Friday, May 3, 2013

Nurturing Acorns: Flowers and Plants

Nurturing Acorns at Woodlawn Nature Center started with some letter categorization. We had lots of types of letters and a big alphabet mat with natural elements. We worked together to find what letters and word sounds matched up with the mat.

We sang the alphabet song and talked about natural elements as we reviewed the letters.

Later we put mung bean seeds in plastic bags with moist paper towels. The photo on the right is of the sprouts on Thursday night. These grow quickly! We actually use these at home for sprouting and can be fascinating to watch if you haven't done anything with them before. My 6-year-old used them for his science fair experiment this fall. The clear bag lets the children see the process. One of the moms commented, "Look what's growing!! She thinks this is so awesome. Super neat!" Thanks for the picture and update, Liz!

We also looked at how water and nutrients flow up the plant through a celery and colored water experiment . . . just in the 2 hours we were there, we could see a different in the color of the celery! 

We read books about dandelions and bees outside, talking about how bees help pollinate the plants. Then we looked for seeds, flowers, and plants on our hike.

I let the kids pick as many of these creeping myrtle flowers as they could. They are taking over a section of the woods and it would be great to have them gone. If you have some extra time, feel free to contact us about getting rid of it, too Our family gathered with some friends the other day to pull some, too. It was a fun time as a fire and s'mores seem to make things more magical!

There are also many native wildflowers that are gorgeous right now, such as the Virginia Bluebell . . .

Trout Lily . . .  (first bloom I've seen on these!)

Dutchmen's Breeches . . . and more!

One mom found this great set of deer tracks while we were out. 

Back inside we had "insect" mac and cheese (from Whole Foods) with some flower marshmallows.

We're grateful for all the moms who help out!

Then it was time to explore! The sensory bin is full of colored rice (thanks to another mom!), containers, flowers, and more.

Others made flowers with different building toys.

Others used pattern blocks and did flower graphing.

One of our teachers, Miss Beth, was not there, but she left a huge spider plant. Each child was able to cut a "baby spider" off to transplant to his own pot to bring home. Thanks, Miss Beth!

The momma plant!

Another great day of learning and exploring! I know my son has pointed out just about every single flower we have passed since our time together!

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