Posts Tagged With: Gardening with children

♥ Summer Herb Camp: Week Six Playing With Science ♥

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.

Our sixth week of summer camp is all about being scientists while having lots of fun!  

Projects and Experiments

These projects and experiments are great ways to introduce kids to some basic scientific concepts while engaging the child in learning about the world around them.  

Just click on the below pictures to get full instructions.

… talk about dissolving solids in liquids and make a saturated solution.  Then use that solution to grow beautiful crystals!

crystal

… make super silly friends that show how oil and water don’t mix.  Plus these friends are a great tool for helping kids calm down when they are upset.  

medfriends

... discover the fun or acid/base reactions!

volcano2

... talk about the three states of matter while create an aromatic cloud in a pot all while making an aromatic hydrosol.  

hydrosol3

... explore the powers of weather and erosion.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

... if you haven’t already, visit our previous week of camp when we did lots of fun stuff in the garden.  Here you will find butterfly life cycles; helpful worms and ladybugs; botany with an examination of the inside of a flower; and a couple of fun ways to grow your own plant babies!

gardenadventures

I am so glad you stopped by!  

Please join us again next week!  

More Summer Herb Camp ~

Shared On: The Kid’s Co-opEco-Kid’s TuesdayKid’s Get CraftyIt’s Playtime

 

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

♥ Summer Herb Camp: Week Five Magical Mighty Mint ♥

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.

♥ Time to play with mint! ♥

Our fifth week of summer camp is all about one of my family’s favorite herbs, mint!  

Projects and Recipes

We have a huge mint patch in our backyard.  It started years ago when I planted a little peppermint plant next to a little spearmint plant.  With the passage of time they have grown and spread, intermingling into a luscious green wonder.  We also have a big whiskey barrel in our yard where chocolate mint plays with a raspberry bush and pansies.  The result is that I have plenty of mint to enjoy with my family.  You don’t need lots of mint to do these projects, just a bit will do.  But if you have a lot of mint, these projects will help you and your kids enjoy it!  

Learn about mint’s properties by clicking here.

Also this week we have some additional projects in the works.  Look for these posts coming up during the week. 

Just click on the below pictures to get full instructions.

… give your kids a hands-on experience of mint with this simple project. 

mint2

… emerse yourself in a day of mint play!  Make fairy crowns and wands made with mint to go along with tasty mint chocolate chip cookies!  Seriously these cookies are fabulous.  We eagerly wait each year for the mint to grow so we can make them together.

mintcollage

... another way to enjoy the culinary delights of mint because after all mint is so tasty! 

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream2 

More Magical Mint Ideas

Enjoy A Mint Bath With One Of The Following Bath Recipes ~

In The Kitchen ~

  • Add chopped mint to fruit salad.
  • Blend fresh mint and watermelon together for a refreshing drink.
  • Infuse fresh mint in your lemonad.e
  • Drink a nice cup of mint infusion.

More ~

  • Smell some mint or mint essential oil and use the scent as inspiration for creating a drawing or painting.
  • Add a couple drops of spearmint essential oil or a bit of fresh chopped mint to warm playdough for an aromatic treat.
  • Put a drop or two of essential oil in a 1/4 cup of corn starch, stir it up well to incorportate the essential oil and use as a cooling foot massage.

Coming Up Later This Week

Look for these posts on the blog during the week!

I am so glad you stopped by!  

Please join us again next week!  

More Summer Herb Camp ~

Shared On: Tender Moments, Eco-Kid’s Tuesday, Wildcrafting Wednesdays, The Kid’s Co-op, Friday’s Nature Table

Categories: Herbal Crafts And Projects, Herbs For Kids and Mamas, Nature Exploration, Parenting, Peppermint, Playing With Herbs, Seasonal Herbal Crafts, Summer, Summer Herb Camp | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

♥ 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

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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