Tag Archives: nature

Native Seed Bombs as Party Crafts

native seed bomb.jpg

Native seed bomb (wrapped in wax paper and twine for delivery)

Seed Bombs can be a lovely native-habitat activity for class parties. Or just class.

I told the kids: “Regular bombs destroy the Earth, but native seed bombs can help save it.”

At the very least, they can help save a child from coming home with yet more never-to-biodegrade Craft Foam party creations.  Continue reading

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Lulav Brush for Passover (one more lulav re-cycle)

small lulav leaf brushes for bedikat and biur chametz

small lulav leaf brushes for bedikat and biur chametz

This quick DIY takes longer to explain than to make. It’s a wee brush for the night and morning before Passover: a riff on the traditional repurpose of using Sukkot’s lulav for the pre-Passover Search and Destroy mission. Continue reading

Upcycled Water Bottle Bird Feeder for Tu B’Shevat

bottle bird feeder

black oil sunflower seed, bamboo perch

Upcycled water bottles as birdfeeders are not new, so why am I sharing this?

Because this morning I sort of perfected them. My class of 2nd graders made a bunch and we had to be quick. So shall I: Continue reading

Tu B’Shevat Collaborative Leaf-Rubbing Banner

tree leaves for crayon rubbing at Tu B'Shevat

arranging our pressed, fall leaves

A giant, collaborative leaf-rubbing print for Tu B’Shevat. We tried this in Kindergarten last Sunday and it worked. Gorgeous. And, we still had time to make individual leaf-rubbing prints to take home. The 9-foot banner will hang at the school entrance to welcome students and visitors at Tu B’Shevat. Continue reading

Tu B’Shevat almond “Sow and Tell,” home or school

faith in a seed

faith in a seed

For Tu B’Shevat with my First Grade class, I wanted something hands-on, but not paper-based. Something thematic that links the Land of Israel with our own community,  something the kids could make or do to gain a concrete reference point to a Jewish Spring holiday in the midst of a Nashville Winter.  We’d already done nearly instant-gratification Tu B’Shevat gardening (eggshell garden), and I didn’t think they’d mind a project that required patience and uncertainty. Continue reading

Easy Family Project: a Jewish Backyard

through a Jewish lens

InterFaithFamily.com published my article about converting your own backyard (or school or synagogue) into a certified wildlife habitat via a Jewish lens.  My other kid-nature posts thus far haven’t been “Jewish” specifically, although we all know that everything is Jewish if you look through a Jewy “lens.” I put “lens” in quotes because I hear it ad nauseum.  A useful term, although overused. I’m pasting the article below, but do go over to the link at InterfaithFamily.com so they know someone is reading it.  My point is to show that the project is easy, fun, good for the earth, good for your family, and of course, gut fir di yidn:* Continue reading

Nature’s classroom: blow bubbles with flowers


cross vine, spring bloomer

At breakfast, we looked out the window and discovered that the wild crossvine had bloomed (Bignonia capreolata). Every spring it crawls up through the evil winter creeper (a euonymous that would encase the house if I let it) and over the redneck wire fence that divides our property from the neighbors’.  We abandoned our gluten-free, Marmite-covered toast and ran outside to see it. Continue reading

Witnessing with Wildflowers: an Essay

Sometimes a dogwood is just a dogwood*

Sometimes a dogwood is just a dogwood*

At yesterday’s wildflower hike, none of the other registered participants showed up, so the leader was all mine. The walk is up, over and down a steep ridge, quilted in overlapping habitats. It begins with the nature sanctuary’s meadow and pond, stumbles along a creekbed and drystone slave wall, doglegs through a cedar barren, and then climbs from beech-maple to oak-hickory along a burped-up bit of the Highland Rim before it drains into the old orchard. Continue reading