Visits to the Garden
Brie Brings Ladybugs to the Garden:
Spring is perhaps my favorite time of year. The children are blossoming more quickly than the flowers that are beginning to bud. Each year I am astounded at the physical growth of each child upon their return from Spring Break. More lessons will abound about the importance of organic gardening and the significance of bees and pollination to our food supply. Earthworms are nature’s farmers, tilling the soil and providing nutrients to grow healthy plants. As the sun begins to warm the soil, insects, millipedes, roly polies, beetles, wire worms, and many more fascinating garden creatures will be discovered.
The children are learning that every living creature in the garden has a purpose.
Spiders and birds should be respected as they eat the many garden pests that consume our fruits, vegetables, flowering plants, and more. Scientists tell us that if there were no spiders, we would have so many flying and buzzy insects that we would not be able to see each other as we would live in darkness. If we notice slugs and snails eating their way through our garden, we can put them somewhere else. The children have made a wonderful snail habitat. Holding the snails and carefully observing them inspires wonderful conversation among the children. “This is the mommy, this is daddy, this is grandpa, and this is the baby.” There is such excitement when the snails are fed carrots and lettuce. Slugs enjoy being in the dark confines of our yard waste can as “there is so much to eat in there.”
We begin to plant seeds and seedlings as soon as the soil is consistently warm for a few days. The children are learning how to read our various thermometers, and the magic number we need for planting is 60 degrees. I appreciate their reminders about this.
Yesterday evening I took a walk through the Children’s Garden, and with the help of Mike, a simple video of the garden was created. This is my very first time being on camera, and with time, patience, and lots of practice I hope to get better. My goal is to send more videos of The Children’s Garden, a variety of lessons, and simple activities. More soon!
All my best,
What’s Blooming in the Children’s Garden?
Spring Break Activity: Nature Detectives
Happy Spring Break!
It is a wonderful time of year to go for family walks and discover the miracles of nature. Birds building nests, flowers blooming, ladybugs, butterflies, bumblebees, and trees waking up their from winter’s nap. As the sun begins to warm the soil, children can once again delight in their favorite garden activity – “looking for bugs.”
It takes just a little bit of detective work to find bugs. Let’s begin by looking for clues. Where have we found creatures hiding before? Shady and moist places are great places to begin the discovery. Carefully lift a rock, look under wet leaves, or move a log. Take a few moments and focus your attention on that spot that is now uncovered. You may begin to see movement – now look closely. Could it be a pill bug, a beetle, an earthworm? Perhaps it is something you haven’t seen before!
I hope you are embracing your family time together. I truly miss hearing the sound of your children’s voices and seeing their beautiful faces. And I miss “looking for bugs” together! Enjoy Spring Break!
Worm Spaghetti: Fun & Easy Activity for Kids
Sensory play in the garden helps kids learn to appreciate the life that teems within our soil. The hands-on process helps our children to retain information while also keeping them engaged.
Directions for Worm Spaghetti!
- Bury the cooked spaghetti “worms” in the dirt.
- Provide the children with magnifying glasses, bug houses, and tweezers, and/or other exploratory materials.
- Enjoy the squeals as children “dig for worms!”
- Begin by filling a sensory bin or container with dirt/soil.
- Toss in cooked spaghetti noodles, and you are all set with an engaging activity that kids of all ages are sure to love!
- Cooked spaghetti noodles
- A bin/container
- Magnifying glasses, bug houses, tweezers, diggers, etc
“Seeds the day, and replant.” At Home Garden Activities
Our weather has been so fickle these days I never know what to expect. We have microclimates within microclimates. This week I am suggesting you take a look at these simple activities that can be done at home. You probably have these items right now. Have fun!
Thinking of you!
- Use a pair of tweezers to pick out the seeds from the strawberry.
- Transfer the seeds to an eggshell filled with soil.
- Keep the soil damp while the seeds take root.
Enjoying the Garden
Feeling the soil beneath their fingers, the children form a connection to the earth. It is a calming and comforting feeling for many children. Digging, turning, and engaging with the soil can captivate a child for long periods of time.
Outdoor and indoor environments can be created for the child to have this wonderful sensorial experience. Finding rocks and crystals is a captivating experience, and the children quickly form a special kind of connection with these treasures. Discovering earthworms, pill bugs, snails, and other soil dwelling creatures is beyond exciting for the child.
It will be spring very soon, and I hope all of you will have the opportunity to appreciate Nature’s many gifts.
Sending you warmth and joy,
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”Audrey Hepburn