Saturday, April 14, 2012

Grow your child's name in grass (part 1)






Last week, Luke & I focused on Easter. This week & next week we are focusing on growing & gardening, and from this point forward - we'll incorporate a growing/garden day every week. Being outdoorsy and environmental wasn't a part of my childhood, and as an adult, I'm not only enjoying it - but learning how important it is. I want my kids to grow up with more knowledge and understanding about these things, so I think this is an important topic! It's the perfect time for it, because we are building a second garden bed and prepping them all over the next 2-3 weeks so they are ready for our growing season. And, obviously Earth Day is next weekend, followed by Arbor day (we actually have some saplings to plant that have been dormant & waiting for transplant since November!).

Last year, we did our best to incorporate Luke in our first year of gardening, so he remembers quite a bit. Even so, we made a few tools to practice with before getting our hands (literally) dirty!




Using a (dollar store) manila folder, I made a little board for Luke to organize picture cards. On the front is a drawn explanation of how things grow (which Luke likes to "read" to me), and a library card style pocket (also from the dollar store) to hold the cards. I drew the pictures on index cards (guess where they're from!) and traced around one to leave spots for him to place the cards inside the folder. The first time I showed this to him, I talked through the process (First you start with dirt, then you plant the seeds...) as I placed the cards in their spots, so he does the same thing as he's sorting the cards now. We used this to discuss the process of how things grow (and what kinds of things grow this way) each day this week. It only took a couple of minutes each time. We reviewed this all again today before going outside to put it into practice.




You need:
  • Something to grow in! We used an old empty flower box.
  • Soil. We used seed & sod starter soil - hubs has like 5 bags left from planting seed around the yard.
  • Grass seed. Again, hubs leftovers!
  • Garden shovel(s)
  • Watering cans (or, ya know, a hose)
  • A stick. Yep.
Luke helped me gather all of our supplies, and he was VERY excited to help! Here's what we did...






1. Fill up your container with soil. It's nice to have a helper!

2. Using the stick (or other thin object, go ahead, get fancy on me!) draw the letters of your child's name. This is really kind of frustrating to do, because when you write the next letter, you push soil into the letter you already drew. Gir. If your child is old enough (and you aren't as OCD as me) you can let them write their own name.



3. Fill each drawn letter with grass seed. Yeah, I went a little overboard. What of it? I want it to be thick!

4. Very lightly cover the seed with a thin layer of soil.




5. Water! Luke was all over it.

The idea, of course, is that it will grow into Luke's (or your child's) name! This was particularly fitting for us, because we've been practicing with the letters of his name a lot lately, so this not only reinforces that skill, but our growing things study.

To really keep him motivated about watching this grow, I made a Growing Journal out of another manila folder. There's a box for each of us to write in every few days as we check it out and observe its progress. I wrote down the details of what we did, and I told him he was free to draw a picture of it if he'd like. He did...and then said his drawing needed a volcano. Naturally.



Click HERE for Part 2!

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