Sunday, May 16, 2010

Egg Carton Seed Starters

If you've followed this blog for awhile, you have probably noticed that I like to find creative ways to reuse everyday objects. With this simple little project, you can take an old egg carton and start a garden. It is such a simple project that almost any age child can participate, and in the process learn what's involved in caring for a plant and enjoy the resulting harvest (vegetables always taste better when you've grown them yourself).

For our first planting this year we chose lettuce, but we have also enjoyed growing herbs (they are easy to grow in a small space, they are practical for cooking and they provide a great sensory experience for the kids with their various smells and tastes).

For this project, you will need:
Egg carton
A sheet of plastic wrap (optional)

Cut the cover off the egg carton. Since we were going to keep this on the windowsill, we covered the inside of the lid with plastic wrap and placed it under the egg carton to catch excess water.

Put a little soil in each egg carton cup.

Put seeds in each cup, then cover with more soil.


Water regularly, following the directions on the seed packet.

Once the seedlings are big enough, you can cut the egg cups apart and place them directly into a larger pot or the garden (if they are made of paper pulp, instead of styrofoam, the carton will biodegrade).

Friday, May 07, 2010

Simple Fun

Photographs by Greta Eskridge

Do you ever feel that we over think and over spend when it comes to entertaining our kids? Often it is the simple things that bring them great joy. Babies shun their brightly colored, flashing, musical toys for the simple pleasure of banging on pots and pans.

Little ones would rather cook in the kitchen with you than play with the kitchen sitting in their room. Making a rocket made out of a used paper towel roll and a paper cone brings as much satisfaction as using a fancy kit. It doesn't have to be fancy for them to enjoy it.

We just put up a swing in our backyard. I have envisioned a play house complete with swings. The proper kind. This one is a board and a rope. It is just right. Just perfect, actually.

Do you have any simple, homemade toys that bring happiness to your children? Please share.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

iBox is Here

All of the tech buzz may be about Apple's new iPad, but we are pretty excited about our new iBox, a cardboard laptop computer we made ourselves.

We used an old box with a single flap top, an Apple sticker (if you have a Mac your probably have a couple of these lying around), a picture of a keyboard and track pad that we cut out of an old Mac laptop box (though I had planned on either taking a picture of a keyboard and printing it or drawing our own custom keyboard), a letter-sized sheet protector (available in clear or non-glare) to use as the monitor, and screen shots of a few of our favorite applications and websites, that we then printed and slide into the sheet protector when we want to work on a specific application (of course we can also create our own "applications" to put on the screen).

We also added a USB port (a hole cut into the side of the box) to plug in peripherals like a portable cardboard hard drive and our digital camera.

For more fun projects using cardboard boxes, click here.