Early Childhood

Matching Mentors with School Gardeners in Austin

Ann Richards School, Austin, TXThe community-based Sustainable Food Center (SFC) in Austin, Texas, among other activities, helps school kids throughout the city grow gardens – especially those in low income communities with a high incidence of diet-related diseases.

The Secret Life of Ponds

Water makes life on the planet not just livable, but possible. All organisms are utterly dependent on it for survival. Our bodies are 80 percent water. It covers three-quarters of the Earth's surface, but only 3 percent of that area is fresh water (the rest is oceanic salt water), and more than half of that is in the form of ice.

Making Pressed Flower Thank-you Cards


Thanking your garden volunteers and donors is as important as maintaining healthy garden soil because a garden can't grow without them! This lesson exercises students' skills in English, science, and art. Plus, it's an opportunity for them to grasp the importance of showing appreciation to those who contribute their time and resources to the garden.

Building a Maze


Mazes are an engaging and fun addition to any youth garden. They can be made from a wide variety of materials depending on the resources and space available. Design and installation of the maze hones math and art skills.

The Changing Garden


Students will:

  • observe the changes in the garden throughout the day and year.
  • understand and appreciate that nature is constantly changing.

Central Concepts

The garden is a dynamic environment that changes in appearance daily and seasonally.


  • drawing paper
  • an easel or clipboard
  • colored pencils

Discussion Topics

What are some of the changes that take place in our garden?

Does the garden look the same in the morning as it does in the afternoon?

Make a Garden Art Box

The garden is full of inspiration for budding artists. You can easily transform your garden into an exciting art studio by providing a few supplies and time for creativity and observation.


Students will create a supply box to use in the garden for art projects. With the cover on, the box also provides an outdoor work surface.

Personalizing the Garden

When kids develop a sense of ownership in your youth garden both the program and the children thrive. Children engaged in planning and caring for the garden tend to take on responsibility and put more effort into garden maintenance and learning activities. You can also nurture the child-garden relationship by inviting them to add a personal touch to the space. Here are a few ideas...

Community Planning Event


  • To engage students, parents, teachers, staff, and other community members in planning the garden.
  • To increase and strengthen support for the school gardening program to ensure its sustainability.

Central Concept

By facilitating a planning event, students will see the benefit of collective brainstorming and develop connections in their community. It will also help foster ownership in all program participants.

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Kids Gardening and the National Gardening Association actively work with schools and communities across the country to provide educational resources and build gardens to promote health, wellness, and sustainability.


Copyright © 1999-2014 National Gardening Association     |     www.kidsgardening.org & www.garden.org      |     Created on 03/15/99, 

Last updated on 12/16/2014
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