Fun Art Projects for Kids ~ Painting On Trees

Did you know you could paint trees? Never really thought about it, did you? Me either. Until the other day, when my kids and I stumbled upon the idea, playing with art supplies outside. If you’re looking for fun art projects for kids this summer, add this to your list. It’s fun and can be done over and over again. All you need is a little paint. . 

Summer Art Projects for Kids ~~ Painting Trees from Creekside Learning

No trees were harmed in this art project.  We used {affiliate link*} Washable Liquid Tempera Paint.  Indeed, it washed off with a rain storm later that night. 

We painted with brushes…

Paint a tree. Info on paint that won't harm trees. From Creekside Learning.

…and, we painted with our hands. What a great sensory experience! The cool paint going onto hands with tickly brushes, feeling the rough bark of the tree and the patterns in the lines of bark.

 Sensory Art: Painting Trees With Our Hands | Creekside Learning

 You might also enjoy…

Summer Art for Kids:  Painting Trees from Creekside Learning.

 *Affiliate links go to sites, such as Amazon. If you click on the link and purchase a product, I may get a small commission, but at no cost to you, the buyer.  Thank you! 

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Container Garden Vegetables ~ Grow With Your Kids

Gardening has been a wonderful learning opportunity for our kids and is a family project we all enjoy doing together. Our gardening project of choice:  Container Garden Vegetables.  We are gearing up for spring by starting our seeds indoors, as we do every year.  It’s a great opportunity for science learning (how do seeds grow?), reading practice (seed packets, books about gardening) and handwriting (marking which seeds are in which containers). We have some container garden ideas to share with you. It’s so easy and fun to garden this way, and it’s less work than a regular garden plot, too.

container garden vegetables

Choosing Seeds

First, we let the kids choose the seeds they want to plant for our container garden vegetables and I set up a seed learning area for them to plant, care for, and explore the seeds and soil. If you want to do organic container gardening,  organic seeds can be found at most garden centers and big box stores as well. We keep our seedlings indoors until there is no chance of frost (about May 1st where we live).  organic container gardening

Preparing Soil

We live in Virginia where the hard clay soil requires years of conditioning, to yield the ideal soil for growing vegetables. Raised beds are quite popular. We built those at our last house. For our current house, we put in a small plot directly into the ground in addition to patio and deck containers.  After two years of working the soil in the plot, we decided our efforts were best spent on the bounty of herbs and vegetables that were flourishing in our containers. Also, to get to our plot, we had to go down a flight of deck stairs from the main level and around the side of our house, making watering the garden an easily forgotten, if not dreaded, chore in the hot summer.  Watering the deck containers, on the other hand, was easy and fun. The kids loved to take turns caring for the plants there, and my husband, whose passion is cooking, enjoyed stepping out to the deck from our kitchen to cut some fresh herbs or pick some fresh tomatoes or peppers from the containers while he was cooking. We used a basic gardening soil mix from our local gardening center to fill our containers. Make sure the containers have adequate drainage. If not, drill holes in the bottom of the pots before filling with soil, or add a bottom layer of pea gravel or other small stones. Transplant the seedlings to the containers. container garden vegetables So what can you grow in containers? Well, almost everything, really, but here are the container garden vegetables, and a few other things, that we’ve had success with.

10 Things You Can Grow in a Container Garden

  1. Carrots – my kids’ favorite!
  2. Strawberries – You want these in a container anyway, because they tend to overtake other plants.
  3. Mint – another plant that should be contained, otherwise it takes over and you will be up to your ears in mint.
  4. Any and all herbs: Basil, Oregano, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Dill.
  5. Tomatoes – We’ve grown all varieties successfully in containers but especially love grape and cherry tomatoes in our container garden. Add a small trellis or cage to support them as they grow.
  6. Lettuce – This is a favorite with the kids because it grows quick and early and can be replanted again throughout the growing season.
  7. Radishes – Since they are small and compact, they can grow in smaller, more shallow containers.
  8. Peppers – All varieties of hot peppers are small plants that grow well in containers (jalapenos, habaneros, banana, cayenne) and we’ve also successfully grown bell peppers here as well.
  9. Cucumbers, melons and squash. If you have your containers on a patio where the vines of these plants can travel to the ground, where the fruit will develop, you can grow them in containers, too. 
  10. Flowers! We love to mix flowers into our vegetable and herb plant containers. It makes the deck look even more colorful. Plant low growing flowers like petunias, which will cascade down the sides of the container and cover some of the exposed soil. 

container garden vegetables

My little Love Bug as a toddler, helping his Aunt Francine with her container gardening.

Thank you to our sponsor, HALLS®, for sponsoring this post. Disclosure.

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vegetables you can grow in a container garden

I was compensated for this post by HALLS via BlogHer network.  

Sea Turtle Facts for Kids

Sea turtles are amazing creatures! I’ve been collecting sea turtle facts for kids to prepare to learn more about these awesome animals. Much of the science learning my younger kids do is centered around animals.  A recent trip to Florida got us curious about sea turtles.  

Sea Turtle Facts For Kids

What do sea turtles eat?  Where do sea turtles live? We set up our own pretend sea turtle habitat and began exploring some great learning resources.

What do sea turtles eatHere are the resources we used:  {affiliate links} 

where do sea turtles live Safari Ltd Loggerhead Turtle in our Step2 Water Table.  You may have noticed that we use this table a lot, filling it with various things. I have a big Sterilite container that I keep the sand in, so we can use the table for other things like cloud dough, shaving cream (makes great snow) and more.

 where do sea turtles live

 Turtles, available in paperback or Kindle edition.

sea turtle facts for kids

Our sea turtle dug a hole and laid her eggs (we used mini-marshmallows), then she went back to the sea.  While my kids were playing with the pretend habitat, I read them the book about turtles. 

What do sea turtles eat?

Well, it depends on the sea turtle.  Loggerheads have strong jaws so they can eat things with shells, like conch, while green turtles eat seagrass and Leatherbacks eat jellyfish.  You can read more about what sea turtles eat at seeturtles.org. 

Where do sea turtles live?

Sea Turtles live almost all of their lives in the ocean, except for females who come ashore to lay eggs.  They live in all the world’s oceans except the Arctic.  

On-line resources for sea turtles:

Follow me on Pinterest for more hands-on learning ideas. 
creekside learning

Bird Study : Learning About Birds of North America

Learning to identify backyard birds in a Bird Study can be a wonderful springboard of learning.  Here are some wonderful bird activities to go along with learning about birds of North America from bird feeding to habitats and much more. These activities are geared for preschoolers to elementary schoolers.

Bird Study Learning About Birds in North America

 What do birds eat?

Learning With Literature: The Great Kapok Tree

Learning About the Rain Forest with The Great Kapok Tree book

this post contains affiliate linksThe Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest
by Lynn Cherry is an award-winning book about a man who is chopping down trees in the Amazon. Hot and tired, he falls asleep beneath the Kapok tree. The animals come one by one to whisper a message into his ear about the importance of the trees, the value of the rain forest.

We discovered a fun way to play and learn as we read this book.  Our friends at Safari Ltd. sent us their fabulous Safari Ltd. Rainforest Toob to try with our Tropical Rain Forest Unit Study. My kids love and adore Toobs. They are such a great way to inspire learning through play.  We were delighted to find that every one of the animals in the Rainforest Toob is inside The Great Kapok Tree book!  We had fun matching up all of the animals with the pictures in the book, as well as many in the text.

Safari Rain Forest Toob paired with The Great Kapok Tree book

This is part of our two-week-long unit study of Tropical Rain Forests.  I’m working on another blog post on all of our activities, but I thought this terrific book and activity deserved it’s own post.

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynn Cherry

In the meantime, visit my Tropical Rain Forest pin board on Pinterest for more learning ideas.