|Posted on April 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM||comments (0)|
One of the fun things KodyGirl and I have tried is making our own worm bins and self watering bins. The self-watering bins work great. Unfortunately the worm bins were not nearly as successful and ended up in unhappy worms with very little compost. Very sad since we have a lot of kitchen waste that needs composting. Now for the good news. The multilayer Worm Facotry that I really really want is currently being offered in a giveaway. You can read all about it here http://creativecarissa.blogspot.com/2011/04/worm-factory-review-and-giveaway.html?showComment=1302886268000#c8329098488075869592 .
Winning or making your own worm bin is a great way to get your gardening season off to a good start!
|Posted on May 19, 2010 at 2:18 AM||comments (0)|
I went a little bit crazy and found a bunch of ideas for nature study, handcrafts and games for camping this summer. Hopefully there is something in the post for everyone. ~Cori
|Posted on April 15, 2010 at 7:06 PM||comments (0)|
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of teaching a great group of young kids about tornadoes. This entry is inspired by that experience and my own experiences of tornado season in the Midwest. The first activity I did with the group and the other activity is just an idea that came to me as I was researching.
1. Using pictures or illustrations from a book, magazine or website, briefly describe how tornadoes are formed. (I used The Weather Atlas by Keith Lye and the Tornado issue of Kids Discover Magazine)
2. Ask kids what they think they should do if they are ever in a tornado. Dispell any misconceptions they may have. The key points are:
*Go into a cellar or basement if you can; avoiding any windows, doors or corners.
*If you do not have the above or you are in a car, find a waterless ditch or an overpass. Crouch down in the overpass or lie down in the ditch covering your head and neck with your arms and hands.
*Many kids will think it is safer to stay in their house, car or garage. This activity should help convince them this is not such a good idea!
1. Gather a bottle or jar with a lid (tall cylinders work the best but canning jars will also work), food coloring, glitter (I prefer microfine), dish soap and some small houses, cars and/or animals (Monopoly game pieces are the perfect size) .
2. Fill the jar 3/4 full with water.
3. Add a dash of glitter, 1-2 drops food coloring (1 drop for dark colors or 2 drops for light colors), approx. 1 tsp. dish soap and the toys/game pieces. We did discover that for this activity more is not better! Too much soap, glitter or food coloring will make it hard to see the "tornado vortex".
4. Put the lid on tightly. Check to be sure the lids are tight!
5. Vigorously shake the jar ending in a twirling or twisting motion to create the "tornado" vortex. Some kids will have to practice to get the motion just right--be persistent. Holding the jar up to light also helps show off the vortex.
6. As the kids are observing their tornado vortex/funnel discuss what is happening to the objects and glitter inside the jar. Point out how the houses get lifted right off the ground. The glitter represents all the dirt and debris that tornadoes pick up as the get close to ground. My son suggested that the bubbles that form at the top could represent clouds.
Note: This is also a good activity if you are just stressed. We have discovered that it is quite calming to shake the jars and just watch the water swirl around. My son called it a "psuedo lava lamp" .
TRUE OR FALSE:
1. You will need Melvin & Gilda Berger's Do Tornadoes Really Twist: Questions & Answers About Tornadoes and Hurricanes or a similar formated book on tornadoes.
2. If you have a large group of learners it is easiest to give each of them two index cards; one that says "True" and one that says "False".
3. Now, using the book, reword their questions so that you have a true or false question. You can do this ahead of time or on the spot.
4. Ask a question and have the students hold up the index card that they think is the correct answer. Have them defend their answers to the best of their abilities discussing anything that is blatantly incorrect or is a key thing to know about tornadoes.
Note: If you have just one or two learners or want a more interactive experience try doing it as a game.
1. Using carpet squares or construction paper create a path and call it Tornado Alley. Learners start at the first square.
2. If the answer to a question is True they move forward one square, if the answer is False they move backward one square (make sure the first question's answer is "True" to get them started!)
3. Keep asking questions until you reach the end of Tornado Alley.
|Posted on April 1, 2010 at 7:00 PM||comments (0)|
This recipe is originally from Acorn Pancakes, Dandelion Salad and 38 Other Wild Recipes listed on our nature study page. We found the recipe to be rather skimpy on the details so here is our version.
1 cup biscuit mix, tempura, or other batter
3/4 cup to 1 cup milk (we thought 1 cup was too much)
1 TBLS honey or other sweetener
4 cups dandelion flower heads (without stems!)
seasonings of choice
1. Pour between 1/4 and 1/2 inch of oil into deep skillet (medium size is best) and begin to heat.
2. Mix together the ingredients.
3. Place dandelion flowers head down into the batter and spoon more batter over top to cover.
4. Drop head first into the hot oil.
5. Fry until golden brown.
6. Turn with tongs until golden on the other side.
7. Drain on paper towel and serve hot or cold.
*Make in small batches
*I thought they were too sweet but the kids thought they weren't sweet enough.
*Using a fork to pick out the flowers from the batter and drop into the oil allows the excess batter to drain so your oil stays clean longer.
*The original recipe didn't call for spices. These *need* seasoning or they are very bland
*My son and I liked them, although he did say they weren't nearly as good as onion rings, but might be if they had seasonings. My girls strongly disliked both the taste and texture. I think these fritters may be an acquired taste and I highly recommend seasoning them to your family's preferences.