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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Introduction to the Second Edition If you are reading this book, we assume you are interested in gardening with children. We wrote this book as a resource for anyone who works with young children from infancy through third grade. We want it to appeal to a wide audience, not just teachers and caregivers in traditional school set- tings and child care programs, but family child care providers, Head Start programs, homeschoolers, and parents interested in introducing their chil- dren to gardening. We hope infant and toddler caregivers and teachers will introduce even the youngest children to gardening. We also want to give primary teachers examples of how they can actively engage their children in meaningful curriculum through gardening. We have included examples of both rural and urban gardens, and we have provided ideas for those who have little space and few resources, as well as those who have more. We have reached out to programs and teachers throughout the United States, who have helped us by sharing their stories. We hope that you will find what you are looking for here. You may choose to read Gardening with Young Children from start to fin- ish, but that is not the only way to read it. You may find that one or two chapters contain the information that is most pertinent to your needs, and you can begin with those chapters. Each chapter can be read individually. You could also begin by flipping through the book, looking at pictures for inspiration or ideas. However you decide to read the book, know that all the subject matter weaves together to create the whole. Chapter 1 explains why gardening is important for young children. This chapter will give you the rationale for developing a garden program. Read it if you need to rally support for creating a program. Also, read it to deepen your understanding of how children benefit from gardening. We stress the importance of contact with nature for children’s physical, social, and COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL xv