Kids Outside

How much do you spend on toys and activities for their kids. Sometimes with all the video games I think we forget the world’s largest playground is right outside your back door. Why not let them play outside?

The great thing about outside is that, while being entertaining and stimulating to the imagination, it’s also educational. Nature can teach children the basics of science, economics, and creativity.  And guess what playing outside can be great exercise

It’s cheap. Depending on where you live, exploring nature is usually pretty inexpensive, if not free. It is as close as walking out your backdoor This way, you don’t have to pay for expensive toys, jungle gyms, or memberships to expensive entertainment centers, but you still get the benefit of stimulating and educational play.

Guess what – Playing outside is fun. While it’s easy to forget, childhood isn’t just for learning about how to be an adult, it’s also about having fun. Outside gives kids a chance to use their imagination and be free to just be kids.

While unstructured play outside is great for kids, you can also find a lot of places offering structured classes and learning sessions for kids that focus on the natural world. Check your local park, zoo, or museum. There’s a good chance they have classes you can sign up for, and since many of these places are not for profit, they’re usually affordable as well as informative.

Remember how much fun we used to have all summer long playing outside?

Artificial grass lawn instead

At first this might seem contradictory. That is because schools generally consider
cutting costs before spending more money on major land developments. However,
schools that spend a small amount to have their yards reconstructed with
artificial grass will help save them financially in the future, and here are a
few ways these fake lawns can help.

First of all having an artificial turf installed in one’s school will save them on maintenance costs year round. This is because artificial grass does not require any maintenance. There is no need to water, soil, or reseed the lawn.

There is also no need for fungus or pest control. Schools have high maintenance costs due to the large number of people who attend! With people constantly using their property, schools to quickly develop problems with pest control, mold, and fungus. These can be detrimental to a child’s health.  However, having an artificial lawn installed will help reduce the chances of bug infestation ruing any chance for further fungal development out in the school yard.

Finding artificial turf is easy online, and there are a variety of websites that provide wholesale artificial turf to their larger consumers. Also buying this fake grass in bulk can further save schools money, and they might even be able to provide further discounts for public schools in need.

It is thanks to these long term savings on maintenance costs and hazard preventions that can really help a financially struggling school and that can help preserve the jobs of staff members and teachers alike.!  Therefore, having artificial grass is not only a need! for schools, but a must for all who attend!

A Gardening Carnival – June 25, 2008

Welcome to the June 25, 2008 edition of a gardening carnival.

carnival-ride.JPGTiffany Washko presents Freedom Gardens – Grow Your Own Food posted at Natural Family Living Blog.

Dora Renee Wilkerson presents Y-2K Hippie: 06/19/08 posted at Knitting, horses, and my family., saying, “Just posted about some of the things I made with my parents when they came to visit me. We picked wild blackberries and made a berry berry jam, made cheese, and shampoo with soapwort.”

gardening

Matthew Sauer presents Garden Update: Bio-diversity? posted at Play the Dad? Be the Dad!, saying, “It is my first year with a vegetable garden of my own , working on keeping track of what I learn as I go through the process. Growing up on the inside and the outside.”

Sam presents The Secret Lives of Bees. Honey, Health and Harvests ! Surfer Sam posted at Surfer Sam and Friends, saying, “The Secret Lives of Bees. About one-third of the human food supply depends on bee pollination. We also use honey and bee pollen as natural food products to promote wellness. Bees are beneficial for everyone. Bees, we can’t do without them.”

Tip Diva presents Top Ten Tips – Cheap Gardening posted at Tip Diva, saying, “Gardening is a fun, relaxing hobby for many, and the end result yields plenty of food, flowers and foliage. But it does not have to be expensive. Here are ways to save while gardening”

Nancy Canyon presents The Beginnings of My Community Garden posted at The Community Gardener, saying, “I have a community garden in Fairhaven and I’m writing about gardening by myself, now that I’m a single woman again. And a grandmother. The blog is humerous, and also I’ve been gardening all my life, so it’s full of info too.”

Adam Berry presents How to Extend The Life of Garden Tools posted at The Compost Heap, saying, “some tips on how to extend the lifespan of your garden tools”

Sarah presents Ridding Your Lawn of Gophers, Moles and Other Rodents | Spring Lawn Care – Lawn Care Tips posted at Lawn Care Tips, saying, “If you’ve ever turned your ankle in a gopher hole, you know that these animal pests can be hazardous as well as make your lawn look unsightly.”

Amy L. presents Creating a Butterfly Garden posted at Housekeeping Tips, saying, “A great way to bring butterflies closer to your home is with the construction of a garden that includes plants known to attract butterflies.”

James presents Gardening For A Sustainable Planet posted at Ways To Simplify.

Jeff Tincher presents Get Out And Do Some Gardening, It’s Good For The Body and Soul | West Glenmoore, PA – Beautiful. Green. Home. posted at West Glenmoore, PA – Beautiful. Green. Home., saying, “The benefits of gardening and how it works to exercise your body.”

herbs

nimuae905@yahoo.com presents Tips for Growing Herbs Indoors posted at The Herb Gardener, saying, “Keeping herbs indoors is easier if you understand the two of the most important aspects of living in a pot – light and water.”

kids gardening

Mother Hen presents Squash Eatin’ Squid posted at Mother Hen.

landscape

Elizabeth Harrin presents SmartDraw 2008: planning the garden posted at A Girl’s Guide to Managing Projects, saying, “This is a review of a piece of software that will give you the opportunity to plan out your garden before you take the plunge: great for landscapers.”

lawn care

Raimondo Solari presents Inexpensive, Eco-Friendly Green Lawn Care posted at Garden Gab, saying, “With the availability of water becoming a scarce resource and lawns being one of the top culprits of sucking up valuable water, it’s time to try and keep an “eco-friendly” lawn that will still look good and yet not thirst so much.”

organic gardening

Melanie Rimmer presents Jungle Clearance – Before and After posted at Bean-Sprouts, saying, “How to clear a large weedy area without weedkiller and without backbreaking digging.”

patio furniture

Amy L. presents Which Mattress Is Best For You? posted at Housekeeping Tips, saying, “Every year, thousands of people purchase mattresses, only to find that their new mattresses are as uncomfortable as the old ones.”

vegetables

:: Suzanne :: presents garden update posted at :: adventures in daily living ::.

Tiffany Ludwig presents Not a Crock-Pot Recipe posted at Loving the Low-Carb Lifestyle, saying, “A great recipe for lasagna using what’s in your garden.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of a gardening carnival using our carnival submission form. The next edition will be posted on July 30, 2008

Fathers Day Gift Ideas Kids Can Make

With Fathers Day just around the corner, you may be trying to think of things that your kids can make to give to their dad. Why not have the kids make a garden gift that he will enjoy using or will cause him to laugh? These gifts do not have to be expensive, and with a little bit of effort and a few supplies, you can help your kids make a gift for dad that is sure to bring a smile to his face.

Barbecue Kit

spot.jpgIf Dad loves to grill, why not make a barbecue kit that will keep him smiling all year long? This project can be quite simple to do and the kids will enjoy making it.

First, find Dad some new barbecue utensils. If Dad has some favorite utensils that are in primo condition, then just swipe those at the last minute Saturday night. Now, you will need to find a terra-cotta pot or gardening container that is deep enough to hold those utensils. Have the kids paint and decorate the pot. Then when it is dry, seal it with a clear coat spray varnish.

Fill the decorated pot with the barbecue utensils, a new barbecue mitt, and Dad’s favorite dry rub and sauce.

Garden Seed Box

350x255_decoupage_rdax_65.jpgIf Dad has leftover seeds from planting the garden, why not make him a box to hold them in? This can be fairly simple as all you will really need is a large recipe file box and some decorations. The kids can decorate the box with garden pictures. If you are feeling especially adventurous, you might take empty seed packets and have the lids decoupage them onto the box for decoration. Then place the leftover seed packets in the box and Dad will be smiling.

Money Tree

1.GIFWe all know that at times, dads like to ask their kids something along the lines of, “Do you think money grows on trees?” Well, why not make a money tree that is sure to make him laugh?

Have the kids find a nice twiggy branch in the yard or garden. In an empty soup can that the kids have painted in dad’s favorite color, place the branch and some plaster of paris. Wait for the plaster to harden. Then simply tie money onto the branches of the tree with string. You can just use play money if you want…the effect will be the same.

Funny Dad Plant

growing-grass.JPGFor a gift that is sure to get a chuckle, have you kids make a Funny Dad Plant. These are simple to make and the end result will be more than one smile on everyone’s face.

Have your kids draw a funny face on a Styrofoam cup. You can help them to glue wiggle eyes on for an even greater effect if desired. Once the cup is decorated, fill it with potting soil. Sprinkle some perennial rye grass seed on top and lightly water. To encourage the growth of the grass, for dad’s green hair, place a Ziploc bag over the top and place in a sunny location inside the house. The grass should germinate in time for Fathers Day if you do this early enough in the week. It is fun and the kids and Dad will love it.

Gifts for Dad don’t have to be expensive. But he will love gifts that the kids make because they come from the heart. What are some of your ideas for gifts that kids can make for Dad?

A Gardening Carnival – May 28, 2008

carnival-ride.JPG Welcome to the May 28, 2008 edition of A Gardening Carnival.

Flowers

R.Pettinger presents Tips For Growing Sweet Peas posted at The Compost Heap, saying, “Some practical tips to help grow sweet peas, one of the great garden flowers.”

Lavender Farms- Young Living presents Potting Lavender posted at For the Love of Lavender, saying, “Lavender has so many uses, not mention it smells fabulous! Try it this year in your garden”

Gardening

Michael Nolan presents Mother Nature?s Practical Jokes posted at My Earth Garden

MyMaria presents Frugal Gardening Tips posted at Financial Tips, saying, “Hi! Many families are turning to gardening as a way to ease the budget. here are some frugal gardening tips to help.”

Mark Schauss presents What do the Numbers on Your Fruits and Vegetables Mean? posted at Toxic World Blog – Detoxify and Heal Your Body.

Deborah Armstrong presents Gardening – Fantasy vs. Reality posted at Gardening – Fantasy vs. Reality Comments

Jamie McIntosh presents Hail in the Garden posted at Suite101: Organic Gardens blog, saying, “Hailstorms can bring devastation to the spring garden.”

Surfer Sam presents The Secret Lives of Bees. Honey, Health and Harvests ! Surfer Sam posted at Surfer Sam and Friends, saying,”The Secret Lives of Bees. About one-third of the human food supply depends on bee pollination. We also use honey and bee pollen as natural food products to promote wellness. Bees are beneficial for everyone. Bees, we can’t do without them.”

Matthew S presents Garden Update: Bio-diversity? posted at Play the Dad? Be the Dad!.

Kids Gardening

Sonja Stewart presents A Child’s Vegetable Garden: Cultivating Fun, Learning, and Responsibility posted at Parenting Squad, saying, “Creating a small, child-friendly vegetable garden is exciting, fun, and educational. A garden has the potential to produce not only tomatoes and carrots but pictures, scarecrows, math practice, and other wonderful moments of discovery. It is a place of limitless possibilities – learning never tasted so good!”

Jamie McIntosh presents Organic Gardens Blog @ Suite101.com posted at Suite101: Organic Gardens blog, saying, “Get children out of the house and into the garden.”

Mother Hen presents Squash Eatin’ Squid posted at Ship Full of Pirates.

Lawn Care

Sarah presents Managing Lawn Care During A Drought | Spring Lawn Care – Lawn Care Tips posted at Lawn Care Tips, saying, “What to do about your lawn during a drought!”

Amy L. presents Organic Pesticides For A Safe Lawn posted at Housekeeping Tips, saying, “The advantages of using organic pesticides for your lawn”

Sarah presents Choosing The Right Grass For Your Local Climate | Spring Lawn Care – Lawn Care Tips posted at Lawn Care Tips, saying, “Savvy lawn owners are interested in imported specialty grasses and exotic species from around the world or for their lawn.”

Amy L. presents Using Fall Leaves To Fertilize And Protect Your Lawn posted at Housekeeping Tips, saying, “Remarks: Every year, people spend millions of dollars to purchase commercial fertilizers and mulches for their lawns. Yet at the same time, they rake up the fallen leaves from neighboring trees and put them in the trash.”

Sarah presents Why Is Proper Lawn Clipping Height So Important? | Spring Lawn Care – Lawn Care Tips posted at Lawn Care Tips, saying, “The importance of the clipping height of your lawn”

Organic Gardening

Teri presents To Compost or Not To Compost… Is that really a Question? posted at Teri’s Organic Garden, saying, “I’ve posted an article about composting and linked to some wonderful blogs and articles concerning composting and the science behind it.”

Sarah presents Organic Weed Control Methods And Herbicides | Spring Lawn Care – Lawn Care Tips posted at Lawn Care Tips, saying, “Organic methods to keep those pesky weeds from ruining your lawn.”

Sara Ost presents The Dirt on Sexy Soil posted at Sara Ost.

Woman Divorce Support presents Using Organic Fertilizers For A Healthy Lawn | Spring Lawn Care – Lawn Care Tips posted at Lawn Care Tips, saying, “Many people want to have a beautiful lawn without all of the harmful effects of synthetic fertilizers.”

Vegetables

Melanie Rimmer presents Hug Your Allotment Chairperson posted at Bean-Sprouts, saying, “Hug your allotment chairperson. You know you want to.”

Woman Tribune presents Planning Your Own Vegetable Garden posted at Woman Tribune.

Lisa Spinelli presents Remember the Tomatoes? Heirloom Seeds | Greener Pastures: Personal Finance posted at Greener Pastures: Personal Finance.

Miscellaneous

Steven Chang presents Baby Greens and Baby Garden posted at Gagazine.

Madeleine Begun Kane presents Yard Yarns (Limerick and Haiku Prompt) posted at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog.

Davexplorer presents Cell Fuel Cars and The Eco Bedroom posted at Your Greeness

That concludes this edition. Thank you to all of our great participants! Submit your blog article to the next edition of a gardening carnival using our carnival submission form. The next edition will be posted on June 25, 2008.

PODCAST–Last Minute Gift Ideas for Mom

podcast.jpgDuring this week’s podcast, we are focusing on last minute gift ideas for mom this Mother’s Day. There are several things that you can do to make this the best Mother’s Day ever and show mom how much you love and appreciate her.

Some of our ideas will take a little work on your part and some of them are quick and easy. Whichever route you choose to take, you can be sure that mom will smile fondly and appreciate your thoughtfulness for her and her garden.

If you have kids, don’t forget to download the free watering can picture below and have them create a simple project for mom. With a little creative coloring and a seed packet of mom’s favorite flowers, they will have an inexpensive gift for mom that will keep giving all season long.

If you have a question for us here at Her Gardening Blog, please leave a comment below the podcast. We will be happy to answer your questions and build an entire weekly podcast around them. Enjoy!

 

last-minute-gift-ideas-for-mom.mp3

 

wateringcan-template.pdf

Gift Ideas Kids Can Make

One of the most treasured aspects of Mothers Day is receiving a gift that your child has made. The gifts that we receive from out kids far outweigh any cost that may be involved, and these gifts become priceless to a mom. These gifts do not have to be expensive, and with a little bit of effort and a few supplies, you can help your kids make a gift for mom that is sure to bring a smile to her face and brighten up her garden.

Stepping Stones

Kids' Star Tile Stepping Stone Kit-My very favorite Mothers Day gift was a stepping stone that my son made for me one year. There are several kits available on the market today. The stepping stones are easy to make and your kids will enjoy making them. And mom? She will smile all year long each time she sees it in her garden.

Decorative Planters

Metal Planter - Glamour the Cat Planter - Great Mother's Day Gift!Find a decorative planter such as this metal planter. Let your kids pick out a few plants from your garden center and plant it up for mom. When they are finished, your kids will have an inexpensive gift that will be sure to bring a smile to mom’s face.

Bird Houses

Wood Model Kit-BirdhouseIf you are feeling adventurous, then help your kids make a bird house for mom. There are kits available for purchase and your kids will enjoy putting it together with your help and then decorating it for mom’s special day. It will bring hours of enjoyment throughout the year.

Plant Stakes

A relatively inexpensive idea is to make plant stakes for mom to use in the garden. With some popsicle sticks, glue and construction paper, your kids can make garden stakes or markers for mom to identify where seeds are planted. This short video will show you how:

Gifts for mom don’t have to be expensive. But she will absolutely love gifts that the kids make and that come from the heart. What are some of your ideas for gifts that kids can make for the garden?

Kids at Play: All Season Long

When I received an invitation to participate in the All About Parenting Blog Carnival, I knew just what to do. There needed to be an entry about Kids at Play in the yard and garden. What kid doesn’t like to play outside and explore the yard? Here are a few ideas to make the most of the time your kids spend playing in the yard and garden:

Toys for the Yard and Garden

bubble-mower.jpgThere are several different toys available for play in the yard and the garden. These can range from inexpensive to moderately expensive. Kids like to pretend they are working along-side you, so why not find some kid-friendly tools? There are many different options available for plastic gardening tools and wheelbarrows to even lawnmowers. Remember the bubble mower? It was a fun way for the kids to pretend that they were mowing the lawn just like mom and dad.

Perhaps you want your kids to have gardening tools which are a little sturdier than the plastic ones. You will find several smaller tools such as spades and rakes at your local garden center. They will have several options to choose from to outfit your kids and encourage play in the garden.

Bugs and Butterflies

bug-catchers.jpgMaybe you have a budding entomologist on your hands. These kids will enjoy playing with the many different bug catchers and bug houses that are available for purchase. You can also make a simplified home with an old fashioned canning jar and a lid with holes punched in the top. This will provide hours of fun and excitement as they catch, observe and then release the many different bugs they will be able to find right in their own backyard.

If you have fireflies, show your kids how to catch them at dusk during the summer. This will provide a fun experience for the family.

Don’t forget to have a butterfly net on hand. Your kids will love chasing the bright butterflies and trying to catch them.

You may want to visit your local garden center and buy a container of ladybugs or a praying mantis sack. This will provide hours of fun as the kids let the ladybugs crawl on their hands and they sing the “ladybug, ladybug, fly away home” song. They will enjoy watching for the baby praying mantis’s to hatch. Not only is this a fun activity, but it will be beneficial for the plants in your garden as these bugs get rid of the bad bugs.

Feed the Birds

birdhouse.jpgWhen it comes to birdfeeders, it doesn’t need to be expensive. While you can purchase a ready-made bird feeder, why not have your kids make one instead? It can be as simple as making one out of a milk carton to taking a pinecone, spreading peanut butter on it and then rolling it in birdseed. Attach a string to hang it from a tree branch and then watch the enjoyment that it brings to both the birds and your kids. Your kids will like feeding the birds and watching them flock around the feeder.

Stepping Stones

stepping-stone-kit.jpgOne of the best presents I ever received from my son was a stepping stone he made for my garden. He had fun making it and I enjoyed placing it in my garden path. These can be as simple or as fancy as you like. The kids will enjoy making them and then seeing them in the garden. It is a great way to display some creative artwork.

Plant a Kids Garden

What kid doesn’t enjoy playing in the dirt? There are many different things you can plant in a kids garden that will bring lots of joy and excitement all season long. Here are a few things your kids may enjoy planting in their garden:

  • Easter Egg Radishes—While they may not enjoy eating them, it is fun to see the many different colors that these radishes grow in.

  • Thumbelina Carrots—These carrots grow much shorter and your kids will think they have grown their very own baby carrots to enjoy.

  • Bright Lights Swiss Chard—This chard grows in a rainbow of colors that your kids will enjoy seeing.

  • Beans—Try Scarlet Runners and Royal Burgandy. These beans will provide lots of color and flowers for your kids to enjoy. There are also many varieties of bush beans that they will enjoy growing and some of them even grow in colors such as purple, but change to green when they are cooked. Kids will enjoy the color-changing magic that these beans possess.

  • Potatoes—There are many different varieties available from the standard Russet to the Yukon Gold, Banana Fingerling or for colored fun, try the Blue potato or the Huckleberry variety which is purple.

  • Squash/Pumpkins/Gourds—Squash plants are fun and make a big statement in the garden. Pumpkins are fun and provide excitement in October. Try Baby Boo pumpkins, which are small, or Autumn Gold which starts out growing in a yellow-orange color from the very beginning.

  • Flowers—Plant annual flowers such as zinnias and marigolds. The kids will enjoy having their own garden from which to pick flowers from and give to mom. They will also enjoy the bright colors.

There are several other things that you can do to promote play in the yard and garden. What are some of the things you can think of that I haven’t mentioned? Please share a comment below!