Garden Storytime

Finally! Warmer weather. Some of my favorite picture books are about gardening and we’ll soon be free of the last frost date. The Old Farmer’s Almanac estimated Lawrence, Kansas be 50% frost free by April 7, but mother nature had another plan. It’s going to be a late start for planting this season, but we plan to plant a few vegetables and flowers in the next couple weeks. Anywho, back to storytime… For storytime we read a few stories about gardening, did a flannel board, and did a little gardening of our own and made terrariums.

Garden Storytime Line-Up:

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

This book was a great introductory book as just a few weeks ago it truly was brown all around and after rain and a whole lot of wishing, it’s finally springtime. Erin Stead’s illustrations are fantastic (as always!).

Zinnia’s Flower Garden by Monica Wellington

My daughter requested this one be read for storytime. We can’t get enough of Monica Wellington.

Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

A short sing-song picture book about vegetables that grow above the ground, below the ground and all around.

Tops & Bottoms adapted and illustrated by Janet Stevens

A folk tale about a lazy bear and a trickster rabbit that cons the bear into growing a garden on his property and taking the best parts of the plants – their vegetables.  Our library has an old flannel board I used to tell this story to the kids.

I read parts of the book and the rest I paraphrased with the flannel board. This was the favorite story of the lot.

My Garden by Kevin Henkes

I bought this book for my daughter before she was born. It’s a cherished book in our house and the storytime kids found themselves quite entertained with it as well. I love the part where the Morning Glories stay open all night and strawberries glow like lanterns. Kevin Henkes, you’re a children’s book wizard.

Terrarium Project:

For the post-storytime project, we made miniature terrariums! Terrariums are the perfect arrangement for individuals that would like a house plant, but don’t quite have a green thumb. Their care is extremely minimal. All you have to do is take the lid off the plant every once in awhile and that’s it. No watering! That is unless it’s looking a tad dry in the wintertime. They’re also very simple to assemble. Here’s how we made ours.

I’ve talked about building a terrarium before here on SFCT, but I’ve never attempted to make them with the library kids. At my local nursery, I purchased small rocks, charcoal (not found in most gardening centers), potting soil, and small tropical plants. Since we were using small jars, I purchased a plant that doesn’t have a lot of height. (The one pictured above is baby tears.) I’m always saving glass jars for storytime crafts and also have some leftover from a Magic Tree House Adventures program, which was just enough for this particular storytime crowd.

Here is how I set it up for storytime…. Kind of like an ice cream sundae buffet table with spoons to add each terrarium layer.

Take your clean jar and add a layer of rocks to the bottom.

Like so.

Next add a layer of charcoal.

And then a layer of potting soil. Since the jar is small, we only added a little as there needs to be enough room for the plant.

Next, take your small plant out of the container. I removed the excess soil from the bottom because my jar was small.

Gently press plant into the jar.

Like so.

The terrarium is almost done. Now, all you have to do is water it with only a few tablespoons of water depending on the size of the jar. You want to water it so that the soil is moist, not soaking with water standing on the bottom of the jar.

Seal the lid to the jar and there you have it… a terrarium!

How to care for a terrarium:

Take the lid off once a week for about 20-30 minutes to let it breathe. Then just reseal.

Prune as needed, and sparingly sprinkle with water if looking dry (which might happen during the winter months).


One Response to “Garden Storytime”

  1. Jeanine says:

    This is a wonderful post. I look forward to grabbing a few of these good books for the kids, thank you for sharing the titles! First time visiting and I just love the warmth welcoming feeling your blog gives off. Subscribed.

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