School

Helicopter parenting at school

Helicopter Gardening

It was a balmy spring morning in a Southern California coastal community and tiny streams of leftover rainwater make their way around weed bumps in a suburban school garden. The fog is lifting and the place is peaceful although a bit disheveled. One lady takes a seat on a crude bench made from cement blocks and wood boards. Soon classes will walk by on their way to recess and notice something new,... »

Earth structure model for kids

How To Make an Earth Model Showing Layers EASY NO STYROFOAM

The core, mantle and crust make up the layers of the earth. Learn about the earth’s layers and plate tectonics by making your own scale model using a tennis ball and clay. NEW – Get the FREE printable for this project! Materials Needed: Tennis ball (an old one that does not bounce well works great). This is your planet earth! Utility knife (for an adult to use) Small, inexpensive block... »

growing in raised garden beds

Interviews with Cindy Rajhel of Home Grown Fun

Host Mike Podlesny of the Vegetable Gardening Podcast talks with Cindy about innovative school gardens and making your own fertilizers and soil amendments. Host Dave Ledoux of Back to My Garden talks with Cindy about nature appreciation, watermelon pickles and the secrets of Home Grown Fun! For more podcasts with garden gurus visit these links: Vegetable Gardening Podcast Back to My Garden Podcast... »

Garden Idea Book

15 Fun Garden Ideas for Home, School and Community

Gardening Ideas and Inspiration! I’m writing my next book and realized that I’ve got plenty of ideas, many tested at the school garden and lots more at home. I like those “Idea Books” that motivate and help me dream! They’re not HOW TO’s. They inspire us to try something new. Here’s my first idea book for the web. What idea do you like the most from this c... »

Build Raised Beds Cheaply

Build 6 Raised Beds in ONE DAY on a Budget

GOTTA HAVE A GARDEN! We just moved to a new house and there are plenty of repairs and errands to tackle. Some would have to wait! I need a garden NOW! THE GOAL: Build 3-6 simple raised beds IN ONE DAY without power tools, or a truck, or another human to help. THE BUDGET: $240. This is the amount of money I made selling some of my composting worms and plants before we moved!  I can justify ANYTHING... »

how to make fish emulsion fertilizer

Homemade Fish Fertilizer Improves Celery at School

SCHOOL GARDEN UPDATE: We tested a simple “fish tea” solution on half of our celery starts at school and we were impressed with the results! The half that got plain water were yellowed and slow growing. The half that received fish water grew more vigorously and took on a more rich green color. We simply put a piece of dried fish in a small bucket of water and let it sit for several hour... »

Worm model for school

Model of a Red Wiggler Worm

I love composting with red wiggler worms. I started many years ago and have brought them with me when I moved. I’ve given away more than 20 worm bins to kids and adults. When I bring worms in to school, they quickly captivate even the most squeamish. It’s fun to show children how a red wiggler works. I made this model out of a pool noodle! First I scored rings along the entire worm wit... »

Temperatures for Solar Cooking

HOW TO Make Your Own Solar Oven – Fast, Easy and Cheap

Solar ovens are fantastic fun for all ages. It’s a special thing to be able to cook your own food without electricity. Our giant solar oven in the school garden was all the rage. Classes would pass by and peer inside, watching the temperature gauge rise and veggie chips crisp up. We couldn’t afford to buy a premade solar cooker – they can cost hundreds of dollars. After studying ... »

Printable seed envelope template

FREE Seed Envelope Template

You can make your own seed packets with just about anything including sticky notes, scrap paper and old seed catalogs! Think about printing your own! Include personalized information for friends or customers. Great for gifts, seed exchanges, merchandising or promotions. I’m going to use them as a school fundraiser or fun gift for garden club members. Formatted as a Microsoft Word document, y... »

dinosaur math problems

Dinosaur Math Word Problems for 2nd Grader

If you like to play school or home school your children, customizing some of the worksheets can make a lesson FUN! Incorporate their interests and hobbies and by all means add a bit of humor to it all! Go ahead and copy the text below into a document, format if needed and print at home. Depending on skill level, they would work well for students in grades 1-3. TIP: Some of the questions are meant ... »

ladybug facts for kids

Fun Facts About Ladybugs

“Hi, I’m actually a lady beetle, not a bug. I chew my food instead of sucking it up. When something threatens me, I ooze smelly stuff from my legs to scare it away – like a tiny, gooey, super hero! I eat all kinds of pests like aphids, mites, white flies, and scale insects – and even some fungus and mildew. Hold your applause because I’m not perfect. When snacks are n... »

Homemade Fossils – MADE EASY!

Homemade Fossils – MADE EASY!

It’s easy to “mix up some mesozoic” at home or at school!  Making homemade fossils is fun and addictive. We’ve got a simple recipe for creating rock-like relics sure to bring out the Paleontologist in everyone! Below you’ll find our cute video with basic instructions plus a list of materials and extra tips for success. Also lower down the page get details on how to pr... »

Teach Kids About Composting – VIDEO

Teach Kids About Composting – VIDEO

A video that shows composting is fun!  Kids love learning how it helps the environment and makes awesome garden soil! Kids moved from station to station and learned how keeping household waste away from landfills prevents dangerous gases from rising into the air and seeping into the ground! They were amazed that food scraps can be recycled to make awesome garden soil. The lunch with the principal ... »

Graduation Cap Cupcakes

Graduation Cap Cupcakes

Bake your favorite cupcakes. Use school colors for the icing on top. For the graduation cap, use mini peanut butter cups. Small graham cracker squares (you may have to trim a rectangular piece) make a nice top. Mini chocolate candies resemble a button and for the tassel use spaghetti-sized licorice or sour rope. Huge hit with my kids and their classes! Now I’m determined to make the healthy ... »

The Crazy Things You Can Compost

The Crazy Things You Can Compost

Wowza – you’ve probably got a bunch of this stuff hanging around your house. Once used, it can be composted into soil amendment!  Top 5 Tips for the Best Compost Mix You can compost almost anything but meat, cheese and fatty/greasy foods. There are Brown (carbon-rich) materials and Green (nitrogen-rich) materials. You need both for the compost to work well. An easy way to approach it i... »

Our Favorite Children’s Books

Our Favorite Children’s Books

Over the years we’ve accumulated a nice list of our favorite books. As of Spring of 2011, our oldest daughter is almost 8 years old. Do you have a favorite book that isn’t on this list? Please add a comment with the scoop. Thanks a bunch! Our neighbors and friends have given us books that we continue to love and we especially thank Jan and Mark, Leona, Laurie, Amy and Jen!  Here’... »