Dreaming of Spring

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So the other day Hubs was able to find some of my old college homework assignments from my first time through college.  It was funny to see just how many reports I actually wrote and I even took a Short Story Writing class.  It was either that or Art appreciation or Poetry (which I suck at) or something else.  I went for the short story writing!

I was getting a big kick out of some of the beginnings to stories I wrote and he was amazed to see how many beginnings I had that went no where.  If I remember, we always had to come to class with a story start to keep our creative juices flowing.  By the end of the semester we had to write 2 full short stories (I believe 2000 words or greater).  We could use any of our story starters we’d written or write new ones.

Then I moved on to some of the classes from my actual degree, Agriculture Education, and I ran across this fun and easy activity that was included in a lesson plan.  I actually cut and pasted this from my actual lesson plan I wrote, but I thought I would share this portion of it.  If by chance you try this, let me know!!  And I’ll tell you, they really are cute!

Dirt Baby Activity
Supplies:          Knee-high hose or hose cut to knee-high length (not support hose).
                        Grass Seed- such as annual ryegrass
                        Potting soil
Tall baby food jar, clear plastic milk, water or juice container or Styrofoam coffee cup with lid (larger openings help stabilize the “head”)
Procedure:       1)   Take hose and roll down to allow easy access to toe area (working in
                              teams is helpful)
2)      Place a pinch or two of grass seed into the toe area.  (when it sprouts, this becomes “hair”)
3)      Add potting soil, packing to form round ball (head) about 2 ½-3” diameter.  Tighten the soil into a ball and tie a  knot in the hose or use yarn to keep it in place.
4)      Using the baby food jar for the body, fill it with water and drop remaining hose hanging from head into the water.  (The head will rest on the neck of the jar.)  This serves as a wick.  (for younger children or for safety reasons, you can use a Styrofoam coffee cup with fitted lid.  Just make a whole in the center of the lid.)  DO NOT cut off remainder of the hose.
5)      Keep the container filled with water.  The hose will absorb the water and saturate the head of the dirt baby, which is above the water.  In just a few days the seed will germinate and make long green hair.
6)       To decorate, eyes and mouth can be glued to the face.  If using Styrofoam cups, children can create a costume for their ‘baby’.  Cut and style ‘hair’ as desired.
7)       Students can keep a journal showing how many days it took the seed to sprout, etc.
 Will the grass hair grow better or faster with fertilizers? 
Try it and find out.
Add different fertilizers to the soil and water and see which grows best.
Add to the water:                                                      Add to the soil:
Store-bought liquid fertilizer                                      Store-bought fertilizer stick
Soda pop (it has phosphorus)                                      Coffee grounds (the caffeine has nitrogen)
Apple Juice (it has citric acid)                                     Baking soda (it has nitrogen)
Lemon scented liquid soap (it has                              Epson salt (it has magnesium sulfate)
citric acid)
Ammonia (it has nitrogen)                                          Cream of Tartar (it has potassium)

Farmers have to be careful and not add to much fertilizer.  They go to special classes and use math problems to figure out the right amount.  You shouldn’t use too much fertilizer either, but you can experiment with different amounts.

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