This week was spent composting, creating superheroes, trying new foods, and practicing being calm using glitter.
We started our week on Tuesday morning at the Jane Boyd Community House. The lesson this week was all about composting. We discussed what composting is and how compost can improve the soil of their garden. To show the kids everyday items that can be composted, we made a compost jar that included grass clippings, twigs, soil, leaves, and newspapers. Yup, that’s right, all of these items can be composted! For our snack, we had clementines, which all of the kids loved! Did you know that fruit peels can also be composted? Instead of throwing away their fruit peels, each kid got a chance to add their fruit peel to the compost jar. We asked the kids to make predictions of what they think will happen to the height of the contents in the jar, and many said that the height would decrease. Check back in 2 weeks to see if they are right. We also showed the kids some other items that can be composted, recycled, and items that needed to be thrown away, and then the kids were able to review and test their knowledge in a relay. Each group was split into two teams, and the objective of the relay was to correctly sort their objects into the designated compost, trash, or recycling piles the fastest. Afterward, we reviewed each team’s piles to see how well they did at remembering. The kids had a great time with this activity, and we learned about a lot of objects that can go to other places besides the trash. With our extra time, we headed out to see the garden’s progress and were excited to find that a pepper was starting to grow on one of the plants. The kids explored the garden and were also able to watch as we added some previously made compost to each of the beds.
Wednesday morning, Linn County intern, Abagail, took professional headshots of us in our ISU Extension & Outreach, red polos. We were excited to be the models for her first time taking professional headshots. Over lunch, we traveled to Prairie Creek Intermediate School to hand out Super-U to-go kits at the weekly lunch pick-up. Super-U is an activity where students watch a video explaining the definition of a hero, think about heroes in their own communities, and then design their own superhero that can “fly” down a string. Each of the 200 children that received kits were excited to take them home and get started. Our afternoon was spent preparing activities for Friday and Saturday. We made over 80 glitter jar kits to take to Kids on Course (KOC) University on Friday. Each one was complete with a clear water bottle, glitter, glue, and instructions about how to be mindful. We also got everything gathered for PoP Club on Saturday at the Uptown Marion Market. The activity of the month is creating thumbprint strawberry and apple bookmarks and trying spinach, strawberry, apple salad. Be sure to catch us this Saturday, July 10th at the corner of 8th Avenue and 12th Street in Marion, IA for PoP Club! We hope to see you there!
Thursday was a blast as Happy Time students came to us for a tour of the Vinton Youth Garden and Old School Produce. Each child was engaged as we moved through the gardens and identified over 30 species of herbs and produce. One of the biggest hits was when the kids got to sample green beans, red raspberries, and kohlrabi from the garden. After our tour, we had an activity for the kids to make “FrankenPlants”. First, we talked about how we eat all parts of different plants including roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds. As a group, we brainstormed what vegetables fit into each of those categories. Some examples included peas as seeds, carrots as roots, lettuce as leaves, broccoli as flowers, peppers as fruits, and celery as stems. The kids then had the task of drawing a “FrankenPlant” or human made out of plants. They had to use one plant from each of the groups to create their person. The kids were very proud of their artwork!
On Friday, we had our weekly Kids On Course (KOC) University lesson about healthy living. This weeks lesson was focused on being mindful using a glitter jar. First we thought about how our bodies feel when we are sad or angry. Students then enjoyed creating their own glitter jars. We finished out the lessons by using the glitter jars to practice calming ourselves down and compared how our bodies felt after we were calm with before the activity. Many of the 63 students said they could tell a different in how they felt and were excited to add the glitter jar to their mindfulness toolbox.
We will catch you next week with many more exciting activities in Linn and Benton Counties!
-Tatum & Maelyn