Get out the Craft Kit it’s Make a Gift Day

Are you buzzing around trying to find the perfect gifts for family and friends? Well, today we are getting crafty with some things collected from the backyard, and even learning a bit about plants too! Surely friends of Arbordale will love leafy bookmarks and floral candle holders. These crafts are simple to do as a family or for a classroom pair the craft with a lesson on soil (world soil day in on December 5th), trees, or flowers.

Here’s how we made our gifts today:

What we collected!

Outside we found some red and yellow leaves, pine needles, holly, and some palm fronds.

From the craft store we bought some ribbon, a glass candle holder, glue, laminating sheets, and also Mod Podge.

Making the bookmark is a very simple project for younger kids. We placed one laminating sheet sticky side up on the table, then placed leaves randomly. Then we placed the other laminating sheet on top securing the leaves in the middle and pressing them flat. Finally, we used a hole punch to put a small hole in the top and tied two strands of ribbon through the hole to complete the bookmark.

Next, we made a small candle holder with the holly and pine needles. We tied together the holly and the pine with a small bow and glued that on the front of the glass. You can also glue the leaves individually and use the Mod Podge to seal the leaves on the glass and match your bookmark.

Have fun crafting today and if you tried either of these crafts, show us by tagging us on social media!

Here are some books that pair well with these crafts:

After collecting leaves and flowers, talk about the different parts of the plant and what they need to survive. Each “For Creative Minds”section has wonderful lessons on plant needs. Daisylocks is a fun read to learn why some climates and soils are not just right for a flower. And, learn more about the many different varieties of trees, why some lose their leaves, and why others keep theirs all year long.

Check these titles out on!

The Science of Reading

In a recent neuroscience study, researchers focused on the visual side of the brain and concluded that volunteers saw words and pictures and not individual letters. This research could prove very helpful in understanding how struggling readers process words, and improve tactics for teaching.

Arbordale truly believes that reading, and being read to, is a very important part of growing up. So, we are closing out the work with a Friday Reads Giveaway! Comment on this post to be entered to win these three Arbordale books!

Learn more about the Journal of Neuroscience article on Science News.

Spring is blooming with Daisylocks!

Daisylocks_128Today spring is blooming in Charleston, South Carolina and we are celebrating with the launch of Daisylocks! Although the daisies haven’t burst through the soil just yet, the camellias, tulips and daffodils are in full bloom indicating spring in on the way. While I know much of the country is too cold for Daisylocks just yet, this flower might find the perfect climate inside a greenhouse where she could be cultivated nicely.

In case you haven’t guessed by now Daisylocks is all about plant life and the second book on the topic by Marianne Berkes with Sylvan Dell. Her first, The Tree that Bear Climbed, takes readers from the soil to the branches of a tree and even entices a bear to come visit as readers learn about the needs of a tree.

Illustrator Cathy Morrison’s art beautifully shows the details of each habitat as Wind and Daisylocks visit many unsuitable locations for her sort of daisy. Cathy also created wonderful coloring pages and daisy activities for you to download here!

Daisylocks coloring pg1LR


Daisylocks coloring pg2LR


Daisylocks coloring pg3LR

A Little Science for Your Valentine

ValentinesFlowersA gift of red roses symbolizes love; yellow warmth and happiness, white represent innocence and purity. But what if you have daisies, tulips or carnations? They can be any color you choose with just a few supplies you can change the color of your valentine’s flowers.

Cut flowers can live a short time in a vase of water, but white flowers will change colors in a vase filled with a mixture of water and food coloring. This simple experiment is both fun and educational!

So why do the flowers change color? It is a process called transpiration. The flowers need water to stay alive, so just like sucking water through a straw the flowers pull the colored water through their stem to the petals. After the water evaporates they draw in more water and after this process is repeated over a few days the water leaves behind a new hue!

After the flowers begin to change color, pull one out of the water and inspect the tubes that have been taking in the water, they tend to be much darker in color than the petals. If you are very adventurous take open up the stem and investigate all the parts of the plant.

For more discussion on plants and their needs Sylvan Dell has two great resources The Tree that Bear Climbed, and Daisylocks, which is due out on February 20th. Enter to win a copy on Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Daisylocks by Marianne Berkes


by Marianne Berkes

Giveaway ends February 20, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win