Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Row of cherry trees
 Photo by Rebecca Bullene
Children’s Garden from Home
Signs of Spring
Hello Children’s Garden Families,   
Emily from the Children’s Garden here to share some activities, recipes, crafts, and games to work on at home while we are away from the Garden. These projects are geared towards a variety of ages and can generally be done with materials found in your homes.  
If you look out your window, you’ll see that daffodils and tulips are blooming, cherries are bursting into flower, birds are chirping, and the weather is slowly warming. This week we'll be exploring signs of spring! 
journal making supplies
notched cardboard journal cover
journal cover with paper inside and rubber band binding
completed garden journal
Photos by Emily Carter
Let’s Create: A Garden Journal
(All ages, 10 minutes)
If you have participated in a Children’s Garden class before, you'll remember making garden journals. We use these journals to plan our dream gardens, take field notes during pollinator walks, collect recipes, and glue in nature crafts. Let’s create a garden journal that you can use throughout this time at home.
One medium-large cereal box (or other piece of cardboard), 5–7 sheets of paper, 1 stretchy rubber band, scissors, and decoration materials (glitter, markers, glue, paint, old magazines for collaging). 
Grab a cereal box from the recycling bin. Disassemble the box and cut out just the front or back panel. Fold the cardboard panel in half, with the matte-brown side facing outward. Fold your paper in half as well. Slide the folded paper into the cardboard cover. Cut a notch at the top and bottom of the center fold. Now find the center of the book and open it up to the middle page. Slide the rubber band around the spine of the book to hold the pages in place.  
Decorate the cover of your journal however you like. Use your journal throughout the spring, and if you run out of pages, you can continually add drawings, nature observations, and crafts, sliding them in through the rubber band at the center fold.   
Scavenger hunt with pictures of spring images: flower, soil, grass, etc.
Scavenger Hunt by Ellen McCarthy
Let's Explore: Five Senses Spring Scavenger Hunt
(Ages 2–8, 15–30 minutes) 
Now, go on a Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt to put your five senses to work.
Feel free to print this PDF and slide it into your journal if you have a printer, or just pull it up on your phone. If you can safely take a walk with a grown-up, venture outside to see how many signs you can find. And even if you can’t take a walk, peek out your window to get a taste of the season. 
Note: Older students can use this more advanced signs of spring scavenger hunt resource from NYC Parks to identify flowering plants around the neighborhood.  
coffee filters soaking in dye
dry coffee filters with edges cut
coffee filters, tape, and straw
finished coffee filter flowers
 Photos by Ellen McCarthy
Let’s Create: Coffee Filter Peonies
(Ages 4–13, 1 hour) 
6 basket coffee filters per flower, water-based paint, 3 containers, 3 cups of water, straws, masking tape, scissors. Note: To simplify this project for little ones, use markers to decorate the petals instead of dyeing with paint. 
The flowers outside are just starting to bloom and fill the air with their lovely scent! At home, you can create these fun coffee filter peonies that are guaranteed to last a very long time. Older students can use the same materials to make hellebores or daffodils for a full spring bouq  
We are missing everyone at the Children’s Garden, but we know that in time, we will be able to celebrate the beauty of spring growth and summer sun together. We will talk again soon!  
Emily Carter 
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