The Garden Classroom – Book Review

the Garden Classroom, an amazing book for families who want to spend time outdoors

The Garden Classroom

My publisher, Roost Books, just released the most gorgeous book for families who are interested in teaching through the garden. In The Garden Classroom (affiliate), author Cathy James introduces us to great ideas for integrating math, play, imagination, reading, writing, science, and art into the natural environment.

Hint: With Earth Day right around the corner, this book would be the ideal gift for the garden-loving family.

collage of garden classroom book

To make this post match the spirit of the book, I thought I would carry the book out to my garden and snap a few shots – sort of appropriate, right?

You can see one of our newest garden additions in the top left photos (above and below) – a succulent in a tea cup that we made with my mom. I’ll share a tutorial soon (it involves a power tool, so yeah, pretty fun). While my mom had it all mapped out, I loved spotting this same project in Cathy’s book as a Quirky Ecoplanter. 

garden classroom book

Whether or not you have a green thumb (or fingers, as Cathy says in the UK), this book will meet you where you are. I love my garden, but given my inclination to maximize my studio time, my garden is often ignored. Plus we’re in the middle of a looooong drought, so watering isn’t a big goal at the moment.

You may notice that my lavender is doing nicely. It gets just a smidge of water and boom, lavender. So beautiful.

Okay, back to the book. Let’s take a look inside (please excuse the rose – they only look this good for a few days and I’m kind of excited about it)…

The Garden Classroom by Cathy James

The book culminates with some wonderful handout-style activities that can be written on in the book or photocopied for further garden enrichment.

One page invites children to record all the produce in the garden

Another page invites children to create a snapshot of the garden by recording things like the weather, what they heard, and if they spotted any animals.

As I flipped through the pages, my 4-year old daughter kept making me stop so she could take longer looks. She already let me know that she wants to grow her own mini meadow (yes, I do too!) and she is already collecting tiny pinecones and other objects to place in a cement stepping stone.

#1 New Release!

The book has just been out for a few days and it’s already the #1 New Release in the Parent Participation in Education category on Amazon.

If you love to spend time outdoors and want to find ways to integrate the garden and nature with play and a child’s natural curiosities, this book is designed to help you get there, gracefully. I can’t recommend it enough!

Buy The Garden Classroom

The Garden Classroom, Amazon. It’s in stock, Prime eligible, and currently on sale for 20% off list.

Make a Painted Flower Pot

How to paint a planter with kids

Join me in the next post and I’ll share how to make a painted plant pots to hold a succulent (inspiration taken from The Garden Classroom).

Painted Flower Pot from the Garden Classroom book

I led this with my kids as well as our Daisy troop of 20 girls, and I’ll share lots of tips for setting up a successful painting sessions at home or school.

Catch you next time!


    • It’s a beautiful book, Cathy! Thanks for taking time to write it!

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