Happy Sunday, all! It's Leslie here and I have learned a new fact today! Did you know that dirt is good for your soul??
As an non-outdoorsy person (it's true-- I don't like getting dirty, sweating, creepy crawly things, and bugs that attack you and bite you. I don't camp--when was the last time you saw an Asian person or family featured on a Gander mountain magazine camping? LOL! Half joking and half serious. Ha! ) I actually don't mind digging in the dirt and planting. I love to plant with my sweet boys and class.
So, going back to dirt is good for you-- and your kids-- yes, it is because it offers them a chance to connect with their world and their environment, it gives them a chance to be toughen their immune system, and soil has some bacteria (good bacteria!) that help produce and activate those feel good chemicals in your brain--it's a natural anti-depressant!
Every year around this time (I live in FL so it may be easier for me, but no worries! I got your back for our friends who live in colder places!) is the time of year I focus on growth and life cycles! One of the projects I do is we plant seeds. So easy to do!
Last year I found this idea on using toilet paper rolls to start seeds. It's a great tie in to Earth day and it's a great way to recycle:
Click on the picture above for a more information or you can click here for a pictorial how to.
One of the seeds I always like to plant are Radish Seeds.
Now, why Radish seeds you ask? Well, number one, they aren't lima beans! LOL! I think we all do lima beans. Number two, they have a shorter germination period of 3-5 days for our little impatient children who want to see results! Here is a time lapse video of radish seeds growing If you don't quite have a sunny place for your seeds to grow, you can also create a "greenhouse" for your little planters. I've just used a rotisserie chicken container and placed my toilet paper planters in there!
Tired of lima beans or want something more applicable to kids? Try green onions or carrots! Click on the pictures for more information. I think I might try the carrot top one this year.
I also teach about worms during this time and how worms are beneficial to plants. We even make a worm farm! (I tell you, the things we do for our kids!) I buy some worms from my local fishing hut
and we study the worms and allow them to crawl around our observation trays. (Side note-- remember my saying, I don't like creepy crawly things! Worms would fit that category! Like Sophia from the Golden Girls says... "Picture this, a classroom in the near future...A teacher using chopsticks to get worms out of the container!" Using my Asian roots for something! LOL!). Most kids love this; some shy away from it but most love seeing their worms wriggle around and away from them. Plus, there's some dirt there= dirt and worms!! Must be good for your soul then, too! The kids loved the worms so much, we made a worm farm to observe them! Here is one I think I will make when I get back.
Click on the pic for directions!
The one I made last year (PB= pre-blog) was just a terrarium with some soil and I put in egg shells and coffee grounds or anything worms would eat. It was soooo cool! The only downside is there were some worm casualties. No wonder they are called nightcrawlers. It is not fun to come into your room and find worms in the morning!
So get those kiddos out in some dirt and feel good about it!
Lots of love to all of you!