This post is sponsored by The Home Depot but all the ideas and opinions are my own.
Chores are necessary for kids to learn how to take care of themselves and their home but getting them to do them is never easy. With my kids, I always stress that we are a team and that we have to work together to get everything done. As a single homeschooling mom, that's no exaggeration. This chore chart emphasizes building something together rather than payment for chores, and makes a pretty addition to your home as well. Each tree has a chore written on the back. To use this chore chart, make a pile of the trees and as each chore is done that tree can be placed in the forest. When the forest is full then your chores are done!
Forest Chore Chart Tutorial
Tools & Materials (not all items are pictured):
12" x 5 1/2" x 3/4" red oak board [Dimensions of the base can be varied. I chose a 1 x 6 red oak board at The Home Depot and then had them cut it down to 12" long. The cut was free.] 3/4" oak dowel 1/2" oak dowel sandpaper (I used an 80 grit sanding sponge) 1/2" wood button plugs wood glue (I used Gorilla Wood Glue) 4 felt pads - self-leveling and 1" diameter acrylic paint in white and red (ignore the green in the photo) small paint brush Mod Podge heavy scrapbook paper in shades of green scissors sticky notes to write down chores coping saw or other small saw clamp
Cut 1/4" to 2" segments from both dowels - no need to measure - I ended up using 11 total in a variety of the two sizes.
Using the clamp, saw a slice into the top of each dowel segment at least half-way down into the piece. Test if the cut is straight by placing a piece of paper into the slice and see if the paper sits level or not.
Sand all of the cut edges of the dowel segments and the wood base until everything feels nice and smooth.
Decide where you want your dowel stumps and wood mushroom plugs to go. Insert paper into each dowel segment to make sure there is enough room between stumps.
Make a small pencil mark under each stump and mushroom when you know where you want them to go.
Start gluing down the stumps (put glue on pencil mark and on the bottom of your stump, wait about a minute then glue together). Place a rock, or similar, on top of each stump to clamp while drying. Meanwhile, paint your mushrooms.
First, give each wood button plug, or mushroom, a coat of white paint. Next, paint just the top red; it might need a couple of coats. When dry, add a few white dots to the top of each mushroom. After they are dry, paint just the top with Mod Podge.
Glue the mushrooms in place on your base.
Stick self-leveling felt pads in each corner on the underside of the base.
Cut a variety of tree shapes from scrapbook paper. Depending on the paper and width of the slices in your stumps, you may need to glue on an extra layer (or two) of paper, at the base only, to make them sit tightly in the stump.
Write chores on sticky notes, trim, and stick to the back of the trees.
Disclosure: The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their Twitter Party and DIH Workshop program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
This is a guest post by Annie Riechmann, the creator and author of Alphabet Glue.
Alphabet Glue is a downloadable magazine for families who love books. It's full of activities, printables, projects and inspiration for incorporating all things literary into your daily routine. She is sharing the Origami Planting Pots from Volume 6 that is an activity to go-along with the lovely book, The Gardener .
I first read The Gardener when I came across it in a Language Arts textbook at a school where I was teaching. I immediately realized what a treasure the book was, and found a copy at my local library to share with my daughter at home. Written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by her husband, David Small, The Gardener is the story of one Lydia Grace Finch, a young country girl, sent to live with a grumpy uncle in the big city when The Great Depression brings hard times to her family. Told through a series of letters to her family back home, Lydia Grace shares the story of her time in the city, including her quest to see the dour Uncle Jim smile before her time with him is over.
Through her letters, the reader learns about the people that Lydia Grace meets in Uncle Jim’s bakery, as well as her inspired green thumb, which soon has every cracked tea cup or empty wooden box in the bakery blooming with flowers. We also become aware that Lydia Grace has an imaginative surprise up her sleeve; a final parting gift for Uncle Jim that is sure to win her the smile that she has been seeking.
The last few pages of The Gardener abandon text altogether and are told only through Small’s expressive illustrations, and his pictures are so perfectly rendered that Lydia Grace’s magical effect on Uncle Jim is abundantly clear, even without words. The Gardener is one of those rare picture books that has something to offer to readers of all ages, and the book’s final scene captures my heart each and every time I see it.
Here is a little seed starting project in the spirit of Lydia Grace and her quest to bring joy to the world around her. These origami-style paper cups can be filled with soil, sprinkled with favorite garden seeds and then planted directly into the ground when the resulting seedlings are ready for their garden debut. The materials for this project are humble, to be sure: newsprint, recycled egg cartons, a bit of garden soil. But, with proper care, the results are much more remarkable, and just may get you the kind of smiles that Lydia Grace was going for when she planted her flower seeds in every last place she could find.
Materials: - newsprint or newspaper, cut into 5 x 5 inch squares - an empty egg carton - potting soil - seeds
Begin by laying out a square piece of paper. Newsprint or newspaper works well because it quickly absorbs water and begins to break down, making it ideal for plant roots to grow through and for planting into the garden.
Fold the square in half so that it becomes a triangle like the above. Make sure to match up the corners and to make a nice, sharp crease at the fold.
Take the point of the triangle on the right hand side and fold it so that the point lands just a bit above the middle of the opposite side of the triangle, as in the picture above.
Now fold the point of the triangle on the left side across toward the right. The point should land at the top of the fold that you made in the previous step.
Fold each of the top flaps of the triangle down toward the flat bottom of the pot. The flap closest to you will fold forward, fold the flap on the backside of the pot down toward the back. This will allow you to open up the pot to fill it.
You should now be able to open up the pot at the top and fill it with potting soil.
Once the pots have been filled with soil, place them in an empty egg carton and plant seeds in each one according to the planting instructions on the seed packet. You’ll want to make sure that you water your pots regularly and well, as the paper can dry out more quickly than a traditional plastic pot.
Once your seedlings have their first set of true leaves, you can plant them out in the garden. You should be able to just pop the pots directly into the ground, but if you like, you can use your fingers to gently tear a hole in the bottom of each cup to make it easier for the paper to break down around the roots.
Thank you so much to Annie for sharing this project that is such a wonderful way to introduce gardening to children and giving us a peek inside the latest volume of Alphabet Glue.