Childhood in the Garden: A Place to Encounter Natural and Social Diversity

Teachers and parents may use gardening as a way to bring young children into meaningful contact with the diversity of nature and society. Explore the important role of the garden as a place for play, inquiry, and building relationships.

Environmentalists talk about the natural world and dream of spaces that belong to nature and should be entered, like hiking in the woods, on nature’s terms. Another natural space, the garden, is a familiar place tamed by humans to serve social purposes such as growing food. But it has the potential to bring young children into meaningful contact with the diversity of nature and society.

In this article we explore the important role of the garden in children’s learning. Childhood in the Garden: A Place to Encounter Natural and Social Diversity» [PDF, 725KB].

Childhood in the Garden: A Place to Encounter Natural and Social Diversity. National Association for the Education of Young Children. 2011. English. [PDF, 725KB]

Last Reviewed: December 2011

Last Updated: November 13, 2014