Happy Groundhog Day!
Some traditions are odd. If today is a sunny day, then the groundhog
will see its shadow and there will be six more weeks of winter. If it
is cloudy, then no shadow and spring is on its way.
Wonder why anyone thought the clearness of the sky on February 2nd
can predict the coming of spring?
While I don’t know the answer to that, I do know that many of us feel
a spark of joy when the groundhog predicts an early spring.
the cold of February, think spring
Now is a great time to start planning for spring gardening, even if
you don’t have a garden.
There are lots of garden-related sensory activities that can be
encouraged, even in this winter month.
First, introduce the topic of plants. For example, make veggies
- Go online and look at the variety of
vegetables. There are cool facts about
our common veggies and there are some amazing and
- Group veggies by which part is edible.
Interestingly, different parts of the world eat different parts
of the veggie. I once read that Canadians each the turnip root
and toss the leaves. The Southern States eat the leaves and toss
- When at a grocery store with your child, feel
and smell some of the veggies and talk about which ones get
peeled and which ones don’t, the type of seeds they have, where
they are grown, which ones can be grown here, some of the ways
they can be cooked, and which ones are related to other ones
(zucchini and squash are related, even though they don’t look
- Buy one or two that the child chooses and
have the child help prepare the veggie. Try cutting it in
different shapes or shredding it. Do the different shapes change
the flavour? Try eating it raw and cooked. Try it with salt or
with butter. Here are some works of art from some very talented
people who have cut their veggies in ways that would
make it a shame to eat them.
Getting back to
our spring theme, tomato and pepper seeds can be started now in
containers and then the containers moved outside as the weather
Many other veggies can be started later in the spring.
Spend time picking out the seeds to be planted directly in the
Visit a garden centre and wander through the plants. Now is a quiet
and calm time to go.
Plants are somewhat forgiving and can be touched. Choose a variety of
leaves and feel the differences.
Plants can be smelled. Check out the herbs for stronger smells.
Buy your own touch garden (plants that have a variety
of textures) or scent garden (herbs). Ask if the variety of
plants can be put in a single container. If they can, ask for care
instructions and give the child ownership of the plants.
And if flowers are your first love when it comes to plants, there is
a huge opportunity to
There are so many sense-ible ways to use plants as a teaching tool.
Have you used plants as a tool for teaching or calming? Was it
successful? Please share with us the
and interesting ways to engage our senses using plants.
Zazz up your texture
Do you know someone with curious fingers? Someone who has a need
to continuously touch something?
Try our Zazzy Zipper Bracelet. The
texture of the zipper as well as undoing and doing the zipper keeps
fingers busy and close to the body.
And they come in lots of colours
to suit any wardrobe.
Even though we
have had a mild winter in Alberta, it felt good to be writing and
thinking about spring.
& comfort, learning & laughter,
Founder & President