Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gardening. 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. 

Do You Know? Farm: Animals, Work, and Life -- Nonfiction Children's Book Review


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

As spring approaches, I begin to think about my garden. I also am noticing some life at the farm stores and nurseries. I am lucky to have a local farm that grows all year long in greenhouses that I frequent. (It helps that I'm friends with the owners so sometimes I'm there to visit.) Today I am sharing a book recommended for ages 5 and up about farms. It is Do You Know? Farm: Animals, Work, and Life by Camille Babeau and illustrated by Charlotte Ameling, Helene Convert, Ilaria Falorsi, and Camille Roy. It is being released tomorrow.

Potatoes for Pirate Pearl -- Picture Book Review for Hunger Awareness Month


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

Do you know that September is Hunger Awareness Month? About ten years ago I joined with other mom bloggers to bring more awareness to the month. We shared different activities to help kids understand the need for food and how people across our country are food insecure. According to Feeding America 34 million Americans are food insecure and 9 million children in America are as well. (Source) Today I am sharing a new picture book that spreads information in a fun way about nutrition, hunger and even a bit about growing food. The book is Potatoes for Pirate Pearl by Jennifer Concepcion and illustrated by Chloe Burgett. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

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. 

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. 

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. 

Kids' Activity Books Review

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

We have a spring break coming up and then it is almost time for summer break. I don't know about you but I know I will need some ideas to keep Hazel busy. Today I am going to share some fun books for kids that will keep them busy and help them learn! Our first book is from National Geographic Kids and it is Make This! by Ella Schwartz and photographs by Matthew Rakola. 

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. 

Books for Earth Day

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Saturday is Earth Day and to get ready for it, we have been having fun with many different books that go along with the Earth Day theme. I started sharing some on butterflies with you last night. Today we have many more on different themes. We will start with 23 Ways to be an Eco Hero by Isabel Thomas. 

Bee Aware -- 100 Plants to Feed the Bees and more -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Storey Publishing. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Spring has sprung even though it doesn't really feel like it here in Massachusetts. We still have snow on the ground. I have begun to think about my garden. Now I am aware of the issues with bees. Are you? I don't mean the fact that they sting or that Hazel is afraid of them because they sting. I mean that there is a drop in bee population. Why should we care about the bees after all they sting? Well if we don't start caring we will not have fresh fruits and vegetables or flowers for that matter. Bees are pollinators and they are necessary for growth of plants. What can a gardener do to help the bees? Well there are a few things. One is to avoid using pesticides. Many towns now spray for mosquitoes, but the pesticides they spray do not only kill mosquitoes but also the other insects including bees and butterflies, our main pollinators. The pesticides you may use in your own yard will do the same thing. Another thing to do is plant the flowers that attract bees and other pollinators. Tonight's book is too help know which flowers these are. The book is 100 Plants to Feed the Bees by the Xerces Society

Sharing Saturday 15-17

Sharing Saturday Button

Thank  you to everyone who shared last week!! Once again I am amazed by all the great ideas! These features are just a sampling of the posts shared. I hope you will go and check them all out! This week our features consist of  Gardening and Bees, Booking Across America, and Some Favorites. 

Sharing Saturday 15-16

Sharing Saturday Button

Thank  you to everyone who shared last week!! Once again I am blown away by all the great ideas! This week our features consist of  Earth Day & Mother's Day Features, Art Features, Toddler Features, and Other Features. 

Sharing Saturday 15-9

Congratulations to Lori H. for winning the Winter Wonderful DVD Giveaway!

Sharing Saturday Button

Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week!! I was once again blown away by all the great ideas shared! If you have not had a chance to check them out, I highly recommend you do. My features this week are March Holidays, Artists and Some Favorites.

Air Plants Product Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent these products to review free of charge from The Air Plant Shop. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them. They are also providing a gift certificate for the giveaway.

Have you noticed that terrariums are in again? My mother's craft group has been making a few different types. She recently made an air plant one or is at least working on it. I was visiting her this past weekend and saw it and told her about how I was just asked to review products from The Air Plant Shop. When I was asked I thought it would be a fun and easy craft to do with Hazel and it would be interesting to see how to take care of air plants. I showed Hazel the pictures on The Air Plant Shop Air Plant Gifts page. I figured it would be easier to see them put together and choose. She chose the Beautiful Sky Blue Terrarium with Pink Sea Urchin, Seashell and Air Plant. They were quick to send us the products. Unfortunately for Steve, they came while I was away, so he got to do the initial soaking.

When we got home from our weekend away, Hazel and I were excited to put together our terrarium. I poured the sand into the glass and then started arranging the items, but Hazel immediately told me she wanted to put some in, so I let her.

Once we had it all arranged, we decided to put it in Hazel's room. You need a bright, indirect sunlit spot.

They are easy to care for too! You soak the plant once a week for thirty minutes and then let it dry and return it to the display. Air plants get their nutrients from air and water. They have great care instructions on their website as well. The instruction card they sent with the plant also mentioned that the plant will most likely have babies!! That means we will get even more terrariums!

I am very happy with our terrarium and its ease. I am also very happy with the service I received from The Air Plant Shop. I highly recommend them! They also were kind enough to donate a $30 gift certificate to their store for one of my lucky readers!! So head over and check out all the great products and ideas on their website and enter to win the $30 gift certificate below! The giveaway ends June 17 at 12 a.m. EDT. My giveaway rules in are effect.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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:

Watermelon Books & Activities

Now watermelon says summer to me. I love watermelon and so does Hazel. It is one of the few fruits Steve will eat once in awhile. My grandmother, Hazel, ate watermelon every day in the summer. August 3 is National Watermelon Day. So to celebrate we have been reading some watermelon stories, did some watermelon activities and of course ate watermelon. We planned to make a watermelon craft, but ran out of time today.

Our first book is Watermelon Wishes by Lisa Moser. This is a wonderful story about a boy, Charlie, and his Grandpap. They plant some watermelon seeds. Charlie tells his grandfather that he hopes they will grow a wishing watermelon. All summer the grandfather tries to guess what Charlie's wish is while they are off doing fun summer activities. When the watermelons are finally ready to pick, Charlie chooses the wishing watermelon and finally reveals his wish. It is a touching story about a special relationship.

The next book is Fruits of India by Jill Hartley. This is a board book that shows pictures of different common fruit found in India. On the last page they identify all the fruit in English. The covers are including as part of the book. It is a simple book, but it was neat to see fruits we did not know.

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli is a humorous story of a crocodile who loves watermelon and one day swallows a seed. It is very cute and all of the fears of what might happen if you swallow a watermelon seed goes through the crocodile's mind. He is scared enough to almost swear off watermelon. 

Watermelon Day by Kathi Appelt is a wonderful story about a girl who lives on a farm. She helps her father with the watermelon patch. Every day she asks him if it is a watermelon day. On watermelon days they have relatives visit and there are games of softball, relay races, apple bobbing, Mama's peach ice cream, and Uncle Ike playing his banjo and then of course ice cold watermelon (they choose the biggest one that morning and put it into the cold lake to get it cold). These are her favorite days in the summer and she is anxious all summer for their to be one. Finally the day arrives and all she can think about is the ice cold watermelon. It is another wonderful story about family times and fond summer memories.

Finally we are sharing One Watermelon Seed by Celia Barker Lottridge. Now this story is about a sister and brother who are planting their garden. It is a counting book and the only mention of watermelon is the one watermelon seed and picking ten watermelons. All the seeds and plants that they plant go through the numbers one to ten. Then they harvest by tens. The final thing they harvest is the corn which is popcorn so in the winter they turn the corn into hundreds and thousands of pieces of popcorn. It is a fun book that helps teach counting.

Another fun book that involves someone planting watermelon seeds is Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu. Although the watermelon is minor roll in the story. I posted about it here.

Product DetailsThe two activities we are sharing are not my own. The first is one that we got from a story time at the library. It went with a Donald Crews book, Ten Black Dots. We will share some other activities with this book for the Virtual Book Club for Kids later in the month. (Donald Crews is our author this month.) For this activity the kids colored a half of a paper plate green to be the rind of the watermelon. Then they glued on a piece of red construction paper that was cut to fit inside the rind. Next they counted out ten black seeds/beans. The game is to play with a friend. The friend chooses a number between one and ten and the child needs to put that number of seeds onto his/her slice.

Our next activity came from Making Learning Fun. It is Roll-a-Watermelon. I cut the rind from green construction paper and the slice from red  paper and then the four seeds from black. 
There are many more watermelon ideas at Making Learning Fun as well including math and literacy ones. Plus there are the great ones that have been shared at Sharing Saturday recently.
From Little Bins for Little Hands--Click picture to see post
How did you celebrate National Watermelon Day? Hazel and I also checked on our watermelon plants in our garden and saw some baby watermelons. Plus we wanted to make a watermelon dress for one of her dolls, but we went blueberry picking today with friends and that took much of the day. So she is hoping we can celebrate National Watermelon Day again tomorrow or some time this week.

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. 


Featured Button Code:

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 
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the newly updated button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.

4) I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook and Google+
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest