Easter Grass

Easter Grass Cover

About two weeks after planting, the seeds will grow into long blades of thick grass, perfect for hiding colorful Easter eggs.easter wheat

You can order packets of wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) from online suppliers or find seeds at health food stores. With seeds in hand, here’s how to get started:

What you need:
• Wheatgrass seeds
• Container
• Potting soil

What you do:
• Soak seeds overnight before planting to speed germination.
• Fill a container with potting soil. If the container doesn’t have a drainage hole, cover the bottom with rocks to keep water away from roots.
• Drain seeds; sprinkle seeds on top of soil so seeds are fairly close together, but not on top of each other.
• Cover seeds with a thin (1/8”) layer of soil.
• Water seeds and keep soil moist.
• Once seeds begin to sprout (in about 1 week), move the container to a sunny window sill.
• Water daily or as needed to keep soil moist.

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DIY Plant Stakes

DIY Plant Stakese

What you need:DIY Plant Stake
• Sticks
• Pruner
• Potato peeler
• Sharpie

What you do:
• Trim the ends of each stick.
• Use the potato peeler to shave off several slices of the bark.
• Using permanent marker, write the names of the plant on each stick.
• Stick the stakes in the soil and you’re ready to grow!

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Mason Jar Terrarium

Jar Terrarium

What you need:
• Mason Jar
• Soil
• Rocks
• Sand
• Charcoal
• Succulents

What you do:
• Take the Mason jar and put rocks in the bottom of it.
• Add charcoal.
• Add a layer of soil.
• Add succulents. (Plants that need very little water).
• Add sand.

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Mason Jar Luminaries

Mason Jar Luminaries

What you need:
• Mason Jar
• 4 Feet of Wire
Flameless Candle

What you do:
• Wash and dry the jars.
• Take about four feet of wire and make a twist or loop at one end.
• Wrap the wire around the lower lip of the jar.
• With the end of the non looped end, place said end through the loop and affix. This creates a handle.
• Place a candle in the jar and you’ve got a lovely luminary.

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Holiday Planter

Holiday Planter

What you need:
• Empty Oatmeal Container
• Ruler
• Scissors
 •Craft foam
• Pen
•Old newspaper
Mod Podge
• White paint
• Glue gun
• Tall branches

What you do:
• Measure out, mark and cut five 1.5” wide strips from a sheet of thin craft foam. 
• Mark your guide lines on your oatmeal container.
• The 42 oz. container I used was 9.5” tall, so I made marks at 1.5”, 4”, 5.5” and 8” down. I also made four sets of marks around the container so that I could keep the foam strips level as I glued.
• Hot glue foam around the top, bottom and middle of the oatmeal container, keeping the strips flush with the top and bottom and the center band level.
• Before covering with the newspaper, I added a few drops of water to my Mod Podge to thin it out just a touch to help it really soak into the heavier newsprint. 
• Making sure to get plenty of Mod Podge along the lip of the foam strips so that the paper sticks well.
• Make sure you line up your newspaper seams over top of the foam seams in the back or you’ll end up with lots of seams all over the place. 
• Paint
• For the filler, use some tall branches.
• Decorate with your favorite ornaments.

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Leafy Creature

Leafy creature

What You Need:
Preserved leaves
• Construction paper
• Water-based glue

What You Do:
• When the leaves are dry begin arranging the leaves on construction paper. Think about different animals and try to create their shapes. Tear off leaf pieces to make eyes or other small features.
• When you’re happy with a leafy creature, glue the leaves to the paper.

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Leaf Prints

Leaf Prints

What you need:
Leaves
• Sketch paper or construction paper
• Acrylic paint
• Paint brushes

What you do:
• Collect leaves of various shapes and sizes.
• Cover your work area with a mat or with newspapers. Prepare different colors of paint on your palette.
• Position a leaf with its under-side facing up and paint on its entire surface.
• Press the painted leaf onto sketch paper or construction paper.
• Remove the leaf to reveal a beautiful leaf print.
• Repeat the process using different colors and other leaf shapes.
• Repeat the process using different colors and other leaf shapes.
• Make overlapping leaf prints to create a colorful leaf collage.

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Leaf Preservation

Leaf preservation

What you need:
• Old phone book
• Collection of colorful leaves, grasses, flowers, herbs

What you do:
• Take a nature walk with on a clear, dry day.
• Collect any attractive flowers, leaves, grasses, and herbs.
• At home, separate each stalk or blossom, and place between the pages of the phone book. Use a different page for each specimen, spacing them well apart from each other.
• Place the phone book in a cool, dry place for a week to ten days. Your leaves will then be totally dry and ready for use.
• Your phone book/leaf press can be used over and over again. Flowers may be stored in them for several months.

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Twig Trivet

Twig Trivet

What you need:
•Lots of Sticks
• Corrugated cardboard
• Natural jute, 4-ply, #72 (optional)
• Pruning shears or sharp craft knife
• Ruler
• Pencil
• Scissors
• Waxed paper
• Craft stick
• Tacky glue

What you do:
Step 1: Ask an adult to help you use pruning shears (or a sharp craft knife) to cut the sticks into three-inch lengths. Use sticks that are as straight as possible. You will need about 25 to 30 pieces.
Step 2: Measure and cut a piece of cardboard into a 6-inch square.
Step 3: Place the cardboard square onto waxed paper. Scoop glue from bottle with the craft stick and spread glue in a thick layer over entire cardboard surface.
Step 4: Lay the sticks in a parquet pattern (see photograph, below). Place the sticks as close to each other as possible. Let glue dry completely.
Step 5: Squeeze a thick line of glue around the outside edge of the trivet. Starting in the center of a side, place the jute in the glue and press firmly to the edge of the trivet.When you reach the beginning of the jute, overlap the ends slightly. Let the glue dry

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Gardening with Kids

Gardening with kids cover final

Gardens are magical, fun, and always full of surprises. Watch a child pull a carrot from the earth, brush off the soil, and take a bite, or see the anticipation in the eyes of a youngster creating a bouquet of flowers he grew. There is a natural magnetic attraction between children and the earth, whether it’s making mud or discovering a germinating seed emerges from the earth. Gardening with children, from toddlers to adolescents, opens new windows in a world dominated by technology.
Memories last longer than one season. Adults who fondly remember a childhood spent in a garden often recall a parent, grandparent, or neighbor who guided and encouraged them to explore the natural world.
Incorporate planting and play, and kids become more comfortable. We can teach even the tiniest child garden etiquette, such as where to walk. Later, they learn the consequences of good (or poor) care: watering, weeding, cultivating.
Moreover, both kids and adults learn patience in the garden. We have to wait for nature to take its course. Keep kids’ gardens simple, and a manageable size, about 6 by 10 feet.” Begin with only a few seed or plant varieties that grow quickly, and give the children tasks appropriate to their age and skill level. Watering is a favorite and even weeding can be. The pathway to better health and nutrition is right outside the door. Of course gardening offers great opportunities for exercise, fresh air, and good food. Growing their own food expands a young person’s choice of foods, a key to good nutrition. If they have grown up on home-grown and homemade food, they can taste the difference.
Gardening is a powerful experience for children. Children have fewer and fewer chances to interact with the natural world, and the connection to nature is important for their development. Children who develop regard and concern for the natural world come to be good stewards of the land and its resources. Being responsible for tending a garden also fosters their sense of “nurturing” and helps them learn to care for other living things. Kids don’t often hear much positive feedback from adults, and creating and tending a garden also empowers kids because they hear that they have “done a good job” from other adults.

Tips on Gardening with Kids:

1. Kid gardens must be kid-based. This means that kids help generate the ideas for what will be there, help with construction and planting, and are responsible for maintenance. Grown-ups need to facilitate and show how, but not do everything. Focus on the process of involving them, and they will then take ownership.
2. Develop the garden to be appropriate for the regional conditions. Develop the garden so the features and plant choices are adapted to local conditions, so you are not “working against nature.”
3. Focus on functional garden design, not how it will look. Start the design process by determining what the children want to be doing and learning in the garden. Base the features on the practical functions they will serve, and don’t worry too much about aesthetics. Gardens that serve as hands-on learning laboratories for kids will be beautiful because they are well-used and well-loved spaces. Also remember that the children’s sense of what is pretty may not be yours; that’s ok because the garden is their space.
4. Be comfortable with dirt. All kids are washable, so let them get dirty.
5. Bugs and crawly critters are cool. Children aren’t inherently afraid of things that crawl and creep. They learn that these things are bad or scary or icky from adults. When you pass on an aversion to something because of how it looks, that’s called “prejudice.” Worms, caterpillars, grubs, insects, spiders and all sorts of wondrous creatures are out in your garden as part of the ecosystem. Please see them as integral parts of the system, and the kids will be amazed and curious, not afraid.
6. No chemicals. Given that you are gardening with children, this really should not need any explanation. Also in urban areas, it is advisable to have a basic soil assessment for lead and other urban contaminants to make sure your site is safe for children before the garden is developed.
7. Grow some things to eat. Children are much more willing to try and consume fresh fruits and vegetables that they have grown. In fact, they likely will try things they never have eaten before because they have tended the plants through harvest.
8. Keep it fun.

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