Nature Play at Home

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Nancy Striniste

Timber Press

April 2, 2019

288 Pages

Goodreads | Amazon

When I say that I love this book, I mean I LOVE this book. It is exactly what I was hoping it would be. I’m in charge of the garden at my kids’s elementary school, and we are in the process of renovating certain areas of the space. It has been tough sometimes to know how best to serve the students with our design choices. But this book has given me so many great ideas for the garden’s hardscape and softscape—from constructing entryways, paths, and tables, to organizing work areas and choosing kid-friendly plants that engage all the senses.

The book is divided into nine sections. After the introduction, there is information on:

  • How to arrange the play space in a way that accommodates children and encourages them to playfully interact with nature
  • How to use plants and other objects that engage all five senses
  • How to best choose and arrange plants in a way that invites kids to safely participate
  • How to construct forts that give kids a magical place to enjoy the outdoors
  • How to help kids increase self-confidence by giving them the opportunity to build and express themselves artistically
  • How to create a comfortable space with adequate shade, seating, etc.
  • How to practically go about building and maintaining your garden space

There are also lots of helpful and inspirational photos throughout the book, which make the projects come to life.

So yes, this has become one of my new favorite resources for school gardening. While the projects may be oriented toward bigger spaces used by lots of kids, many of these ideas can easily be incorporated into smaller, single-family spaces as well. There is something for everyone in here.


Many thanks to Net Galley and Timber Press for the ARC. I liked the book so much, I went out and bought it. ๐Ÿ™‚

5 thoughts

    1. I got so many good ideas from it! Iโ€™m already modifying plans for the school garden. ๐Ÿ˜‚ A lot of these ideas seem like common sense in hindsight, but I think the planning process can be so overwhelming that itโ€™s hard to know where to start. I like that there are all kinds of ideas in hereโ€”from big projects to small. Iโ€™ve been referencing this book basically nonstop, ha.

      Liked by 1 person

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