Thursday, June 17, 2010

Green Thumbs Kids Everywhere!

We had an amazing time learning about gardening and planting our own garden during the Green Thumb Kids Summer Reading Club program earlier this week. A big thanks to the Des Plaines Garden Club for their generous expertise and assistance.

Here's how to make your own magical snapdragon garden at home!

You'll need:
1 empty two liter bottle
scissorsgravel or rockspotting mix or dirt
A snapdragon plant and snapdragon seeds
a plastic spoon
foam sheet to make a garden marker
tissue paper squares
foam brush
glue mixture: 3 parts glue to 1 part water
All kinds of decorations such as glitter, colored sand, marbles, tiny rocks

Take the plastic bottle and cut off a little more than half a bottle. Keep the bottom portion as your "pot". Put 5-6 spoonfuls of gravel in the pot and fill up 1/2 way with potting mix using the plastic spoon. Take the snapdragon plant and rustle the roots, then plant it. Fill with more dirt until 1/2" from the pot rim. Take the tiny snapdragon seeds and place on top of the soil. Water your garden.
Now it's time to decorate. Using the foam brush, apply thin layer of glue mixture to the sides of the pot and press tissue paper squares onto it , creating any design you like. Then decorate the top of your garden with colored sand, colored fish gravel, mini rocks, glitter, tiny people dolls or toy bugs, a sprinkle of glitter, etc. Don't forget to make a garden marker: trace a dragon, ladybug, bee, or any shape onto the foam sheet and it cut out. Tape the shape onto the handle of the plastic spoon and insert the spoon into the dirt! Enjoy your garden by watering it once a week inside or twice a week outside and placing the pot near a window with full sun or outside in a sunny area.

See the gardens of the Green Thumb Kids displayed at the library in Youth Services.

If you like to read more about gardening with children, stop in to browse through the J 635 Dewey nonfiction section! The Gardening Book by Jane Bull is full of unique gardening ideas such as making grass people and a 5 senses garden.

There are many beautifully written and illustrated picture books that can foster a love of gardening and nature. One such book is Lois Ehlert's, Planting a Rainbow to entice even the hesitant child to dig in and plant. The ever powerful lesson of patience and perseverance is displayed in The Carrot Seed by Ruth Kraus where despite his doubtful family, a young boy is rewarded for taking care of his plant faithfully. My Garden by Kevin Henkes is new to our collection and let's us imagine the dream garden of a little girl where chocolate rabbits, jellybean bushes, and tomatoes the size of beach balls grow to her delight! What would your dream garden be?
Are you ready to help your child be a Green Thumb Kid? Let us help you along the way! Visit us today!

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