Posts tagged ‘leaves’

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.

April 2, 2014

Little Sprouts Plant Their First Garden

by Melissa Harding

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We just finished our latest four-week Little Sprouts program, My First Garden, and we had so much fun! Campers learned how plants grow from seeds to flowers and back again, as well as how to plant and take care of their very own gardens.  They even worked together on a rainbow garden mural by matching colored flowers and vegetables to the colors of the rainbow, building a beautiful garden. Campers sang songs, played games and read stories to help them understand the plant life cycle.

Week one focused on the parts of a plant. Campers learned that roots keep a plant anchored into the ground and that stems act like straws to suck up water. They also learned that plants love sunshine and use their leaves to catch it to make food. Campers and grown-ups explored the Tropical Forest, looking for different plant parts on a scavenger hunt. We found big leaves, small leaves, brightly colored flowers and lots of exposed roots! Finally, campers planted spider plants to take home.

Week two was all about seeds. Campers made drums from recycled containers and filled them with colored rice, using recycled drum sticks to play them. After they were finished with their drums, campers explored a set of seed instruments and various seeds big and small, from a coconut to a carrot seed.  During the lesson, campers learned that a seed is a baby plant waiting to grow. Each sprout got a soaked lima bean and dissected it to find the seed coat, embryo and cotyledon. After the lesson, we all pretended to be seeds going through the life cycle and turning into flowers. Campers walked through the east wing of the Conservatory, looking at plants with magnifying glasses.

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Week three focused on caring for a garden. Campers used vegetables as paint brushes to make pictures in a sensory craft. They also played in our dirt bins, using small cups, shovels and rakes. During the lesson, campers learned that plants need water, soil, air and sunlight to survive. Campers read several interactive stories about gardens as well.  They explored the Gallery market, pretending to shop for food at the grocery store. Finally, they all planted swiss chard to take home and grow on their windowsills.

Week four was for the birds as campers learned about garden critters. Campers made bird feeders out of pipe cleaners and cereal to feed their avian friends in the winter. During the lesson, campers learned that the garden is full of helpful friends like birds, bugs and worms. Campers looked through our worm bins to find a worm friend to observe, using flashlights and magnifying glasses to learn more about their bodies. They also learned that worms are important to the health of both soil and plants, making garden grow. Campers explored the Conservatory looking for critters, stopping to see some of the good bugs that we use to help the plants.

If you want to read some great stories about gardening with your own Little Sprout, check out these books:
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Two Old Potatoes and Me by John Coy
No Carrots for Harry by Jean Langeman
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Now I Know All About Seeds by Susan Kuchalla
A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long
Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our next Little Sprouts: Single Servings program, I Heart Veggies, is scheduled for April 24 and 25, 10:30 am-noon. If you would like to sign up your child for a future Little Sprouts program, please contact Sarah at (412)441-4442 ext. 3925.

For a complete list of all our Little Sprout offerings, please visit our website. We hope to see you there!

The above pictures were taken by Science Education and Research 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.

April_18_13_camp_16

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!

January 30, 2013

Little Sprouts Plant Their First Garden

by Melissa Harding

jan_14_13_camp_1_b

We just finished our latest four-week Little Sprouts program, My First Garden, and we had so much fun! Campers learned how plants grow from seeds to flowers and back again, as well as how to plant and take care of their very own gardens.  They even worked together on a rainbow garden mural by matching colored flowers and vegetables to the colors of the rainbow, building a beautiful garden. Campers sang songs, played games and read stories to help them understand the plant life cycle.

jan_14_13_camp_3_c

Week one focused on the parts of a plant. Campers learned that roots keep a plant anchored into the ground and that stems act like straws to suck up water. They also learned that plants love sunshine and use their leaves to catch it to make food. Campers and grown-ups explored the Tropical Forest, looking for different plant parts on a scavenger hunt. We found big leaves, small leaves, brightly colored flowers and lots of exposed roots! Campers also planted grass heads, which are nylon knee-high stockings filled with soil and grass seeds, and decorated recycled yogurt containers to put them in. The first week, they don’t look like much, but after four weeks they are covered in green “hair”. One of our sprouts calls it her “little potato”!

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Week two was all about seeds. Campers made drums from recycled containers and filled them with seeds, using recycled drum sticks to play them. After they were finished with their drums, campers explored a set of seed instruments and various seeds big and small, from a coconut to a carrot seed.  During the lesson, campers learned that a seed is a baby plant waiting to grow. Each sprout got a soaked lima bean and dissected it to find the seed coat, embryo and cotyledon. We also looked at all the different seeds in the drum, finding corn, peas and colored beans; after which, we all pretended to be seeds going through the life cycle and turning into flowers. Campers walked through the east wing of the Conservatory, looking at fern spores and learning that not every plant comes from a seed. Finally, we sang some fun seed songs, playing along with our drums.

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Week three focused on caring for a garden. Campers used vegetables as paint brushes to make pictures in a sensory craft. They also played in our dirt bins, using small cups, shovels and rakes. During the lesson, campers learned that plants need water, soil, air and sunlight to survive. Campers read several interactive stories about gardens and then we all planted a pretend garden using the lima beans from last week. Campers explored the west wing of Conservatory, looking for gardeners, a hose, a rake, and other gardening implements on their walk. Finally, they all planted lettuce to take home and grow on their windowsills.

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Week four was for the birds as campers learned about garden critters. Campers made bird feeders out of pipe cleaners and cereal to feed their avian friends in the winter. During the lesson, campers learned that the garden is full of helpful friends like birds, bugs and worms. Campers looked through our worm bins to find a worm friend to observe, using flashlights and magnifying glasses to learn more about their bodies. They also learned that worms are important to the health of both soil and plants, making garden grow. Campers explored the Conservatory looking for critters, stopping to see some of the good bugs that we use to help the plants. Finally, they took home their grass heads, many of which had grown a full head of green hair!

If you want to read some great stories about gardening with your own Little Sprout, check out these books:
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Two Old Potatoes and Me by John Coy
No Carrots for Harry by Jean Langeman
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Now I Know All About Seeds by Susan Kuchalla
A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long
Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole

Our next Little Sprouts: Single Servings program, My Tropical Adventure, is scheduled for February 15, 10:30 am-noon. If you would like to sign up your child for a future Little Sprouts program, please contact Sarah at (412)441-4442 ext. 3925.

For a complete list of all our Little Sprout offerings, please visit our website. We hope to see you there!

The above pictures were taken by our wonderful volunteer, Pam Russel.

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