Posts tagged ‘recycled crafts’

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.

February 11, 2014

Campers Celebrate Valentine’s Day!

by Melissa Harding

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Though many people may think of Valentine’s Day as just another holiday that is meant to sell cards, it is much more than that. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show loved ones how much they mean; not just significant others, but also friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. It is always wonderful to remind other people that they are special! This is an especially important holiday to celebrate with children, as it teaches the importance of both having and showing gratitude and love for others. We joined in the fun last weekend as we celebrated love and friendship with 15 campers during our Celebrate! Valentine’s Day program. Campers learned the importance of showing love to both people and the environment, all while making crafts, playing games and exploring the Conservatory.

To begin, campers used recycled cards and paper, stickers, sparkles and more to make beautiful valentines for friends and family. Magazine pictures from seed catalogues, bits of mylar balloon, heart doilies, and colorful yarn added a finishing touch. This lead into a discussion about the importance of showing others that we care, including plants and animals; campers learned that not only do we love plants, but they love us back by providing us with air, food, medicine and many other things. Campers then made a valentine for a plant by planting Philodendron plugs. The heart-shaped leaves of the Philodendron will remind campers that people and plants love each other.

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By then, it was time for a snack! Campers made healthy fruit dip out of yogurt and cocoa powder, using strawberry and banana pieces as dippers. To learn more about how chocolate is made, campers visited the Fern Room, focusing on the cocoa tree. They even ran into a cardinal in the Stove Room and learned a few bird calls to “talk” with their new feathered friend. One camper is pretty sure she heard the bird say “See you later” to the group!

Even if you were not able to be a part of our Celebrate!, here are some easy ideas for valentines to make with your child:
1. Bird Feeders: Make your own version of our bird feeder and others; the birds will love you! The Crafty Crow
2. Newspaper Hearts: Recycled materials are a valentine for the whole Earth! You are my fave
3. Heart Garland: Give your house some love, too! Maya * Made
4. Seed Packet Valentines: Spread seeds and help beautify someone’s home or garden. One Crafty Place
5. Coffee Filter Hearts: Fun and compostable! The Artful Parent

If you missed this program and would like to join us next month for Celebrate! Nature Beauty, please contact Sarah Bertovich at (412)-441-4442 ext. 3925. For a complete list of all our spring programs, please visit our website.

The above pictures were taken by Molly Steinwald.

February 13, 2013

Campers Celebrate Valentine’s Day!

by Melissa Harding

2-9-13_camp_19

Though many people may think of Valentine’s Day as just another holiday that is meant to sell cards, it is much more than that. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show loved ones how much they mean; not just significant others, but also friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. It is always wonderful to remind other people that they are special! This is an especially important holiday to celebrate with children, as it teaches the importance of both having and showing gratitude and love for others. We joined in the fun last weekend as we celebrated love and friendship with 17 campers during our Celebrate! Valentine’s Day program. Campers learned the importance of showing love to both people and the environment, all while making crafts, playing games and exploring the Conservatory.

2-9-13_camp_72

To begin, campers used recycled cards and paper, stickers, sparkles and more to make beautiful valentines for friends and family. Magazine pictures from seed catalogues, bits of mylar balloon, heart doilies, and colorful yarn added a finishing touch. This lead into a discussion about the importance of showing others that we care, including plants and animals; campers learned that not only do we love plants, but they love us back by providing us with air, food, medicine and many other things. Campers then made a valentine for a plant, shaping a compostable pot out of recycled paper; they decorated strips of paper and used wooden pot makers to create pots for Philodendron plugs. The heart-shaped leaves of the Philodendron will remind campers that people and plants love each other.

By then, it was time for a snack! Campers made healthy fruit dip out of yogurt and cocoa powder, using strawberry and banana pieces as dippers. To learn more about how chocolate is made, campers visited the Fruit and Spice Room, focusing on the cocoa tree.

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Finally, campers all made bird feeder valentines for their animal friends; campers put cereal on pipe cleaners, shaping each into a heart and stringing several in a row to make hanging feeders. Adults can hang these feeders from a tree in the yard and the whole family can enjoy their new feathered friends!

Even if you were not able to be a part of our Celebrate!, here are some easy ideas for valentines to make with your child:
1. Bird Feeders: Make your own version of our bird feeder and others; the birds will love you! The Crafty Crow
2. Newspaper Hearts: Recycled materials are a valentine for the whole Earth! You are my fave
3. Heart Garland: Give your house some love, too! Maya * Made
4. Seed Packet Valentines: Spread seeds and help beautify someone’s home or garden. One Crafty Place
5. Coffee Filter Hearts: Fun and compostable! The Artful Parent

If you missed this program and would like to join us next month for Celebrate! Nature Beauty, please contact Sarah Bertovich at (412)-441-4442 ext. 3925. For a complete list of all our spring programs, please visit our website.

Check out the slide show below for more pictures!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The above pictures were taken by Pam Russell.

February 6, 2013

Upcoming Events: Celebrate! Valentine’s Day

by Melissa Harding

Phipps Science Education 169

This month, join us in celebrating love and family at Celebrate! Valentine’s Day. Each Celebrate! program is a half-day camp for children ages 4-5 and 6-9 scheduled for the second Saturday of the month. Every seasonally themed camp is filled with fun crafts, a cooking activity and tour of Conservatory.

Celebrate! Valentine’s Day focuses on the importance of showing your love and appreciation to friends and family, as well as the environment. Campers will create beautiful valentines out of recycled materials, pot heart-shaped plants, and cook delicious chocolate treats. They will also learn how chocolate is made while visiting our Tropical Forest.

Please join us on February 9 for Celebrate! Valentine’s Day!
Ages 4-5: 10 a.m. -12 p.m.

Ages 6-9: 1-3 p.m.

Costs are $12/member and $15/non-members.

If you would like to sign up your child for this or any other seasonal camp program, please contact Sarah Bertovich at (412)-441-4442 ext. 3925. For a complete list of all our spring programs, please visit our website.

We hope to see you there!

The above photo was taken by Melissa Harding.

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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