Grow a Science Garden

Grow Garden alt.JPG

This indoor way to show your kids how vegetables grow is almost trippy! All you need is a head of romaine and a small glass jar. Then watch the magic happen.

Cut the leaves from the base of the romaine. Use the leaves for a big salad of course. I also gave my budding chef some of the leaves to play with in his set of pots and pans.

Grow Garden (4)

Meanwhile, trim the very bottom of the romaine head off thinly – this will help it absorb more water.

Here is a slightly skeptical Travis checking out the early stage of our experiment.

Grow Garden (2)

Place in a glass of water, making sure the base is completely covered, and place somewhere sunny. Change the water every day and watch your romaine sprout!

Grow Garden (3)

Within a day we had a few little leaves.

Grow Garden (6)

The picture at the top of this post shows growth after about 4 days. We can’t wait until we have enough for a fresh salad!

If you want to continue the fun, try the same experiment with a fennel bulb. You can also save the tops of carrots or radishes, place in a shallow dish with water, and watch for fresh greens to emerge. Thanks to Parents magazine for the idea!

Update: Here’s the lettuce about a week in, as tall as we let it grow. Honestly it was beginning to brown slightly around the edges, so I’m not sure I’d recommend growing it longer.

Grow Garden alt

But needless to say, Travis was thrilled!

Grow Garden var


Farm Land

Farm Land (7)

Farming is naturally on our minds this time of year, with local farmstands around us beginning to brim with late spring and early summer produce. This project is a neat visual if you are doing a unit at home about farming, about where food comes from, and about different landscapes children might see on a farm.

To get the most out of the craft, I recommend first looking at a book with a good visual of farmland, or finding a few pictures online. Although not very vegan-friendly, my son loves the description of farm life year-round in Gail Gibbon’s Farming.

Farm Land (1)

We talked about the different portions of land he saw in the picture, starting with what was up top – sky – and what was on the bottom – garden dirt.

Next I cut paper into 4 pieces, and we took turns painting them in color blocks just like in the picture: blue for sky, green for grass, yellow for hay or wheat, and brown for the vegetable patch.

Farm Land (2)

Let your colors dry, then come back to add details. For added fun, we raided mommy’s bathroom cabinet and used cotton balls for clouds:

Farm Land (4)

… and q-tips to paint details like flowers in the meadow and brown wheat in the yellow section. Let dry again.

Farm Land (5)

The final step was to use a glue stick to put it all back together again on a large piece of construction paper. This is neat because it will be almost like a puzzle for the kids. Don’t worry if a few sections get mixed up along the way.

Farm Land (6)

If you can, cap things off with a trip to a local farm; lots of places have pick-your-own veggies and berries getting underway now that we’re almost to June!