Gardening, Language

Spelling Match Game

Hello friends!

Mr. 3 wanted to go to the Science Center today, but it is cold and rainy and I just did not feel like going anywhere. Usually it is him that doesn’t want to go anywhere, but today it’s my fault that we are stuck at home. I think all the cold and rain is getting to me. It doesn’t help that I can’t zip my rain jacket around my big belly anymore, or that it hurts to put on shoes either from bending or lifting my legs.

3 mores months to go! Then we will be more comfortable and have some sunshine… and a baby!

I thought I would try a new game with the boys. My friend whose middle child is in kindergarten this year was trying to explain the concept of “sight words” and how its difficult for some of the kids in the class. I think, basically, the kids are exposed to common words “has” and “is” several times, and they memorize the form the words go in.

Personally, I don’t think that helps them read a whole lot since it is just memorizing. But I thought I’d do something similar to help the kids understand a more basic concept: that letters form words. I wanted to do words that we see a lot, and that the kids are excited about.

When I asked Mr. 3 what to spell, he said “cryolophosaurus” and “time tunnel approaching”.

Mr. 1 asked for me to repeatedly draw pictures of a cow.

We never got to the game part of it, but I also cut index cards in half and wrote 1 letter on each card. On the back I included a little dot-to-dot if the kids wanted to trace the letters. (They did do this a few times.) Then I made some other cards or papers with pictures and words on them.

The game would basically be finding the correct letters to copy the word written on the picture, or I could give them the correct letters and they are supposed to put them in order. I know there are some Melissa & Doug puzzles that are similar to this idea.


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We’ve got some seedlings that have popped up. It has been about 8 days since we planted them. Mr. 3’s carton has 4 sprouts, and mine has 3 sprouts. Mr. 1 has 0 and I am starting to worry I forgot to put seeds in his. He also has the most soil, so it could just take longer to pop up. Mine was a few days behind Mr. 3 because I have more soil than him. My sprouts also appear a little stronger than his.

It’s fun to look at everyday and see what has changed.

 

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Gardening

New Year, New Garden

Last year, my garden was a little bland. We had zucchini, beans, and carrots. My strawberry plant was more productive than the year before, which was really nice.

Unfortunately the blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, watermelon, and herbs did not produce. 😦

The berries may have been planted too late, but everything else failed at the seedling stage.

This year, I have invested $21 in grow lights!! I hope this will produce strong, vigorous seedlings which I did not have this year.

According to the farmers almanac emails I get, it’s time to start onion seedlings (9-12 weeks before the last frost date) in the north west.

I cut an egg carton (18 eggs) into thirds so that my assistants could each have a section. I put our names on them just in case they wanted to keep track of their own growth.

Then I gathered garden soil (potting soil is good, too) in a bucket and told them to fill up their carton holes.

Next, poke their little fingers in each egg area to make a little seed hole.

Then, drop “a few” seeds in each hole. (I said 1-2 but Mr. 3 put a whole bunch.)

Then, lightly cover the holes with the soil.

Our soil was moist because I got it from outside, but you may need to spray or sprinkle water on.

Finally, rearrange your whole kitchen so that you can put the seedlings and lights in an area where the kids can look but not touch. Somewhere where the clutter will not annoy your significant other or get in your way with cooking/cleaning.

I also planted a mystery seed and some cilantro in my carton because I think we will have enough onions from the kids, and I was wondering if the herbs would grow well inside with the lights. Also, I’d like to figure out what that mystery bag of seeds was.

I hope you readers have a wonderful garden year, if you are into that sort of thing!

Cooking, Gardening

Zucchini – For Beginning Gardeners

The zucchini is such an easy plant to take care of, you don’t need any gardening skills!

If you buy a seedling, found anywhere seedlings are sold, and put it in the ground in a sunny location it will grow and grow and grow. You may need to water it every once in a while, but this monster plant does not complain. Keep taking off the zucchini when they are about 5 inches long and not too thick, and the plant will keep producing more and more.

Continue reading “Zucchini – For Beginning Gardeners”

Daily Lessons, Science

Kubota Gardens

For our third day of sunshine we decided to try going somewhere new. We went to the Kubota Gardens because we always see the sign on the way to the Museum of Flight. 

Kubota Gardens is a free botanical garden just south of Seattle. It was really pretty with easy hiking and even a stroller/wheelchair path. We walked around for an hour and probably did not see everything. 

The kids were most fascinated with the koi pond. They watched the 4 large fish and 1 duck for quite some time before wandering off and then they asked to see it again before we left.


Mr. 1 was fascinated by all the bushes and flowers and kept trying to pick them. He repeatedly made the sign for plant/flower because he was so excited. (Also the sign for duck and the sign for fish. He quacks like a duck when he sees one!)

The Gardens feel large and there are even parts where you can go in the woods and enjoy the nice shaded areas. 

The park is open to dogs as long as you clean up after them. 

If you live or spend a significant part of time in Seattle, then I recommend you check out these Gardens with your family! They are very peaceful and even though the parking lot was full, we hardly saw any other people. 

The only downsides are that there are no bathrooms (only 2 portapotties) and I do wish they had some way of identifying the different trees and flowers. Maybe I can find a good book at the library for that. 

This was a wonderful little place for the kids to explore.