Thursday, April 28, 2011
A: Here is a good alternative to shaving cream. You can keep the clear, uncolored thickener in the refrigerator for quite awhile. It also makes a good paint extender. I pulled the recipe from the following website: http://www.childcarelink.com/fun%20Kid%20recipies.html. There were over 100 recipes on the site. Many did contain soap, but others were cooking ingredients. Some great textures were offered.
Cooked Home Made Finger Paint
· 4 cups cold water
· 6 teaspoons of cornstarch
Mix a small amount of cold water with cornstarch until smooth. Gradually add the remainder of the water. Cook the mixture over low heat until it is clear and the consistency of pudding. Add tempera for color.
This would be a lot of fun to use on an outdoor art easel! In fact, I just may round up my TAC pals right now to make some paint and then make some art.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Our friends at http://www.rainbarrelsolutions.com/ have a lot of ideas about this very topic! Here are some reasons to create a rain barrel:
· Water conservation
o When you conserve water, you are not just helping yourself, you are helping your community and the planet.
· Saving money
o The primary advantage to using rain water over municipal water is that you are saving water and money.
o You can use the water you collect to take care of your garden, lawn and outdoor cleaning tasks.
o This means that even when your community is on a water restriction you can still water plants and your lawn because you are not using public water
Including a rain barrel in your outdoor classroom is a wonderful lesson for your children. You will be setting the examples of conservation in more ways than one, and you can use the water you collect for the plants in your garden! What’s not to like about that?
Check out the following sites for tips and instructions for creating your own rain barrel:
Thursday, April 21, 2011
These tips came from the BBC article “Make Your Own Compost.”
You will need:
· a compost bin with a lid
· old plant waste
· kitchen waste
1. Help your children to set up the compost bin or site, ensuring the bin is placed on earth and not concrete.
2. Fill the bin with dead leaves, green waste from the garden, old plants you've pulled out, fruit and vegetable peelings from the kitchen - even eggshells!
3. Next, sprinkle in some soil.
4. Cover the bin with an old piece of carpet or a doormat to keep the heat in and leave it alone until you have some more waste to put inside.
5. After three or four months remove the cover and help your child to dig the compost over. Leave it to rot down further.
6. When the bottom of the compost is brown and crumbly, it is ready. You and your children can dig it into the garden - your plants will be really pleased!
Tips and advice
· This is a joint project for adults and children together. You will need to provide the physical manpower for a lot of it, but the children will often provide the motivation to keep filling up the bin.
· When preparing a meal, why not ask your children to help you sort out which pieces they can put in their compost bin? Vegetable and fruit peelings are great. Don't put in cooked food or meat, as it may attract rodents.
Happy composting from The Adventurous Child!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Okay maybe composting isn’t very glamorous – but it IS the foundation for a nutrient-rich garden, which makes it a big deal. Karen Miller, author of The Outside Play and Learning Book, explains: “For plants to grow well, the soil needs to be loose to a depth of at least twelve inches and rich in nutrients. It is probable that your playground soil will need enriching. There are many ways to do this. The children could be involved in breaking up the soil with a hoe or shovel, as well as mixing in compost…” (p. 238).
By creating a compost pile, you are teaching your children several great lessons. Blogger Kaitlyn Wessels explicates some of those lessons:
Money in the Bank: “From a financial perspective, it reduces the cost of purchasing topsoil and fertilizer for your plants. Why buy a big bag of dirt when you can make it yourself? Chances are, your composted material will be a lot richer and healthier than anything you buy in a store because you know exactly what's going into it.”
Green is Green: “From an environmental perspective, you will significantly reduce your household waste. Between our recycling bin and our composting container, [my husband] and I have put out only one bag of trash for the weekly collection, compared to two and even three bags a week.”
Healthy Living: “Your composting bin will even encourage you to eat healthier. I don't know what it is, but there is something very rewarding about filling up our compost bin every week. To do that, I have to buy (and consume) more fresh fruits and veggies, which is ultimately better for my health and well-being anyway!”
On Thursday, we’ll talk about how to start up your compost pile. Stay tuned!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Have you ever wondered about the underground world of roots, worms and insects? Jump into that world with a root garden! Children can learn about the growth process as the plant seeds, water, weed and harvest the crops. Periodically, children can open the Observation Doors and study the underground world of the root garden.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Springtime is a wonderful time to take your children outdoors to experience nature and its verdant transformation. In the next few weeks, The Adventurous Child is excited to share the following: - Gardening tips - How to get started composting - Rain barrel fun - What to do on a springtime hike Join us Thursday for information about victory gardens and going green!