OT: Easy Plants for Kids

Posted by: Ann

OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/24/08 01:51 PM

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
Posted by: czechdrum

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/24/08 03:55 PM

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
Posted by: Texas Summer

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/24/08 04:23 PM

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
Posted by: Kriston

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/24/08 07:05 PM

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!
Posted by: Wren

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/25/08 04:03 AM

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
Posted by: OHGrandma

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/25/08 05:29 AM

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.
Posted by: Texas Summer

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/25/08 07:42 AM

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.
Posted by: Texas Summer

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/25/08 09:59 AM

Thanks, Dottie.

Taming a fly! LOL
Don't give my dd any ideas.
Posted by: bianc850a

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/25/08 10:12 AM

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
Posted by: Ann

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/25/08 12:38 PM

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!
Posted by: bianc850a

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/25/08 02:48 PM

We sat down and watched The Lion King blush
Posted by: EandCmom

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/25/08 04:34 PM

As far as watching insects go, the ant farms are really fun. We got one of the gel colonies and had the best time watching them dig their tunnels. One of those ants lived 6 months! I called her Grandma, which is also what the kids call one of their grandmothers. On the day the ant died I walked downstairs and said "Well boys Grandma died today" meaning the ant. They both I thought I meant their grandmother and got upset. I felt really bad I had upset them, but explained I meant the ant. They felt so much better that their grandmother hadn't died it took the sting out of the ant dying. crazy
Posted by: incogneato

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/25/08 04:36 PM

Oh no!!! Sad and funny!!!
I'm glad the real grandma hadn't died!

I
Posted by: incogneato

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/25/08 04:44 PM

ooops! It goes to show you, you have to chose words carefully and you never know how the kids are going to interepret those innocent statements!!

I
Posted by: EandCmom

Re: OT: Easy Plants for Kids - 03/25/08 04:51 PM

Yeah, I never dreamed they'd think I'd announce their grandmother's death in such a nonchalant manner!!!

Just shows you do have to be careful with what you say - even the most blatantly obvious thing to you can be interpreted in a very different manner by someone else. (words to live by!!) grin