How to Make Welly Plant Pots

I am a GREAT fan of gardening with kids and every year the kids and I make an effort to at least grow SOMETHING. Usually we have a go at growing sunflowers, tomatoes, beans and potatoes. We also have TONS of strawberries in the garden (they grow like weeds), some raspberries, a little apple tree and and a blueberry bush. We don’t get MUCH food from the garden, but we get enough to make it fun and interesting for the kids. I think it is very important for kids to understand where food comes from and what effort goes into growing it! We are by no means expert gardners, but like all activities with kids, it isn’t about being an expert, but about having a go and hopefully having fun! Last year the school nursery created this Welly Planter Wall.. and I thought it would be nice to share with you how to make welly plant pots! Welly planters are such a fun way to garden with kids!!!How to make welly plant pots! It is easy and fun and great way to upcycle!

We have a whole post about a recycled container garden over on Red Ted Art and 5 Thrifty Garden Ideas here. Like with all these things, gardening with kids should NOT be expensive, yet it is easy to get carried away and spend a LOT OF MONEY! Don’t… keep your pennies for buying seeds and keep the rest as simple as possible! If you do get tempted.. you could always get a little garden set like this for your child’s birthday or as a “no chocolate” Easter gift:

no candy easter gifts - kids garden tool set

Kids Garden Tool Set! This is so cute and simple.  US Readersfollow / UK Readers (similar) (affiliate links)

Now onto our welly planters and the best way to make them!

How to make welly plant pots – you will need 

old wellies (preferably ones you can no longer pass on!)

stones

compost

a drill of sorts

and of course seeds or small plants

How to make welly plant pots:

Like with all recycled containers that you use as plant pots, you will need to create a “drainage” system. You don’t want water logged plants. So..

  1. Begin by drilling a few holes on the bottom of your welly. Of course adults should do this.
  2. then fill with some stones or broken pot pieces. Take care NOT to clog up the holes
  3. Fill with compost.
  4. Plant your seeds.

Your wellies can either be free standing or hung up!

Dinosaur Ice Excavation

The kids have finally  broken up for their Summer holidays (hooray) and though we have lots of “little things” planned, we also have a lot of time to spend at home (and so it should be, I think kids these days DESPERATELY need some down time and time to GET BORED!!!). Every so often we like to jazz things up a little.. last week, we had a go at Water Balloon Pinata.. this week, we are having fun with some ICE – the kids are doing their very own DINO ICE EXCAVATION.Cool down with some fun Dino Ice ExcavationThis is SUCH an easy activity to set up and the kids will get lots of fun out of it. All you need is a tupper ware, some plastic toys (we got some small plastic dinosaurs), popped them in some water and put it in the freezer overnight.Cool down with some fun Dino Ice Excavation - Summer Fun for KidsThe next day the kids attacked it with a stone and released the dinosaurs from their Ice Age prison.

This activity has SO MANY learning opportunities –

1) Learn all about different dinosaur names

2) Discuss the ice age and what happened all those years ago

3) Practice counting and adding, as you “release” the dinosaurs

4) Practce colour recognition

5) strengthen fine motor skills

So.. what are you waiting for? What is not to love……

What how much fun my daughter had with this activity!

Fun with Ice - discover the ice age with the kids with this simple activity full of learning opportunities - DINO Ice Exploration

Save the Stag Beetle

Today, we were lucky enough to find a female Stag Beetle in our garden! Living in a very Urban environment, with a small, nature unfriendly garden, this was a very exciting discovery for us. The kids at first thought it was a Stink Beetle, which do have some similarities, but generally are much much smaller. So it was great for us to look at it and discuss.. as well as discuss that the Stag Beetle is endangered here in the UK and that we must do everything to protect it. (See our video below, too cute!).

Female Stag Beetle - exploring nature and wildlife with kids

Mike Strick recently posted THIS on Facebook and I shared it with my children and my friends (please visit this link and share with your friends and family):

Every year in early summer, the stag beetles emerge to find mates. They have spent the first five to seven years of their life underground as larvae and now have just a few short weeks to live as adults.

Every year I’m shocked by how many people fail to recognise these icons of British wildlife, and am saddened by how many beetles end their lives crushed underfoot. Stag beetles have been around virtually unchanged for millions of years, and are not equipped to survive in an urban environment. Their numbers have declined drastically over the past few decades and the species is seriously endangered.

If you see one on a pavement, please move it out of harm’s way. Despite being large (the male can be up to three inches long), they are placid and harmless provided you don’t stick a finger between the male’s large ‘antlers’, which can inflict quite a strong pinch. Pick them up gently with finger and thumb on either side of the thorax (the middle part of the body, behind the head) and move them into a garden or similar.

Please keep an eye open for them. In flight in the early evening they are phenomenal, flying in an upright and rather ungainly style, making a noise like a small fighter plane. They tend to make a pretty uncontrolled landing, often ending up on pavements, which is where you’re most likely to see them and where they need your help to get to safety. The recent high winds are probably giving them trouble, meaning that they could end up in particularly tricky situations.

If you have children, it would be a big help if you could make sure they know about stag beetles too. Kids probably come across them more frequently than their parents. If they know what they are and what to do, the beetles are more likely to survive the encounter!

These are spectacular animals. We really have nothing else like them. It would be a shame if we lost them forever.

And then… we were lucky enough to discover……

Happy Birthday Play Dough Activity

Today is all about BIRTHDAYS! Have you got a little one with a Birthday coming up? Are you looking for something fun, but simple and BIRTHDAY RELATED To do? There are lots of Happy Birthday Activities out there.. but one that we love best is a simple Happy Birthday Play Dough activity – you can make your own play dough quickly and easily.. use your child’s birthday cake candles (or buy a special set to play with), add some “sprinkles” and you are off… lots of playdough birthday cake fun!Happy Birthday Play Dough Activity - is someone having a Birthday in your house Set up this easy peasy play dough activity in no time and let the kids have fun fun fun.

 

To make our playdough, we use:

  • plain flour
  • salt
  • vegetable oil
  • cream of tartar
  • boiling water
  • Food colouring of choice

Get full instructions for making your “No cook” playdough over at The Imagination Tree.

Check out our little video about Play Dough Birthday Cakes more here!

She is a Tom Boy, He is a Sissy. Why is that ok?!

Sissy vs tom boy - why is it ok for a girl to like boy things, but not ok for a boy to like girl things

Boy Girl Twins via Deposit Photo

The Tom Boy

We have a little girl in our school that LOVES to climb trees, chase the boys and play pirates. Everyone says how fun she is, what a great little Tom Boy. They indulge in her love for Spiderman and her want of cars.

The Sissy

We also have a little boy at our school who LOVES to dress up as Elsa, adores his baby doll and loves playing with the girls. He doesn’t like fighting the boys much. The other boys call him a sissy. They tell him he can’t use the boys’ toilets as he is a GIRL.

I ask you, why is that social acceptable behavior? Why is it ok (if not grand) for a girl to act in (supposedly) boy ish ways – to love trucks, and mud and fights? To prefer pirates over princesses and mermaids? Why is it NOT ok for a boy, to act in a girl ish way?

Where did these 4yrs old boys get the notion that it is wrong for another 4yrs old boy to have other interests? How does a 4 year old boy even know that “other boys” don’t dress up or play with dolls or have tea parties? How does a 4 year old boy even notice this difference, and worse still act on it in a negative way?

It appears that we live in a society, though outwardly equal, in that it is ok for a GIRL TO ASPIRE TO BE A MAN, but it is NOT OK for a BOY TO ASPIRE TO BE A GIRL. Why is our society still implying that the male gender is something better? Why do boys have to stay boys? And why is a kind, caring and nurturing boy not something to aspire to?

Who says that “girl ish things” are for girls only? Don’t father’s change the baby’s nappies these days? Don’t fathers help their children get dressed? Don’t fathers also go and do the shopping and cook the family meals? In my house they do. And in many of my friends’ houses they do.

I am saddened and dismayed about this.. and it is something that I hope to teach my children differently. We can all do anything we want. We can all do supposedly boy ish things and we can all do supposedly girl ish things. There is no “one activity” for one gender and another for another. They both enjoy both equally.

Yes,  there is a gender division as a rule.. Boys GENERALLY prefer cars and girls GENERALLY prefer dolls. But the thing to remember, is that when on or the other wants to do something that is GENERALLY speaking different, we let them and support them and accept the fact that we are different.

We live in a modern, tolerant society. My children’s school is brilliant at supporting different cultures, skin tones and social backgrounds. They are great at teaching understanding of disabilities. I really hope that they are able to embrace this difference too.

This boy in our school –

He is a child.

A child who is kind.

A child who is curious.

A child that likes to play.

A child that likes to imagine.

A child that likes to have fun.

A child that likes to learn.

He is a well behaved child.

He is a gorgeous child.

A child that eats and sleeps like every other child.

He is a child growing up.

Don’t take his childhood away, by making him feel bad about being (just a little bit) different.

Different is good. Different should be supported. Different is what makes the world exciting, unique and a wonderful place.