Do grandparents need a book to help them create memories with their grandchildren? That’s the first thing I thought of when I received my review copy of the book, Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars by Sharon Lovejoy. The book is written by a grandmother for grandmothers. So why is a 30 something guy reviewing the book? Simple, this book is awesome! There's lots of useful tips and ideas in this book for creating budding naturalists.
Before I get into the book allow me to get a little personal. Shortly after I received Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars my own grandmother passed away unexpectedly. While reading the book, the beautiful photographs and quirky illustrations made me realize what I’d missed out on. I always knew that my own grandmother wasn’t the nurturing kind, but this book really made me realize how deprived I grew up in the grandmother department. I’m glad to learn that there are people like Ms. Lovejoy, and presumably the book’s buyers, who are interested in developing kids with an appreciation for nature and exploration. While there are a lot of fun activities in the book, I’m recommending it based on the activities that focus on gardening, backyard nature exploration and plant propagation.
fireflies in jars to make lanterns, tracing fallen leaves, rooting sweet potatoes, and pineapple tops. While others get an update for the digital age. The pressed leaves activity gets an update in the activity where you use a scanner to create memory cards out of leaves and blooms from the garden. Some activities may be new to you like they were to me; it never dawned on me to use twigs and branches to make old-fashioned toys for the nephews and niece.
Similarly, ephemeral garden art can be made from twigs, branches, leaves and stones. There are several kids gardening projects that I won’t list, most of them are inexpensive or can be done with no money. Like the creation of a wish jar (pictured above) by collecting the heads of dandelions that have gone to seed.
The book is supposed to be for grandmothers, but really this book is useful for anyone who has kids in their life and would like to pull them away from the television and expose them to nature. We’re not all born with nurturing instincts so it is nice that someone has complied this list of gardening related activities we can do with kids. Do you look at a pile of leaves, twigs, hollyhock seed pods, moss and blooms and think about creating a fairy garden? If you answered no, then Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars is the book for you. Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars by Sharon Lovejoy retails for $14.95 and is published by Workman. If you purchase it through this link I’ll receive a tiny commission on your sale. Buy it for yourself or for someone in your life who has kids but maybe isn’t so creative.