Recycle Challenge: Water Bottle Challenge 

Before you throw that water bottle away, or toss it into the recycle bin, think of some fun and useful ways to give it a new purpose. Use a small water bottle or a gallon size.

Make sure you clean it out well and allow it to dry completely if you plan to store anything in it.

Tip: A little soapy water will clean it out, to remove odors, a little vinegar or baking soda can help eliminate it.

Here is a list of challenges, please choose as many as you would like to do:

· Use it to plant something that can grow during the fall season. (Gallon size plus would be best for this project.)

· Make a game: With one bottle.

· Make a game: With multiple bottles.

· Make a toy

· A science experiment

· A craft project

· Make a home for an imaginary creature

· A flip bottle game

· A bird feeder

· Storage container

· Some other practical thing

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Start A Three Sisters Garden

Have you ever heard of companion planting? Native Americans grew certain vegetables together because they benefited each other during their growing cycle. Start a gardening project that includes plants that will benefit each other during their grow cycle.

Check out the related posts below for more information about the Three Sisters.

To begin your gardening project, find out when your last frost date will be:

Then, find a place to plant your seeds or plants directly in the ground, or in a container or a bucket. Put drainage holes in your bucket, or learn how to plant in a self watering container.

The Three Sisters are: Corn, Beans, and Squash

You can decide to grow:

Corn: A type that can be cooked and eaten off the cob, ground up into a meal, or used to make popping corn.

Beans: A type that grows as a bush, called a bush bean, or a type that climbs called a pole bean. There are types that can be picked and eaten fresh and others that need to be shelled.

Squash: There are many varieties of squash available to grow. You can try a vining variety, such as pumpkin, butternut, spaghetti, acorn, watermelon (part of the gourd family),or cucumber.

Another type of squash “bushes” such as zucchini, where the plant grows wide and large, but does not vine out. Fruit is grown close to the main stem of the plant. Yellow crookneck is another squash that bushes.

Learn more about planting a garden so you know when to water, how much sun your plants should have, and how to take care of pests and other problems naturally.

While you are waiting for your veggies to grow to maturity, look up some delicious ways they can be enjoyed.

Related Posts

Something Fun To Do Index

Fun Pages Index

Fun With Corn

Three Sisters Introduction

Three Sisters: Beans

Three Sisters: Corn

Three Sisters: Pumpkin

Popcorn Project

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Recycling Project: K-Cup Challenge

How can these little cups be reused in fun, creative, and interesting ways?

You will want to collect a whole bunch of cups, with and without holes, for this project.

No K-Cups? Use a small Dixie cup, bathroom cups, or disposable shot glasses for the following challenge ideas.

Here are your challenge areas, choose as many as you want…try them all if you can…

Make A Game – Think about how one cup or a few cups can be used to make a carnival type game or a guessing game. We made a stacking cup game with ours. Try to create an opportunity to collect points or use a scoring element. Don’t forget to write down or draw instructions if you need to.

An Organizer – Can you think of a way they can be put together to help organize something small? How can they be used for something larger?

A Craft – Make a simple or complicated craft.

A Musical Instrument – What kind of instrument can you make with a K-Cup or two?

Gardening Tool – How can a cup or two be used as a gardening tool?

An Experiment – There are lots of cool experiments that require small cups, see if you can find one, or make something up on your own.

Bird Feeder – You may need to put a few cups together for this.

A Puzzle or Brain Game – How can these cups be used to create a puzzle or a brain game?

A Magic Trick – There are lots of DIY magic tricks you can do with simple household objects. Make one up if you can too!

A Flower – How can a cup be turned into a flower?

Hint: This may require a scissor.

Something of Your Own Choosing – Take a minute or two to look at a small cup and allow your imagination to go wild. There are a great many things these little cups can be used for. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil, and draw or write down any ideas you may have. Don’t worry if some of them are silly or complicated.

Tip: Use the holes to your advantage whenever possible.

Some of the extra things you may need for this challenge:

Rubber Band – Clear Wrap – BBs or Beans – Bottle Tops – Old Rice – A Die (or dice) – Seeds and Soil – Chopsticks – Ping Pong Ball – Cardboard Box – Playing Cards – Hot Glue – Bird Seed – Craft Supplies – Paper – A Small Ball – Scissor – Baking Soda & Vinegar – Permanent Marker – Small Hole Punch – Twine or String

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Stacking Cup Challenge

Paper Cup & Paper Clips

Bird Watching

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Flower Values

What you’ll need: The chart provided below, printed out, or paper and pencil, a calculator, a website, book, or another source of spring flower names

What to do: Choose 5-10 of your favorite spring flowers (common or scientific names) and figure out the number value for each word.

If you need a little help with Spring flower names, Names of Flowers can help you out, but feel free to look for names on your own via other websites, books, and any other resources you want to use. If you did the Wildflower Project, many of those flower names can be used.

Begin by writing down your flower choices. If you use lined paper, rather than the chart provided below, you will need 3 line: One for letters, one for their number value, and one to leave blank so letters and numbers do not get mixed up together.

Next, either print out the chart provided, or make your own letter to number values.

Often times, A=1, B=2, C=3 is used, but you can use A=26, B=25, C=24, or you can use any values you want.

Write the name of the flower you want to figure out the value of, then write a number value under each letter. Write the total value on the value line.

When you are done, compare the name values.

Which one has the highest and lowest value?

Does the longest word have the highest value?

Does the shortest word have the lowest value?

Do any have the same value?


Copy and save the Flower Values graphic below and print it out if you want.

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Fun Pages Index

Word Hunt Puzzle #1

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Wildflower Research Project

As the weather warms up, and nature starts to awaken from its slumber, the beauty of the season begins to burst free. Much of that beauty is reoccurring in the form of wildflowers that can be found on the roadside or in private and public gardens. If you enjoy the colors and smells of Spring, you may find these activity suggestions inspiring enough to grow something on your own.

#1 As wildflowers bloom on the roadside, in your yard, in public gardens, or in your neighborhood, take pictures, and then spend some time learning how to identifying them.

Need help identifying wildflowers?

#2 Collect different types of wildflowers when possible, make a flower press, or learn how to preserve them. Think of some ways you can use the flowers: Cards, pictures, scrapbook pages, writing/drawing journal, wildflower identification cards, nature journal, poems, display them in a vase, etc.

#3 Grow your own wildflowers in an selected area, as a garden, or in a planter. By growing your own, you can keep track of what you have planted. Collect seeds at the end of their growing cycle and save them for the next growing season. Label them clearly so you know what you are growing.

#4 Take some time to sit and enjoy wildflowers. Observe the insects and other creatures that come to visit. Take pictures/videos, draw or write about them. What do they do? How long do they stay?

#5 As you learn about the wildflowers you identify, find out how they can be used. Which ones are edible and/or medicinal? Learn about the rules of collecting them in order to ingest them.

For example: You will not want to collect wildflowers on a roadside that has been sprayed with chemicals, or has a lot of car traffic, because they are not edible or usable medicinally. Also, some wildflowers need to be collected carefully and boiled to be enjoyed.

Most public gardens will ask you not to pick or cut flowers.

Tip: Grow your own wildflowers in areas away from the roadside if you would like to ingest them.

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Fun Ways to Learn At A Public Garden

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From Bud To Bloom

For this activity, please choose a tree in your yard or somewhere very close by.

Next, choose one or more methods to document your observations: Drawing, writing/journaling, picture or video recording, or an audio recording device.

Observation Suggestions

What kind of tree is it?

Find out its name and the type of tree it is.

Guess how old your tree is.

How often will you observe your tree?

Everyday? Once a week? Once every two weeks? Once a month?

What does your tree look like without its leaves?

Observe how the branches formed.

How thick is the trunk? Measure it if you can.

Take a rubbing of the bark on your tree with a crayon and paper.

Guesstimate how thick the thickest branch is.

How tall is your tree?

If your tree has leaves, or needles, observe how its structure looks and consider how it formed, to the best of your ability. Observe new growth when possible.

Watch as your tree bursts to life with flowers, seeds, and/or leaves. Notice if the flowers have a smell, what the pollen looks like, how the seeds or fruit form and disperse. Notice how the leaves form and grow. Take a fully matured leaf and make a stamp print of it, draw it, or take a picture of it. Back and front.

Observe parts of your tree through a microscope.

Use a small microscope or a magnifying glass to get a closer look at your tree.

Where is your tree located?

Is it close to your house?
It is in the shade or full sun?

It is in a neighbor’s yard?

In a park?

What Can You Look For?

Does your tree have buds on it?

Are bugs crawling on it?

Does it have a nest?

What birds visit your tree?

Do other animals live in it or hang out in it? If so, who comes to visit?

How does the weather effect your tree?

What does your tree look like with ice/snow?

What happens when it rains?

What happens when it is windy?

What does it look like on a clear, sunny day?

The more you observe your tree, the more you will learn. As your tree changes with the spring season, notice how it blooms and grows.

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Pine Trees

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Herb Fun Page

How many words can you make from the words:


Note: Add some fun twists and turns to your game with the info in this post.

Herb Word Scramble

Unscramble the words below.

Herb Related Activities

Grow Your Own Herb Garden

Grow your own herb garden and learn how to use what you grow. Start your garden in a window sill or outdoors.

To start your garden:

Purchase seeds from a store.

Purchase an inexpensive kit.

Get a few plants to get a jump start on your herb garden.

You will need potting soil, something to grow plants in, water, and a sunny location.

Follow the instructions offered on your seed packet, in your kit, or on the plant tag.

Gardening with Recycled Materials

Online Activities

Online Puzzle: Herbal Tea– How long will it take you to do this online puzzle?

Recipe Ideas

Mint Sun Tea

In a clean 1qt glass jar with a lid, place 1-2 regular or decaffeinated tea bags in along with a half cup of fresh crushed/bruised mint leaves. Cover with cold filtered water leaving 1 inch at the top. Place the top on the jar loosely, then put the jar in the sun for 2 hours. Remove the tea bags and mint leaves, add sweeter, replace top, shake jar to mix or enjoy as it is over ice.

DIY Herb Dip

Making up your own herb dip recipe is easier than it sounds.

Start with a base such as:

Cream Cheese, sour cream, Greek or plain yogurt, mayo

These base suggestions can be mixed or can stand alone.

Add salt and herbs a little at a time…

Salt is an important flavor enhancer and can be added a pinch at a time.

Herbs such as: Dill, dried onion power, chives, thyme, parsley, tarragon, garlic

A little squeeze of fresh lemon juice can be nice to add.

Be sure to mix and taste as you go. Sometimes your dip may need a little time for flavors to mingle. If you think your dip is just about where you want it, let it sit in the fridge for a while and try it again before adding more of anything.

Have a taste tester handy such as, crackers, chips, carrot, celery, peppers, etc. to see what your dip may need more of.

If you keep track of what and how much you add, and it comes out really tasty, you’ll have a recipe to follow in the future.

You are welcome to look for a recipe to try too.


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Plant Propagation

When To Plant

Strawberry Sun Tea

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Strawberry Fun Page

How many words can you make from the words:

Strawberries And Cream

Note: Add some fun twists and turns to your game with the info in this post.

Hand-On Challenge

Grow your own strawberry plant. Learn about the different types of berries and decide on the one that sounds good to you.

Word Search

Find the words hidden in the word search below.

Recipe Idea

Strawberry French Toast: Make two slices of your favorite French Toast recipe, then while the bread is hot, spread whipped cream cheese on one side, add a layer of sliced strawberries, drizzle honey over the strawberries, then put another slice of bread on top. Top with whipped cream and a whole strawberry and enjoy.

Online Puzzle

Online Jigsaw Puzzle: Chocolate Covered Strawberries – How long will it take you to do this online puzzle?

Coloring Page

Coloring Pages: Strawberries Choose from a variety of pages to print.


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Strawberries by Fran W

Strawberry Craze

Observing Strawberries

Extract DNA from a Strawberry

Grow Your Own Strawberry Plant from Seeds

A Berry Patriotic Shake

Strawberry Breakfast Sundae

Strawberry Goodness

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The 3 Sisters: Squash – Pumpkins

Did you know…

Native Americans called pumpkins, “isqoutm squash”

Recipe: Original Pumpkin Pie (with a modern twist) and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

One of the first pumpkin pies were baked right in the pumpkin shell! A delicious custard was prepared and poured into a cleaned out pumpkin and the whole thing was baked until the pumpkin flesh was tender and the filling completely cooked.
Would you like to make this uniquely interesting desert?
Here is what you will need:
1 5-8 lb Pumpkin
6 Eggs
3/4 c Brown sugar
1/4 c Raw sugar
2T Molasses
2 1/2 c Heavy whipping cream
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Vanilla
3 T Butter
Aluminum foil covered cookie sheet
Aluminum foil
Preparing the pumpkin:

Cut the top of the pumpkin off and reserve, this will become your lid. Remove the stringy fibers and seeds – save seeds for roasting. Once the inside is clean, scrape out 4 cups of the inner flesh and reserve.
If your pumpkin has a stem, leave it on.
Preparing the filling:
Place eggs, sugars, molasses and spices in a blender and mix together. Next add the 4 cups of reserved pumpkin flesh, butter and the heavy cream – blend until smooth.
Filling the pumpkin: 
Place pumpkin on a foil cookie sheet and pour filling into the pumpkin. Do not overfill, leave about an inch of space to allow the custard filling to expand. Put the lid on the pumpkin and cover the top and sides with aluminum foil. Place the cookie sheet in a 350 oven for 2 hours or until custard in done – a metal tester will come out clean.
Allow to cool in oven to prevent splitting. When cool, place pumpkin in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. Pie can also be served warm.
Serving the pie:
Pumpkin pie slice with whipped cream
This unique pie can be served two ways and will feed 6-12 people depending on the size of the pumpkin and the portion taken.
1. Remove the lid (or cut it off) insert a spoon and have everyone serve themselves by taking a spoonful of custard and cooked pumpkin flesh.

2. Cut around the stem of the pumpkin with a knife and serve by cutting slices of the pumpkin. Do not eat the skin.
Add a modern twist to one of George Washington’s favorite deserts!
This pie is not overly sweet and for some, may not be sweet enough, if you find this to be the case, feel free to use any of the following suggestions:
  • Before adding whipped cream, drizzle with maple syrup
  • Top with sweetened whipped cream
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream
  • Drizzle with a warm caramel sauce and top with sweetened whipped cream
  • Top with honey roasted pecans.
  • Serve with spiced whipped cream by adding a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to the whipping cream
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
You will need:
Raw pumpkin seeds
Sea salt
Aluminum foil covered cookie sheet
What to do:
Place seeds in a colander and wash in cool water. Shake off excess water before spreading seeds on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet, and lightly salt seeds before placing in a 425 degree oven for 10 -12 minutes or until golden brown. Watch them carefully around the 10 minute mark so they don’t burn. When cool enough to touch, enjoy.
Question of the day:
Pumpkins are one variety of squash, how many other types of squash are there?
Learn more:
Information about how to grow.
Pumpkins, pumpkin facts, pumpkin education and more.
Activities that can be done with young children.
List of Gourds and Squashes
Pumpkins are a gourd-like squash, find out who their cousins are.

The Many Colors of Pumpkins

 Stay up-to-date on the latest post! 
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Fun With Corn Indian Corn: A Fall FavoriteIs Indian corn edible? Find out with this short article.

Storing and Planting Heirloom Corn

Daily Jigsaw Puzzles:  Fresh Popcorn Jigsaw Puzzle Game

How long will it take you to solve this online puzzle?

popcorn fire and kettle

MathisFun: Chicken Crossing Puzzle: Try to solve before looking at the solution!

How many words can you make from the words:

Multi-Colored Corn

How quickly can you find the 10 words in this corn word search?

Corn Word Search

Color the Ear of Corn (Right click on the picture to save)Corn to color 1 Popcorn Project – Popcorn is a fun food with a long history. This post offers some fun and yummy ways to enjoy popcorn. The Three Sisters: Corn –  This post offers a corn bread recipe and links to fun corn related activities.

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Note: If this, or any other post on, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Corn FW




South Mountain Creamery: All About…Chestnuts – What is the difference between a sweet chestnut and a horse chestnut? Read this short article to find out! This site includes a variety of ways to cook chestnuts and offers some links for chestnut recipes.Chestnuts cooked

The Spruce Eats: How to Roast Chestnuts at Home – Gives tips for picking and storing chestnuts, how to cook and peel, and some ways to eat them.

David Ludwig: The Secret to Roasted Chestnuts – This site offers another way to prepare chestnuts, it requires a little extra work, but claims the extra step is worth it because it creates a creamy texture.

GH: 4 Surprising Health Benefits of Chestnuts – Article offers nutrition facts, health benefits, and some ways to enjoy them.

Activity Suggestion: Purchase a pound of chestnuts and experiment with a few different ways of cooking them. Compare methods. Try them in a recipe too!


The Return of the Chestnut

How to Roast Chestnuts

Harvesting Chestnuts Harvesting Chinese Chestnuts

The Amazing Thing About Chestnut Seedlings

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Historical Information

University of Illinois Extension: Our Rose Garden – Article includes historic and and botanical information about rosesRose pic

The Flower Expert: History of Roses – Offers some historical and legendary info about roses.

Ancient Origins: Blooming and Fragrant History of Roses – Article includes information about the ancient origins and beliefs about roses.

Country Garden Roses: History Of The Rose – Article includes botanical history of roses.

How To Grow Roses

Rose bush

The Old Farmer’s Almanac: Growing Roses – How to Plant, Grow, and Prune Roses.

Gardening Know How: Starting A Rose Garden – Caring For Rose Bushes

The Spruce: How to Get More Blooms From Your Roses – Article includes 6 Tips to get more blooms.

SFGATE: Homemade Fertilizers for Roses – Offers inexpensive household items that can be used to fertilize roses.


Rose – Queen of Flowers – The Secrets of Nature

How To Grow Roses From Stem Cuttings SUPER EASY

Caring for your Rose Garden Year Round – Professional Tips

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