Make a garden journal

gardening with children

Gardening with children offers so many opportunities to learn. We love growing our own fruit and vegetables, even though our garden is small, so the children get to see where their food comes from and how seeds transform into something tasty to eat.

This weekend we’ve been working on making a garden journal.

garden project resources

We’re using a scrapbook for our journal and filling it with all sorts of information and pictures as we go through our gardening year – making a wonderful record of everything we’ve done, seen and grown. Here are some things we’ll be including:

  • diary entries of our progress: what we planted, when things began to grown, what we’ve been enjoying outside (giving the kids lots of opportunities to practise their writing)
  • photos and drawings of the plants and animals we observe
  • treasures stuck on to the pages such as seeds, dried leaves, seed packets
  • scientific and mathematical data on how high plants are growing and what conditions  they like

The journal is a collaborative project that everyone is taking part in and I’m making sure to keep it out, rather than stored away on a shelf, to encourage lots of entries whenever the kids see something they want to include. By mixing in writing, photos and pictures everyone can join in – whether they’re at the writing stage or not. We’re hoping by the end of summer – when if we’re lucky we’ll have enough produce for a harvest celebration – to have a beautiful record of all the fun we’ve had in the garden this year.

Are you growing anything with your children? Are you doing any linked activities to springboard the gardening into literacy, math, science or art? We’d love to hear your ideas.


  1. says

    This is such a cute idea!

    I let each of my kids plant a little window box of their choice of food this spring. Emma and Johnny picked peas, and Lily picked carrots. Then Johnny pulled out one of Emma’s peas and she sobbed and sobbed. We planted a new one in it’s place!

  2. says

    We took pictures of our garden this afternoon and I just printed them; I’m excited to make a collaborative journal with the kids!

  3. GrowingLikeWeeds says

    I am gardening at my son’s school. The children have recycled their milk cartons, filled with soil and have planted seeds in their classroom. Children can decorate their “planters” with scraps of colored paper, etc. We’ll transplant the plants in the outdoor garden. They also got to hold worms during our composting discussion. We are going to plant native plants that will attract pollinators, such as migrant Monarch butterflies. Once our veggies are ready to be picked, we will harvest and a meal will be made in our cafeteria.

    • Cathy @ NurtureStore says

      Hi GrowingLikeWeeds, that sounds like such a wonderful project. I love the idea of planting lots of native plants to get all those insect visitors.

  4. says

    That looks a fab idea, I really want to get Baba into gardening. I think next year would be a good year to start and hopefully our garden will look much better by then! xx

  5. says

    That is such a cute idea! I can see taking the supplies outside when you make the journal and evening creating it right there in the garden. That would be great outdoor play. Thanks for joining the outdoor play link up!

    • Cathy @ NurtureStore says

      Hi Abbie, it’s a pleasure to join in with the very first outdoor play idea swap :)

  6. says

    Cathy, I just knew you would be our first Outdoor Play contributor! You guys get up to such wonderful things.

    I really love the idea of journalling. I love the idea of literacy in action rather than drill-activities. This is such a wonderful way for littlies to engage with nature and develop their literacy in a meaningful way.

    • Cathy @ NurtureStore says

      Ah Kate, thanks. I’m a big fan of literacy in action – suits the kids so well too.

    • Cathy @ NurtureStore says

      Hi Michelle – yes I also love the idea of having just one journal. It’s nice to collaborate and have a team spirit.

  7. says

    What a great idea! We’re doing something similar…a nature book…taking picture of all the different plants, etc. that we find outside and putting them in a book and labeling them. My daughter is only four, so she’s not doing much writing, but maybe having her draw pictures as well would be good to add. Thanks for your ideas!

  8. says

    What a beautiful idea. I’m bookmarking this for spring. It’s just starting to get really cold here in our little part of the world, and the vegie garden is looking a bit neglected… But my kids would love this.

  9. says

    This is fabulous!!! Thanks for sharing it with us at For the Kids Friday! I’m off to share this with my Facebook friends now :)

  10. says

    Great journals! And thanks for the link to the sunflower activities e-book! That’ll be fun to do! Stopping by from Science Sunday!

    • Cathy @ NurtureStore says

      Mee too Ticia – lots of mixed media makes it much more interesting I think.

  11. says

    I’m teaching children’s writing workshops this summer – one of our classes will be making handmade journals. I think I’ll use this as one option for the kids to consider when they begin writing. So fun to imagine the possibilities!

    • Cathy @ NurtureStore says

      Melissa, I like the idea of a class journal – might make it more inviting for reluctant writers who would feel overwhelmed at doing on all by themselves.

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