Beat the Heat: Start Early, End Late

With the summer temperatures heating up, find safe and fun activities that can still get you and your children outdoors.

It can be difficult to get motivated about maintaining the yard and garden during one of the hottest and driest summer months. There are definite dangers for young children during the most intense temperatures of the day.

Partnership to GRO1000 Gardens

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Get a taste of the activities NGA brings to the GRO1000 events. Download a free copy now!  

Community gardens are being established nationwide through GRO1000.

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  • Sharing the Love: Spreading Seeds

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    How-To: Make A Seed Bomb


    • Clay (purchase at craft stores)
    • Compost or potting soil
    • Seeds (we recommend easy-to-grow or native varieties)

    Bring this activity home, or share it in the classroom with these easy step-by-step directions (PDF). »

    Follow these step-by-step instructions to make your own seed bombs.

    Taking a walk together as a family is a great way to teach your kids about varieties of flowers, shrubs, and trees. It's an unstressful time to engage and allow them to ask questions about their own local environment.

    Keeping Pets Safe in the Yard and Garden

    When gardening, we need to remember to keep our children and animals safe.

    Wheatgrass and catnip are great options for plants your cat can safely enjoy.As families enjoy their garden together this summer, it’s important to recognize that our families are more than just parents or guardians and children.

    Developing Character in the Garden

    Anti-Bullying Strategies
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    Creating a No-Bully Zone

    Although the 2011-2012 school year is coming to an end, this is a great time to start planning an anti-bullying unit for the start of the 2012-2013 school year. Here is an activity to guide you and your students through the process of designing your own anti-bullying contract.

    Download the Bullying Prevention Activity (PDF) »

    A principal's insight on how school gardens can eliminate bullying.    

    Young gardeners contributing to the larger effort of beautifying the school.Within a garden live many individual plants. Each of these plants alone can be beautiful and unique, but as a whole, alongside all the other plants, they are so much more.

    The Rain Garden is an Effective Tool

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    A Book for a Rainy Day

    Title: The Listening Walk
    Author: Paul Showers
    Illustrator: Aliki
    ISBN: 978- 0064433228

    Installing a rain garden in your home landscape can create family interactions.

    “Because Your Children Live What They Learn…”

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    Here are some meaningful plant selections to incorporate into your peace garden:

    Rhododendron - in Russia, the blossoms signify peace, health, and purity

    Mistletoe - in Scandinavia, associated with Frigga, the goddess of love

    White pine tree - for the Native American Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations Peoples, the five needles joined together indicate unity

    Peace Rose - a rose variety introduced in 1945 to commemorate the end of World War II

    Sunflowers - a symbol of freedom from the threat of nuclear weapons during the 1990s. Sunflowers are warm and welcoming; grow in friendly crowds; and produce nutritious seeds for people and wildlife.

    Cosmos - named after the Greek word for well-ordered universe; symbolizes peace and order

    Education in the garden is a great way to teach kids to live responsibly and peacefully.This philosophy, from the creator of Playschool Child Care, Inc., Carol Acosta, is what continues to guide the program more than 25 years later.

    Teaching Kids about Water Conservation

    Did you know there is as much water in the world today as there was millions of years ago? Actually, it is the very same water recycled through the hydrologic cycle. The water you drink or use in your garden today may contain the same molecules our ancestors or even the DINOSAURS once drank.

    Growing BIG in the Great Outdoors

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    Bonnie Plants’ Third Grade Cabbage Program is a free program offered to third grade classrooms nationwide. The purpose is to support youth to eat healthy and be garden advocates. To support this purpose, Bonnie Plants offers resources online to help students grow their cabbage. In addition, lesson ideas and recipes are provided along with help for teachers and parents. Visit the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program website for more details about registration.

    You can also view a complete list of the Third Grade Cabbage Program scholarship winners for 2011 for each state. 

    Being outside has so much to offer; whether you are a gardener or not, there is a place for you in the Great Outdoors. Each year, thousands of third graders nationwide find a special place outside by participating in a program which challenges them to grow an oversized cabbage.

    Compost Happens

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    Jean shares some of her ideas to get kids interested in composting:

    • Ask students what happens to blue jeans and t-shirts in the landfills? Can they be composted?
    • Ask for an old cotton t-shirt and/or an old pair of jeans to be donated. Place them at the bottom of the compost pile, or use a smaller piece for a worm bin. Do the students realize they are wearing plants? How long will it take to break down? Have students make guesses as to what will happen to these old clothes.
    • Do you have multiple working compost bins at school? Have a t-shirt composting race with another class. Which class will have a faster compost pile? What causes one compost bin to decompose materials faster than the other? Was one pile being turned more than the other? Take the temperature inside the pile. Is one pile hotter than the other?
    • Consider doing an experiment with a piece of a t-shirt in one pile and a plastic bottle in another. Let the students predict what will happen.

    As the wife of an active duty Marine, Jean Persely has made the most of her frequent moves by teaching others to “bloom where they are planted.” Jean has committed to making a positive impact on any community she joins. It was in 2005, that Jean developed a vision to impact a school community by planning the introduction of a garden.

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    Kids Gardening and the National Gardening Association actively work with schools and communities across the country to provide educational resources and build gardens to promote health, wellness, and sustainability.


    Copyright © 1999-2014 National Gardening Association     |     www.kidsgardening.org & www.garden.org      |     Created on 03/15/99, 

    Last updated on 08/27/2014
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