Tag Archives: spring

Potted Fairy Gardens

I’ve been trying to share these whimsical fairy gardens with you and Word Press is trying very hard not to!  First it wouldn’t post my photos and then it ate my entry completely and posted it blank.

Let’s try this again!

Pretend I say all sorts of fun things right here and there’s two really enchanting photos.  Then go here and here to see what they did.

Happy Sunday!

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10 Ways to Make Today Magical (Garden Style)

I’m still garden obsessed with the arrival of spring so I swiped this list of ways to make the day magical from newsletter #37 from back in 2002.  I suddenly feel very old.  😉

10 Ways to Make Today Magical, Garden Style…..


1.  Have the kids usepermanent paint or markers to write plant names on rocks, popsicle sticks or strips of recycled materials to use as plant markers.  For added fun, have them make up a few silly ones that say things like "Albert the bug," "popsicle stick," "Jo was here," "Smile!" etc.

2.  Encourage the kids to have plant swaps with their friends.  Help them carefully dig up a plant from somewhere in your yard or house and swap it from one from theirs.  Even weeds can be sentimental to little ones.  Give it a place of honor in its new home.

3.  Pick some leaves or flower petals and press them between two sheets of clear contact paper.  Cut out, punch a hole, and hang as a sun catcher.

4.  Make flower petal soups, mud pies, grass sundaes and other culinary backyard treats.  Save old spice containers to fill with dirt for seasoning.

5.  Next time you have some rain, take the kids and splash and dance in the puddles.

6.  Do flower magic.  When you have flower arrangements that have died, let the kids take them outside and toss the petals into the air.  They can make wishes or say prayers as they let the wind carry the petals away.  This is especially fun on windy days.

7.  Go on a hike to find interesting shapes and textures of plants and then stamp them onto paper with some paint.  Halved mushrooms, leaves, grass that’s gone to seed, dandelion heads and lots more make fun designs.

8.  Teach your kids how to whistle with a blade of grass.  Have a whole orchestra!

9.  Pay 1 cent each for dandelions and 5 cents for a root.  I always thought I dreamed this idea up but I’ve since found a lot of moms are onto this trick!  Afterwards, weave them into flower garlands and turn each other yellow.

10. Have a picnic supper outside on the lawn.

 

Have a magical week!

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Quick and Easy No-Sew Fairies!

I’m in love with these darling little fairies that Half Pint Pixie made up for her little girl to celebrate the start of spring!


 
Hop on over to this page for all the instructions.  I’m sure you could use old fashioned clothespins for the bodies if you didn’t have the little blank dolls, too.

Aren’t they darling?  🙂

Be sure to check out the rest of her blog as well.  She’s an Irish, vegan, AP mama who seems delightful!
 

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More Seed Fun!

Hello magical you!  I thought you might like some more seed ideas.  This site has lots of fun ones.  Some are pretty conventional (like the bean and the wet paper towel in the bag) but some were new to me.  I like the milk carton with the window and the bird seed sponge especially. 

Here’s a list of edible flowers, along with lots of safety information.  We love nasturtiums here but the flowers are peppery and best suited for things like salads.  We have roses for sweeter recipes but I didn’t realize how many other flowers were edible.  This year I’d like to start a few new plants with edible flowers for recipes like this one….

WILDFLOWER POUND CAKE

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1-tsp. vanilla or lemon extract
5 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup assorted washed edible flower petals, small pieces

Cream the butter. Sift flour and add gradually to butter. Beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon
colored, add sugar gradually. Combine mixtures. Beat egg whites until stiff and add to mixture. Sift baking powder over mixture, beat thoroughly. Fold in fresh flower pieces. Turn into a buttered deep cake pan and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees F.

One of these years I’m really going to do a sunflower house or bean teepee, but I’m not sure this will be the summer I get to it either.  I am just hoping to get lots of veggies in and give the kids each a flower garden of their own, which they always love. 

What are your garden plans this year?


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Puddle Stomping!

Here’s a fun way to make today magical.  Go puddle stomping! 

No rain lately?  Drag out some of the yard furniture from storage and hose it off for a good excuse to make a quick puddle.  🙂

Make sure you stomp and splash too.  It’ll make you grin despite yourself.

Have a magical day!

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Seed Fun!

We’re getting together with some friends today to have a seed themed playdate.  We’re planting seeds in little eggshell men (crack the egg on top and draw a face, then plant grass seed that will eventually grow into the "hair") and we may do the classic seed in a baggie bit (put a wet paper towel and a few seeds in a zipper baggie, close and tape to the window).  Here are a few other fun ideas on the seed/garden theme that I found at Perpetual Preschool….

Plant seeds in small, clear Solo cups. Add Jell-O, in a thick mixture, like Jell-O Jigglers consistency. Push seed down into the Jell-O after it has hardened. The cup should be about half-way filled. Sunflower seeds work best. Once the seed has started to grow, take Jell-O and seed out of cup and plant into the ground. The seed need not be watered while growing in the cup. It draws its moisture from the Jell-O mixture. It is a fun way to watch a seed sprout and grow!

Which Water Is Best?

Supplies:  Three identical plants in soil; Tap water; Bottled water; Distilled water

What kind of water makes plants grow the best?  To find out, water plant #1 with only tap water.  Water plant #2 only with distilled water.  Water plant #3 with bottled water.  Do this for one month and chart any differences that you see.

We love to grow things at our preschool–we are limited on outdoor ground space–so we use a small plastic wading pool for our garden–its not to wide so the children can work the garden–make sure you poke holes for drainage.

Planting Flowers Song- Sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques"–

Planting flowers, Planting flowers,
In the ground, In the ground,
Water them and they grow,
Water them and they grow,
All around, All around.

Gardening Game

Play like "Duck, Duck, Goose". Say: seed, seed, sprout, sprout, flower. On "flower" the chase begins.

Magic Bean

At the bottom of a white piece of paper – glue on a lima bean. Then ask children to draw what they would like to grow from the bean. Some of my children drew dinosaurs, toys, houses, babies, and of course flowers. It is a great project to use the imagination!

Vegetable Unit: The following book are wonderful when teaching about vegetables. The Celery Stalks at Midnight by James Howe; A Garden Alphabet by Isabel Wilner; Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables by Lois Ehlert; Me and my Veggies by Isaac Whitlatch; Gregory, the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat; I can grow vegetables by David Magill.


Pour a small bag of potting soil and a some plastic worms, used in fishing in your sensory table. Add child-size gardening tools. Very surprised kids!
 

Sung to the Tune: I’m a Little Teapot

I plant a little seed in the cold, cold ground. 
Out comes the yellow sun, big and round. 
Down come the raindrops soft and slow(ly) 
Up comes the flower grow, grow, grow!

Action: pretend to plant in cupped hand round arms over head for sun raindrops with dancing fingers have right hand push through left hand and emerge as a flower with fingers spread wide!

And with that, I’m off with my sprouts to play.  🙂  Have a great day!

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Maple Syrup Day

Hello, magical you!  I hope you’re having a fun weekend.  We’ve been doing lots of neat things — exploring a nearby state park, playing outside, reading, drawing, doing computer games, and today we went maple syrup tapping!

It’s one of our family traditions to go to a nearby nature camp this time every year.  We eat a lovely community-style breakfast featuring scrambled eggs, sausage links, pancakes and real maple syrup (from their trees!) and then join the tours of people learning how to throw the tomahawk, select proper maple trees, drill holes, attach bags, empty them and boil down the sap.  The day also includes a taste test (real stuff versus fake) and lots of climbing mountains of snow or dirt (or both, this time of year), crunching through leaves and exploring.

     

 
 

If you live in an area where you can tap maple trees or take a tour where others do it, I highly recommend it.  If you live in one of those lovely climates where it’s too hot, you probably have more than enough to make up for it and I’m jealous of you 6 months out of the year.  At least.  🙂

Now we have days of rain, wind and possibly snow on the way and I’m going to go pop in a kid movie and try to find my dining room table under Craft Mountain. 

Happy Sunday!

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Listen to the Heartbeat of a Tree!

I think we may go exploring with our stethescope tomorrow….
Here’s a wonderful idea by Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature With Children:

If you listen carefully with a stethoscope, you can hear the "heartbeat" of a tree. Find a thin-barked tree more than 6 inches in diameter and place your stethoscope against its trunk. Be very quiet. Move the stethoscope around until you can hear the crackling, gurgling sound of sap flowing up to the branches.

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