Wednesday, 29 February 2012

World Book Day 1 March 2012: The Global Garden by Kate Petty and Jennie Maizels

Global Garden by Kate Petty and Jennie Maizels

My choice for world book day is a non-fiction book. A book that nevertheless tells a story about how plants are part of our everyday lives. It is a very visual book with bold colours and design. Most of the pages are interactive with pops ups, tabs to lift up and flaps to open. It is suitable for ages 4 to 7 and onwards.

It covers very simply what plants need to grow, how they grow and how they reproduce. Children can focus on their favourite fruits and vegetables. The table is set for breakfast and you can find out about the source of all those yummy foods.

The book will help your children gain a basic understanding of botany and it may even inspire them to get growing. It is a must for both boys and girls. They will not be disappointed and will want dip into it over the years. It is a great mix of the visual, fun and a teeny bit educational. Hopefully it will whet their appetite to read more about plants and growing.

A bunch of flowers

The book is published by the Eden Project who also publish a book with a similar theme ‘The World Came to My Place Today’.

To celebrate World Book Day everyone at my son's school is dressing up as a character from a book.  It would make this blogpost complete if I could now say that my son choose to be a character from one of our gardening story books.  However this is real life and he choose a shark.  Hope you like the costume.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Signs of Spring: Snowdrops and Hearts

A wander around a snow drop garden in February is an uplifting experience. I was lucky enough to do just that recently. The venue was Brandy Mount Gardens in Alresford, Hampshire. It holds national collections of snowdrops and daphnes, as well as growing other early flowering plants such as aconites and witch hazel.


It was a joy to see and I hope that everybody this year manages to spy some snowdrops. They are growing in the hedgerows in Dorset. There are many gardens holding special snowdrop openings this time of year for the National Gardens Scheme. Well worth a visit if you can make it.

For access to the garden we had to park the car at a local Lavender Farm. So one of the unexpected benefits of the visit was a little bit of retail therapy with lots of lovely lavender and garden products. These hearts made from Lavender looked stunning. I made myself a promise to return to the farm in the summer when I am sure that the lavender fields will look equally stunning.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Snow and Ice Activities: Making Ice Sculptures with Children

childrens ice sculpture

The cold weather has provided us with a great opportunity to make some lovely ice sculptures this week. We were reminded about them when one formed naturally from water left a sand mould in my son’s sand and water table. I photographed the result above.

So the next evening the remaining moulds were washed and the craft box delved into. We also took a few flowers from the garden and used some fir cones and acorns. The resulting tray of sculptures were then placed outside. Alas that night it didn’t freeze, but this morning we the jackpot with five beautiful sculptures. It is very cold today so hoping that some of them will survive.

shell in ice scultpture

ice sculptures

We did learn a few things along the way, which I hope will help you if you try them.

• We placed string and ribbon in two of them which meant they could be tied onto a line. This really helps them to catch the light and they can easily be seen from the house. So I would recommend you do that with all your sculptures. The ribbon sculpture stayed on the line longer than the string one.

• Make your moulds close to an outside door as they are not the easiest to transport. We had placed ours outside we had to top them up with water.

• Place them close to the house because your children are likely to want to keep popping out to check on them. They are more likely to freeze if just placed a little away from walls and other frost protection.

• Do not fill them with too many objects, as the transparency is one of the best things about them.

You don’t have to use moulds. Tonight we are going to experiment with plastic cups, saucers, food dye, and also try and make our own icicles.

Related Posts with Thumbnails