Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring has Sprung....

Wow!  Where has the time gone?  There are only a few weeks left in our school year.  The month of May has brought milder (sort of) weather to our island and the children have begun to sprout seeds for the planting boxes.  Since there are only 5 weeks of school left and I won't be running a camp this year, we decided to sprout seeds that grow quickly.  That way, the children will be able to see most of the growing cycle before school finishes.

The planting activity is always one of the most popular and is never on the shelf very long.  It is in almost constant use during the months of May and June.

I''ve taken some pictures of the activity for you.  On the tray is a small bowl for carrying the peat puck from the supply shelf to the work table.  There is also a little ramekin to hold the seeds, (in this case pea seeds) a piture to carry water from the sink to the table, a small dish to carry the water laden peat to the growing tray, and a big bowl for the water.

Originally, I put 2 or 3 peat pucks on the tray but found I had to keep refilling it.  After a while, I realized that to help the children be more independent, a supply of peat pucks needed to be on the supply shelf just like the cotton balls, Q-tips, cloths, etc.

A child places a peat puck in the bowl, then gets water from the sink.  She pours the water over the puck and lets it sit until the puck absorbs as much water as it can.  This sometimes takes 5-6 minutes and, depending on the child, can be quite a meditative activity.  Sometimes a child likes to squeeze the puck as though it were a sponge in the transfering activity. Needless to say, this makes quite a mess and doesn't happen often.

When the puck swells up to about  8 - 10 mm (3 or 4 inches) the child pushes one seed down to the middle of the puck and then pushes the soil closed around it. 

The puck is then placed on the little plate and carried to a tray to be placed with all the others.

The little seedlings need to be gently watered everyday....

until they are big enough to be transplanted to the beds out in the playground.                

 Mmmmmmm.  I love freshly picked peas.

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