- Discover the difference between cocoons and chrysalises
- Use a special 'inchworm' ruler to measure various items
- Practice fine motor skills by making a button caterpillar
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$12.00Green and chubby ... Poky spikes ... Brown and fuzzy ... Caterpillars come in all different colors, shapes and forms, and children love to collect them! Caterpillars provide a very close-up examination of the small creatures that live in our world. Children can study small eco-systems by catching a caterpillar and setting up an environment for it, complete with the correct food, water and a branch. If you are lucky, the caterpillar may spin a cocoon or turn into a chrysalis - wait a few weeks and you may hatch a moth or butterfly! Through hands-on activities in this Unit, children:$12.00Children love trains! There is something magical and engaging about hooking one train car to another, and moving along a track. Children make trains out of boxes, chairs, their toys and each other. Although most children do not have access to ‘climb aboard’ a train, most do live close enough to a train track to have watched a train go by! Many early childhood and school readiness skills can be addressed through this fascination with trains. Through hands-on activities, children: · Learn about the size of a train engine · Use laminated train cars to spell their name, other words or put the alphabet letters in order · Make a ‘train’ whistle · Go on a pretend train ride Although most children do not have access to ‘climb aboard’ a train, most do live close enough to a train track to watch a train go by. Taking a ‘trip’ on a cardboard box sparks imagination and creativity, encourages language and vocabulary development, and helps children acquire cognitive skills.$12.00The fun of using blankets to create a fort in the backyard….. Finding an old toy and using it to rocket off to outer space….. Turning paper and paint into a dragon, dinosaur or diner….. Many of us remember the fun of using whatever materials we had at hand to turn them into a magical land of make-believe with our imaginations. Children use their imagination and pretend play to discover and learn about their world. This is important for cognitive development. Through imagination and pretend play, children are ‘trying out’ things they have seen or heard in their everyday life. This helps them develop skills in higher level thinking, problem-solving, analysis, and to understand the connection between people, places, and events. Imagination is key to inventing, creating, and implementing new ideas. Through exploration, children learn to distinguish between fantasy and reality. This Unit can help you provide an environment rich in imaginative play so that children: • Follow their ideas using a crayon as their tool for creation • Explore the world using a box • Build a unique robot from a collection of ‘junk and stuff’ When children use their imaginations, they can own the world. This is a great place to be!$12.00Doors that open magically ….. Riding in the cart, up and down the aisles ….. And an entire row of candy! …… Children are amazed with the many things that are part of a grocery shopping trip. The grocery store is a cornerstone of many neighborhoods and communities. Grocery stores provide food from a wide variety of sources that encourage children to learn more about their world. Visiting a grocery store provides learning opportunities that support social skill development, helps children understand the work and support of people in their community, and provides real-life learning in social systems understanding (how we get food from ‘farm to table’). Learning about the grocery store provides children real-life knowledge that will be useful throughout their lives. Through hands-on activities, children: • Practice writing skills making a grocery list • Fill a paper bag counting grid with grocery items • Use tempera paint to create their own grocery ad • Make a grocery cart out of a cardboard box for fun races Children love to visit the grocery store. Providing trips to local businesses and places of interest help children develop important social skills and increase their vocabulary about the world around them.$12.00Leaves whirling and twirling ….. Vibrant colors of red, orange and yellow ….. The crunch of leaves when walked on …… Fall is a time to engage our senses as we see the changes that occur in leaves. There is nothing more fun that to rake up a big pile of leaves and run through it, jump into it, or just lay on top of it! Children can make great mazes and obstacle courses using piles of leaves, and each day they can re-design it. Not only are leaves a very inexpensive and available resource, but they can be used in so many different types of activities that address all the developmental domains. Make sure to gather many, many leaves in order to do these hands-on activities: • Become an author through making ‘My Own Leaf Book’ • See how leaves fall from a parachute • Examine leaves using a magnifying glass in the sensory table Leaves are everywhere, in all different types of environments. Changing colors to brilliant red, orange and yellow heralds the coming of fall… enjoy!$12.00Bubbles, balloons and kites ... Running through sprinklers ... Gentle breezes and summer rain ... Most of us have memories of hours of spring and summer fun using wind and water. Water play is lots of fun for children and can be done any time, inside or out. And, most children don't need much direction in getting started! Children may have more limited experience with 'wind play', but almost all children love bubbles and balloons! This Unit helps children begin to understand that wind and water are 'forces of nature' that can be harnessed to provide energy and power for many things. Wind and water are easy to access, 'free' materials readily available for children to explore. Through hands-on activities, children:
$12.00Making resolutions… Counting down the ‘ball’ drop… Seeing fireworks… These are common things many of us do to ring in the New Year. Young children are just starting to understand how our world measures ‘time’. Part of that understanding includes knowledge of days, weeks and years. This Unit explores the start of a ‘new year’. Through hands-on activities, children will:
- Learn how air can move things
- Explore the different materials that can be moved by air
- Differentiate between 'more' and 'less' through counting 'raindrops'
- Use various equipment (cups, funnels, turkey basters, strainers etc.) to explore the properties of water
‘Planting A Rainbow’ Unit Book by Lois Ehlert Sunny days in the garden ….. The sprinkler swishing to and fro ….. Amazement as the seeds turn into beautiful flowers …… The book Planting a Rainbow can evoke these memories of childhood gardening. Planting seeds and watching them grow into beautiful flowers or wonderful vegetables is a great way to expose children to the wonders of the environment. Once children have experienced the colors that can be found in the garden, they will be more aware of colors in every part of their world. Gardening is also great physical exercise, can be a tool to teach scientific observation and recording, and may instill in children the love of caring for our environment … all good things! There are so many great activities that can be based on gardening, and all the colors that surround us. Through hands-on activities, children: • Write their names (letters or other words) using seeds • Use rainbow ribbons in a Maypole dance • Squish-paint to make a crown of rainbow-colored flowers • Turn fruit into rainbow skewers, yum! Planting A Rainbow by Lois Ehlert may inspire young children to become ardent gardeners, a practice that can become a life-long interest.$12.00Taking care of the earth is for everyone all the time$12.00Teaching children to be generous and caring can help ensure a peaceful and supportive environment where all children grow and develop to their maximum potential. This is not only a great environment for children, but also for the adults that work in it… win-win for all! Guiding children in expressing compassion and empathy towards others through day to day activities will help them develop life-long practices of caring for others. Through hands-on activities, children: · Create a ‘coupon book’ of nice things to do for others · Make a ‘I Care’ puppet to use in role playing how to care for others · Bake cookies to share with others Help the children in your care learn that when we care for each other, we all are cared for!$12.00The winter days can get long, and the bustle of the holiday season can cause an overload of emotions for children. Sometimes we all need to find some stress relief. Intentionally planning comfort-focused activities can help children (and adults) weather the stress of the season. Children experience the fun of ‘popcorn and pajamas’ through these hands-on activities: · Hear the story, sing the song and act out ‘Ten in the Bed’ · Examine popcorn using magnifying glasses · Improve their matching skills with the Pajama Matching game · Use their fingerprints to create a ‘popping’ picture Take some time to relax, put on some comfy clothes and snuggle up with the children and some good books! You will enjoy it and so will the children J$12.00Cranes lifting items high ….. Bulldozing large piles of dirt ….. Scraping the surface smooth ….. Trucks hauling away rocks and dirt …… These are all activities frequently seen at a road construction sites. Many children are fascinated by big, heavy construction equipment. They love the size, the noise, and the actions of these big machines. When children use trucks in the sandbox or sensory table, they are using their imagination to mimic what they see in their real, everyday life… this is how they learn about the world around them. Exploring road and bridge construction provides hours of imaginative play. Through hands-on activities, children: · Re-create sounds and actions seen and heard at construction sites · Transform boxes into ramps, bridges and tunnels · Use their gross muscle coordination to move a ball along an obstacle course · Play a game by following a ‘road’ to park their car in a ‘garage’ Our world relies on safe roads and bridges. Encouraging children to learn about roads and bridges could spark an interest that eventually results in them becoming architects and engineers.‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie’ Book by Laura Joffe Numeroff Milk and cookies ….. Scissors and tape ….. Crayons and paper…… We all have memories of these items, which are critical parts of the book ‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie’. The story line of this book is so typical of many of us – we do one thing and it triggers another activity or memory! (How many of you go to put laundry in and end up doing something entirely different when you get to the laundry room!) One key literacy skill that is developed through this book is the ability to remember and sequence the order of activities. This is an important school readiness task. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that can be developed based on this book. Through hands-on activities, children: • Participate in a reenactment of the story, based on the sequence of events • Practice counting skills with the ‘Cookie Count’ game • Experiment with different ways to paint, using different painting tools • Improve scissor skills when cutting grass ‘hair’ This book is the first in the ‘If You Give…’ series by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond. Children will delight in the antics of Mouse as things they might also do!‘Harold and the Purple Crayon’ Unit Book by Crockett Johnson A cardboard box made into a spaceship….. Blankets tossed over a table that turned into a castle….. Making the most delicious cake out of mud …… Imaginary friends and pretend play made up much of our early years. Through this, we learned to be creative and problem solve – just as Harold does in the story ‘Harold and the Purple Crayon’! Problem solving and creativity often go hand-in-hand. Usually, to solve a problem, higher level thinking, analysis, and innovation are needed which is part of the creative process. Every day, children are thinking about the things in their lives and what to do with them or how to use them. As children solve problems, they gain knowledge and self-confidence in their ability to succeed. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that can be developed based on this book. Through hands-on activities, children: • Increase their usable vocabulary (helps them get ready to read!) • Discover how to make the color purple • Strengthen finger muscles and fine motor coordination through a cutting activity. Harold has several other adventures too. Crockett Johnson wrote stories that children could easily relate to.$12.00The Circus Unit of Study Highlights Peanuts, popcorn, and pretzels ….. Lions and tigers and elephants ….. Clowns of all shapes and sizes ….. Acrobats and tightrope walkers ….. The circus has so much for children to watch and marvel at. The ‘circus’ has something for everyone – whether it is eating popcorn, peanuts and cotton candy or doing amazing feats. Children love to imitate and act out what they see. Being a lion at the circus, or an acrobat crossing a tightrope, children are using many of their large muscles while developing balance and coordination. And of course, for those who are very verbal, being the ‘ring master’ is the perfect job for them! Children love to show others what they can do. Through circus activities, children have an opportunity to: • Cuddle up in a ‘circus tent book nook’ with a good book • Discover their silly self as a clown through creating a clown costume • Practice large motor skills as a ‘tightrope walker’, ‘stilt stomper’, and ‘fire jumper’ The circus can bring memories that last a lifetime.$12.00Children are born with such promise and potential! As early childhood educators and providers, it is our responsibility to support and nurture each child’s development, and to encourage and celebrate individuality. In order to do this, it is important to know the children in care, understand ‘normal’ development, have knowledge of early learning standards, and be able to assess where each child is in their development. Activities that help children recognize their strengths and areas of growth include: · Learn · Explore · Practice · Discover Children that recognize and celebrate their skills are developing positive self-esteem, which is critical for school and life success.‘Sneezy the Snowman’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Maureen Wright Rolling, rolling, rolling ….. Stacking huge snowballs ….. Adding nose, mouth, eyes and a hat …… Making a snowman is something many of us have done time and time again. In this story, Sneezy the Snowman is cold. In trying to warm up, he makes choices that are not in his best interest! Children will find the humor in this story as they realize that the choices made have a negative consequence. This is a good way to talk about choices with children. The story is also written with rhyming words which can help children develop listening and literacy skills. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that are inspired by this book. Through hands-on activities, children: • Develop visual discernment skills in playing snowman matching games • Use higher level thinking and problem-solving skills to describe why their snowman melted when creating their own melted snowman • Discover the ‘life cycle’ of a snowman, and snow or ice • Create a unique, one-of-a-kind snowman with a balloon, paint, and art scraps$12.00Festivals of Light$12.00Puffy as marshmallows ….. Streaks across the sky ….. Playing peek-a-boo with the sun ..… Clouds can be a sign of things to come, or a sculpture in the sky. No matter what, they play an important part in our weather. On a warm spring or summer day, it is great fun for children to lay on their backs and gaze up into the clouds to ‘see what they can see’. Children that can ‘see’ various things in the clouds are more apt to look at other things in their world with more imagination and interest. Teaching children to really look at things in their world helps them to become better observers, and to develop language skills to describe what they see. Exploring clouds provides many learning experiences for children. Through hands-on activities, children: • Learn about the different types of clouds • Explore how a cloud is made through a great science experiment • Strengthen fine motor muscles and coordination • Use their imagination to ‘see’ sculptures in the sky Children are so open to new ideas and learning. Showing them how to discover pictures in clouds is an activity that they can do for the rest of their lives.Messy but fun concoctions$12.00Spiders can be very interesting to watch as they spin webs, stalk prey, and speed across an open space. Learning about spiders encourages children to develop research and organizational skills as they collect interesting facts about spiders. See the list of spider facts in the Template section. Encourage children to explore spiders through these hands-on activities: · Hear folk tales about Anansi the spider · Watch live spiders in an aquarium or clear plastic container (really fun!!) · Match numbers for the 8 legs of a spider · Make spider hats Teaching children to be respectful of all creatures in our world can foster an attitude of caring for everything in our world – not just spiders, but the different people they will meet and the lands they will visit.$12.00Fresh fallen snow ….. Footprints made by who?….. Tracks leading where? ….. Tracks in the snow (or mud) are fascinating to follow, seeing who made them and where they lead. Seeing and following animal tracks can provide a wealth of information and engaging learning activities for children (and adults!). Through following animal tracks, we can see where they live, where they hunt for or find food, and how they care for their young. Animal tracks can provide the opportunity for children to develop scientific observation and higher level thinking skills. Animal tracking is fun and engaging. Through hands-on activities, children: • Learn how to visually differentiate between different shapes of tracks • Use their own footprint as a tool for measuring • Create a clay tile of animal tracks Finding animal tracks can be done in any season with mud and snow. At the river bed, on a sandy road or the snow around the base of a tree, animals are leaving a footprint to their presence.$12.00Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry piled up high ….. Dripping down the side of the cone ….. A cool treat on a hot summer’s day ….. Ice cream can bring a smile to most faces, and it is a great antidote for the blues! Almost everyone loves ice cream! Not only is ice cream great to eat, a lot of knowledge can be acquired by exploring the science behind how ice cream is made, and the social systems aspect of where the raw ingredients come from. Children will also have fun making an ‘ice cream sundae’ from art materials. Through hands-on activities, children will use all of their senses to explore ice cream: • Participate in a flannel board story of Five Ice Cream Cones • Create a group mural after listening to the story Milk to Ice Cream by Julie Murray • Sculpt an ‘ice cream sundae’ using air dry clay and puffy paint • Make Kick the Can ice cream Children will love exploring how they can make ice cream on paper, use cones and scoops of ice cream in a game, and make a yummy-to-eat ice cream treat!$99.0015 Units of Study Save $81 Click on a Unit of Study to add it to your package. Click on any of the items in your package to remove it. Download our Current Catalogue to see an overview of our available Units.$12.00The bright green of new Spring leaves ... Birds singing high in the branches ... Enjoying the shade on a hot summer day... Trees provide an abundance of beauty and protection to all of us every day. Trees are a very important part of our environment. They provide shelter for animals and people, they provide food, they protect the earth by preventing erosion, and they produce oxygen and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Celebrate trees by planting one on Arbor Day. National Arbor Day is always celebrated on the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year based on best tree planting times in their area Trees are available all over the world for children to explore. Through hands-on activities, children:
- Begin to understand how a calendar helps track a year
- Experience some traditional activities around the world for ‘ringing in’ the New Year
- Practice counting skills with a bubble wrap blast countdown
$12.00Coats, jackets and shirts ….. Big, little, round and square ….. Insert, push and pull …… Buttons can be a challenge for all of us sometimes! Learning to button, zip and tie are major accomplishments for children as they develop independence through mastering self-help skills. Providing opportunities for lots of practice ensures that children are able to master these skills. Children that are competent in taking care of their basic needs feel better about themselves and develop confidence in their abilities, which in turn supports school readiness. Buttons are an easy material to access. Through hands-on activities, children: • Discover what items of clothing have buttons • Practice math skills through graphing buttons • Use buttons as a material for creativity • Practice buttoning as they make a cool headband The more children have the opportunity to manipulate buttons, the better they will be at being able to dress independently – and that is a goal we are working towards! NOTE: Activities using buttons should be closely supervised; size of buttons should be appropriate for ages of children$12.00Ooey, gooey melt-y cheese …... Pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions …… Crispy crust and spicy sauces …... What do you like best about pizza? Almost everyone loves some kind of pizza – whether it is a traditional pepperoni with tomato sauce or a ‘blonde’ pizza with chicken and Alfredo sauce. Pizza is a great topic that can provide learning in all areas – cognitive, language, creative and motor. Taking a field trip to a pizzeria is a really fun activity, especially if the children get to make their own pizza! Encourage children to explore all types of learning through these hands-on pizza activities: • Reading a recipe to make a personal pizza • Practicing sequencing in the ‘Top the Pizza’ game • Throwing a soft Frisbee ‘pizza’ As one of the pizza songs in the Unit says…. ‘Eatalota Eatalota Eatalota pizza’!$12.00Mud Unit of Study Highlights A bucket of water, a pail of dirt ….. Mix all together for ….. Mud squishing between our toes ….. Who has not done this before? Or at least found a puddle and walked in it to make mud?? Great childhood memories come from simple things like dirt and water! Mud is a very inexpensive (free even!) material that can be found almost anywhere and can be used in a variety of learning activities. Most children absolutely love the feel of mud on their hands and between their toes. It is a very sensory-filled medium in which to play and discover new things. Some children can spend hours making mud, shaping pies, and then serving them at their ‘restaurant’. When doing this Unit of Study, prepare parents for some dirty children. In fact, request that the children wear their oldest clothes, and that they have at least one change of clothing per day! Use mud for learning through these hands-on activities: • Sequencing with the story Mud Walk by Joy Cowley • Practicing counting by cutting a mud pie into pieces, (also fractions) • Building with adobe mud bricks • Creating a ‘Mud Kitchen’ for dramatic play Remember, the dirtier children are at the end of the day, the more their learning was enhanced!$12.00The Rainforest Unit of Study Highlights Lush green canopy ….. Brilliant colored parrots ….. Frogs, and bugs, and butterflies abound …… These are memories many adults have of summer outdoor camping. The rainforest is a land of bright colors, exotic animals and lush greenery. The rainforest provides the world with many resources and products. It is also an ecological system that is endangered by the continued development of human beings. The rainforest is a great eco system for children to learn about environmental conservation. Through hands-on activities, children: • Use a ‘rain’ ruler to measure items, comparing them to the amount of rainfall that makes a rainforest • Explore the layers of the rainforest and what lives in each layer • Make a rain stick • Practice fine motor – scissors skills through cutting a spiral jungle vine The rainforest is an important ecological system for our world. Help children learn to love it and protect it!‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Maurice Sendak Talking back or sassing ….. Consequences ….. Re-instated with the ones we love …… Most of us have experienced this sequence of events when we were children… misbehaving, having a consequence, and then back in the fold of our family’s love. Children will act out and push their boundaries … this is how they learn about their boundaries, and how to interact in an appropriate what with family members and out in society. There are consequences for all of our behaviors – some are positive consequences, and some are ‘learning experiences’. When positive behavior guidance strategies are used with love, children learn what appropriate expectations are. There are a lot of fun, learning activities that can be developed based on this book. Through hands-on activities, children: • Write a letter to a loved one • Create their own monster using a variety of art materials • Use ‘monster feet’ and their large muscles when following an obstacle course We all have a ‘wild thing’ inside of us…. we just need to know how to tame it!‘The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear’ Unit of Study Highlights Book by Audrey and Don Wood Red and ripe ….. Sweet and juicy ….. The smell of fresh strawberries …… At the strawberry patch, it is hard to fill up the basket without eating a few! Summer is the time for picking and eating luscious fresh strawberries. Just like the little mouse wanted to do in the book, ‘The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear’. The book invites children to help little mouse find a way to keep the ripe strawberry safe from the big hungry bear. The best solution is for little mouse to share the strawberry with a friend! More fun strawberry activities provided by the United States Department of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service, can be found at https://buildingstrongchildren.usu.edu/files/Book7.pdf This book, (and strawberries) inspire many fun learning activities. Through hands-on activities, children: • Hunt for letters to spell out words from the book • Practice math skills by matching numerals, dots, and written number words • Make a ‘strawberry patch’ to pick berries and use in the Strawberry Farmer’s Market dramatic play area • Create strawberries for a basket using scented self-hardening clay Reading this book will definitely make you want to eat some strawberries yourself!$12.00Slow and steady ….. Land and water ….. Tucked in tight …… All of the above can be used to describe tortoises and turtles. Through continuing to learn about the creatures in our world, children develop a sense of community and respect for all living creatures. This is a good thing for our world!$12.00The creak of leather from a saddle….. The snort and whinny of a horse….. Clip-clop and giddy-up…… These are sounds that are very familiar to those that have been around horses. Current day rodeos evolved out of the activities and chores from old-time cowboys that worked on cattle ranches in the West. Rodeo cowboys and cowgirls are some of the toughest and most graceful athletes there are in the competition world. It takes hours of practice, the mental and physical toughness to experience pain and defeat, and a competitive spirit. Young children love to learn about the many different things in their world. Through hands-on activities, they: • Develop a larger, working vocabulary through books, discussions, finger plays and songs • Practice counting skills through a ‘horseshoe’ game • Make a vest, chaps, bandana and hat – just like the rodeo cowboys! • Taste a yummy cowboy stew, made to their liking Rodeos are fun for everyone, and are held throughout the country.$12.00My Restaurant Unit of Study Highlights Burgers and fries….. A creamy milkshake….. Pizza dripping with melted cheese…… What are your childhood memories of ‘eating out’? Eating out at a restaurant is a great learning experience for children. They learn to make decisions based on what they like, they practice appropriate social skills, they start to understand that we have to ‘pay’ for items, and they see all the different roles people have in a restaurant. Children will take this learning and re-visit it when engaging in ‘restaurant’ dramatic play. This is how they make sense of the world in which they live. Through restaurant play and exploration, children: • Develop vocabulary and speaking skills; • Practice counting and sorting food items; • Create food from self-hardening clay; • Develop large and small motors with the Serving Tray Game There are many different types of restaurants, offering a variety of foods. Try having a Pizza Shoppe one week, a Taco Stand the next week, and a Burger & Fries Drive-In the next… this could go on for a long time!$12.00Digging in soft garden soil ... Carefully planting the seeds ... Watering, weeding and watching ... Ah, finally after many weeks of caring for the garden, fresh vegetables! There is nothing more rewarding (or better tasting!) than fresh vegetables from the garden you have planted and taken care of! Children learn so many things from having their own garden. They gain a sense of accomplishment and pride; they learn about how plants grow through careful tending; and they learn how wonderful fresh vegetables taste (hopefully they will taste what they grow!). Children actively explore vegetables in this Unit through:
- Express the magic of trees through creating flannel board stories
- Explore trees through all the development domains in the 'Seasons of a Tree' activity
- Create a beautiful tree using different art mediums
- Develop large motor skills by climbing a 'tree'
‘Elmer’ (the Patchwork Elephant) Book by David McKee Playing with your best friend ….. Wearing the ‘cool’ shoes ….. Being on a team…… Fitting in and being part of a group is really important as we grow from children through adolescence. ‘Elmer (the Patchwork Elephant)’ just wants to be part of his group too. This story helps children understand that we are all unique and special, and this is wonderful! Children discover that we do not all have to be alike in order to be a group. And, that it is the talents and uniqueness each of us bring to the group that helps make the group strong. Seeing differences and similarities as strengths, children learn to value each and every member of the group. Elmer learns that his colorful appearance helps make him unique and special. Activities in this Unit help children: • See that their name can be unique by making a Name Card • Make ‘trumpeting’ sounds with their very own trunk trumpet • Learn about camouflage and how it can help us be more invisible David McKee has written many books with Elmer as the main character. We all can learn a lot through Elmer’s trials, tribulations, and escapades.
- Learning about different vegetables through language activities
- Tasting a variety of vegetables in the New One A Day challenge
- Create their own vegetable garden in the Cement Block Veggie Garden activities