Archive for October, 2010

This is an easy Halloween decoration to make which looks really effective when its finished. 

…The children can easily do the sticking and gluing and an adult helper can assist with the cutting out.

Then when it’s finished it can be hung from the window to glint in the moonlight! 

1. Take a paper plate and paint one side with glue.

2. Sprinkle silver glitter (or any other colour you like) over the plate until it is nicely covered and glittery

3. Print the bat template available here or if you are artistic why not draw your own design

4. Overlay the cut out bat onto black card and cut it out

5. Stick the bat silhouettes onto the silvery moon

6. Make a small hole in the top of the plate with a cocktail stick

7. Thread through a piece of cotton and make a loop to hang it from

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There has been a long history of carving lanterns from vegetables throughout Ireland and Britain.  Traditionally swedes and turnips were used but more recently pumpkins are the vegetable of choice.

…And there is nothing more spooky for the children on 31st October, than to turn off all the lights to enjoy a glowing pumpkin face. 

So if you would like to make your own pumpkin lantern this Halloween take a look at how we did ours …but remember always make sure an adult does the tasks that require a sharp knife.  Then the children can enjoy the messy part of scooping out all the pumpkin seeds with spoons! 

1. First choose a suitable pumpkin, large enough to scoop out and carve but not too big!

2. Slice off the top and scoop out the seeds with a spoon

3. Take a paper template of a design you have drawn or printed and lay over the outside of the pumpkin

4. Draw the design onto the outside of the pumpkin

5. Carefully cut the design out.

6.  Take your pumpkin or position a few together and light them for an atmospheric Halloween!

…And thanks for all your pumpkin recipe ideas.  We have had some yummy ideas which we will be putting on the blog over the next few days so do check back for that.  …And if you have a favourite way to eat pumpkin why not enter our Family Competition.  You could win some great grow your own goodies, but the closing date is 31st October 2010.

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Growing winter salads is a great way of extending the growing season. 

Whilst the harvesting quantities may be less than during the summer months, by choosing a good selection of seeds there will be goodies to harvest just outside the back door right through until the spring.

Take a look at the Winter Salad Selection Pack  from Recycleworks.  Included are some tasty salad leaves, radishes, rocket, American land cress and winter greens. 

Sow in a Salubrious Salad Bed or one of these Willow Salad Planters, and position just outside the kitchen door for easy harvesting during the colder days.

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Halloween is just around the corner, so do take a look at some of our Favourite Spooky Activities for children, schools and families. 

From making tasty pumpkin soup to growing your own spook or making a scarecrow ghost there is lots of fun stuff for everyone. 

…And next week we will be making our pumpkin lantern.  All the details will be blogged here so do check back for pictures of how we get on! 

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Many thanks to everyone who entered our September competitions and BIG congratulations to our winners. 

The family competition was won by Kaiden King and he received a fabulous Hogitat hedgehog house along with Hedgehog food and a laminated Hedgehog Guide.  We hope he gets lots of prickly visitors to his garden over the next few weeks.

The school competition was won by Brant Broughton CE/Methodist Primary School and they received a Twin Wooden Children’s Compost Bin which will come in handy when tidying the school garden during the autumn.

For a chance to win a prize in October take a look at our latest Family Competition and School Competition.  We have some great prizes including bird feeding goodies, a FSC Wooden Bird Table, a laminated Field Guide to Garden Birds, a Nest box, a Window Bird Feeder, a Willow Herb Planter and seeds and a Grow It Eat It Cook Book.

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We recently received an email from Georgina asking for advice on setting up her school garden.  This is something we are often asked about so we though you might find it useful too.  Here is her question along with our advice…

I am just starting a gardening club at my primary school.  Do you have any tips/advise?  It will be during the school day so it can be available to as many children as possible.  Just ironing out running eg. which year group etc.

Hi Georgina Many thanks for your enquiry. It sounds like you have an exciting project on your hands.

Our advice would be to start fairly simply. Using raised beds saves lots of effort fighting weeds and digging over heavy soil.   For a good selection of easy-to-assemble options take a look here.

Also don’t forget you can grow lots of vegetables, salads and flowers in containers and on windowsills – more ideas on the options available can be found by following this link.

If the school garden is going to be used through the school day you can think creatively about how gardening can be linked into the national curriculum. Take a look here for ideas on how to do that.

We have written lots of information on setting up a school garden here with useful links to getting started including articles on gardening in raised beds, composting and lots more.

For ideas of gardening jobs to do in autumn take a look here  and for information on seeds to sow for a winter harvest you might find this link useful. 

Best of luck with your plans and do let us know how you get along.

From Charlotte and the Gardening With Children Team

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Well it’s the beginning of October, so we are thinking darker nights, dewy cobwebbed mornings and autumn leaves.  … And this month is also all about pumpkins. 

So for the Family Competition this month we would like to know how you like to eat your pumpkins – in soup, a pie or something a little different please do send your suggestions in.  We will feature our favourites here on the blog and the best of the bunch will win a copy of the brilliant book Grow It Eat It, along with a lovely Willow Herb Planter and a selection of Seeds.  For all the details of how to enter please click here.

As the weather becomes a bit more unpredictable it’s always good to have a few indoor activties up your sleeve so for this months School Competition we have a fun autumn wordsearch for you to unravel. 

All the details of how to enter can be found here, and the first correct entry out of the hat will win a fabulous selection of bird feeding goodies to keep you feathered visitors to the school playground, happy during the colder days ahead.  Included will be a Ground Bird Table made from FSC wood, a Laminated Guide to Garden Birds, a Bird Window Feeder, a bag of High Energy Bird Mix and a Birch Log Nest Box.

…And remember both our competitions close on 31st October 2010 – so enter today!   Good Luck.

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