Flower garden in a day is very possible

Sabin, Davis, Hetrick, Anderegg, Macalady, Walker, Darling, and Katers

Sometimes a springtime atmosphere needs a little nudge. Here is an easy table decoration activity for springtime family gatherings that gets the flowers inside and brightens the house.

Why do these little extra activities? New studies report adults are talking with children only a total average of 30 minutes a day, a few minutes here, a few minutes there. Most of the talking is giving directions. Children in grades K-8 in 2019 have one half the vocabulary of those who attended school in the 1950’s according to test scores.

How do we reverse this trend? We can carry on conversations with children every day while doing a variety of active and quiet activities including helping around the house. Another tip is to leave all technology at a charging station at the door when everyone enters the home for the night. On weekends consciously schedule family conversations with activities and meals.

Flower fun

To make an indoor flower garden. You’ll need watercolor paints, white paper or poster board, coffee filters, play dough, popsicle sticks, child scissors, glue, an egg carton, colored Easter basket grass and bowl for the constructed flowers.

Look at some flowers with the children while shopping in stores and take some pictures. Choose which easy ones you would like to draw on white paper. This time of year there are many Easter lilies and tulips, for example. Help young children paint the flowers and leaf shapes. Allow to dry. Then help children cut them out. Paint popsicle sticks green for stems and allow to dry. You may glue the painted flowers to poster board to make them stronger and cut them out. The children can also make duplicates to glue on both sides of popsicle sticks.

Springtime table

Cut the egg carton to fit the bottom of a bowl. Place a drop of glue into each egg compartment and press the dough into the glue. Push the popsicle sticks into the dough and you have a garden centerpiece for the springtime table.

While creating the project, discuss where you will see flowers in your yard once the snow melts. Which varieties and colors do children like the best? What are the parts of a flower? Have a conversation about gardens, flowers and what they need to grow. This is also a good time to discuss planting flowers, vegetable, and berries in a month or more. Take a tour. Are there any bulbs coming up under the dried leaves and crusty snow?

For additional fun, plant some seeds in another egg carton or paper cup. You can visit the library and look for books with bright colorful pictures of plants and flowers such as “Flowers, A First Discovery Book” by Gallimard Jeunesse.

For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com;wnmufm.org live and podcasts; Facebook, and Pinterest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Grandparents Teach, Too is a non-profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. The writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers. Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan, the U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Michigan School of Education, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and the Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education.