Gardening With Children

What better way to connect children with the natural world than through gardening? Team up with the youngsters in your care on scores of fun outdoor and indoor garden-related activities. Share the joy of watching plants and the animals that live among them grow and flourish as you guide children in the discovery of nature's cycles and communities.

  • Chapter 1: Living in a Community, by Brian Johnson
  • Chapter 2: Plants Are Essential for Life, by Barbara Kurland
  • Chapter 3: Nature's Garden, by Monika Hannemann
  • Chapter 4; Plants Need Animals!, by Tracey Patterson
  • Chapter 5: Nature Recycles, by Patricia Hulse
  • Glossary of Plant and Gardening Terms
  • Taking Our Children Outside, by Marilyn Smith and Sharon Myrie
  • Tips for Adult Caregivers
  • Activity Guide
  • For More Information
  • Contributors
  • Index

Journal Activity Pages (PDF)

Download blank pages to use with activities described in the book. You need Adobe Reader to view the PDF pages.

Monika Hannemann is the discovery programs coordinator at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She oversees the Discovery Garden, an outdoor adventure garden for children and families. She also facilitates family drop-in programs in the garden to inspire young gardeners, scientists, and naturalists in Brooklyn and beyond.

Patricia Hulse is the children's garden and family programs manager at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She has been exploring the wonders of science and nature with children and adults in urban, suburban, and rural environments since 1995.

Brian Johnson is an environmental education specialist with more than a decade of experience in the field. He has previously served as education officer for Botanic Gardens Conservation International, where he directed the organization's plant conservation education programs in the United States. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in environmental studies at Antioch University New England.

Barbara Kurland is the school programs manager at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She has been teaching and learning about plants at BBG with children, youth, and adults since 1989.

Sharon Myrie, vice-president of Education at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, manages educational programs serving over 150,000 children, as well as adult education and community outreach programs through a wide range of initiatives. In 2003, she co-led the creation of Brooklyn's first environment-focused public high school.

Tracey Patterson has been teaching adults and children of all ages about plants and ecology in the garden, the classroom, and the community for many years. As an educator at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, she has taught hundreds of teachers and thousands of children about plants in the city and around the world. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in urban community health.

Marilyn Smith, director of children's education at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, has worked in the field of environmental education for nearly 20 years. She worked as a naturalist in Ohio and directed a nature center in Connecticut before coming to work for BBG.

Sam Tomasello illustrates nature, science, and fantasy for publishing, way finding, exhibits, and interactive media. Highlights of her career include illustrations for signage at the New York Botanical Garden's Everett Children's Adventure Garden, an exhibition of her extreme life-form images at the New York Hall of Science, and illustrations for McGraw-Hill Science textbooks. Her work was featured in the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators Exhibition 2005 and can be viewed at

Sigrun Wolff Saphire, a senior editor in Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Publications Department, has been editing handbooks since 2000. She also works with schoolchildren as a volunteer Garden Guide.

Add Your Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this article. Comments are moderated and will be posted after BBG staff review. Your email address is required; it will not be displayed, but may be needed to confirm your comments.



WeddingsGarden News BlogCalendarOnline ShopPress Room


8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday:
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Labor Day

Members’ Summer Evenings: Wednesdays, 6–8:30 p.m.

More Information


Members Free
Adults $12
Seniors (65 and over) $6
Students with a valid ID $6
Children under 12 Free

More Information


150 Eastern Parkway
455 Flatbush Avenue
990 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225


Maps, Parking, and Directions

Join BBG

Get free admission and more!
Become a Member