“Soil Science”

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By being aware of soil science and plant nutrition, I contribute to the health of my planet and of myself.  All of us who practice good soil science are raising the level of healthy productivity for all of us in our lives all over the world.  We learn about the importance of soil health in this World of Gardening (WOG) Theme.  Microbes in the soil, nutrients, and stages of plant growth all indicate soil health.

The Chant, “Under the Ground” describes the presence and power of healthy microbes and how plants grow.  The Fingerplay, “What Microbes Need”, lists the nutrients we can provide.  The Song, “Please Help Me Feed My Microbes”, reminds us about good gardening habits.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage

www.MyMusicalMind.com

“Conserve Water”

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“Conserve Water” describes many of the ways that water is valuable to us and to all life on our planet.  Through a Chant, a Fingerplay and a Song, it lists the things that depend on water, how we are energized by water and practical ways to conserve water in our lives.  You can begin by observing the many ways water affects you and the planet.  Each time you take a step to become more aware of water in your life, you are helping the planet.

You and your child, together, are taking care of your little part of the earth when you do this. Thank you for your awareness,

Kathryn Hardage

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage   www.MyMusicalMind.com

“I have a musical mind,musical indeed.” –Kacky Muse

“Brand New Garden”

One of the reasons to have a garden is to grow vegetables and berries.  Another reason is to grow herbs.  Sometimes people enjoy flower gardens.  I planted a completely new kind of garden in my yard.  For the past several years, I have been filling up my yard with perennials and native plants.  When I learned how much water is conserved by a garden like that, I became very interested.  When I also learned how much pollution is eliminated by not having a lawn to mow, I became convinced.

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Little by little, year by year, I observed how much light different parts of my yard received.  As part of the Master Gardener program, I had a soil analysis done.  Using the soil I had, I planted appropriate plants for my region’s soil type.  Over a period of about ten years, my yard has filled up with plants and edibles that I only watered for a few weeks when they were first planted.  I have ended up with over fifty different types of plants.

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There are sources on-line where you can find out what grows naturally in your area.  You can also go to the local university Agricultural Extension office.  They will be able to give you a list to take to your local plant nursery.  I had many plants that did not survive in my yard.  But over time, I found many which did.  After watering my plants for a few weeks, I learned how to “neglect” my plants so they really could get used to the natural growing conditions in my area.

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage       www.MyMusicalMind.com       kackymuse@gmail.com   “I have a musical mind, musical indeed.”–Kacky Muse

“Starting a Garden”

Whether you are an experienced gardener or a beginner, you will go through the same steps when you start your garden each year or each season.  Preparing the garden means you prepare the soil and add mulch to help contain the moisture.  Then you plant your seeds, water them, and let the sun do its work.  Later, you get to enjoy the harvest of your vegetables and flowers.  It is valuable to take your part in the cycle of growing food and flowers.

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The Chant, “What Do You Do to Start a Garden”, the Fingerplay, “My Garden Has…”, and the Song, “What Do You Do With a Piece of Ground?” take you through all the steps of starting a garden.

The verse of the Song “What Do You Do With a Piece of Ground?” will sound familiar to you.  It has the same tune (with different words) as the chorus in the Song for the Theme, “I am a Gardener”.

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage      www.MyMusicalMind.com     kackymuse@gmail.com  “I have a musical mind, musical indeed.”  –Kacky Muse

“Butterflies”

When I have plants which attract butterflies in my garden, I get to see them at different times during the seasons.  It is so delightful to watch them alight on different flowers for their nectar.  I love observing them from indoors and being around them outdoors, too.  I know they are just eating, but they are so beautiful, it is always fun to watch them.

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The Chant in this Theme is “They Visit Gardens Just to Eat!”  Touch your child’s finger for each line of the Fingerplay, “Caterpillars Become Butterflies”.  The Song, “Watching Butterflies”, describes how they flit and light on the flowers and then fly away.

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© 2013 Kathryn Hardage    www.MyMusicalMind.com    “I have a musical mind,musical indeed.”  –Kacky Muse

“I Am a Gardener”

One of the best things about gardening is the outdoor activity.  It is so beautiful to watch little plants growing.  Another wonderful thing is that garden activities are very appropriate for young children.  They can see the progress of the plants and they also learn patience and responsibility.  They even get to taste the harvest.  Sometimes, a child will try something new in a garden because it is something they grew.

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The Chant is called, “That’s What They Call a Green Thumb” and it explains the steps from planting to harvest along with garden enjoyment in general.  The Fingerplay is called “As a Gardener…”.  As you touch each of your child’s fingers, say a line.  The Song is called “I Am a Gardener”. In a simple tune with chorus, you review many of the gardening activities you have learned about in the rest of the Theme.  It is totally fun to act out the motions of digging and moving dirt as you sing the chorus!  This theme will help you become part of the growing community of gardeners.

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage    www.MyMusicalMind.com    “I have a musical mind, musical indeed.” –Kacky Muse

“Compost!”

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I wrote the song for this Theme when I took classes for Permaculture Design Certification.  One of the things we learned about was how to build a compost pile, and the value of compost for improving soil nutrition.

Later, I added the Chant and the Fingerplay for my pre-school music students.

Now, I have been composting for several years.  I am always amazed at how the compost pile builds up over time, mixing in the leaves and grass and kitchen scraps, and watering it and turning it until one compost bin is full.  Then, as I fill the second bin and let the compost age and decompose, there is so very little left.  By the time it has decomposed completely and is ready to added to the garden beds, there is one tenth of the original amount.

It is a lesson in how we can save lots of waste from going into the landfill and instead convert so much into a valuable garden nutrient.

 

“How Do Your Vegetables Grow?”

This Theme is for the World of Gardening.

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The Chant is called “How Do Vegetables Grow?  The Fingerplay is called “Do My Vegetables Grow Up or Down?”  The Song is called “Oh, I Never Knew How Garlic Grew”.

I wrote this song after visiting a friend’s CSA (Community Supported Garden).  She is a farmer who sells subscriptions to people who want to buy fresh organic vegetables throughout the growing season.  As I helped her weed around the plants and place seedlings in the gardens, I saw a plant I didn’t recognize.  It was the tops of the garlic, the “scapes”.  It was then that I realized,  “I never knew how garlic grew”.  I wrote the chant and fingerplay later when I wanted to introduce the names of lots of vegetables to my pre-school classes.

I have added the vocabulary cards for children who are ready to match words.  The envelopes are to help keep track of the vegetable cards once you have cut them out.

I also cut out pictures of the vegetables from organic seed catalogs and pasted them onto colorful background paper.  This creates another matching game, with pictures and words.  Here are a some great seed catalogs.  You may even want to grow some seeds in your garden or in some containers such a five-gallon food grade buckets.

Vegetable Photos from Seed Catalog

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds  http://www.rareseeds.com

Territorial Seed Company  http://www.territorialseed.com

Johnny’s Selected Seeds  http://www.johnnyseeds.com

Harris Seeds  http://www.harrisseeds.com

“I have a musical mind, musical indeed.”  –Kacky Muse

Themes for Songs, Chants, Fingerplays

There are five different types of themes for very young children.

The topics are Family and Community (F&C), World of Gardening (WOG), Seasons and Celebrations (S&C), World of Nature (WON), and Spiritual Treasure (ST).

Each Theme has a Chant, a Fingerplay, and a Song.

As you spend ten minutes of daily dedicated time with your child when you say the Chant, work the Fingerplay and sing the Song, your child will learn them with you.  Built on the intimacy between parent and child, these valuable ideas, vocabulary, humor, and charm will become part of your child’s personal concept of him/herself.  These will be the activities and values which you share together.

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage                                                                                                                   “I have a musical mind, musical indeed.”–Kacky Muse                                                                                kackymuse@gmail.com                                                             www.MusicandBooksforChildren.com