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As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers, so now is the time to get out in the yard and plant some sunny blooms that not only attract the butterflies and bees but also brightens up a world that certainly needs some happy colors at this time.
Children and nature is a great combination building physically healthier children with a stronger immune system. Being outdoors also improves sensory skills, increases attention span and aids in social/emotional development. One way to spend time outdoors is in a flower garden, which then can be brought indoors. Bringing the outdoors in with flowers is a wonderful way to add color and fragrance to a room but flowers can also be added to a meal and what child doesn‘t love to pick flowers? Edible flowers often taste like they smell so try some different varieties to find what you like. Just remember that not all flowers are edible so be sure to do a bit of research first. Some edible varieties to include might be:
(Partial list from Good Housekeeping)
In addition to growing some edible flowers, why not please the natural pollinators that visit your yard; bees and butterflies. Include those flowers that attract bees such as Bee Balm, Black-eyed Susan, Goldenrod, Butterfly Bush, Purple Coneflower, Snowdrops, Crocus, Salvia, Sunflowers and Roses. The honey that bees produce makes a great sweetener in baked goods, on biscuits and in tea. Making honey candy is also a fun family activity. Look for various recipes and how tos online. Remember, due to the increased risk of botulism, do not give honey to children under the age of one year.
Be sure that when you choose your flowers and plant your garden that you make it a fun and engaging day that promotes discovery and natural learning. Then sit in your newly planted flower garden and read a flowery title such as:
Usborne Books and More
Sunflowers are a favorite flower for children to grow and include many varieties that vary in color and size. For a fun project for the whole family, read The Sunflower House by Eve Bunting and then get some mammoth sunflower seeds and plant your own sunflower house in your yard. At the end of summer, harvest the large seeds they produce and roast them for some healthy yummy goodness. Simply Recipes has a great article on their website, “How to Harvest and Roast (in shell) Sunflower Seeds” that covers the entire process.
One of our favorite “flower” books is the classic The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. To share the story through the years and ages of your children:
Happy planting and reading!
-Kate @ BTBL
We are three generations that seek a way to get back to basics. It’s not that we eschew technology, but sometimes simpler is better, especially in raising our children. Mom was a reading teacher, Amanda is an early childhood educator and Kate a children’s literature specialist and former school librarian along with the latest additions, a daughter (now 4) for Kate, and two sons (now 1 and a newborn) for Amanda. We advocate reading aloud, the simple toys that use imagination and encourage creativity and learning in the kitchen, which can be a fun mess but also teaches life skills. Join us in raising healthy, happy, inquisitive and intelligent children.
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.