BOTANY 🌸🌳 Feed

🌸Spring and🌱Nature Inspired 📚Books

April 23rd is William Shakespeare's birthday (1564) and World Book Day, so below I have put together our favorite 🌸Spring and🌱nature-inspired books with links to hands-on activities. DSC_0074

A closer 🔍look at our 🌸Spring 🌱Nature 📚Books (top left to right):

  • My First Discoveries Series with its transparent pages add a new twist to a traditional reading. TreesFlowers, and Woods and Forest books are a great addition to your spring or botany book collection:
    • Trees book (buy here) gracefully explains how nature's cycle works.
    • Flowers book (buy here) will show a child how bees and butterflies settle on spring flowers, how buds blossom and flower into fruit, and how sunflowers turn to face the sun.
    • Woods and Forests book (buy here) teaches a young reader about nature, seasons, woods and forests.
  • Everything Spring (Picture the Seasons) National Geographic Children's (buy here) is an amazing beautifully photographed picture book where young children can see, hear, and feel the warmth of springtime by reading and learning all about chicks, bunnies, and the other baby animals that come out to play in springtime.
  • Spring book is a part of Four Seasons Book set (buy here), where each of the books describes the characteristics of one season. Spectacular images of children, plants, and animals in all seasons combine with simple text to demonstrate how seasonal changes affect all life on Earth.
  • Cherry Blossoms Say Spring National Geographic Children's Books series (buy here) looks at the life cycle of a cherry tree, the history behind the gift of the Japanese cherry trees to our nation's capital, and the association of cherry trees and spring. Vibrant scenes from the Cherry Blossom Festival and the flood of visitors to the Tidal Basin are balanced with shots of the natural beauty of these trees. 

DSC_0109"The sun opens the buds and tiny leaves uncurl." ~  Trees book.

DSC_0109"In spring, chestnut trees blossom. The flowers grow into chestnuts."

Through beautiful overlay pages of My First Discoveries series books, a child can see a little seed grow into a mighty tree. The Trees book takes a young reader through a journey of a tree, which flowers every year, bearing seeds that will in Autumn fall to the ground just to grow slowly into more trees.   

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Flowers book has the most beautiful transparent overlay pages which reveal how buds blossom and flower into fruit; how sunflowers turn to face the sun; how bees and butterflies settle on spring flowers, and how Dandelion: grows from a flower ~ to a bud ~  to a seed.

DSC_0002For more flower books, read here a post about our favorite 🌸Botany 📚Books.

DSC_0066Learning about ❄️🌸🌳🍂Seasons ~ read here about our material and books.

 See here our entire 🌸Spring 🌱 Themed Unit roundup.

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Learning About 🌿 Leaves (Botany 🌸🌳 Lesson)

Inspired by nature's gifts of blooming flowers and thickening emerald foliage of trees, we started our Botany unit study, and today, Adrian wished to go outside and collect different leaves and explore them up close. So, "following the child" I had put together a lesson about leaves.  

Leaves help plants make their own food. Within the leaf, there is a green material called chlorophyll, which absorbs sunlight to make a natural sugar that the plant uses for food. This process is called photosynthesis, during which carbon dioxide, which can be toxic in high concentration and poisonous to humans, is used by the plant while oxygen, which is one of the most important elements required to sustain life, is released. Thus, plants and people live in a symbiotic relationship, where trees are indispensable to Earth's air being fresh and clean, and people can commit to preserving forests and planting new ones.

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Eyewitness Plant book (buy here) explains in details "leaving leaves" and its variety, while featuring stunning real-life photographs, offering young readers a unique eyewitness view of fascinating world of plants, including plant's anatomy and growth. 

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The leaf has veins for carrying converted sugar to other parts of the plant. The flat, green part of the leaf is called the blade. The edge of the leaf is called the margin. Leaves are called "sun-catchers" because they "catch" the sun that the plant needs to make food. Evergreen plants do not lose their leaves in the winter, so their leaves need to be tough to survive several years in the wind, sun and rain. Some evergreen leaves have waxy upper surface and downy underside. 
DSC_0001Adrian is using the Due Scope Microscope (buy here) which features three objective lenses: 40x, 100x, and 400x magnifications, and two light sources. To observe a solid item like a leaf, Adrian uses the light source above the stage. Find more details about this Microscope in a "Microscope Study" post here.


DSC_0001Rhododendron evergreen leaf has a waxy upper surface to prevent it from drying out.
DSC_0001A felt-like down on leaf's undersides retains moisture and keep insects away.

Leafs DSC_0111The Trees book (buy her) with its beautiful overlay pages offers further insights about trees, leaves and nature's cycle. 

In the fall, leaves lose their chlorophyll, which allows for other colors in the leaf to show, so that we see yellow, orange, red and even purple leaves. 

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Adrian likes shading over leaves with a chunky beeswax block crayon (buy here), and seeing the veins and the margin of the leaf emerge. (For more on shading over, read here a post "Sandpaper Numbers Extensions: using marbles and shading over".)

To find out which "Botany 🌸 Books 📚 we are 📖 Reading" see a post here.

We learned more about leaves and nature's cycle in a post "Learning about ❄️🌸🌳🍂Seasons" - read here

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

Learning about ❄️🌸🌳🍂Seasons

I think that the most drastic seasonal change occurs from winter to spring: when nature, rested from its natural respite, awakens in all its glory to start the cycle of life once again.

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To learn about the season's cycle, we started with a Four Seasons Book set (buy here), where each of the books describes the characteristics of one season. Spectacular images of children, plants, and animals in all seasons combine with simple text to demonstrate how seasonal changes affect all life on Earth.

It is Winter. It is cold. The days are short.
It is Spring. It is getting warmer. The days are getting longer.”
It is Summer. It is hot. School is out.
It is Fall. It is getting colder. The days are getting shorter.”

DSC_0066We then talked about the Earth being tilted on its axis, and how the seasons are caused by such a tilt as the Earth travels in a loop around the Sun each year. Summer happens in the hemisphere which is tilted towards the Sun, and winter happens in the hemisphere which tilted away from the Sun.
DSC_0066We also read Watching the Seasons book (buy here), which offers a perfect way to introduce the cycle of the year as a whole. The book, with its simple text and relevant vocabulary, familiarizes young readers with the basic environmental characteristics of each season in sequence. 
DSC_0066This Earth (buy similar here) is part of the Solar System set, which was handmade to order from wool and organic cotton. 



DSC_0109"The sun opens the buds and tiny leaves uncurl." 

Adrian loves My First Discoveries series Trees book (buy here), which gracefully explains how nature's cycle works.

DSC_0109"In spring, chestnut trees blossom. The flowers grow into chestnuts."

Through these beautiful overlay pages, a child can see a little seed grow into a mighty tree. A tree flowers every year, bearing seeds, which will fall to the ground, to grow slowly into more trees.  

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Woods and Forest book (buy here) is another great book from the same series which will teach a young reader about nature, seasons, woods and forests. Deciduous trees grow leaves, which wither and fall off in the autumn. Evergreen trees have needles. See how forests change with the seasons ...

DSC_0116In spring, the leaves appear and the branches grow. In summer, the woodland foliage is dense and green.

DSC_0116In autumn, the trees change color and lose their leaves. 

The Woods and Forest book (buy here) tells a beautiful story about nature's cycle, and the gracious transformation the trees undergo: from bare elegant branches in a winter to emerald green shoots in a spring, to bright forest-green hats in the summer, to golden crimson red in the autumn. 

To make nature, seasons, and weather observation more hands-on, we decided to get a perpetual Montessori calendar, where children can actively learn about the concept of time, by monitoring days, weeks, weather, seasons, and even the moon phases.

DSC_0123Perpetual Calendar & Weather Chart (buy here).

This artisan perpetual calendar is crafted by hand from solid hardwood maple. It is a great tool to bring attention to the purpose of the day and upcoming events and to teach children about weather conditions and cycles of the moon. I am loving the "Waldorf Colored Days" option, which follows the specific colors Waldorf homeschooling families assign for each day. And seasonal watercolor painted coins are so useful in allowing your child follow the season. 

By understanding nature's seasonal cycle and through daily monitoring of the passage of time, I hope my children can feel closer to nature, appreciating its cycle and all the beauty each season brings.

To find out which "Botany 🌸 Books 📚 we are 📖 Reading" ~ see a post here

For more Botany Lessons, read a post "Learning About 🍃 Leaves" here

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

🌼Botany 📚Books Based Study

Spring is in full bloom, and we cannot stop admiring all the beauty unfolding in front of our eyes. And discoveries lead to questions: "Where do flowers come from? How do flowers know when to bloom? How do they get their food?  What is pollination?" And so forth. 

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As always, we find our answers in books. Eyewitness Plant book (top-right/buy here) features stunning real-life photographs of flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves, offering young readers a unique eyewitness view of the fascinating world of plants, including plant's anatomy and growth. 

DSC_0020This amazing Plant book even comes with a Clip Art CD and a large comprehensive 22" x 30" wall chart.

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We are also loving Flowers (My First Discoveries) book (bottom-right/buy here), where beautiful transparent overlay pages reveal how buds blossom and flower into fruit, how sunflowers turn to face the sun, and how bees and butterflies settle on spring flowers. 

DSC_0110  Dandelion: from a bud ~ to a flower ~ to a seed.

DSC_0159* IG LfStIf you were to wish on a dandelion, what would it be?

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Flowers book offers bright illustrations and prompts you to get outside and learn hands-on. So, Adrian gathered Dandelions during our nature walks and arranged them in a lifecycle of the plant.

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There must be [a] provision for the child to have contact with nature, to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in it… so that the child may better understand and participate in the marvelous things which civilization creates.  ~ The Secret of Childhood, Dr. Maria Montessori.

DSC_0110In Flowers book, detailed and instructive illustrations, together with clear and simple texts, hold children’s attention, whilst the overlays on the transparent pages reveal hidden surprises and facilitate understanding. Here, the book's instructions prompted to press a flower between the sheets, and stick it onto book's page once dried. Julia wanted to draw the flower first.

DSC_0200Adrian is learning parts of the flower by referencing a gorgeous book Nature Anatomy (buy all three books in a Collection: Farm Anatomy, Nature Anatomy, and Food Anatomy here). We simply fell in love with Julia Rothman's writing and illustration style. These three books are like mini-encyclopedias, which your little one (and big ones) would love!

DSC_0202The top right book with a crocus is Flowers book, and the Eyewitness Plant book offers an in-depth study of the bulb and other plant parts. 

After having explored the parts of the flower with Nature Anatomy book, we went out to our yard and dug some Dafdaffodils which had finished blooming already. We then talked about the parts of the plant: such as roots, stem, leaves and a flower. We also inspected the bulb and its parts. Adrian was amazed to find out a large-cupped bulb, similar to a garlic bulb, consisting of many smaller cloves, capable of producing many stems per bulb, and, depending on the bulb's energy reserves, each stem has the potential to grow a flower! And, we found out that we can divide daffodil's bulb ~ the best time being when the foliage has begun to die back (such feeds the bulb and will ensure healthy bulbs with plenty of stored sugar for the next season’s growth). Read more here. And so we did. We separated ones that pulled off easy and planted them right away.


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What flower or plant books are you reading? See here our Spring Activities roundup in a post 🌸Spring 🌱Inspired Themed Unit Study.

Read here a post "Learning about ❄️🌸🌳🍂Seasons" where we were exploring nature's cycle.

For more on leaves identification, read a post "Learning About 🍃 Leaves (Botany Lesson)" here.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

🌐Earth Day 2017 Activities Roundup

“The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.”  ~ Dr. Montessori.

April 22nd is 🌐Earth Day! Senator Nekson declared this day a National Holiday so that we can educate our children on the importance of conservation and caring for our environment. There is still so much to be done in terms of reducing pollution, making sure we all live in harmony with every living creature, and conserving our valuable resources.

DSC_0037We began by talking about recycling, upcycling, reusing, reducing, and protecting.

We also read 🌐Earth Day inspired 📚books:

DSC_0024See here a post about I Cherish Planet Earth Book.

I Cherish Planet Earth book (buy here) is about appreciating and preserving nature and our planet. It celebrates Earth’s life and beauty in all its glory. The book contains many affirmations, and it is an inspiration to learn about and care for all life, from the tiniest flower to the greatest forest. The book also comes with matching memory game.

DSC_0005For more books, see here 🌐Earth Day Inspired 📚Books. 

Since children have little experience, they tend to view the world in the present tense. However, when children study nature hands-on, for example by caring for plants, learning answers to questions like "How long does it take for the flower to bloom?" allows them to expand their perspective to include the past, present, and future. Children can then project the Earth into the future and envision possible "futures" based on where we are now. Finally, as children gain love and an understanding of nature, they can project themselves into the future and consider how their actions would help build the future they dream of most. 

IMG_5920From a flower spike to full blooming orchids!

Read here how Adrian takes care of his orchids in Caring for Orchids (Earth 🌐 Day Inspired Montessori Practical Life Activity) post. 

DSC_0026-2 See here a post "Pink Tower - Brown Stairs Extensions" for materials Adrian is working above.

DSC_0026-2 Montessori Materials are wonderful to celebrate 🌐Earth Day!


DSC_0032When Julia was 5 1/2 yo, these were her affirmations.


DSC_0032Julia had also been troubled by the fact that some children still starve in some parts of our world despite the abundances we live in. So, her dream is that all people hold hands, helping and loving each other and that there is plenty of food for everyone. 

DSC_0032She lastly drew her family and pictures of things that can help our planet Earth.

DSC_0032Julia's plea to all children of the Earth.

DSC_0032This was a completely independent craft she Julia with her brother when she was 7.5 yo.
DSC_0032Adrian's Earth Day craft at 3.5 yo.


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 Earth Day is also a wonderful opportunity to teach children to collected litter. 

DSC_0183Adrian is 3.5 years old in this picture, collecting litter in our neighborhood. (We barely see any so we had to walk far to find any litter.) 

DSC_0183Since then, it has become our tradition to pick up litter on Earth Day.

Despite global warming, increasing human population and depletion of natural resources, there is so much that has been done already: from conservation legislation to global change of consciousness regarding caring for our planet, to a shift towards renewable sources of energy. "One drop raises the sea!"  I tell my children. So, one person, one child can make a difference, even if at first, such change seems insignificant. Any change will have a cumulative effect if many children learn early on to love and cherish and appreciate our home, our Mother Earth, and respect all living things, from the tiniest flower to a massive humpback whale since we are all interconnected ~ one big family!

Happy 🌐Earth Day! What are your traditions? Please, leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW