Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts

The Soil in Jackie's Garden


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Spring has sprung and school is almost out. That means it is time for gardening. There is so much to teach young ones in the garden. Today I get to share a new book (out today) that teaches about the soil and plant cycles. The book is The Soil in Jackie's Garden by Peggy Thomas with pictures by Nelly Daggett. This book is recommended for ages 6 to 8. 

Some New Books for Younger Kids (Babies - 7)


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I am going to share some multicultural books for younger children. They include a prayer book for babies, a board book and a picture book. The board book and picture book are new ideas on some classic songs. We will start with the book that has babies in the title. It is a religious book. It is Pray with Your Baby Every Day edited by Claire Grace and Rachel Robinson and embroidered by Chloe Giordano. It is recommended for ages 0 to 4. 

Mrs. Spring's Garden -- Book Review & Giveaway


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Carole P. Roman to be part of the Virtual Book Tour. All opinions are my own.

Today I get to share with you another great book from Carole P. Roman. It amazes me how she writes fun fictional books full of lessons and wisdom as well as interesting nonfiction books all for kids. I have reviewed several in the past. Today's book is perfect for Earth Day as well as spring. It is Mrs. Spring's Garden by Carole P. Roman and illustrated by Leen Rosian. 

My Love for You Is Like a Garden with Free Printable Match Game and Flower Craft Round-Up


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Flying Cardinal Press for this blog tour post. I will receive a small stipend for posting my review.

Spring is in the air! I see the tips of our daffodils, tulips and irises poking out of the soil between the mounds of snow. Spring is my favorite season. I love watching the world come back to life. I saw my first robin last week, so I know the warmer weather will be here soon. That means it is time to think about my garden. Today I am sharing a beautiful book comparing love to a garden. I made a match game with the beautiful illustrations and have a round-up of flower and garden crafts as well as a giveaway!! It is fun post! The book is called My Love for You Is Like a Garden by Laura Smetana. 

The Wild Garden -- New Picture Book Perfect for Earth Day Everyday!


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Earth Day is this week! I wanted to share a book with you that screams Earth Day to me. Sadly, the book is not being released until May in the US, but it is the perfect book to talk about some of the Earth Day issues. The book is The Wild Garden by Cynthia Cliff. It is recommended for ages 5 to 9. I am also sharing a round-up of gardening crafts, activities, and recipes for kids.

Spring Means Gardening--Fruits, Vegetables & Cooking Farm Fresh!


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Spring is in the air!! Up in New England the weather is slowly getting warmer--or at least more consistent. We have been having a roller coaster of temperatures this year. As spring starts up people start thinking about about gardening and fresh fruits and vegetables. Today I am sharing three picture books that focus on just that--gardening, fruits, vegetables and cooking with fresh garden harvests. All three books have an age range of 4 to 9. And all three books are being released today!! The first is I Love Strawberries! by Shannon Anderson and illustrated by Jaclyn Sinquett. 

New Books to Welcome Spring!


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

Spring started a couple of days ago. I love springtime. I love watching the world come alive again. I already have noticed some of the warm weather birds have returned to my feeders. I saw crocus popping up and have some daffodils looking like they may be blooming next week. Since spring brings the birds and the gardens back to our area, I thought I would share a couple of new books with you to welcome spring! The first is a board book from National Geographic Kids. It is Little Kids First Board Book: Birds by Ruth Musgrave. It is recommended for ages 0 to 3. 

Tranquil Zen Garden in Kyoto, Japan 1,000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle Review


Disclosure: I was sent this jigsaw puzzle in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Today I get to share with you a jigsaw puzzle of a beautiful zen garden in Japan. As I have mentioned before one of the many benefits of doing a puzzle is that it is relaxing. I find having a tranquil picture even more relaxing!! The puzzle is Tranquil Zen Garden in Kyoto, Japan 1,000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle from Tuttle Publishing. 

Happy Earth Day -- Let's Get Gardening

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Happy Earth Day! We've all seen the news. As people are staying at home the Earth has begun to heal. The pollution is down in the big cities. The animals are becoming more relaxed and trying to take back their space. One of the things I find most interesting is so many people are planning gardens. Seeds and plant companies are having trouble keeping up with the orders. I checked out my normal seed catalog site and discovered many vegetables are sold out. And one of the times I was on they were not even taking orders that day so they could catch up with their orders. This never happens. So today I thought I would share two resources for gardening. One is about herb gardens (more for adults) and the other is about gardening with kids and how to help them connect with the natural world. 

Garden Crafts & More -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own. 

I can't believe it is already midJuly. Where is this summer going? I know my gardens are started though they need some work and I need to replant some of the vegetables that the rabbits didn't let grow past a few leaves before the devoured them. I also have to figure out how they are getting through the fences. Today I am going to share some books to help you bring plants to your life--indoors or out as well as a wonderful way to dispose of your food waste that will help your plants. We will start with indoor garden ideas. These are for people like my parents who love plants, but no longer have a yard or much space. The first book is Miniature Terrariums by Fourwords. 

Religious Easter Books

Disclosure: Kregel Publications sent me copies of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease but receive no compensation.

We are in Holy Week already, so it is the perfect time to share with you two books that are great for sharing the true meaning of Easter with your kids. The first book is not actually just an Easter book. It shares a few of the stories of Jesus' life. It is The Three Trees retold by Elena Pasquali and illustrated by Sophie Windham.

Bug Books

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copies of these book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own, and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I am going to share two fun books about bugs. These books are so fun with a special time for us since Hazel's class has been focusing on bugs this year. The first book is Among a Thousand Fireflies by Helen Frost and photographs by Rick Lieder. 

Virtual Book Club for Kids: Quiet in the Garden by Aliki

It is time for the Virtual Book Club for Kids and this month's author is Aliki. Now Aliki has wonderful children's books. Some are about historical people, some about things like the five senses and others about experiences. We have read several and Hazel decided her favorite is Quiet in the Garden.

Spring Fever: Planting Hazel's Meadow/Garden

Spring has finally hit our area. It is hard to believe it is already May and the temperatures are just getting to be springlike. After school and gymnastics class, Hazel wanted to come home and get outside. I didn't blame her. She asked if she could plant some flowers in her garden. A few weeks ago we read Henry Cole's On Meadowview Street and Hazel wanted to do what Caroline did in the book.

In this book, a young girl named Caroline moves into a new house on Meadowview Street. While her family is settling in she decides to see if there is a meadow on Meadowview Street. On her way to see, she sees one lone flower growing in the middle of the lawn. She wants to save the flower and finds some sticks and string to rope it off. As the flower grows more flowers come up and she expands her meadow. Birds and bugs come to visit and soon she wants a tree. Eventually her whole yard is a meadow and some of the neighbors follow suit. 

Since we don't have a random flower in the middle of our yard, Hazel decided she would do it in her garden. Last year Steve dug me a new garden with better sunlight, so my old garden became Hazel's. It has my oregano and our raspberry bushes in it, but otherwise is hers to play and/or plant. Since she wanted a meadow, I bought her some butterfly and hummingbird flower seeds. We also found all the flower seeds from the past couple years that hadn't been finished. We figured we can see what will grow. The first thing we had to do was get rid of the weeds. Hazel took out her hoe, but I didn't get any pictures of it. Steve dug up some of the oregano (which has taken over this garden the past few years) and then our landscaper came and he wanted some to take home so he dug up the rest of what I didn't want. Once the weeds were up, Hazel began planting the seeds. I planted some of the milkweed seeds we found in the beginning of April. Then I explained to Steve that she wanted to rope it off like the girl in the book. He pulled out some of my stakes and I gave them some string. 

We also released her ladybugs today. They did not seem to want to leave their plastic home, so we put it in the garden.

Hazel had so much fun, digging, planning and planting. I hope some of it grows for her, but I figured we can always buy some annuals if they don't. For now the fun is just the hope and getting out there. Plus we let her do what she wanted with all the seeds. She asked for help with pouring them into her cup.

She and I discussed where to plant the sunflowers. This year I bought her pink sunflowers (Ms. Mars from Burpee). I hope they grow since she is so excited for them. I also found an old pack of yellow sunflowers and we mixed them up for her. 

Steve asked if she wanted a scarecrow for her garden and put it in for her. Then he helped her rope it off (while I took a nap). 

When Hazel came in, I ran out to get a picture of the final product. They added some more things like a "Welcome to my garden" sign and fences. Hazel also wants to put her wooden bird feeder and bird bath that she and Steve put together. That may be tomorrow's adventure.

Hopefully later in the year, we will have a butterfly and hummingbird paradise. I'll let you know!

For more of our gardening posts check out:

Earth Day 2014

Congratulations to Sara G. for winning the Dearfoams Slippers!

Today is International Earth Day. It is the day we try to remember to be good to Earth and take care of our planet. We do not do anything too special to celebrate the day, however we do try to be green. This year we are meeting friends for an Earth Day celebration where the kids make crafts and things. That is tomorrow however. Hazel has been asking to learn more about being green. I added a book to her wishlist and my parents bought it for her for Easter. It is What Does It Mean To Be Green? by Rana DiOrio.

We enjoyed reading it and seeing some of the things like giving clothes you have outgrown to others (Hazel hates when I do this), composting, feeding the birds, recycling, growing your own garden or buying local produce, etc.

On this note Hazel also helped my father clean out his compost bin (well it was my grandfather's) that he did not want anymore, so we could bring it home. Steve set it up for us yesterday and also helped get my garden ready for us to do some planting. We planted some seeds to get them started indoors. We used our recycled food containers. Our strawberry containers were the best since they were big and had holes already.

We also filled our bird feeders and have been blessed by many birds coming to get fed.

We also leave some wool and yarn scraps out in a suet feeder for the birds nest building supplies.

Those are the main ways we are being green besides of course recycling as much as we can. Oh, and yesterday it was finally warm enough to hang out a load of laundry. I love using my clothesline! What do you do for Earth Day?

Why I Love Weeds...

This year the weeds in our yard are abundant. There are times when I hate weeding the garden. In fact this year, Steve put some garden edging/fencing in hopes to keep the weeds at bay a bit more. However, there are also some reasons to keep those weeds. Here are a few I love.

Wildlife Visitors!
Hazel loves having the rabbits in the yard. One morning we actually had three. Our back yard has a few large clover patches and the rabbits love it. They have also discovered my baby lettuce plants and have eaten one almost completely, but luckily they seem to be leaving the others alone and going for the clover.

Child Picked Flower Bouquets!
We almost always have a vase or a cup of wild flowers on our kitchen table this time of year. Hazel knows she can pick the violets and dandelions to her heart's content. She is also allowed to pick her pansies since she planted them, so those have been added in here. An interesting thing we have discovered: if you leave dandelions in water long enough they will turn to seeds so you can blow on them. In the beginning of the spring I was telling her to leave some unpicked so she could blow on them, but now she doesn't have to.

Weed Flower Crafts!
Whether it is using the flowers to paint or smashing them with a rolling pin (or hammer) to make art, I do not care when she is using dandelions, violets and buttercups. It gives her the freedom to use them however she wants and to truly explore nature. They also make good additions to mud pies and sand cakes. We decorate with them all the time when we are playing in her garden or sandbox. 

Do You Love Butter? Test


Do you remember having fun as a child, holding buttercups under friends' chins to see if they love butter? I do and I want Hazel to find the same joy in simple nature. Of course if you want a science lesson on the buttercup game check out the science behind it here.

Another simple joy in nature is whistling with grass. Did you do that as a child? If you do not know what I am talking about, you can check out this tutorial.

There are other benefits to weeds. Some are edible like the dandelion and violet. Many also have healing benefits. I know my mother is very into holistic medicine and often discusses the herbs that many people consider weeds as hard to find because people do not want weeds. Plus there are benefits to your soil for keeping some weeds. The weeds will grow in poor soil, but will often replace the nutrients into the soil for a better balance. For more information on the soil benefit read here. Finally I read recently (and cannot remember where) that some animals are having issues because people are not growing the native plants for their areas. The insects and other animals are losing their food, habitats and more. 

So these are some of the reasons why I love weeds and have not minded the large number we have growing in our yard. I see each one as a toy/learning tool for Hazel. She is discovering the world with them and also enjoying some flowers of her own.  Of course the bigger problem right now for us in our yard is the grub infestation in the front yard, but our landscaper is going to deal with that problem for us.

What fun activities do you have for your weeds?

Sharing Saturday 13-22

Sharing Saturday Button

I have a crazy day and a crazy week scheduled this coming week, so I am starting Sharing Saturday early and it will last two weeks! That way I will have two weeks to try to get the visiting done--especially since I cannot imagine getting much done the first week. There will be some features from last week this week as well as next week, so make sure you come back to see if you were featured. If you have not checked out the amazing ideas shared last week, you really should go and be inspired. Here are my features.

First I cannot let one of the farm playmats made from the swap I ran go by without featuring it. Look how great this one came out. (I still have a little more to do on Hazel's, but it is coming along.) This one is from My Rhythm and Rhyme in Motherhood.

Then there were a few themes from last week's shared posts. Today I am going to share some of the gardening themed posts.
1) From The Gift of Curiosity: Dissecting a Flower (I should note she also shared dyeing flowers last week too)

2) From Carrots Are Orange: Introducing Parts of a Seed to Preschoolers

3) From Fit Kids Clubhouse: Garden Math (I love that they are learning in the garden!! It is truly the best way to learn instead of cards and books.)

4) From Trillium Montessori: Flower Activities

5) From Making Boys Men: 5 Tips for Gardening with Kids

6) From Domestic Bliss Squared: Growing Potatoes in a Garbage Pail

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here or earlier this week, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


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From Your Hostess:
Another busy week but we shared an American South Cinderella--The Talking Eggs, our small world jungle playscape and a Minnie Mouse outfit.

Now for This Week's Party 
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Spring, Flowers and Wildlife

Now one of my favorite types of days is where you do not have to worry about getting somewhere by a certain time, so when you open your garage door and see a turkey, you can take the time to try to see it and get a picture of it--oh, and of course try to feed it. Yesterday was one of those days and yes, when I opened my garage door there was a turkey right there. Hazel and I tried to get a good look at it, but it ran away. We left it some cracked corn, but it was a few houses away by then and I do not think it came back.
Then today after I picked Hazel up from school, we ran to AC Moore for some craft supplies and stopped at KMart for some plants. It was unusually warm here in Massachusetts (20 degrees higher than average) so we spent the afternoon outside. Hazel could not wait to plant some flowers.
We bought an English daisy and three six-packs of pansies. We also bought some lettuce, sugar snap peas, basil and some tomato plants (which we will keep inside for another couple of months). 
Doing the Gardener Dance
Hazel planted the pansies with a little help from me, but actually did most of it herself!
We decided to plant some in a pot on the front steps and some around a tree in the front. Then Hazel also planted some in her garden (my old garden that we are letting her play in). I planted the vegetables there as well since Daddy hasn't dug me my new garden yet. 

While planting in the back we had a sure sign of spring. Our ducks returned. They came up looking for food, but when we moved to get them some, they flew back in the water.
We threw some of the cracked corn into the water for them. Then after dinner I looked out and saw two males. Now we had this problem last year. Some other male comes and attacks the female trying to mate with her. Her mate does his best to chase him away, but it can takes days until he leaves them alone. Anyway, I went out to see what was going on. The extra male flew away, but he started flying circles as I kept seeing him come back. I think he was checking to see if I was gone yet. Then he landed back in the water and went after the female. She kept trying to hide in the tunnel (the creek goes underground on our property), but he followed her. Her mate chased him out and down the creek by the bend where their nest is. She came out and I stood very still waiting to make sure she was safe. She must have decided I was safer than the water, because she came up and sat about 7 feet from me. I stayed for awhile and then slowly moved far around her to check on the males. The attacking male flew away and her mate same down to where she was and came up. They stayed there for quite some time. It looked like she was sleeping some of the time and he was guarding her.
The last time I looked out, they were gone--I'm guessing back to their nest. All I cared about was they were safe and she was not being attacked/raped. (I know it is natural for ducks, but I don't think the female should be attacked when she doesn't want to be with him and she is happy with her mate.) So that was our duck drama and our fun day outside! Tonight the rain will come and bring the temperatures down again, but at least we got one day outside in the warmth.