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    #12450 - 03/24/08 01:51 PM OT: Easy Plants for Kids
    Ann Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/15/08
    Posts: 179
    Loc: painting the dining room
    Can anyone recommend something that DS2 can plant, in a container, take care of, and watch grow? After a recent trip to the Arboretum DS wants to try his hand at growing something. I'm also trying to make amends for not spending *quality* time with DS. I'm running off of 6hrs of sleep (total) for 3 days, and my lack of energy frustrates DS.

    Now that I've got your attention wink ... any project ideas that we can do together where DS gets to touch and observe insects? We currently do an “I spy” game in our backyard for wee critters. When DS was a baby he loved books w/ pics of different types of butterflies. I'm rambling now... I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

    Much love,
    Ann

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    #12454 - 03/24/08 03:55 PM Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids [Re: Ann]
    czechdrum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/04/08
    Posts: 88
    If you're looking for almost-instant gratification, radishes germinate very quickly, and you'll be able to harvest/eat them within about 6 weeks. When our son was 3 or 4, he loved being able to see things progress that quickly.

    If you're using a clear container, plant the seed against one side of the container, and you can see the whole process - something else our son liked a lot.

    As far as bugs, we did a lot of observation when our son was younger. He really liked watching ants and was able to deduce a lot from watching their behavior over the course of several months.

    Tara

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    #12455 - 03/24/08 04:23 PM Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids [Re: Ann]
    Texas Summer Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 216
    Loc: Texas
    Originally Posted By: Ann
    Can anyone recommend something that DS2 can plant, in a container, take care of, and watch grow? After a recent trip to the Arboretum DS wants to try his hand at growing something. I'm also trying to make amends for not spending *quality* time with DS. I'm running off of 6hrs of sleep (total) for 3 days, and my lack of energy frustrates DS.

    Now that I've got your attention wink ... any project ideas that we can do together where DS gets to touch and observe insects? We currently do an “I spy” game in our backyard for wee critters. When DS was a baby he loved books w/ pics of different types of butterflies. I'm rambling now... I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

    Much love,
    Ann


    About two years ago we planted a couple of butterfly hostplants (milkweed and passion vine) in a container and placed the container on our back patio. We regularly have butterflies lay eggs on our plants. When the caterpillars mature we put them into a butterfly habit (available almost anyplace that sells toys) where the caterpillars make their chrysalises then emerged as butterflies. My girls still love watching the entire process. Make sure you find hostplants for butterflies native to your area.

    If you like butterflies, you could also plant some seeds for flowers that attract local butterflies. Most places that sell plants sell these small soil discs that are terrific for seedlings. It is really easy with minimal mess.

    This website lists butterflies by state and county. It also identifies hostplants and nectar plants for each species.
    http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/map

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    #12460 - 03/24/08 07:05 PM Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids [Re: Texas Summer]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    There's always the old "bean in a clear plastic cup with a damp paper towel" trick. Schools love this one.

    I love Texas Summer's butterfly idea!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #12467 - 03/25/08 04:03 AM Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids [Re: Kriston]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1685
    Last year, when DD was 2, we put 2 parsley caterpillars in a container (I used the plastic containers which held 4 lbs of cherries from Costco) with parsley. I read about their habits, and figured out when the crysalis was coming and put them in another simlar container with sticks. We watched them the whole time and then when they became butterflies, we set them free.

    I also soak seeds (for small fingers, sunflowers are best) and then we can plant after they root. Also, they see the sprout before planting.

    I also got a tomato plant and we took care of it and she picked the tomatoes. And herbs and we named them, smelled them. She wouldn't taste.

    Have fun.

    Ren

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    #12471 - 03/25/08 05:29 AM Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids [Re: Ann]
    OHGrandma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/05/08
    Posts: 830
    Originally Posted By: Ann
    Can anyone recommend something that DS2 can plant, in a container, take care of, and watch grow? After a recent trip to the Arboretum DS wants to try his hand at growing something. I'm also trying to make amends for not spending *quality* time with DS. I'm running off of 6hrs of sleep (total) for 3 days, and my lack of energy frustrates DS.

    Now that I've got your attention wink ... any project ideas that we can do together where DS gets to touch and observe insects? We currently do an “I spy” game in our backyard for wee critters. When DS was a baby he loved books w/ pics of different types of butterflies. I'm rambling now... I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

    Much love,
    Ann


    For something to plant and watch, I'd recommend marigolds for younger children. The seeds are not too small, and they're pretty tough plants. Start them in cups filled with potting soil and transplant outside when it's warm and the plant is outgrowing the cup. There's a bit more to it than that, I'm assuming you know the basics of starting plants from seed.

    Amaryllis bulbs are also spectacular. Fairly foolproof, and if you don't want to mess with it after it blooms just discard it. Here's a website on their care .

    Paperwhite Narcissus are another great selection to grow indoors. The bulbs are planted in stones resting partially above water. You can watch the roots grow, too.

    Here's a website that might have some ideas, Kids gardening.

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    #12480 - 03/25/08 07:42 AM Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids [Re: Texas Summer]
    Texas Summer Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 216
    Loc: Texas
    I forgot to mention that when we would release the butterflies they would usually sit on the girls' hands for a short time prior to flying away. I have dozens of photos of the girls holding butterflies.

    For those of you with YSs, you can see a picture of my dd on her YS page holding a butterfly. If you search by state she is 13th on the list.

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    #12494 - 03/25/08 09:59 AM Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids [Re: Dottie]
    Texas Summer Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 216
    Loc: Texas
    Thanks, Dottie.

    Taming a fly! LOL
    Don't give my dd any ideas.

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    #12496 - 03/25/08 10:12 AM Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids [Re: Texas Summer]
    bianc850a Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/02/07
    Posts: 312
    Loc: California
    I made my dd release her butterflies (the they need to be free speech). The moment she let her butterflies out, a bird had one of them for lunch.. crazy


    Edited by bianc850a (03/25/08 10:13 AM)
    Edit Reason: don't know my grammar!!

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    #12509 - 03/25/08 12:38 PM Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids [Re: bianc850a]
    Ann Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/15/08
    Posts: 179
    Loc: painting the dining room
    WOW!!! I knew I was right to ask you guys first. I'm really impressed. You've given me several project ideas to keep us busy. I gave DS an idea of what we are going to do. His response... "Oooooh, I'm very excited!" 'nuf said. Thanks!

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