Summer Projects to Slow the Pace
Looking for ways to stretch out the much-loved summer vacation? Here's a wad of great ideas to get you to slow down, smell the flowers, and enjoy every minute with your kids!
Flower Gathering and Arranging
This project incorporates aspects of nature, exercise, exploration, design and beauty, and will create lasting memories for you and your kids. Even the youngest child can take part and feel accomplished when gathering and arranging flowers. Natalia Burton of Charlottesville, Virginia, enjoys this activity with her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Kaitlin. “We start by going for a nature walk and I try to follow my daughter’s pace and allow her to enjoy all the sights and sounds,” said Burton. They pick flowers together and bring them back to the house for arranging.
The supplies needed are basic for this project: flowers, scissors to cut stems to proper lengths, a vase, and a watering can. After Burton and her daughter gather flowers, she lets Kaitlin take charge and arrange them in the vase any way she chooses. “This is a great activity that you can do quite often, and kids feel proud when they see their arrangements in the house,” Burton said.
There are rarely children who don’t love to mush around in the mud from time to time, and if they’re going to do it, why not turn it into a gardening project? Aside from the desire to get dirty, all that children need to create a garden of their own are the basics: sun, dirt, water, and seeds.
Debbie Mandel, author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, and creator of the KIND Program (Kids, In Need of De-Stressing), says children benefit greatly from gardening. “Gardening is fun, great exercise and a natural de-stressor, and children learn a life-long healthy hobby for mind and body,” said Mandel.
Charlie Nardozzi, an expert horticulturist for the National Gardening Association (NGA) and Chief Gardening Officer of Hilton Garden Inn®, suggests growing herb gardens as a great at-home activity. Some herbs you can plant are basil, parsley, chives, rosemary and thyme.
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