Gardening

♥ Summer Herb Camp: Week Three Garden Adventures ♥

Welcome to Mama Rosemary’s Herb Camp

Join us every week for a fun round up of projects and ideas to do with your kids during the summer.  Each week will have a theme with lots of projects to do using herbs, exploring science and natural, holistic living plus some great crafts for good ol’ fashion fun!  Many projects can be adapted for multiple age ranges depending on your child’s interests and developmental stage.

♥ Let’s play in the garden ♥

Our third week of summer camp is all about plants and bugs!

Botany & Gardening

Here are some fun ways to learn about plants, play in the garden and even raise your own “herb babies!”

Just click on the pictures to get full instructions.

… learn about the parts of a flower. 

If tulips are unavailable just look for any other flower with high distinguished flower parts.

If tulips are unavailable just look for any other flower with high distinguished flower parts.

… sprout peas and watch their roots form before your eyes, then plant them in the garden

2peas

... learn about chamomile and grow your own chamomile.  

2champot

… learn about fennel and create a cute little basket to house a little fennel baby.  

2fennel

… did you start a fairy garden yet?  This such a fun way to play in the yard.  Make one with edible plants or even dinosaurs!

chamomile fairy3

dino2

 

Insects & Worms

… explore and recreate a butterfly’s life cycle.

2butterfly

… make a wormery. 2worm

… play with lady bugs and learn how they help keep our gardens healthy!     2ladys

Visit

Check out this super fun post about Raising Tadpoles on Taming the Goblin.

Seriously what could be more fun or magical?

Ok, ok I have a thing for frogs!

I am so glad you stopped by!  

Please join us again next week for bath time with lots of great crafts for making bath time fun and even special way to enjoy some spa time with friends!  

Categories: Gardening, Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Nature Exploration, Parenting, Science Investigation, Seasonal Herbal Crafts, Summer, Summer Herb Camp | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

A Fairy Gift ~ MYO Edible Fairy Garden Kit

Does your little fairy have a birthday party to go to soon?

Here is a fun project idea for creating a wonderful gift for fairy lovers of all kinds.

A few weeks ago my daughter little V had a birthday party to attend.  We decided to create a make your own fairy garden kit to gift one of her best friends on her special day.  We created a complete enchanted garden in a pot with lots of room for personalization; the perfect present from one fairy loving little girl to another.

MYO Fairy Garden

While making this gift think about the friend you are putting it together for and what she/he likes.  And, think small….

Here is a list of what we got for V’s friend ~

  • One big pot with a saucer
  • A bag of dirt
  • Outdoor paints in assorted colors and sponge or paint brushes
  • Little wooden bench for the fairies
  • Fairy sized garden tools
  • Pretty shiny glass rocks
  • A tiny fence
  • Butterflies
  • A fairy that V handcrafted for her friend, click here for directions to MYO!
  • Plants ~ we chose chocolate mint and pansies

The possibilities are endless with this garden.  Choose things you can easily find and that appeal to you and the intended receiver of the gift.  You may find tiny tables and chairs, little houses, wooden signs and chests to paint, birds, bugs and we even saw a little water well.  Most of the things we found at our local Hobby Lobby and garden store.

Other ideas for edible plants include lemon balm, any of the mints, thyme, oregano, anise hyssop, lavender and on and on.  Visit the herb section of your local nursery!

MYO Fairy Garden

After placing all the items inside the big pot (like a giant gift basket) we wrapped everything up in a huge gift bag and included a little letter for V’s friend telling her how to assemble her garden and about the plants we included.

The letter went something like this ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Inside This Bag You Will Find Everything You Need

To Make Your Own Fairy Herb Garden!  

~ Directions ~

1.  Paint Your Pot, Saucer And Your Bench

2.  Fill Pot With Dirt

3.  Plant Your Violas (Pansies) And Chocolate Mint Plants

4.  Water Your Garden

5.  Install Fence And Walkways Using Shiny Stones

6.  Install Bench

7.  Put In Fairy, Garden Tools And Butterflies

8.  Have Fun And Enjoy

~ About Violas (Pansies) And Chocolate Mint ~

You can pick the pansy flowers off and eat them.  They are tasty in honey, fruit and veggie salads, coated with sugar to make candied pansies and as a decoration for pretty desserts.  

You can pick off the leaves and flowers of the chocolate mint and eat them or use them to make tea.  Mix into food just like the pansies.  Great for tummy aches, for cooling off on a hot summer day and during colds/flu.  Cut the stems right above where a pair of leaves are growing off  the main stem to encourage bushy growth.  

Love V!

Enjoy Your Garden!!

For more fun fairy ideas pop on over our Summer Herb Camp!

MYO Fairy Garden

 

Shared On: Eco-Kid’s Tuesday

Categories: Gardening, Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Nature Exploration, Seasonal Herbal Crafts, Summer, Summer Herb Camp | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

♥ Summer Herb Camp: Week One Fairy Fun ♥

Welcome to Mama Rosemary’s Herb Camp

Join us every week for a fun round up of projects and ideas to do with your kids during the summer.  Each week will have a theme with lots of projects to do using herbs, exploring science and natural, holistic living plus some great crafts for good ol’ fashion fun!  Many projects can be adapted for multiple age ranges depending on your child’s interests and developmental stage.

♥ Let’s visit with the wee fairy folk

Our first week of summer camp is all about fairies!

Below you will find books, projects and even online sites you can visit as you delve into the world of fairies.  Do as many of these activities as you want!  

Books & More

Start your journey into the world of Fae with a couple of lovely books about fairies.  

The Complete Book Of The Flower Fairies

by Cicely Mary Barker

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Have you seen the adorable, beautiful paintings by Cicely Mary Barker?  If you haven’t you are in for a treat!  These are some of our very favorite fairies and if you look around you will find a plethora of books, activities books, figurines and more based on these fairies.  The Complete Book Of The Flower Fairies is a compilation of all the smaller Flower Fairy books by Barker.  Full of beautiful paintings and poems all created by Barker, this book really stimulates and inspires the imagination.  My girls and I adore the delightful little poems and amazing paintings which were done from children modeling as fairies.  

Flower Fairy Alphabet CD

flower fairy ABC

Another of our favorite’s based on Ms. Barker’s fairies is this wonderful CD.  On this CD Barker’s sweet poems are lovingly set to music.  It really sounds like little fairies singing!  We have spent many happy hours listen to this CD, singing along and then finding the corresponding flowers out in the world.

Fairy Houses

by Tracy Cane

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Go on a magical journey with Kristen in this is lovely book all about creating a fairy house in a beautiful wood using only natural materials (which are preferred by fairies).  If your kids are anything like mine when you finish reading this with them they will be heading outside with great anticipation and excitement over building their own fairy house.   

Projects

Here are some fairy projects full of creativity and fairy magic!  

Just click on the pictures to get full instructions.

♥ Make A Fairy Garden ♥ 

… with edible plants 

chamomile fairy3

… or even dinosaurs!

dino2

♥ Make Your Very Own Fairy Friend To Join You In The Garden ♥ 

fairyrain - Edited3

♥ Craft A Fairy Crown From Roses or Mint ♥ 

rosecrown

mintcrown3

♥ Create A Fairy Snow Globe 

snowglobe

 

More Fairy Fun Ideas

Host a Fairy Tea Party with Herbal Treats ~

  • Iced infusions made with the yummiest of herbs like lemon balm, mint or chamomile
  • Bake cookies with mint or lemon balm
  • Sugared Flowers
  • Freeze ice cubes with pretty edible flowers inside to keep your infusion cold
  • Serve dandelion biscuits with rose petal butter

Build A Fairy House ~

Go to one of you favorite places in nature and build a house for the fairies out of natural materials you find around you.  Be sure to check back on your house regularly to see how the fairies are enjoying it!  

Make Fairy Accessories For Your Little Fairy ~

Like wands and crowns and even wings!  There are a lot of amazing ideas for creating your own beautiful fairy accessories online.  Just a quick search away!

Visit

The Magic Onions Fairy Garden Contest ~  check out all the wonderful fairy gardens and get inspired.  Seriously there are some super cute, creative gardens here.  Don’t forget to enter the contest if you make your own fairy garden!

Flower Fairies ~ the official site for Cicely Mary Barker’s fairies and enjoy the online fun and free activity sheets.

Looking for a fairy gift?

Check out A Fairy Git ~ MYO Edible Fairy Garden Kit!

I am so glad you stopped by!  

Please join us again next week for lots of aromatic fun with herbs and essential oils all mixed up together in a classic favorite, play dough! 

Shared On:  Eco-Kid’s Tuesday, The Kid’s Co-op, It’s Playtime!, Tender Moments, Friday’s Nature Table, Kid’s Get Crafty

Categories: Gardening, Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Nature Exploration, Science Investigation, Seasonal Herbal Crafts, Summer, Summer Herb Camp | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Playing With Lady Bugs

lady bugs in search of aphids

What kid doesn’t love bugs?  Butterflies, caterpillars, rollie pollies and lady bugs are some of the most treasured critters in the garden.  I even know a child who has a deep love and respect for spiders.  Of course not every child loves bugs yet many do and lady bugs are among the most enchanting of bugs and are very approachable for most kids.

lady in hand

Recently I brought in a big bag of lady bugs to play with at the preschool.  (I purchased them at our local flower nursery.)  Before we let the lady’s go in our garden, we started out our lady bug exploration with a book all about the lady bug life cycle, Grub To Lady Bug by Melvin and Gilda Berger.

There are great pictures of lady bugs in different parts of their life cycle in this book including the larval stage when they look nothing like that lady bugs we are used to seeing.  The kids really were engaged reading about these familiar little insects.   While reading we talked about how many legs a lady bug has and about how lady bugs help our gardens be healthy by eating bugs that harm plants like aphids; aphids who suck all the nice juice out of plants and make them feel bad.  At this point one of our littlest girls who is just 3 years old, exclaimed “like the Grouchy Lady Bug!”

~ A Simple Art Project ~

Has you may know from my post about salt dough finger prints, I love to capture the precious cuteness of little fingers, hands and feet.  So as part of our lady bug exploration we made lady bug pictures with the children’s little red finger prints for the lady bug’s body.  The kids drew in the details of lady bugs often including six legs and even flowers for the lady bugs to protect.

Here are some wonderful examples of our art work:

~ Lady Bug Release ~

Finally the big moment came when we released the lady bugs into our garden.

The kids squealed and giggled as lady bugs crawled out of the bag in droves.

releasing lady bugs

They crawled everywhere, up my arm, all over the ground and on our spinach plants.

Super duper buggy fun!

lady's on spinach

We spent the rest of the morning gently holding lady bugs and watching them find a new home among the plants.

A Cherry Tree In Trouble ~

About a week after the release at school, my daughter and I discovered our cherry tree at home covered in black cherry aphids and we knew just what to do!

Off we went to our local nursery to get some more lady bugs.

coming out of the bag

Here are the lady bugs coming out of the bag onto our poor cherry tree!

 We let them go all over the tree and we could see the lady’s immediately getting to work chowing down on those aphids.

lady bugs finding aphids

It has been less that a week and the tree already looks so much better.

Like it’s energy is coming back, the leaves are greener and it seems to be standing stronger.

My daughter had a great day playing with the lady bugs and running back over to the tree every now and then to check on their progress.

Have you ever used lady bugs to control pests in your garden?  I would love to hear how it went for you.

For More Buggy Fun Check Out ~

Shared On:  Eco-Kid’s TuesdayThe Kid’s Co-opIt’s Playtime!Tender Moments, Friday’s Nature Table, Kid’s Get Crafty

Categories: Gardening, Insects, Lesson Plans For Preschool And Home, Science Exploration, Science Investigation | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Adventures With Earthworms

Many happy days were spent stalking bugs when I was a little child.  I had an array of bug catchers and I knew where all the good places were to find a new pal.  My often caught favorites were roly polies.  I also sought after treasured lady bugs, butterflies and caterpillars which were hard to come by and when I would find one, I would be enchanted with my imagination completely sparked.  So, can you guess what one of my favorite things to do with kids?  Play with bugs of course!  Many, many summer days have found my girls and I “hunting bugs” and going on “roly poly” walks with bug catchers in hand. a wormy friend

The Helpful Earthworm

The preschool I teach at has a wonderful garden that the kids help to grow every summer.  They get to help plant, water and even pick food for the healthy lunches and snacks we serve. This spring we spent a couple weeks studying a couple beneficial friends for our garden, lady bugs and worms!  Naturally when we were done learning and reading we added some lady bugs and worms to help our garden grow.  Worm in it's new home

“Ms. Angela!  Did you know worm poop is dirt?”

After a nice little discussion about earthworms and how they help enrich our soil enabling plants to grow healthy and strong, we continued our study of worms by making a worm farm.  There are a large number of sites to find information on making your own worm farm, with much more detail than what we did.  Here is a quick run down of what we did if you want to make something super simple.

MYO Worm Farm

Materials ~

  • Earthworms:  I got a huge amount at our local garden centers ~ more than enough to make 2 worm farms which we did, one for school and one for home.  
  • Dirt
  • Sand
  • Worm Food: Things like grass clippings, leaves, food bits, oatmeal, tea leaves and coffee grounds, shredded newspaper.
  • Water
  • Container For the Farm:  We used a salad green container.  You know the kind that has washed lettuce in it?
  • Dark Paper

Instructions ~

Layer the dirt and sand in your container to make distinct layers so you can see the soil get all mixed up by the worms.  We even used oats for layering at home because we didn’t have sand.

DSCN4364

Add the food bits to the top of your worm farm.

Here we used a bit of old grass clippings and dandelion flowers.

food bits

Dump your worms in and watch them bury themselves deep into your farm.

Check it out, so very many worms!

adding the worms

Give your farm enough water to keep it moist but not water-logged.

Put a lid on your farm making sure to poke holes in the top so the worms and the farm can breathe.

Cover the sides of the farm with dark paper to encourage the worms to come to the sides of the container.  If you are lucky, you may see the dirt/sand layers get mixed up and little worm tracks along the sides.  We got to see lots of worm tracks one year, but sadly not this year.

Keep your farm in a nice coolish place (but not too cool) and check periodically to see what your worms are up too and to make sure they have enough water and food.

When you are done enjoying your farm, release the worms into your garden!

worm being released into the garden.

We also read this wonderful book to help us learn more about worms:

Diary Of A Worm by Doreen Cronin

This book offers a humerous way to look at worm life and learn about worm facts as well as how worms help our planet.

Wishing you lots of wormy fun!

For more buggy fun visit Playing With Lady Bugs

Shared On:  The Kid’s Co-op, Eco-Kid’s TuesdayIt’s Playtime, Kid Lit Blog Hop, Tender Moments, Friday’s Nature Table

Categories: Gardening, Insects, Lesson Plans For Preschool And Home, Science Exploration, Science Investigation | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

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