Friday, June 29, 2018

Miniature Playgarden: BIG Fun for small Hands!

Growing your own garden is a BIG deal, involving some BIG tools and BIG movement and if you're lucky, a BIG harvest to reap. Small hands can definitely be a BIG help in a garden and sometimes, when you need to water or pull weeds or re-pot some starter plants in a BIG hurry before it gets too dark out, you need your little hands to be busy with something. And there's something so magical and whimsical about little things. Little hands just love to hold and play with little things. Even my "bigger" sense of wonder is awakened when little things come to life through play.

Fairy gardens and miniature gardening is so popular among the world of big people today that I am inherently reminded of the powerful nature of play with nature. It is undoubtedly vital to little people and big people alike! I admire the sight of whimsically set up fairy gardens and miniature scenes, but the little person who still exists within me does not just want to look and admire, I want to play! So we gathered some materials from indoors and outside and created our own living miniature playgarden. And with some materials and toys you already have on hand and in your own yard or garden, you can, too!

The Bare Bones Basics:
The world of our miniature playgarden extends into the grassy forest of our yard...

I love the idea of a living playgarden. I chose to use real succulent plants for this purpose for a few reasons. One, is that they are fairly low maintenance in terms of water needs and climate. They do well outdoors in the summer where we live and just as well indoors in the wintertime. Secondly, they are pretty sturdy when it comes to meeting little hands. S is pretty aware of how to be gentle to growing plants. Y is not so aware...and being that this playgarden also involves a lot of tiny miniatures, it is more an activity for S at this point. To adapt for younger ones, you might choose some larger wooden peg dolls (unpainted) and furniture and allow for play in an outdoor grassy area or garden space. Finally, succulents often come in miniature size. Now, they won't stay that way forever (you should see my "tiny" aloe plant!) but it's a great place for them to start until they require a larger home! Alternatively, you can use any small-scale plants, even herbs would be lovely. If you prefer the look of a garden without the maintenance, you can opt for artificial replicas. Some are quite realistic! This is also a great option for indoors (although our playgarden can be maintained inside or outside, year round).

When gardening with and for children, especially with a garden they be tending to, I prefer an organic, untreated soil. These are not necessarily more money than MiracleGro type soils and for some reason I worry a little less about my kid eating dirt with worm castings than I do about dirt with mysterious green pellets... (I never said there was any logic to this!)
A Container:
Our miniature playgarden world is not limited to a container or to the garden itself. However, planting your playgarden in a container of some sort does allow for mobility. I have heard and read about amazing miniature gardens planted outdoors in a full size garden--even one including a remote control train! Since we are container gardeners in our shared yard space, a container playgarden is the perfect accessory. As an added bonus, it can be played with indoors on a rainy day (like the day we actually planted it and set it up) or brought outdoors for play. I chose a metal tub but any type of container will do. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like! You could even set up a few containers with different plants for your miniature gardeners to explore.

Optional Add-ins:
This is where the fun starts! I like to mix in a collection of natural and man-made materials. Start with less and your little gardeners will know what more is needed. Here's a list of ideas of items you might add in for play, but do not feel limited or overwhelmed. You can use what you have on hand and a lot can be done with natural items like rocks, pebbles, seeds and pods alone!

  • toy people or wooden peg dolls
  • toy animals, birds or bugs
  • miniature doll furniture
  • miniature doll accessories
  • miniature dishes and food--or you can make your own from acorns, tiny leaves, seeds, pebbles and flowers...
  • mosaic tiles and shapes
  • acrylic gems
  • tree circles or blocks
  • driftwood
  • rocks, pebbles, stones
  • pine cones, seed pods, acorns
  • leaves, weeds, wildflowers
With fairy gardens being so popular, you might find some cute additions in your local craft supply stores (and even dollar stores) that are intended for crafting. These can be used at play as well, though some items may be more delicate. I find that most children can be made aware of this and handle "real" materials ever so gently. 

Play & Between-Play Storage

Watching the way S weaves stories and adventures through our miniature playgarden is so exciting to me! It is an activity we revisit almost daily, especially during the time that Y is napping (so no tiny, yet giant hands are plowing their way through his play scene). 
"I'm planting a popsicle garden," he explained, sticking long, colorful glass stones in the soil. "I don't know if it will grow..."

Sure enough, the next morning, the popsicles were ready to harvest and a hungry raccoon was all too eager for his freshly picked ice-cold treat!

Storage is an important consideration, especially if you are using your miniature playgarden outside where it will be exposed to the elements. I learned (the hard way) earlier this year that wooden toy furniture is not waterproof when it is glued together by non-waterproof glue! Oops... I store non-water resistant toys and materials in plastic shoe-box sized containers with a tightly sealing lid. This also makes it easy to transport wherever you wish to play--even miniature people like to take an exotic vacation or go camping on occasion... 

Hope this gives you a little inspiration for some BIG fun this summer. We will be back soon and until then...

Happy Playing!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Beyond the Book: "The Story of the Root Children" by Sibylle von Olfers

The change of seasons is always a time of excitement. The transition from Spring to Summer is often a more subtle one--especially if summer vacation has already begun. Sprout Scouts Playcamp had already been "in session" for three weeks by the time the longest day of the year rolled around. We've already enjoyed some of the earliest tastes of our garden harvest and seen fireflies at night and heard the cicadas chirping and smelled the honeysuckles in the woods nearby. Our fingernails have been nice and dirty here from digging in the dirt and when it came to welcoming Summer in its own right, I wanted a book that truly celebrates this all. 

The Story of the Root Children by iconic author, Sibylle von Olfers is a favorite of mine! It is truly a tale of wonder and magic woven out of the colorful threads of a child's vast imagination. In fact, all of von Olfers' works capture this quality. Her works are commonly used in early childhood classrooms, particularly in Waldorf education and they naturally lend to storytelling. You can do this in many ways! You can use small loose parts and toys to create your own small story world or you can use props to act out the story with children. Both are fantastic ways to bring literature to life indoors and outside. There is a great Root Children Circle Play written up on Lavender's Blue Homeschool that includes audio clips of some songs to accompany your storytelling. I've found storytelling with young children to be a great way not only to take children's literature beyond the book but also to encourage expansion of play themes.

One afternoon while S and Y were napping, I decided to create our own set of wooden Root Children peg dolls and their Mother Earth. Who knew I could needle-felt a tiny sheitel? Everything else I left up to the hot glue gun! We had been enjoying repeated readings of The Story of the Root Children and it was time to expand on that through play. We also put together a tiny Root Children Playgarden using a few succulents and a metal tub with potting soil. I added in some interesting loose parts (mosaic tiles in a variety of shapes and colors, stones, sea glass, miniature garden animals and toy furniture, even some tiny toy food...) and both indoors and outside, this has been a favorite play area for S to expand on the story and create his own adventures of, Mother Earth, the Root Children and their garden friends!

The smaller loose parts are a bit beyond Y's developmental level right now (although he tries his hardest to keep up with S), but it's a great activity for when he is having his morning nap--a time that S is particularly cherishing these summer days as special time just between the two of us. Both of the boys absolutely loved play acting our own version of The Story of the Root Children this week. Prior to beginning, I gathered a basket of colorful scarves and play silks and homemade ribbon kites, my favorite wooden chime, a candle, and some handmade crowns I updated with silk flowers and (yes, more hot glue!). I collected our own mini version of the book and a larger copy S picked to check out of the library at our botanical gardens a couple of weeks ago to "see if the pictures were the same" (they are, but he still gets a kick out of it!). I had some printed story line and songs at the ready, including a recording of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" to play in the background for merry scarf and ribbon dancing at the end.
S really took the lead, which I loved! He decided to begin by setting up "their beds" where they would sleep. He wanted to sleep under the rug. I suggested perhaps some blankets on the rug. He gathered a few and his favorite baby doll to join in the story.
"Under the ground, deep in the earth among the roots of the trees, the little root-children were fast asleep all winter long."
"When at last winter came to an end and sun began to melt the snow, Mother Earth came along with her candle to wake them up again."

"Wake up, children... Time to get up now!"

"The children yawned and stretched. Then they jumped up merrily. Hurray, spring is coming!"

S had the idea to use a toy magic wand as the "needle" as we sang "The thread follows the needle, the thread follows the needle, in and out the needle goes while the Root Children sew their clothes!"

"But there was still more work to be done. The ladybirds, the beetles, the grubs and the bumblebees...had to be washed and brushed, painted colorfully and made to shine..." 

So we gathered the yellow blossoms of some two week old cut flowers that were wilting and filled ground them up with a mortar and pestle to make our own flower petal paints. S used a pipette to squeeze in some water to make the ground petals into a pasty yellow paint. I helped both boys to smash, grind and mix our colorful concoctions. I helped Y add some ladybug stamps to his paper (I'd recommend a permanent ink since the paint is quite watery!) and S decided to forego the stamps altogether. He really enjoyed the process of mixing and experimenting with creating the paint itself. This activity was more process focused than goal oriented, though if you did want to create your own natural plant dyes and paints, the internet and local library are great resources! Both boys had a great time with this extension activity before we completed our story drama with festive dancing and singing.

Since S is quite fascinated by the idea that the Root Children "had to make their own clothes!" I have set out some handcrafting activities for him to practice sewing with me. He still loves using our embroidery looms with burlap and colorful embroidery thread. The same thread and large blunt needles work well with plastic canvas, too, and really encourage that practice of the thread following the needle over and under, over and under...

Good books encourage a story to be told once. Great books encourage a story to be told again and again. And AMAZING books encourage a story to be retold and recreated through imaginative play. The Story of the Root Children is an AMAZING book to welcome Summer or any season and can be read and enjoyed all year round.

Happy Summer and Happy Playing!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Beyond the Book: "Pickles to Pittsburgh" by Judi and Ron Barrett

My boys love cucumbers. My guilty confession is that I killed our cucumber plant. And I drove to four different garden shops and nurseries to try to search for a late in the season replacement, to no avail. Lucky for me, late-in-the-season sales mean that I came home with two more marigolds, chocolate mint, a four pack of chives, a banana pepper and purple bell pepper plant and an early yellow squash... RIP, Luke the Cuke. And also lucky for me, we live near some great Farmers' Markets where pickling cucumbers were already bountiful!

Here at Sprout Scouts Playcamp, we love any story we can really stew over--especially if it takes us from Farmers' Market to Table! We have done previous story stretchers with the first, most well-known books by author and illustrator team, Judi and Ron Barrett, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The second book in the trilogy is just as tall a tale with a heartwarming twist in which the abandoned land of Chewandswallow is revisited and all of the food packaged and delivered around the world to those in need. My other guilty confession is that my main driving force behind choosing Pickles to Pittsburgh is my own love of pickles and the fact that I've always wanted to make them!

So armed with this Easy Refrigerator Pickles recipe from Gimme Some Oven and a bounty of fresh dill in our garden, we picked a peck of pickling cucumbers from the local Farmers' Market and read this fabulously fantastic bit of fiction before making our own batch of pickles! Refrigerator pickles are such a great first-timer's preserving activity. If, like me, you've never canned before or made your own preserves, and, like me, you are way to impatient to wait for fermentation to happen the "old-fashioned" way, refrigerator pickles are your new BFF. Think of them as quickles. They only need to ferment for a few days, and you can totally cheat, like me, and taste them after only one!

While Y was still finishing his afternoon nap, S helped me harvest a few sprigs of fresh dill from our container garden. We gathered our ingredients together: kosher salt, some cloves of peeled garlic, a peppercorn mill, a couple of bay leaves, our white vinegar and water. Once Y was up and ready to join us, we got to washing our cucumbers and dill with a sponge (cut in half, it's a the perfect size for little hands) in individual container baths. This may have been both boys' favorite part!

Cucumber sampling is an occupational hazard destined to happen along the way. With what was left, S got busy slicing! I gave the option to cut in rounds or spears; he chose both... Why not?!

Next it was time to mix the brine!

Y took "mixing by hand" quite literally....

And S loved using the pepper-mill to grind peppercorns into the brine.

The results were quite tasty! The cucumbers made crisp and crunchy pickles. I was so amazed! I found after a few days that they were a bit salty for my taste, so although I'm told you should "never" tweak the amount of salt in a preserve or fermentation recipe, in this one I might cut back just a smidgen. And there you have it, from Farmers' Market to Table, our very first batch of Quickles!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Sprout Scouts Playcamp: Taking Inventory, Collecting, Cutting & Arranging Your Garden Harvest

Gardening comes with a lot of hands-on work and care as you dig, plant, water and weed. But then there is the hands-off aspect--the parts that involve waiting and watching and walking around carefully. Surely, gardens are meant to be appreciated but they are also meant to be used. Food gardens are an obvious source of fruits, vegetables and herbs that can be harvested and used in the kitchen when the time is right, but our gardens provide us with a lot of other ways to appreciate our harvest throughout the seasons.

Flower gardens especially tend to be in the category of "hands-off appreciation." Weeds are pulled and tossed away. Even parts of food gardens that we don't necessarily eat or use get quickly composted or tossed aside. Through the eyes of a child (and an adult), these can be objects of beauty! Even if you do not have a garden, you likely have access to a lawn with some interesting weeds or a nearby area with wildflowers. When it comes to picking flowers and plants in nature, I do teach children a few core rules:

  • Always ask a grown-up before touching touching a plant. Some plants can be unsafe.
  • Always ask a grown-up if it is OK to pick or cut a plant. Some areas, especially nature preserves, may have rules about this.
  • When you are cutting or picking a flower from nature, try to choose ones that are abundant in supply so that many will be left over.
  • When you are cutting from a plant, try not to cut the outermost blossom or leaf, as this can alter the future growth of the plant. A grown-up can help show you a good spot to cut.
  • Some plants and flowers are edible and safe, but not all of them. Always check with a grown-up before eating anything you pick outside.

Pansies were one of the first things we planted early this spring and they are still growing strong out front, now accompanied by some petunias and salvia plants. As We've enjoyed their beauty in our garden, it occurred to me that we could clip some blossoms to bring inside and enjoy! Not only would this bit of the outdoors bring life and color indoors, but it also makes room for new blooms to blossom. As we settle into our summer rhythm here, it has worked best for Y to have a short morning nap and S has loved this time with just the two of us. Often we take a morning garden inventory to see what is growing, what is ready to be harvested and collect any "garden treats" we can find. This morning's garden inventory revealed a small crop of beans ready to be picked, a sweet pepper, a nasturtium and some green tomatoes in waiting...

As we enjoy the hands-on experience of gardening, S especially loves using a collection of toy animals, peg dolls and accessories in our mini playgarden and surrounding yard...

We headed back through to the front yard with scissors carefully in hand and a small glass vase. It was time to cut some flowers for arranging! I, the adult, with the less discerning eye, of course headed straight to the flower garden. S, the child full of wonder and an untainted sense of beauty also found the most lovely clovers, tall blades of grass and other interesting weeds. He asked each time whether it was OK to cut and where to clip.

Herbs can also make a lovely bouquet or addition to a bouquet. They are so very fragrant and lovely and especially ones that bolt and flower (like basil, dill, parsley and cilantro--even lettuces) can make a gorgeous addition to your indoor arrangements. Even carrot tops, overly abundant green tomatoes and other greens that you don't intend to use from vegetables in your garden can be arranged alongside flowers in a vase. They will surely be conversation starters at your dining room table!

The garden is truly a place of wonder and curiosity. Although we garden on a small scale due to small space, a tiny taste of our tiny harvest is truly a treat! And even the more particular taste testers are eager to take at least a little nibble!

I hope this inspires you to enjoy and savor every bit your hard work and harvest. Happy Harvesting & Happy Playing!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Sprout Scouts Playcamp: Grow Your Own Green Thumb, Part 2

Exploring Plants & Flowers Through the Five Senses

Gardening is certainly a hands-on experience and anytime we engage our children's senses, we appeal to the variety of ways in which they learn and grow. In Part 2 of this play theme, we will explore plants and flowers through all five senses!


Digging in the dirt, sitting in the grass, the cool water of a sprinkler, the variety of textures of a rock or a stick--gardening is a tactile smorgasbord! So often, however, when it comes to gardens and plants we tell our children "look with your eyes, don't touch!" If you have the space to allow for it, I highly recommend allowing a plot for children to garden on their own--mistakes, learning experiences and all! If not, planting your own "Please Touch the Plants" Garden will be a great way to introduce a variety of textures to little fingers in your yard, in a container or even indoors.

What to Plant:
Select a variety of succulents from your local garden center. Aloe, lambs ear, yucca, hens and chicks, desert rose, burro's tail, and snake plant are all popular options. Avoid cacti with sharp thorns. Do opt for a variety of textures, heights and colors.
We planted a few pots with a selection of succulents. I used permanent marker and some garden tags I had on hand to make some "Please Touch the Plants" signs and voila! I have to say, this feels like a grown up version of touch & feel books for me! From fuzzy to feathery, bumpy and smooth--this a wonderful way to explore textures and related vocabulary.

Petal Potions Water Table: Playing with real flower petals is so much fun! We love to give our fresh cut flowers one last hurrah before they head to the compost heap and this is one wonderful way to do that. Alternatively, you can pick some wildflowers from outside or hit up your local florist for rejects and flowers that can't be sold.
Truly, water, flowers and maybe a dish and a spoon (or long stem) are all you need. We added some glitter and food coloring along with a bit of lavender oil for scent. It was a huge hit with both my boys!

Sensitive Plants are a fascinating wonder of this world! If you can get your hands on one (literally), it truly is an amazing thing to experience a plant respond to touch. It's definitely on my gardening wish list!

What to Plant: 

  • With an eye toward the Fall, plant some mini gourds this summer to grow your own shakers in the fall! Once harvested and dried, the seeds inside a gourd create a natural and beautiful homegrown musical instrument.
  • In the interim, plant flowers and plants that will attract songbirds to your garden. Marigolds, sunflowers, daisies and asters are just a few. Read about others in this article from National Geographic.
Take a Sound Scavenger Hunt Walk: Whether it's through your own yard, your neighborhood, a park or nature preserve or even your local botanical gardens, taking a nature walk with an ear toward the sounds of the garden can be fascinating! Can you hear birds? Bugs like bees or cicadas? Can you hear frogs or toads? Ducks or geese? What about man-made noises like lawnmowers or hedge trimmers? We often go to the garden for some peace and quiet--and peaceful, it certainly is--but rarely is it truly quiet. When you open up your ears outdoors, you can truly discover the orchestra of your garden!

Make Your Own Windchimes: This is great activity to empty your recycling bin with. You'll need a variety of items (particularly tin/metal) like cans, bottles, lids, CDs, even old spoons and forks. Use an old hanger or an overturned colander and some twine and have an adult help with any necessary handiwork with tools. 

Build a Garden Sound Wall: If you have the space for it (and no neighbors super close by), building a sound wall with interesting recycled and upcycled items is a great way to encourage budding musicians of all ages outside. If there is one thing I have learned from both my boys so far, it is that anything can be a drum! Grab a spoon, a stick or your hands and play away!

What to Plant: Plant or purchase starter plants of a variety of herbs. I recommend some familiar varieties and a few unique ones as well.

Identifying Herbs: You can release the aroma of herbs by gently rubbing a leaf between your fingers and thumb. You can demonstrate and teach children how to do this even without removing a leaf from the plant. Thyme can be quite aromatic simply by brushing your hand over the tiny leaves!

What's That Smell? You'll really need your sniffer for this game! Have each player rub a leaf of familiar cut herbs between his/her fingers and thumb and try to guess the smell.  You may need to provide a visual or written key. You can add an element of challenge by blindfolding players so they can really hone in on their sense of smell.

That Reminds Me Of...  What smells like lemons but isn't? How about chocolate? Pineapple? Cinnamon? Licorice? Herbs, of course! Lemon thyme, chocolate mint, pineapple sage, cinnamon basil and fennel are all great herbs to trick your sniffer and enhance your dinner (or tea)!

Mortar & Pestle Play: One of my very favorite gardening tools that isn't a gardening tool at all is our mortar and pestle sets! These are great for grinding all kinds of things, but especially fresh cut herbs are amazing in this along with some elbow grease from little hands. It is great fun to grind and smell herbs individually and in combination.

Sensory Play with Herbs: Add in some water and take the aromatic experience of exploring scent with herbs to a whole new level! Choose a variety of herbs that smell lovely in combination like a few types of mint, or lavender and rosemary.
Added to a batch of homemade playdough, cut herbs become decorative and add in a lovely scent and texture. In this simple invitation to play with herbs and playdough, we used some sprigs of fresh cut herbs, scissors and rolling pins. The result was a heavenly aroma and hours of fun!


What to Plant: Visual appeal is a huge part of gardening, and what could be more visually appealing than planting a rainbow? Read Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert and then head to your local garden center to choose your own rainbow of flowers, plants and maybe even vegetables.

Plant, Grow & Eat a Rainbow Collage: To prepare for this activity, you'll need a large sheet of drawing paper with the outline of a rainbow drawn on. You can set up six or seven sections depending on whether or not you will include indigo and violet as in a true rainbow or just purple. Enlist the help of older children to cut colorful pictures from recycled seed catalogs or gardening magazines. Children can sort the pictures into color categories. With younger ones, I like to isolate one color row at a time. We love double sided tape for this project but you can also use a glue stick or white glue. 

Garden Scavenger Hunt: We love a great scavenger hunt here! You'll really need your sense of sight to find pollinators, songbirds, flowers, herbs, vegetables, worms, a rock and any number of other things in your own garden. You can create your own scavenger hunt list or try one of the great Spring Nature Scavenger Hunts at I Heart Crafty Things. You can search your own garden or yard, walk through your neighborhood or visit a community garden, park or botanical garden center.

Through Their Eyes: How do our gardens look through the eyes of an ant? Or a butterfly? Or a bird? Using storytelling and dramatic play, try to imagine how plants and flowers look to the little critters and creatures in our gardens. You can also add in some viewing tools to the mix like binoculars, prisms, magnifying glasses and kaleidoscopes.

Art in the Garden: Nature is its own art form and gardens can be a true masterpiece. Incorporate children's art into the garden and even invite children to create art outdoors. For more ideas, check out our Art and Artists in the Garden play-theme!

Plot Plans: Whether you're actually planning and designing your garden or just drawing up a dream, graph paper is the perfect base to this art activity to design your own garden. Add in your favorite drawing utensils (we love oil pastels here) and perhaps some stickers or magazine clippings of vegetables, fruits and flowers and design your own garden blueprints.


What to Plant: When it comes to growing your own edible garden, I highly recommend planting at least one thing you know you like and at least one thing you know will grow well! This year, we tried (and succeeded!) at growing our own strawberries. We are on year 3 of very successful cherry tomatoes. If you want to mix it up a bit, grow a pizza garden with tomatoes, peppers, and favorite savory herbs. Or try a salsa garden with tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and onions and perhaps some hot peppers. Try a traditional Three Sisters Garden with squash, beans and corn. Growing our own produce has been a way to encourage trying new foods while also providing a unique and personalized "farm to table" experience in our own backyard.

U-Pick Plot-Luck Playdate: Summer is just beginning and our own garden is just beginning to provide us with a small harvest of arugula, sweet peppers, strawberries, and herbs, galore! Radishes are just a couple of weeks away and we have a steady crop of microgreens in our kitchen window. We pick and enjoy what we can as it comes, but at a certain point, the bounty exceeds our own plates and pallets! That's when it's time for a Plot-Luck Playdate! Gather some neighbors or friends and enjoy the harvest together. You can invite others to bring tasty treats from their own garden or provide the produce yourself. Build your own pizza parties are a popular choice and even pickier eaters might have fun with a garden salad bar! Children can be involved in as much of the process as possible--from harvesting and picking produce to washing, cutting, preparing and baking--and most importantly, eating!

Extra, Extra, Eat All About It: Pair some fresh picked produce with a popular children's book. Here are a few of our favorite pairings:

  • Fresh Picked Jam Berries go quite nicely alongside Jamberry by Bruce Degen, Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell and Lillian Hoban ,and The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood. They're so yummy right off the plant, but they are also quite delicious made into jam. Try out this easy recipe for Quick Refrigerator Strawberry Jam.

  • Blueberries are great for snacking and delicious in pancakes. Mix up a batch of your favorite pancake recipe and see how many blueberries are left to add in once you're done munching! You'll definitely want to read Robert McCloskey's Blueberries for Sal while you're waiting for them to brown.

  • Pick a Pickling Cucumber and read Pickles to Pittsburgh, the equally wonderful sequel to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Ron and Judi Barrett. Then whip up a batch of Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles!

  • Quick and Easy Fresh Mint Tea is the perfect way to use some of super easy to grow mint leaves in your garden or kitchen window. Enjoy it warm or iced or even mixed with lemonade and read Miss Spider's Tea Party by David Kirk! 
Gardening with children is a full sensory experience. This is just a sampling of activities to accompany and enhance that experience. We will be back with more activities to take you from Garden to Table next time (although this post probably gave you a little taste of what's to come). Until then...

Happy Playing!