Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DIY Plant a Kiss, a Planting Activity, and a Freebie

Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a wonderful February book.  Actually it's great for any month but works especially well for Valentines.  The story (which seems to have less than 100 words) conveys the beauty of sharing, kindness, and giving.  The illustrations are simple and the kiss that grows is a sparkly gem that Little Miss joyfully shares with everyone.  As she shares the sparkly gem of kisses gets bigger and more beautiful with each page.
Click here to see more about the book.

I was so touched by this simple book that I just had to come up with a "plant a kiss" activity.  If you complete this activity in the next week or so, your students may well have a blooming (or at least growing) delight to share with their families on February 14th.  The project starts with making "kiss packets" (or in other words) a variation on seed tape. 

If you are unfamiliar with seed tape, it's a way to lock seeds in place on thin pieces of paper that you then plant.  It helps control too many seeds being deposited in one place.  You actually plant the paper packet and the seeds grown through the paper. 

To create "kiss" seed packets:
You'll need red or pink tempera paint, empty toilet paper rolls, and (very cheap and thin) white paper towels or toilet paper, or white tissue paper, corn starch, and seeds (I used African Daisies because they sprout in 5-10 days).

Please note that the thinner the paper you use, the greater the chance your seeds will germinate in just 5-10 days.   

1)  Fold the toilet paper rolls in half so that the ends look like big lips.
2)  Put tempera paint on a paper plate and use the toilet paper roll to stamp kisses on your toilet paper, thin white paper towels or white tissue paper.  Let the printed paper dry.
3)  Mix 1 Tbs. water with 1 Tbs. corn starch.  It will make a gluey substance. 
4).  Cut the printed and dried paper towels (or other paper) into 1.5 inch strips.
  5). Paint the center of each strip with the corn starch and water mixture.  Drop about 3-5 seeds in the wet corn starch mixture. This will help the seeds stick and stay in place. 
6).  Fold the paper towel over and press down firmly capturing the seeds in the corn starch.  Trim the strip to include only the section with the seeds.  You now have a neat little "kiss packet" of seeds to plant.
7)  Decorate a paper cup with pink or red price dots/labels.  Hint # 1: It's not a bad idea to limit the number of dots that each child gets... if you know what I mean.
8)  Fill the paper cup with moist potting soil to about the three quarter mark and lay the seed packet on top of the moist soul.   Cover the packet with about 3/4 of an inch of additional soil.
Your African Daisies are now ready to be loved, watered and bathed by sunlight for the next 5-10 days.  Hint # 2:  I ALWAYS plant about 5-7 extra cups that I tend at home.  Should a child's seeds not germinate I sneak (yes, I said sneak) into the classroom at about day 11 or 12 and substitute my plants with the ones that have not yet sprouted.  It's so disappointing when everyone is taking a plant home for Valentines and one or two children are taking home only a cup of dirt- OUCH!

You now have "kisses" that your students have planted for Valentines.  They make great little Valentines plant gifts for mom and dad.

Now speaking of kisses... I have a cute little kisses, hearts, and I Love U graph designed especially to be used with those little target erasers.


Click on graph to download. 

Enjoy your weekend.
Granny (Cindy)
Freebie Fridays

4 comments:

  1. So cute! Thanks for sharing. The book sounds great. I will have to check it out. :)

    Tammi
    The Balanced Classroom

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  2. It's a great little book- I do hope you like it also.

    Cindy

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  3. I LOVE this freebie graph! I just so happened to get these erasers at Target and you provided the perfect activity for them. Thanks!!!

    Also can't wait to check out this book.

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  4. Cindy! Thank you for this great seed idea! I hadn't heard of it before. I also was excited to see the graph, since I had just picked up those erasers at target! Thanks!
    Corinna
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

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