Growing Beans And Onions Indoors

A few weeks ago we had ‘Growing‘ as our PlayLearning theme, during which we planted three types of beans and some onions. Over the last three weeks I have taken photos of their progress, and here they are below.

Growing Beans

Ironically, the dwarf bean sprouted roots and shoots much sooner than the broad bean or barlotti bean. We’ve now replanted them into soil as I’m not sure how long they were going to survive on just water and cotton wool!

The onions were a fun experiment too. I’m waiting a few more days before I start using these, because, to be honest, I have no idea what to do with them! I found this idea on Pinterest, but there weren’t instructions beyond the actual putting it together. I don’t know if you’re supposed to harvest the onions at some point, or if you just enjoy the greens indefinitely! Anyway… we’ll enjoy the greens for now, and see what happens.

It’s quite a cool and fun thing to have in the kitchen though. I think it looks great.

Growing onions

What are you growing this year?

Skills - Builds Confidence Skills - Explore Nature

5 Growing Themed Activities For Children

Our PlayLearning theme this week is ‘growing’ with a bent towards gardening, seeds and the plant cycle.

While it’s still a little early to be planting, I think, and we have absolutely no space to really be doing it – what with the swamp garden in the state it is, and the conservatory the new garage – but somehow it still feels like a good thing to be doing this week.

Here are five great ideas for helping children understand the seed – to seedling – to plant process, and just a fun activity too.
learning about growing

1) The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

The Tiny Seed is a gorgeous little story about a tiny seed blown away from the parent plant, where it travels a long way with all the other seeds. The seed survives the hazards of the journey and finally falls onto fertile earth where it grows to become a huge flower, attracting visitors from miles around, before the seasons change, and the flowers seeds begin a journey of their own.

Ameli loved this story, and even a few hours after the first reading, was able to answer questions about the story, and the journey of seeds.

If you don’t want to buy the book, there’s a beautiful reading of it on Youtube.

2) One Seed – a children’s story and song

Another lovely story, with valuable lessons about being  strong against ridicule, and standing up for what you believe it and having faith in yourself. This story talks about how following your dream and doing what you know you are capable of can affect many people down the line. There’s emphasis on roots and the strength they give and how putting those roots down attracts water to the plant. There’s also the spread of plants through the seeds, birds and people.

After the story there’s a song, pictures and things to think about. We didn’t go through all those, but did watch the story a few times. It definitely sank in, because later today, driving somewhere, Ameli was answering all my questions about the roots – if the roots are deep, would the wind blow the tree over? if you leaned against the tree, would it fall over? can the leaves blow off?

This story definitely increased her understanding of roots and growth.


3) Craft a Flower Garden

My mom’s final memorial service was on Saturday, in Perth, and obviously we weren’t there. The girls and I created a flower garden – Nana’s flower garden.

We used:

  • Lolipop sticks
  • Mini cupcake cases
  • Cut out ‘petals’
  • 3 photographs
  • Ribbon
  • Circle of polystyrene out of packaging

I cut a few sets of petals for the girls to glue to green and white lolipop sticks. We also glued and snipped a few mini cupcake cases, gluing the pictures to the middle. We added some ribbon (blue) around the outside of the polystyrene, and twirled some starry ribbon around too.

The girls love their Nana’s Garden


4) Watch beans grow

Not literally. It would be very tedious. We’re actually a little early on the bean planting, according to the instructions on the package, but never mind. We used three empty spice bottles, and some cotton wool, and the girls helped place the seeds from Barlotti beans, Broad beans and Runner beans in the three bottles in such a way that as they sprout and grow, we can keep an eye on them. I’m quite excited about this. I hope they do sprout!

Add a popsicle stick with the name of the beans and sit back and wait. We hope.


5) Onions grown indoors

This is a Pinterest offering I spotted some time ago, and never gave much thought to again, but when I was about to throw out a 3l oil can I suddenly remembered it and thought it could be a good idea.

Now, I’m not sure how the heck they made the perfect circles in their plastic on the Pinterest version, but it was quite a job. In the end I pierced the bottle with the tip of a knife, then cut squares out all around.

I bought an expanding potting soil which the girls thoroughly enjoyed watching and mixing with the water, and we layered water with onions sticking the tip out through the hole and the roots covered in soil.

Our onions are currently on the window sill where they might get a few rays of sun, if the sun ever shines again.

These five ‘growing’ activities gave us loads of fun and conversation today and I look forward to seeing our vegetables grow as my girlie’s mind expands and absorbs too.

Dear Ameli- Letter To A Sixteen Month Old

Dear Ameli

Sixteen months, little girl. Sixteen months.

We’ve had quite a hard month, really, and it’s been more about me than about you. I’ve been on this hormone treatment to try to sort things out in my very messed up hormones, and besides that I had a great case of food poisoning that knocked me out for a good week.

You’ve been great though. Even when I was sick, you just kept yourself low key and for the most part entertained yourself when aunty Deshaine wasn’t around.

Your development is phenomenal, and you just keep adding words to your vocabulary. Sometimes we only have to repeat something once or twice and you have it. I don’t think you always understand the word but you definitely ‘get’ actions. Sometimes I’m absolutely astounded by the way you follow instructions. You may not know the words, but you certainly know what they mean.

One day I was doing some housework when you just wanted ‘up, up, up’. I decided to get you involved, so gave you something for the bin, and you popped it in the bin. I gave you something for the wash basket, and you popped it in the wash basket. I gave you a wooden spoon to put in the sink, and you looked at me with confusion. So I led you over to the sink, and you stood on the tips of your toes and reached your arm up as far as it would go and dropped it on the ledge. I was so incredibly impressed.

You’ve taken to drawing, but at the moment, your version of drawing usually involves a pen and one or another body part. One day you were drawing on your leg with a ballpoint pen. I took it from you and drew a flower on your knee. Once I was finished, you pointed at it, said ‘wower’ (your version of flower) and then raised your knee to your nose and sniffed repeatedly. Maybe you had to be there, but it was very funny.

Not all your developments are great either: You’ve learned to pretend that you can’t hear me when I’m telling you to do something you don’t want to do. Which works pretty well until I pretend I have some tasty bit of food and go hmmm-mmmh – then you hear perfectly and want some too!

I could fill pages and pages with the things you do, my beautiful girl. But this will do for today.

Oh, and you have more teeth! You have four on top now, and four on the bottom, and more bumps all over your gums.
Keep doing what you’re doing Princess. You are beautiful.

Lots of love,

Letter to a Six Month Old

Dear Ameli

I can’t believe you’re six months old today.

You’re asleep here next to me, and I look down over your long little body and my breath quickens as I try to take it all in. I can still see you, a tiny little curled up figure, barely bigger than my two hands lying in the same position this moment six months ago.

Read more: Letter to a Six Month Old

Teething Trauma

A few weeks, or months ago, I wrote that Ameli was starting to teethe.  At the time I, stupidly, naively, thought people were right to groan when it came to teething. It really is a miserable time. Look at Ameli. She wasn‘t eating well or sleeping well.  Phew. Was that a false reality. On a scale of 1 to 10 of horrible times, I thought it was a 7. In light of the last few days, I’m regrading then down to a three!

Read more: Teething Trauma

Top 10 Mommy Moments of 2009

Since I’ve only been a mom for 3 months (almost), I don’t have a list that’ll knock anyone’s socks off with humour and witty sayings, but the moments I treasure are spread from a few days after my baby’s conception to now. Here’s a list of my top ten mothering moments of 2009:
Read more: Top 10 Mommy Moments of 2009

To cot or not to cot?

Anyone who has read at least a couple of my blog posts will be aware that I am just not impressed at the rate of growth in babies, or more specifically, my little girl. We don’t go to get weighed every two weeks, as we ‘should’ and she’s not been to the doctor for anything other than her six week checkup so far, but I have no fear of ‘Failure to Thrive’ with her. In fact, quite the opposite.

When I was pregnant, I spent countless, sick, exhausted, sleepless nights researching what was wrong with me (Hyperemesis Gravidarum), and finding out how best to be pregnant healthily. I failed miserable, and barely ate for the first 18 weeks or so, then was hospitalised with severe dehydration. I spent the next 12 weeks recovering from what felt like a long term illness. I was tired and weak most of the time. Then the final 10 weeks I slept. A lot. I was very tired. But I used my awake time wisely.

I researched, studied, prepared, learned. I knew exactly what I was expecting in labour. I watched videos. I read books. I looked up herbs. I made lists. I was ready for labour, and it paid off. It was a good experience.

I even prepared for being a mom. By this I mean, I read the ‘becoming a dad’ books, (because they were always so much lighter and less ‘your life is over’ than the mom’s books) and we attended a pediatric first aid course, and a fantastic antenatal class. Sofie was great. We learned how to put on a nappy, how to swaddle, how to feed. We learned about poo, about fevers, about wind. I learned a lot from her, and I am very grateful.

But nothing, nowhere, not a book, a friend, a fellow mom, a class or a chatroom prepared me for the actual fact of having a baby. And really, how could they. It’s something only experience can teach. But we cope. Every mother does, and so the world stays populated.

What gets me most is the growing. Every day, so fast. Blink and you miss out. Smiles, focusing eyes, reaching hands. IMG_0054

Why today especially? Because I’m still in denial.

Ameli has a Moses basket in our room, and a thus far unused travel cot in her own room.

I’d like to move the travel cot in to our room, because her room is totally unused at the moment, except for the changing table attached to the travel cot.

I’d like to move the travel cot in to our room, because I could use the space to move some things from the kitchen, and have more space in the kitchen, since her bouncy chair and her laundry basket now take up half the room.

I’d like to move the travel cot in to our room, because it makes sense.

So why do I keep putting it off, despite my annoyance at lack of space in the kitchen?

Because I can’t take her out of her Moses basket yet.  She’s supposed to be able to use it till she’s three months old. Moving her in to the cot is admitting how much she’s grown, even though she’s only two months now.

I sound like a broken record, I know, but I’m just not ready for her to move in to the big cot. As my husband says, we can never go back to the Moses basket. Once its over, its over.

Can someone tell me please, at what stage of motherhood am I supposed to be okay with how fast these days just slip away?

Can you say growth spurt?

I am afflicted by a London-based curse. Well, for me it is London based. I develop tonsilitis and bronchitis every year. The first time it happened was our first year in London, December 2004, just in time for our wedding. I kind of croaked my ‘I do’s’ through a drug induced, fevered hue. Read more: Can you say growth spurt?