Peeps Diorama ~ Make Your Favorite Book Character

We love to do activities inspired by children’s literature.  For a fun activity before Easter (or afterwards, when you are up to your bunny ears in all that candy), make a peeps diorama. Let your favorite book characters inspire you.  Here are our peeps dioramas. 

Don’t Let the Peep Drive the Bus

From my 5-year-old’s favorite Mo Willems book, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. We worked on this together. 

Make a Peeps Diorama inspired by your favorite book character

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Easter Egg Ideas ~ Mod Podge & Party Napkins

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You Magazine, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #lifeforless http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.

There are so many creative Easter egg ideas out there. In addition to using eggs to learn during Springtime, we are excited to find some new ways to make some pretty eggs for hiding and hunting. Here is a super simple and fun Easter egg idea. All you need are Mod Podge and some pretty party napkins. 

Easter Egg Idea With Mod Podge and Party Napkins

 This idea came from All You magazine. I’m excited that All You has just launched nationwide in the U.S. and is now on the shelves at Target, Safeway, Kroger, Meijer, and Dollar General.

After hard-boiling your eggs, here’s what to do next: [Read more…]

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.  

Book Club Fun: Flower Arranging

We had a lovely book club today, arranging flowers and making our table pretty for snacks.
Celebrating Felicity's BirthdayFirst, I gave the girls each a tray with some glass jars to upcycle into pretty vases.  We used craft tape (Washi tape) to decorate the outside of the jars. More about our book club selection in a moment.

flowers for Felicity's birthday

The Washi tape adheres nicely to glass and is very easy to work with. The girls could rip the tape to the lengths they wanted to decorate their jars.

washi tape jars as upcycled flower vases

Next, the girls arranged the flowers into the vases and we set our table with plates of snacks, all the while discussing our book club selection.

Celebrating Felicity's BirthdayOur book is from the American Girl historical doll collection, Felicity’s Birthday. The Felicity books take place in Colonial times.
Happy Birthday Felicity. American Girl Doll.See our Hands-On History:  Learning with American Girl Dolls page.

Visit our Pinterest boards: Learning With Literature, Hands-On History, and American Girl History Learning.

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A Simple Fairy House and Garden for Kids

fairy garden

A very simple and inexpensive Fairy House from a cardboard birdhouse found at a craft and hobby store…

fairy garden accessories

I cut a door into the birdhouse with a regular kitchen knife, then sprayed it with a waterproofing spray (also from the craft and hobby store).

preparing the fairy garden

Much could be done to decorate the outside of the fairy house, but my daughter chose to simply place moss at the top. She was more focused on the things I gave her to decorate the fairies garden.

fairy garden bridge

We dug up moss from another part of our yard to make a lovely carpet for the garden. Pretty stones form a walkway. Large flowers made miniature trees for the fairy garden.

fairy garden bucket

After a few days, look at what she discovered one morning while checking on her fairy house.

fairy dust on stones

The fairies had must’ve visited over night because sparkling fairy dust was all over the house and garden!  So exciting.

fairy house and garden

Each day, she checks her fairy garden.

Fairy House and Garden from Creekside Learning

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