Posts Tagged ‘Eddie’s Garden’

Eddie’s Garden

November 6, 2010

Possum is 4 years 6 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 4 months

Reading "Eddie’s Garden" by Sarah Garland with the boys gave us a great opportunity to get out of the house again – always a nice thing to do as the weather warms up in the Spring time.

This is quite a long book with a complex story line, especially for Bandicoot, and it had been suggested to me that we could read it almost as a chapter book over a few days.  However, the boys were not having that!  They wanted it read to them complete and more than once, too.

It is the lovely story of a boy, his little sister and his Mum planting a garden.  They discuss what to grow, purchase the items they need, prepare and plant, tend the garden, harvest and have a picnic in the yard.  The pictures are a lot like real life, too – dirt, random diggings, immature plants dug up etc.  I think the boys could really relate to the goings-on in the book.

And, this followed quite nicely from "Pumpkin Day", too, as Eddie’s little sister, with a great lesson in patience, grows a pumpkin which the family make into a pumpkin pie for their picnic.

Another lovely thing that the children in the story did was build a bean tee-pee.  They planted beans in a circle, leaving a space for an entrance and staked the planted to join in the middle, making a tent. I thought that this would be a fun thing to do, perhaps with sunflowers…

But in the meantime, it was time to return to one of our favourite play things –SEEDS!  We had lots of new activities this time.



First we sorted different kinds of seeds into ice cube trays…






The idea had been to use tweezers to do this…





…but fingers were a bit easier (I love this picture of Bandicoot’s fingers!)





Actually sorting the the seeds was a bit too much for Bandicoot, but he enjoyed transferring them back and forth.



It was a different matter for Possum:

He even enjoyed discussing the different seeds – identifying them, discussing their attributes and those of the plants into which they grow.  I was very impressed!  It was interesting that evening when DH came home and stepped on a rogue seed on the floor.  "What’s this?" he asked.  "A beetroot seed, Daddy" answered Possum.  DH laughed but indeed it was.  (And if you are interested, that seed in the second compartment from the left is a betroot seed.)

After we finished sorting seeds, Possum extended the activity by counting the different ones on a 10 x 10 grid.  (Apparently this does all sorts of things like introducing base 10, working on fine motor skills, developing concentration etc etc.  Or you might just consider it fun…)

And then, once you are finished playing with all those seeds, what do you do to keep them from making a terrible mess from then after?  COLLAGE!!!

Possum decided to make a dinosaur, and he used puffy paint for the legs and spikes.

When we went out into the garden, we did a fun, quiet time activity.  I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to get the boys engaged in it, but once they were, they really enjoyed it.

First we sat very quietly with our eyes closed and listened.  We discussed what sounds we could hear – insects, traffic, a lawn mower, the wind in the trees…

Then we lay on our backs and looked up to see what we could see – clouds, blue sky, aeroplane, trees, birds…

Then we used magnifying glasses to look into the grass.  We looked at the different blades of grass, at the creatures living in the grass, at the weeds, at the dirt (yeah, that bit was a hit!)

After that we went and drew some nature journal pictures.  They didn’t complete the sheets quite the way I had planned, but they completed them in their own spirit of the activity, so that is enough for this teacher.

This is Possum’s.  He drew a big gum tree.  The roots go all the way down into the ground to drink the water.  He also drew a rain storm (it had been raining a lot just before we did this activity.)  Finally he drew a butterfly.

This is Bandicoot’s.  He drew lots of grass and lots of rain.  Then he asked me to draw him an ant, a bee and a butterfly.  He coloured in the butterfly, but was content to leave the others.

Finally, as an extra activity, I pulled out this game.

It is a perennial favourite around here.  The boys will play it over and over again, and they love playing it together, too, which is always a bonus.


Pumpkin Day!

October 31, 2010

Possum is 4 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 3 months

This post is under construction

As so many of the blogs I enjoy following are American, there was a lot of talk about Hallowe’en.  This isn’t a festival that is celebrated very much in Australia, but I still thought it would be fun to mark it in some way.  We didn’t want to go down the path of ghouls and spooky bits, but we wanted to have some fun.

I had six little plastic pumpkins from previous years.  We hung these from the light over the dining table and in the front window.  I also found a bigger one in the same style that we used as a centrepiece on the dining table.  It was actually kind of fun for me, too, because I had filled this one with chocolates and lollies, but the boys were so taken with the pumpkin that they didn’t think to look inside it for a few days.  You should have seen the size of their eyes when they finally did peak inside!

I also found this activity, that I thought would be a nice thing to do, year after year.

Possum was quick to come and get involved.  He was a little disappointed that there was not a great deal more fingerpainting to do.  Fortunately I had some less exciting branches and some dot-paint-markers ready for him to do a variety of other vines, too.  He loved that.

After Possum and I had stamped ours, we managed to coralle DH.  (Who, once the activity was done, really liked it.  If only I could get him more involved in the early stages!)

Finally, Bandicoot had his turn, with some help from Daddy.  He was really proud of his efforts and loved doing it, too.  Of course, there was mess involved, so that always helps!

(Can you see the big pumpkin on the table, there?)

Then of course, with all the talk of American Thanksgiving approaching, and with the book, Eddie’s Garden, approaching in our lesson plans, I thought it was time to find a recipe for Pumpkin Pie.  I have never had pumpkin pie before, and DH only had it when he lived in the US when he was 14, so I was pretty curious.  This was my offering:

And inside, with maple cream on top:

We all enjoyed it, and I will  be making it again.

I had planned to talk about nocturnal animals with the boys as well, but we just ran out of time.

So is it any wonder, with all this talk about pumpkins, that the boys have decided to rename Hallowe’en "Pumpkin Day"?