables.

The learning garden online course: Botany for K-8 educators: (scroll all the way down the page to find all the sections) aimed at teachers, but the information will be useful for older students, simply skip the curriculum talk at the beginning of each section.

Kids in the garden: a nice collection of garden (rather than gardening) activities that include garden design and garden games that the whole family can enjoy.

My first garden: all the information and resources children need to start their own garden from choosing seeds to harvest. Very complete. It could be a bit simplistic for those with some gardening knowledge, but still worth a visit, especially the ‘Planning my garden’ section. Also in Spanish.

Vegetable Gardening: How to Plant a Vegetable Garden for Children Step by Step: step-by-step how-to video to start a 3-vegetable mini-garden. Short and easy to follow.

Gardening with children (things to do): gardening ideas according to the time of the year. Updated all the time.

Science of gardening: the why’s and how’s behind gardening. An interactive website with videos and image galleries.

Science behind your garden: very thorough. It can look a bit dry at first, but it includes some fun information and even recipes.

Garden science: a blog that documents a collection of gardening-based experiments that follow the scientific method, including goals, steps, possible outcomes and even data collection posts. Extremely informational and very interesting to read.

Gardener at DIY.org: allows children to earn a gardening patch in Scouts style but online though videos. Children can upload their projects if they want.

Home gardening at Cornell University: massive resource. Includes growing guides for more than 200 flowers and more than 50 vegetables as well flower garden design and a lawn care calendar.

Developing Christian Character though Gardening: for Christians (obviously!) but it has some ideas for secular and other religions if the Bible quotes are ignored. Multi-subject and multi-age.

Our vegetable travelers: history of some very common vegetables and their cultivation.

Indoor gardening: ideas for those without outside space or for the winter months, includes multi-subject activities.

Printable Garden Notebook: 18 printable pages to plan and run a garden. For the more ambitious gardeners.

Garden Notebook Pages: 20 common vegetable note booking pages and a blank one. You need to subscribe to access, but it is free.

Free courses by ACS Distance Education: full free courses on hydroponics, vegetable and herbs and landscape design.

University extension courses by Utah State University: a collection of free full courses that cover topics such as landscaping, weeds, pruning and fertilisation among others.

Weed control by Utah State University: free full video course.

Free books and downloads: a collection of Amazon-linked free gardening books.

Books about Gardening at Gutenberg Project: collection of 15 free vintage gardening books.

Radical agriculture library: massive collection of vintage and out-of-print (some as new as 2007) books and publications about gardening and agriculture. It includes very current topics, such as GMOs and organics. Once you accept the T&C you can browse by title, author or subject.

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