Look around this month and I’ll bet you’ll see a few red, white and blue flags and other decorations getting ready to celebrate July 4th, or America’s birthday. Each year the kids and I love celebrating by walking around our neighborhood and spotting flowers in America’s colors.
If we find them on the ground or a neighbor lets us pick them, we enjoy our yearly tradition of creating a flag for the front of our house.
But blue flowers are a little bit more challenging until you walk up to agapanthus or hydrangeas. Both have hues of blue so use them!
Collect a bagful of flowers to use to make a flag. Just remember to always ask if you can pick flowers that belong to other people.
Once you have your flowers bring them home and separate them into different colored piles. Each color should have it’s own pile.
Then, cut two pieces of clear sticky paper, or clear shelf liner, to be the same size. Whatever size you cut will be the size of your flag.
Remove the backing from one piece.
Start to stick the flowers on the sticky side of the paper. We started with blue in the corner. Leave about 1/2 inch along the edges so the other piece of sticky paper will have something to stick to.
Red is both the top and bottom stripe on the American Flag so we did those next. The flag also has 13 stripes, but we didn’t enough room or flowers to do that so we improvised. We have 5 stripes total.
Once you’re happy with your flag, peel the backing off the second piece of sticky paper and cover the flowers with it. Press down hard on the flag to seal in every space between the flowers.
Attach it to a pole or stick and it’s ready to fly high. You could also use this idea to make patriotic placemats!
Go red, white and blue!
They’re sweet. They’re chewy. They’re little nuggets of yummy fun and perfect for a quick snack. It makes sense that my kids wanted to plant raisins in our garden right? Well, when they first asked about getting a raisin plant, I was excited to tell them we already have them growing on a vine in our backyard. “What?” they both screamed with excitement mixed with doubt when they first learned that raisins start out as grapes.
So of course out to experiment we went!
Here’s how I taught them that raisins are really grapes…
Head outside and find a sunny place. Put a paper towel on top of a cooling rack and line up the grapes. It’s okay to sneak a grape or two for a snack too! It’s actually encouraged as long as you don’t eat all of them.
Make sure the grapes are spread out and not touching each other. The grapes are going to be dried and you want to make sure that there is space around each grape to maximize this process.
Once the grapes are lined up, place another paper towel on top. We had to find some small garden rocks to put on top of it so it didn’t blow away. Leave the rack of grapes outside and let them dry out. That’s all there is to it!
Each day, check the grapes to see what’s happening to them. Are they drying out? Do you see any wrinkles? What adjectives can you use to describe the process? Ours started to wrinkle up in just a couple days.
On day 5, we actually had a couple real raisins. It was really cool. The kids learned that the raisins are formed when the water inside the grape evaporates or escapes, leaving behind a shriveled piece of fruit.
We also learned a valuable lesson. During the night a critter broke through the paper towel and gobbled up most of the raisins. Try to place your grape rack out of reach of any and all nature critters. I guess they like raisins as much as we do! (Maybe put your tray inside near a window that gets lot of sunlight or take the tray in each night.)
Strawberries have always been a pretty easy fruit for me to grow! The kids have always loved gobbling them up straight from the plant too.
If you’re new to gardening, you should definitely think about growing strawberries because they don’t take up too much space in the garden. You can even grow them in pots.
Here is a fun experiment to try if you have a lot of strawberries growing in your garden. On one plant, try to grow a giant strawberry. Pick off all but two flowers on the plant. (The flowers eventually grow into strawberries.)
Now by only having two strawberries to worry about, the plant will put all its energy into growing them and they should grow into two really big strawberries!
Before you eat the giant strawberry, measure it and take a picture. Share your strawberry with me and the family who grows the biggest this summer can get a surprise!
I’ll admit it. I’ve been growing tomatoes since I was able to say pizza sauce. It seems they’re used to make a lot of yummy food and they’re really fun to grow. Once your kids start seeing the little flower buds it’s just a few more days until they turn into green tomatoes. Before you know it, they turn red and you can pick them and eat them.
Growing tomatoes is fairly easy with the right soil, water, and sunlight. But if you want to keep your plant from getting to big be on the look out for “tomato suckers!” No, they’re not bugs that come in and eat your crop. Tomato suckers are little branches or stems that grow between the main branches.
The tomato suckers will eventually grow into another stem and could possibly grow more tomatoes. But they also need water and sunlight which could cause your other tomatoes to not be so big.
They’re easy and actually kind of fun to remove. If you see them early enough, you can just pinch them off with your fingers. However, if they get larger, ask an adult helper to give you hand and use a pruner to clip them off so you don’t accidentally tear off a healthy stem too.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.