Posts tagged ‘flowers’

April 28, 2014

Little Sprouts: We Heart Veggies

by Melissa Harding

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Spring is the time for planting gardens; peas, carrots and other cool weather crops are already shooting out of the ground and getting ready to produce delicious vegetables to fill our plates. Our Little Sprouts are especially excited for spring; in the latest Little Sprouts: Single, We Heart Veggies, campers explored our edible gardens in search of seasonal produce. They learned the parts of a plant and which of their favorite veggies are really roots, shoots, leaves or fruit.

To begin, campers used vegetables of all different shapes and sizes to make paint-stamped pictures. They used asparagus, broccoli, and cucumbers to create different textures and colors. After they were finished, campers had time to play in our new sensory bins filled with repurposed caps and dirt; they used recycled containers, measuring cups and funnels to explore the items inside each bin.

During the lesson, campers learned that plants all have the same parts – roots under the ground, stems to carry water, leaves to make food and flowers and fruit to create seeds. They learned that some veggies, like celery, are stems and others, like carrots, are roots. Finally, we read Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert and talked about the different colors of veggies.

After all this learning, campers were ready to explore. They traveled to the outdoor edible garden and the gallery, where they went on a scavenger hunt for veggies of different colors, shapes and sizes.  After returning from their tour, campers each planted a pea plant to take home and grow outside. Soon, they will all be eating veggies of their very own!

If you want to learn about vegetables with your own Little Sprout, here are some great story suggestions:
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
I Will Never Not Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens

Our next Little Sprouts Singles program, Our Butterfly Friends, is scheduled for May 22 and 23, 10:30 am-noon. This camp is currently full, but if you would like to join our waiting list, please contact Sarah at (412)441-4442 ext. 3925.

For a complete list of all our Little Sprout offerings, including summer camp, please visit our website.

Check out the slide show below for more pictures!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The above photos were taken by Phipps Science Education Staff.

May 3, 2013

Little Sprouts: We Heart Veggies

by Melissa Harding

April_18_13_camp_19

Spring is the time for planting gardens; peas, carrots and other cool weather crops are already shooting out of the ground and getting ready to produce delicious vegetables to fill our plates. Our Little Sprouts are especially excited to spring; in the latest Little Sprouts: Single, We Heart Veggies, campers explored our edible gardens in search of seasonal produce. They learned the parts of a plant and which of their favorite veggies are really roots, shoots, leaves or fruit.

To begin, campers used vegetables of all different shapes and sizes to make paint-stamped pictures of salad in a bowl. They used lettuce, broccoli, carrots, potatoes and celery to create different textures and colors in their “salads”. After they were finished, campers had time to play in our new sensory bins filled with seeds and sand; they used recycled containers, measuring cups and funnels to explore the items inside each bin.

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During the lesson, campers learned that plants all have the same parts – roots under the ground, stems to carry water, leaves to make food and flowers and fruit to create seeds. They learned that some veggies, like celery, are stems and others, like carrots, are roots. Campers then made some imaginary vegetable soup; each camper stirred as we added vegetables of different colors to the pot and sang a vegetable song. Finally, we read Stone Soup and talked about the importance of sharing our veggies with others.

After all this learning, campers were ready to explore. They traveled to the outdoor edible garden, where they pulled onions and carrots out of the ground to explore their roots and smelled the fragrant leaves of several different herbs. Some brave campers even tasted a kale leaf! After returning from their tour, campers planted their own broccoli plant to take home and grow outside. Soon, they will all be eating veggies of their very own!

If you want to learn about vegetables with your own Little Sprout, here are some great story suggestions:
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
I Will Never Not Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens

Our next Little Sprouts Singles program, Our Butterfly Friends, is scheduled for May 17, 10:30 am-noon. This camp is currently full, but if you would like to join our waiting list, please contact Sarah at (412)441-4442 ext. 3925.

For a complete list of all our Little Sprout offerings, including summer camp, please visit our website.

Check out the slide show below for more pictures!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Special thanks for these great photos to our wonderful volunteer, Pam Russell!

March 15, 2013

Home Connections: Color Observers

by Melissa Harding

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It may not feel like it, but spring is almost here. Daffodils and tulips are shooting tentative leaves up above the ground and the small, nodding heads of snowdrops are becoming a common sight. Soon, the world will be awash in the bright colors and scents of early spring and winter will seem like a distant memory. This time of year is muddy, warm and just asking to explored! One way to make the most of this time and to promote increased attention to nature is by using a color observer. Color observers are easy to make and incredibly effective at encouraging children of all ages to stop and really look at the world around them.

A color observer is a simple device that children can use to compare the colors they see in the world around them. We make them out of paint chips from the home improvement store; we gather different shades of one or several colors, punch a large hole in each and then bind them together with a ring. Children hold the color observer up to leaves, tree bark, flowers, and even the sky, trying to match what they see through the hole with a colored paint chip. The more choices you put in your color observer, the more closely it will match something in nature. For older children, we use paint chips with multiple colors per chip and make sure there are plenty of options. For younger children, a simple of rainbow of colors can be enough. It is up to you how simple or complex you would like to make your observer.

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Using this tool encourages children to look closely at objects in nature. They begin to notice not just colors, but nuances in shading and texture. This is a great technique to develop observation skills, which are important skills to have. Scientists are great at observing and so are artists; children are naturally curious and tools like color observers help them to see both the science and the art in nature. Closely observing the natural world (and the man-made one, too!) helps children to better appreciate and understand it. It also shows them the beauty of nature, which creates a sense of place. As Rachel Carson wrote in A Sense of Wonder, “If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which seeds must grow.”

Using a color observer is a fun activity to do together; make two and compare your guess with your child’s. You can also work together to create fun color-based art projects that use objects from nature. Find items that match all of the colors in your observer and then use them to make a nature weaving or a diorama. Create monochromatic display jars or match your paint chips to water colors and paint a nature picture. The options are endless!

For some more fun activities to do with paint chips, check out these links:
Paint Chip Matching GameInner Child Life (this is where we got the idea for our own color observers)
Fairy LoomsMoment to Moment
Paint Sample StoryEducation.com
Paint Chip GarlandChocolate Muffin Tree

The above pictures were taken by Christie Lawry.

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