If you want to nurture a gardening instinct in your child--and at the same time develop his or her sensitivity to ecological issues--there are several inspiring gardening books available.
A recently published book, "Gardens for Growing People," is a good place to start. It was written by Ruth Lopez, a horticulturist, who also has a mail-order company by the same name that sells seeds and child-sized tools.
The book, written for adults, shows how to stimulate budding gardeners, with practical tips and tricks for children age 1 to 12 years.
This and other books on the subject also offer parents an opportunity to teach kids some painless lessons about responsibility, such as taking care of tools, as well as a chance to introduce them to the wonders of nature.
Other books to get your kids started on gardening include: "A Kid's First Book of Gardening" (Running Press), with an indoor seed-starting kit and guaranteed-to-grow flower and vegetable seeds, and "Grow It" (Random House).
Gardening tools designed for smaller hands can be obtained from several mail-order catalogues including: Gardener's Supply, 128 Intervale Road, Department PR91, Burlington, Vt. 05401; After the Stork, 1501 12th St. N.W., Albuquerque, N.M. 87104; Langenbach, Box 453, Blairstown, N.J. 07825; Gardens for Growing People, Box 630, Point Reyes Station, Calif. 94956-0630; Smith & Hawken, 25 Corte Madera, Mill Valley, Calif. 94941.