Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Easter Bookshelf

May 20, 2012

Possum is 6 years

Bandicoot is 3 years 10 months

Little Princess is 1 year 2 months (16 months)


Today at Church we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension.  The Ascension?  How did that happen?  That means next week will be Pentecost already and the end of the Easter season.

Well, oops.  I had best get this post posted!  I have had it sitting in draft form since way back in Lent.  How time flies.


As you probably guessed from the title, these are the books that we have had to read during the Easter season.

The Bible for Me series are a bit of a favourite around here.  You might remember that we have the Christmas one, too.  The story is divided up into chapters of one or two double page spreads, which makes it perfect for devouring in bite sized chunks.  And, personally I love the pictures!



This is another Easter Bible that we have.  It has more detail in it, and is slightly more hard core (Easter isn’t really G rated).  It is very good, ‘though.  I especially like that some extra topics, like the story of Judas, are given their own billing.

CCF06042012_00000(This book is Jillian Harker and illustrated by Jane Swift.  I haven’t been able to find it in print anywhere (Paragon), but Amazon do have a few second hand ones listed.)

image I bought this one to use with our Resurrection Eggs.  It is a great story of a little boy living in Jerusalem at the time of the first Easter.  I liked the idea of telling the story from a child’s point of view.  Unfortunately, the story is long and I left it too late to start.  Next year I will start this book a week or two before Easter and read a story a day from it.

image Have you read any of the “Parable of…” series?  They are beautiful stories!  I cried when I read this one.  The story can stand alone, or you can use it as a Bible study with the passages on each page.

Little Kids’ Books

This one is a real favourite, especially with the littlest ones:



And this one?  Well I actually bought it for my baby nephew, but it never made it.  Little Princess is just mad about it.



More Bunnies…. and a Bilby

These books are not Easter books, but someone has to bring the chocolate…

image image

 image  image

Oh, all right, the Bilby one IS an Easter book!


Ducks and an Emu…

image      image

image    image


And while we are looking at New Life in the garden…



 image (This book seems to be out of stock everywhere, but Amazon do have a few second hand ones listed.)



Activity Books

image Oh the boys loved this one!  It is just what you would expect- lots of sticker fun from Lois Rock.

image I really like the look of this one, but to be honest, the kids didn’t get around to it this year at all.  I might pull it out as new next Easter.  This one has a “split page”.  Approximately the top 2/3 to 3/4 of the page has a scene and part of the Easter story on it.  You need to complete the picture with the stickers.  The lower portion of the page has other sticker activities related to the story or picture on the top of the page.

image This is a more complex puzzle book – probably for ~ 7 year olds.  When I received it, I had intended to put it away until next year, but Possum found it and loved doing all the mazes in it.  The word puzzles were still beyond his abilities.

image We have had this one going for a couple of years now.  Possum and I really enjoy it, and Bandicoot had a bit of fun this year, too.  It has the Easter story written in chapters, but certain words are missing from the story.  You need to put in the picture stickers to complete the stories.



*phew*!  That is quite a few of them.  I love being able to pull out books on a theme like this!  I hope you have enjoyed some Easter books, too.

Some Other Garden Games

November 24, 2010

Possum is 4 years 6 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 4 months

Here are a few of the miscellaneous activities we have had with the garden unit.  They aren’t really tied to a particular book or week, but are some that the boys have enjoyed.

These are pasta flower math mats.   The idea is to take turns rolling the die and you get to put that many "flowers" on the stems on your mat.

I struck a few problems with this:

  • I couldn’t find fiori pasta anywhere!  What gives?  Eventually I found some wheel shaped pasta.
  • I forgot the pasta while I was tinting it, so it all went soft. (Oops.)
  • The timbales where a little big, making it a bit awkward for little fingers to place them on the mat, as there wasn’t much room in between the stems.

All those problems, of course, could be solved by using something else for the flowers (pictures, buttons etc).

  • There are a LOT of stems on a page for Possum, and ridiculously too many for Bandicoot’s attention span.  (Solved by having them complete a sheet together.)
  • Oh, and Bandicoot can’t count, but he still had fun.

These are flower attribute cards.  They can be sorted by colour or by flower size.  I found them here.

Or of course, you could plant them in playdough and make a beautiful flower garden.

Mortimer’s First Garden

November 7, 2010

Possum is 4 years and 6 months

Bandicoot is 2 years and 4 months


Sorting seeds…


Tallying seeds…


IMG_9224 Counting seeds…

Counting seeds into pots…  IMG_9222


A really great fun game of feeding sunflower seeds to the Crow (oh no!)


Flowers and bees colour match game.  Always a favourite.


Planting seeds…

IMG_9111 IMG_9102 IMG_9103 IMG_9104 IMG_9105    IMG_9109 IMG_9110


And just ‘cos it is pretty darn cute!


More Harvesting and Sowing

November 7, 2010

Possum is 4 years and 6 months

Bandicoot is 2 years and 4 months

Yay!  Time to harvest more goodies from our vege patch!

We harvested the last of the potatoes and broad beans.

The carrots were ready, too. 

Apparently, they were sweet and delicious.  I wouldn’t know.  The boys ate them all!

We planted tomato seedlings and strawberries, too.  We haven’t had much luck with either – the strawberries are not enjoying the wet weather and some critter (I am guessing something small and furry) has eaten all our tomatoes before they ripened!

Do you know what these seeds are?

They have been carefully planted…

They are radish seeds!  They are supposed to take 6 weeks to maturity, but we will see – everything seems to take a lot longer in our garden.

And here is a gratuitous cute shot of Bandicoot.

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.