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‘Nurture fresh thinking for a healthy world’

SHS Garden Journal Blog

Holiday Activity for the Children - Recycled Garden Art

Monday, December 31, 2012

Garden art is the ideal way to add character, creativity and a personal touch to your garden.

The cheapest and most creative way to create garden art is to reuse and recycle items found at home. You may also like to ask friends, family, neighbours or visit Reverse Garbage www.reversegarbage.com.au for extra bits and pieces to add to your design. Here are a few great ideas to ignite the inspiration:

1. Stepping stones

Materials required: Ready-mix cement, sand, stirrer, ice cream tub, cooking oil, glass marbles or other decorative items you have found.

Instructions: Follow instructions on ready mix cement to make an even consistency, grease ice-cream tub or mould with cooking oil, spoon cement into tub or mould to at least 5 cm thick, wait for 45 minutes for the cement to begin to set. You can now start to decorate using your reuse items. You may even like to add handprints. Leave your stepping stone in the tub or mould for up to 3 days to ensure that it has set and dried well before removing. 

2. Garden signage

Materials required: Pavers, acrylic paint, sealant. Old pavers are a great way to create signage for your garden.

Instructions: Make sure you give the pavers a good clean before you start your artwork. Paint your label and design on to the paver. Wait for the paint to dry before using a sealant to protect the art from weather.

3. Wind chimes

Materials required: Old cutlery, timber off cuts, buttons, cd’s, shells, bottle tops, steel cans, fabric off-cuts for colour, or anything else that you are able to collect. You will need some nylon fishing line and something to hang the chimes from e.g. a coat hanger, a strong stick, etc.  Tie your chimes to the fishing line and attach to your coat hanger or stick.

4. God’s-eye or ojo de dios (cultural symbol made by the Huichol Indians of Mexico)

Materials required: Two strong sticks and a variety of wool colours. (When changing wool colour, tie the new colour onto the existing colour and continue weaving.) 

For instructions on how to make a God's Eye and for instructions on other interesting craft ideas, visit the website: Crafts by Amanda http://craftsbyamanda.com

5. Garden ornaments

Here are some examples of what the students at All Hallows Parish School have created using reuse and recycle items. 

  

What ideas do you have? You may have some great ideas of your own please share these with us it would be great to feature your works of art on our garden blog. 

Please note that the above activities may require adult help or supervision. When using products such as the ready mix cement and sealant, ensure that you follow the manufacturers safety instructions at all times.

Activity of the Month - December

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Garden Creature Detective

With the arrival of the warmer weather, comes an abundance of diverse life in our gardens. Insects and other garden creatures have a very important role to play in keeping our garden soil and plants healthy. There are many beneficial insects and creatures (also know as garden predators) that keep pests away. 

Some of the beneficial insects and creatures that you should encourage to your garden include: Wasps, Hoverflies, Bees, Lacewings, Ladybirds, Worms, Frogs, Lizards (maybe even a blue tongue!), Hawk Moths, Beetles, Earwigs, Spiders, Butterflies, Praying Mantises, Slaters, Dragonflies, Damselflies, Dung Beetles, Native Birds etc.

If your children are looking for something to do, why not suggest to them to become Garden Creature Detectives! 

Provide your children with a magnifying glass each and encourage them to explore the garden. Ask them to search for as many different garden creatures as they can find living in your garden. This is where technology is a wonderful thing!  Using Google Images, your children will be able to identify most creatures that they find - younger children will of course need a little help from someone old enough to read. 

 

Something else that you might like to do is to encourage creatures to your garden by creating a habitat for them:

Blue Tongue Lizard

A dry rockery is a place a Blue Tongue Lizard will call home. Find a sunny spot and use various sized rocks. stacked close together and plant a few low growing native shrubs.

Native Birds

Plant nectar-producing native shrubs and plants (eg Bottle Brush & Grevillea) and introduce a bird bath to your garden.

Beneficial Insects 

You might also like to grow some insect-attracting plants around and within your vegetable garden e.g. Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Cosmos, Zinnias, Dill, Daisy, Chamomile, Feverfew, Parsley, Mint, Lavender, etc. 

Congratulations Toxteth Kindergarten Annandale!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Congratulations to one of our clients!

WINNER - KIDSAFE 2012 National Playspace Design Awards
for "Innovative Design Elements"
Toxteth Kindergarten: Natural Enchanted Forest, 

Annandale NSW
They have a beautiful outdoor learning space for their children.

View their entry by clicking on the link below.

http://www.kidsafensw.org/imagesDB/wysiwyg/InnovativeDesignElements_1.pdf


Feedback from one of our clients......

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thanks Angie from Toxteth Kindergarten in Annandale for your wonderful feedback! We are thrilled that the children are sharing what they have learnt with their families.

Bree & Michelle.


"Hi Michelle, Bree, Natalie and all the staff at Seed Harvest Spoon. The children and families at Toxteth Kindergarten, Annandale are really enjoying your program! Some parent comments have included:
"the whole water cycle has been explained to me at home!"
"very impressive to hear our discussions about evaporation at home!"
The children have also been talking about the worms a lot and what they like to eat. We look forward to our final session about garden building and we are really enjoying putting all of our food scraps in our compost bin each day. Thanks Seed Harvest Spoon :)" Angie Amadei, Director - Toxteth Kindergarten, Annandale

WIN a set of Kellie Bollard's wonderful children's books!

Friday, August 10, 2012

We are giving away a set of Kellie Bollard's awesome books:

In the Bin and Worms – the Mechanics of Organics, valued at $32!

To go into the draw for your chance to WIN simply:

1. 'Like' our Facebook page

2. ‘Like’ or comment on the Competition post on Facebook.

Entries close Friday 24 August, 2012 - winner will be drawn & announced on Monday 27 August, 2012.

Only open to Australian residents.

Creative Composting - "It's like a forest!"

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Today during our composting activity, the children had just finished adding some leaves and water to the compost bin when we all took a look inside. We started to talk about the environment that we had created for the worms and creatures who would soon make the compost bin their home, and turn our food scraps into humus for the garden. We spoke about the worms not liking the light, and that we need to remember to replace the lid after adding our food scraps. 

One of the children said, “It’s like a dark forest”. That started me thinking what a great learning extension this would be, as composting is natures way of recycling, and in the compost bin we are creating what would naturally occur on the forest or garden floor. 

A resource that would enhance this learning is “Leaf Litter” by Rachel Tonkin.  Even though this book is recommended for 5 year olds, it could be used to support the learning and ideas of younger children by introducing them to the community of animal life that live amongst and under the leaves, twigs and bark on the forest floor or in their own backyard.

Michelle.


Creative Composting - Balmain Children's Centre

Thursday, August 02, 2012

We ran our Creative Composting session for the second group of children at Balmain Children's Centre today.  Some of the children had already participated in this workshop earlier in the week, and we were so impressed as to how much information that these children had retained about recycling and composting! It thrills us to bits to know that these little people now have this important message of "Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recylce" to carry with them right throughout their lives. Looking forward to meeting the parents of Balmain Children's Centre for our Parent / Information Session on 14 August.  Worm farming the following week too!

Bree & Michelle.

Parent and Teacher Information Session - Balmain Care for Kids

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

We loved the enthusiasm of the group of parents and staff that we met and presented to tonight. Looking forward to meeting your children next week for Creative Composting! 

Bree & Michelle.