Green Week!

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Our first secondary colour week, green was purposefully chosen as it is Ella’s LEAST favourite colour.

So, there were attempts to wear the colour green in the beginning of the week… unsuccessful attempts. But as the week wore on, and Ella developed a greater appreciation for the colour, she was actually eager to wear a green dress given by her Nana. Victory!

Shared with permission from Elisandra Sevenstar

Given Ella’s aversion for the colour green, I tried to pick illustrations that would appeal to her other interests, so she wouldn’t be too upset about the presence of green in her art corner. We loved this teacup print and Ella enjoyed finding the hidden birds in this print.

For our first sensory bin, I had planned to cook and dye some spaghetti for a really unique experience, so you can imagine my excitement when I found strawberry-scented, green string candy in my Michael’s grab bag! (Michael’s grab bags are one of my favourite things. For $2, you get a giant shopping bag full of various odds and ends that they are clearing out of the store. There are always a handful of great items that more than make the $2 gamble worth it. They are available after any major holiday or season has ended.)

I topped the string candy with some green pompoms for a great texture contrast, but also to create a “spaghetti and meatballs”-themed bin.

I also provided Ella’s kitchen tongs so she could practice transferring the spaghetti and meatballs onto plates and back into the bowl. She loved counting out the pompoms and then recounting them as she added them back to the bowl.

For our second bin, Ella and I went on a nature walk and gathered as many green things as we could fit into her “nature basket.” We did a very informal scavenger hunt, but it was such a hit that we will be doing a more structured one in future. We also talked about our family’s environmental priorities, and how we want to keep our world “green” and healthy. Especially for older children, having a conversation about “being green” while immersed in nature is a great framing experience, as the child has the opportunity to truly appreciate what it is that they are preserving by their small “green” efforts. With Ella, our conversation was kept simple: we only buy what we need, we recycle, we hang our laundry, we walk to the library, etc. For spirituality, we discussed that we are the Earth’s stewards, trusted to take care of our planet, and also how it feels to be outside.

And only now am I realizing that we got a bit sensory-bin-crazy this week… For our third sensory bin, we scooped green split peas with green measuring cups!

Ella was NOT having any part of a green sensory bath, so we settled on a green bath crayon, our green turtle animal figure, and the green measuring cups. I scented the water slightly with lime extract.

I also was convinced to buy a green ball with small nubs (or spikes!) all over it, and I have to say that I found it to be slightly unpleasant for myself, but Ella really enjoyed catching this ball more than our smoother plastic balls of similar size. Perhaps it was based on the sensory feedback she received having that extra stimulation of the nubs against her sensitive palms.

The thing I was most excited to introduce to Ella to this first week of secondary colour exploration was colour mixing. We used a few different materials to explore this: “blue” and “yellow” water in a pouring-and-mixing exercise (and, also a drinking exercise); blue and yellow playdough squished together to really manually experience the mixing process (we did this on our light table, which really allowed us to see the marbling of the two colours throughout the final green playdough); and mixing yellow and blue paint on paper. Mixing colours is a great tangible way to explore math, especially for children learning fractions (as in this instance one part plus one part equals one part).

Ella with “The Hungry Caterpillar” and her nature basket

We read and listened to “Puff the Magic Dragon,” “The Hungry Caterpillar,” and “Eco-Babies.” I was also so excited to share “The Giving Tree” with Ella, especially given our focus on environmentalism; this is definitely more appropriate for older children, but she still loved seeing the evolution of the changing tree and seemed to understand that wood comes from trees, and has since been really interested in where materials come from; this has inspired some extension opportunities involving sequencing which I will soon share. For older children, “The Adventures of Frog and Toad” would be fabulous. “Green Eggs and Ham” would also be a good choice, especially if you were able to find a natural green food dye to make your own meal of green eggs and ham!

There are so many wonderful green food options: we had Sophie Dahl’s Lettuce Soup recipe (basically pea soup with a bit of lettuce thrown in… my favourite part might just be the pat of butter added to the top of each serving), spinach salad with pears and a hummus-olive oil dressing, green grapes, spinach tortilla wraps, and Ella’s favourite: GREEN BEANS! We also tried David’s Movie Night tea which was so much fun! It blends maple, apple, and… popcorn! I was prepared to be completely grossed out and was pleasantly surprised. You could also have key lime tarts, limeade, or kiwi.

We also had plans to make “flubber” and watch clips from the movie, but I will admit I got a bit caught up in the research on Borax, which seems to be a key ingredient in successful flubber recipes. We will be doing this in a future post, though I will continue to look for other recipes in the meantime 🙂

How are you going to celebrate Green Week?

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