Thursday, July 14, 2016

How to Make a Small Greenhouse From Recyclable Materials

Now that summer’s in full swing, it’s likely that your garden is, too!

Kids can learn a lot from gardening – how plants grow, how to create healthy soil, which insects can hurt plants and which can help. Taking care of plants can teach responsibility and compassion, too!

Did you know that while you can buy plastic greenhouses for seeds at your local nursery, there is a more eco-friendly and cost-friendly way to grow seedlings at home? Starting seeds at home not only ensures that your child can watch plants grow right before his or her eyes, but it can also be better for the plants. Seedlings may be too fragile to be planted directly in the ground because they’re too exposed to the elements. Raising delicate plants like basil in your home allows you (and your child) to provide the extra care that they may need to thrive. A home greenhouse made from repurposed materials is a great way to make this happen!

How to Make Your Greenhouse

Supplies you’ll need are:

  • Toilet paper rolls 
  • Large plastic container with lid and air holes (a strawberry container works great for this use)
  • Seed raising mix

The basic steps:

  • Cut your toilet rolls in half or in thirds – you want to be able to close the lid with the rolls inside, so cutting them into smaller sections will allow you the space you need and still give the seeds room to grow.
  • Fill your container with the toilet paper rolls, and then distribute your seed raising mix in an even layer across the entire bottom (filling the rolls and the space between them). 
  • Carefully add your seeds and gently water them. 
  • Close the lid.

The toilet paper rolls will form tiny containers that you can eventually plant in your garden without disturbing the roots when the plants are big enough to survive outside. These tiny planters are easy for little hands to hold. This activity will allow your child to have some hands-on fun this summer and get a little dirty!

For more fun activities, check out the other posts on our blog and our website! At Little Angels Preschool and Daycare, we believe that letting kids play in nature is great for their imagination and teaches them a lot about the world around them. As the trusted and preferred daycare in Ann Arbor, we love spending time outdoors with the kids who are part of our Little Angels family! If you want to find out more about our natural play philosophy, please call us today or visit our website!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

5 Values You Should Teach Your Child By Age 5

As a parent of young children, you know that there are important values your kids need to learn for them to make friends, do well in school, and grow up.

When your kids are younger, they soak up everything they see and hear! The earlier you start teaching good values, the more likely they’ll internalize those values and apply them throughout their lives.

Here are five values that you may want your child to learn by his or her fifth birthday:

  1. Love – Always be generous with your affection. When your son or daughter sees you showing love to family members and friends, he or she will feel more comfortable expressing affection. 
  2. Consideration – Teach your kids to think about others’ feelings! Over time, a young child can see that treating peers nicely and being friendly can ensure that his or her peers will be nice in return. Remember the Golden Rule: treat others how you want to be treated!
  3. Determination – Encourage your kids to take on a challenge! The easiest way to encourage determination according to is “avoiding excessive praise and by providing children with honest feedback, delivered in a gentle, supportive fashion.” Make sure to congratulate your kids when they do something that is difficult for them, such as making friends when they’re shy, or completing a homework assignment that they’ve struggled with in the past.
  4. Honesty – Help your kids find a way to tell the truth! The easiest way to encourage them to be truthful is to make sure that you’re truthful as well. Another way is to make sure you don’t overreact to small white lies. Encourage children to be honest by assuring them that you won’t yell and that they won’t be in trouble if they tell the truth the first time. 
  5. Justice – Teach your kids to say ‘I’m sorry’ and make amends! Teaching your children to apologize after they do something wrong will help to instill the concepts of right and wrong, and help them think about how their actions affect people around them.

We think there’s a good chance that kids who learn these values will have an easier time socializing, making friends in school, and interaction with adults. Learning these values and life lessons early on will also give your children a foundation they can build on as they grow into mature, happy, kind-hearted people!

As the trusted and preferred daycare in Ann Arbor, we provide a positive learning environment for kids all over Washtenaw County. If you want more information about our facility or our teaching style, please visit our website!