Monday, May 23, 2016

Spring is Here!

I love the natural learning that takes place in the Spring and Summer....  "Look what I found, Mom!"as they dash in from outside, "Come out and see!"  or "What do you think this flower is, Mom?"

R age 12 collected a small container of tadpoles from the pond right by our church and brought them home to grow in a gallon jar.  She put broken up bits of lettuce in the top and the tadpoles have been eating and growing. 

We're trying to get ant farms established in glass gallon jars.  J age 10 found a whole bunch of teeny tiny ants in an old can in the woods along with some little white eggs and what he thinks is the queen so we're started! We have our gallon jar full of sand with a pop can in the middle filled with water and a cotton ball in the opening.  Then we put a drop of honey on the top of the can for them to eat.  We wrapped our jar with black paper and will take it off one of these days and see if there are any tunnels visible.  We have tulle rubber banded over the mouth of the jar so they can't escape.

We're planting seeds of many kinds including lemon, avocado, mango and a pineapple top.  We live in the north so probably won't get fruit but will enjoy the foliage. Should be fun to see what we get.  We'll start work in the vegetable garden soon and each of the children has their own flower bed to work in. 

Winter in Minnesota being long, the Spring and Summer seem especially dear.


  1. How neat, Patti!!! :) Why do you have the pop can in there? I've never heard of that! :) Amy

    1. My idea was that then the ants wouldn't be making all their tunnels in the middle of the jar where we couldn't see them. I'm hoping they'll work out to the edges of our gallon jar. I also thought it might keep the cotton ball moist and create more moisture in the jar. We'll still dribble water on the cotton ball regularly as Charlotte Mason suggests in her first book describing the making of an ant farm. It's all still an experiment, we'll see how it works out. I looked into building a box like CM suggests but it was a bit expensive and I guess the 1" glass pieces are difficult to cut. I have glass gallon jars on hand, so we're trying that.... Have you done an ant farm with your children yet? This is our first attempt.

    2. No, I haven't!!! We've looked at them before. Love your ideas, Patti!!!