Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Greening / Bring It Home!

When you consider ‘greening' options keep in mind family activities at home. They have more benefits than saving gas money. We do not need research studies (although they exist) to show the many advantages to having family night / activity days at home.

Aside from the many garden and cooking projects families can work on together, activities can include educational tools which are also fun, particularly for the younger members of the family.


Jodi Freeman, author of several books for children, developed coloring books to teach about the native peoples of the Southwest. "My Coloring Book About The Old Ones" is both an activity book and a learning tool. Included are pages for the children to draw their own interpretations of ideas. Available in print or download click here. For those home schooling - the benefit of having the coloring book as a download is that each child can have their own copy.

Susan Lovejoys delightful book "Sunflower Houses" is a gardening-with-children treasure, sure to bring the child out in all. Click here for more info on the book.

Board and Card Games: So many of us grew up playing board and card games with friends and/or family, and it seems like while they are still enjoyed by some, maybe exploring some of the great oldies would get some easy fun back into the family home activity selection options. I see board and card games as an opportunity to teach healthy sportsman-like competition as opposed to the ‘take-no-prisoners' variety which field sports can sometimes teach. I put together some of my favorites in an Amazon sidebar link and chose those that have the free-shipping option if you spend $25 - save gas and shipping too!

Old Time Radio Programs. If you think the children and teenagers in your home might not be interested in the old shows, just consider how much time and energy they put into their MP3 and other audio players. Among the many, many options for program options are comedy (wholesome - there is a word you don't see a lot), musical, drama, detective, and holiday themes.

A super and inexpensive source is Old Time Radio Cat. With the holidays coming up, a start for you is the central holiday page for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas click here.

From there you can view the other categories in their sidebar. I am particularly fond of the old detective shows like Johnny Dollar, Nero Wolfe and Texas Rangers, but the old comedy of Fibber Maggie and Molly, Bob Hope and Jack Benny will never go out of style. If you are getting meals ready during holiday time, decorating the house, or enjoying some family time, how about a nice radio program to keep you company? As an aside many of the commercials are still in the programs — both historically interesting and occasionally de ja vue for current events.

And finally my friend Brenda Hyde has the greatest family-centered website. Everything from crafts, to recipes, to tea party, gardening and just plain family fun stuff can be found there. Check out her blog links too.

Find some new or old fashioned ways to enjoy family time at your home!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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