Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A little dirt didn't hurt.

 
Spring is in the air. The calendar says one thing, but the rainy cold weather says another. We have yet to be able to play outdoors in warm sunshine, but the promise of 70 degrees and sunshine is in the forecast for Thursday and Friday. Until then, we are bringing spring indoors at preschool.
 
A furniture delivery man tossed this mattress-size box on the sidewalk next to school last fall and was preparing to shove it onto his truck. I asked for it. We have had so much fun in this box. At first the children got in and pretended they were swimming. We colored and scribbled the interior. We had colored bows to swim in in December. In January we placed stickers all over the walls. In February  I poked holes all the way around the sides and gave the children CDs and pegs, so they could insert a peg through a CD. That was fun for a while. We extended the activity in March. I used permanent marker to color flowers on the CDs, and then the students had to match the correct peg color to the correct flower on each CD. The box has been propped against a wall for a while. Yesterday I got the bright idea to convert it into our garden.
 
Twenty years ago, Bill had foot surgery and was in a cast. He couldn't plant his vegetable garden on time. Our first two grandchildren, Ashley and Kyle were small. They found a bag of artificial flowers in a shopping bag and went outside and planted them. They came running in. "Don't worry Grandpa, we planted your garden for you." That story was published in The Ultimate Gardener.
 
Knowing how much fun THEY had, I just knew my students would enjoy it, also. I filled a large black, plastic tub with a large bag of potting soil, then gave the kids artificial flowers, real flower pots and Styrofoam cups to use as vases. They had so much fun "planting." Tomorrow we are going to make play money and a "florist shop" and sell our flowers.
 
 
Yes, our classroom was a mess. Our floors were dirty, but oh the fun was worth the sweeping.

 We talked about insects in the dirt. I buried lots of plastic bugs in this pan of potting soil, and the children used tongs to unearth them. Then they classified them by insects that CRAWL or FLY.
 
They were so excited, played cooperatively, and learned a lot.
Come back tomorrow so I can tell you all about our GIANT caterpillar and accompanying activities.

9 comments:

Lisa Claro said...

You come up with so many creative ideas, Linda. The planting project looks like a lot of fun. Regarding the boxes---many moons ago we had a refrigerator box. Those things are huge, and the kids turned it into a fort. It took over our garage for weeks until it finally fell apart.

Sioux said...

Linda--Your students always have such a blast.

Bookie said...

Oh my gosh, what fun for those kids! I planted yesterday too! We all love a little dirt. Only tonight...now is going to frost again!! GRRRRR But that won't hurt your kids' flowers!

Susan said...

Oh Linda, that was a darling project! So glad you had such fun with the kids. They must love you! What a great teacher you are. Susan

Mevely317 said...

I love your imagination, Linda!
... Egos notwithstanding, I'm thinking that would be a great team-building exercise for 'those' days in the workplace when we get stressed and cranky with one another.

Val said...

That makes me want to get dirt under my fingernails, to dig for giant bugs!

Carol OurSearsKitHome said...

Linda,
I wish I were in YOUR class! :)

K9friend said...

Makes me want to start planting some flowers, too.

Pat
Critter Alley

Daisy said...

What great fun! Those kids are so lucky to have you for their teacher. :)