Make leaf rubbings, learn the neighborhood bird songs together, turn an aquarium into a worm hotel, create a firefly lantern. There are garden projects, both for the outdoors—grow a container snacking garden, a pumpkin patch in a pot—and the indoors, i.e., how to use something called "indoor garbage gardens" to grow pineapple tops, sweet potato vines, peanuts, and more. Cooking projects, both in the sunshine—baking in a solar oven—and in the kitchen—what child will ever forget the time the two of you made Potato Volcanoes with Lava? And lots of rainy-day activities for times when nature's in a cranky mood.
Created by Sharon Lovejoy—a grandmother of four and the author of two classic books of garden activities for grown-ups and kids, Sunflower Houses and Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots—Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars is an ecologically inspired guide that combines more than 130 green activities with timeless grandparenting advice. Illustrated with Lovejoy's distinctive, delicate watercolors, it's an inventive resource for grandmother and grandchild to connect with each other through nature. It is the book to make sure an afternoon, a day, or a weekend turns into a memory that lasts forever.
About the Author
Sharon Lovejoy, an author, illustrator, lecturer, and teacher, is the children's garden adviser to the American Horticultural Society, and has been a guest on Today at NBC, PBS's Victory Garden, and the Discovery Channel. She speaks at conferences and gardening organizations around the country. She has four grandchildren, and divides her time between San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine.
Sharon Lovejoy calls this treasure trove of crafts, recipes and activities “a natural outgrowth of the way I have always lived and interacted with children.” Many of the ideas and projects originated from her journal notes and sketches. Who could resist a “Faeries’ Tea Party” where Heart- and Star-Shaped Faerie Sandwiches and Button Pie appear on the menu? Or building the title cottage for a toad and collecting leaves and flowers for a 3-D collage? More than 130 activities encourage an exploration of both the natural world and a child’s imagination. Clear instructions, illustration and abundant photos make each project inviting, and a list of “ingredients” makes them manageable. “The book is about unplugging from electronics and plugging into adventures, projects, discoveries and the simplest pleasures of childhood,” says Lovejoy, “watching shooting stars, following animal tracks, creating art, and keeping family history and traditions alive.” (Ages 6-10, adult) -Kirkus Reviews
“Build a worm hotel, a pizza box solar oven, or a firefly lantern by following the whimsical simple instructions in this terrific source of outdoor activity ideas.”
—Scholastic Parents & Child Magazine
“When Sharon Lovejoy says her gardening books are for children ofallages, she means all ages, including grandparents. Her magical activities, projects and ideas prove it is never too late to have a happy childhood.’
—Book Page magazine
“What better way to get kids interested in the garden and nature.”