Little Hands Learning – August 2021: Garden Activity Box

Little Hands Learning – August 2021: Garden Activity Box

Little Hands Learning is a children’s activity box subscription service that supports your child’s learning and development through the magic of books. August’s Seeds and Flowers-themed box contained the 32-page book ‘We Found a Seed’ written by Rob Ramsden. ‘We Found a Seed’ is a simple, thoughtful story full of wonderful illustrations. It carefully breaks down the life cycle of a plant throughout the seasons in small, bite-sized chunks. The book is aimed at very young children and supported my little girl’s natural curiosity about the world around her perfectly. Alongside our story were four fantastic activities that kept Penny entertained and engaged for hours.

August’s box included the following materials: detailed activity cards with easy-to-follow instructions, tips, keywords and interesting talking points; hand-poured rose crayons, bee and butterfly templates, a sachet of sensory rice, a pot of glue, a selection of tissue paper, canvas tote bag, lollypop sticks, soil pellets, and a packet of calendula seeds.

Activity 1 – Make a Butterfly and Bee Puppet

Penny chose to make a butterfly puppet which she decided to hang in her bedroom window and display as a suncatcher. Using the templates provided, she carefully tore the tissue paper into shapes and used glue and lollypop sticks to stick the brightly coloured paper onto her butterfly. She layered the sheets on top of each other creating beautiful colour combinations and a lovely almost stain glass effect. She found placing the tissue paper and sticking it down without gluing it to the table or tearing it very tricky, however, she persevered which only made her even more proud of her creation.

Activity 2 – Build a Sensory Garden

This activity encouraged Penny and I to go exploring outside to find natural resources including flowers, twigs, leaves and stones. We then used these, along with the dyed sensory rice provided (packaged in a compostable bag) and rose crayons to create a garden which Penny very quickly transformed into animal sanctury thanks to a recent trip to Edinburgh Zoo. The giraffes were a new and exciting exhibit as there hasn’t been any for over 15 years and Penny was so excited to build a garden for her own. I really appreciate how each activity can be adjusted to your child’s age, skill level and/or experiences to make them relatable and memorable. Although they are structured activities they also allow for children to tackle them at their own pace.

Activity 3 – Plant Calendula Seeds

This month’s book was a very gentle explanation of a plant cycle so I was glad to find that there were also seeds inside to reinforce its important messages. Books are wonderful at providing stepping stones to new learning but getting your hands dirty planting the seeds and watching them transform is a wonderful and gratifying experience for children to take part in. I found an old yogurt pot and Penny used the remaining tissue paper to decorate them before planting her seeds. She takes great pride in watering them and it’s lovely to see her so nurturing and thoughtful towards the environment.

Activity 4 – Design a Bag Using the Hapa Zome Printing Method

Hapa Zome is a Japanese printmaking technique that uses the natural pigment in plants to create prints on different textiles. I must admit we found this activity very tricky, nevertheless, we had lots of fun picking our plants and flowers and smushing them into the fabric. Our design wasn’t quite as pretty as we’d hoped due to the fact our flowers weren’t very ‘juicy’ so it was difficult to transfer the dye successfully. Regardless. Penny used the crayons provided in her box to draw different shapes and patterns and it has now become her ‘nature bag’. We take it on our daily dog walks to the woods and she fills it with unusually shaped twigs, stones perfect for painting on, funny shaped leaves (she found a Mickey Mouse shaped one the other day), wildflowers, and, well, whatever takes her fancy really!

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