Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Here comes the Spring Equinox

It's nearly the first day of spring, and it's time to join the party our planet is having here in the northern hemisphere by planting something of our own to grow with the rest of the world outside.

So two weeks ago we had the following items on the list...
1. Start reading about growing things
2. Start saving creamer cartons and only recycle the top halves..
3. Save your egg cartons
4. Pick up some cherry tomato seeds
5. Pick up some Marigold seeds
6. Pick up some potting soil

Did you do those? Good! We are using this time of year to start our plants, and to do some experiments.

Add to your list now:
  • a sharpie
  • a watering can
  • popsickle sticks

Pick a day when you have time to make a mess, lay newspaper out because, baby, this is messy. I highly recommend not wearing nice clothes for this, as you are working with dirt. Set all your materials in front of you as well as a watering source, doesn't have to be a watering can, but something to help moisten the soil.

Plant your seedlings, noting on the stick with the sharpie what your first grader planted. The tomatoes in our house start in egg cartons, and then get moved to an upside down grower, and we study about what makes a healthier tomato. We can't buy enough Cherry Tomatoes in this house to keep my youngest happy, so we also grow them. It's a lesson in patience for him, but well worth it for his favorite food.

The Marigolds. Well for them, I have far more sinister plans.
(Insert wicked laugh sounding fairly like “Muahahahah” at this point. I know you can imagine it...go ahead do...)

Now the lessons on what makes a healthier plant may continue all spring, so keep peeking back.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winter's last hurrah and getting cabin fever

Good grief, would this snow just go away? By now your first grader as well as mine is likely getting cabin fever. I can't say as I blame him or her...but fortunately there are some things that can be done.

1. Keep up those library days
2. Start reading about growing things – it's not time to start your seedlings yet, but hey a little knowledge goes a very long way.
3. Start saving creamer cartons and only recycle the top halves..
4. Save your egg cartons
5. Pick up some cherry tomato seeds
6. Pick up some Marigold seeds
7. Pick up some potting soil
8. Keep up the play time outside when possible, and when it's not so cold that going outside for fresh air while bundled up will give you frostbite, send your first grader out into the backyard to see if he or she can find signs of things budding yet. Have them bring a note pad or chalk board and count the types of plants that are just as tired of winter as they (and you) are.
9. Maybe plan a trip to some place warmer as a respite for the cold and cabin fever you are feeling...

Now those things you can't use immediately listed above will all come useful in the next entry I promise...we'll be planting then in honor of the spring equinox, but until then we're preparing.

Such preparation and studying is actually useful for your little one. Granted, a first grader doesn't want to wait to plant things, but it will help, believe me. It's a lesson in project management, and if you lay out your own steps one by one on the calendar or make a chart for the refrigerator you are helping your child learn long term time management.