April is full of gardening related holidays. Use some of these ideas below to celebrate your garden. And don't be afraid to share your own ideas!
- April: National Gardening Month: Celebrate a whole month's worth of gardening related activities. Visit the National Gardening Association's website for some ideas.
- April: National Mathematics Education Month: Math and gardening go hand-in-hand. Measure the heights of plants. Plant some seeds and estimate how many will grow. Figure out the percentage of plants that grew. Use fruits and veggies to demonstrate fractions. Identify the shapes of the fruits and vegetables. Estimate the area of a leaf. Map out your garden and calculate its area. The possibilities are endless!
- April: Children and Nature Awareness Month: The goals for this year's events are first to "encourage parents to form their own Nature Clubs for Families. And second, to invite grandparents and older outdoor enthusiasts to do their part to reconnect children and nature." For a complete list of events in your area and for some great online resources for teachers, visit the Children and Nature Network's website.
- April: National Humor Month: Tell gardening and fruit/vegetable jokes and riddles. For example, What types of vegetables do you find written on a piece of music? Give up? Two Beets!
- April 3: Find a Rainbow Day: You may not be able to find a rainbow in the sky on "Find a Rainbow Day" but you can find one in your garden. Have students identify fruits/veggies that match the colors of the rainbow.
- April 4-10: Garden Week: Have a whole week dedicated to gardening. Celebrate your garden and start some plants indoors. Invite a Master Gardener Volunteer to visit your classroom to talk about gardening.
- April 14: Look Up at the Sky Day: Go out to your garden and stare at the clouds. Have students use their imagination to identify shapes in the clouds. Drwa a picture of your garden and glue cotton balls to the paper for the clouds. Don't forget to use this as an opportunity to teach what plants need to grow.
- April 22: Earth Day: Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by finding ways to help your environment. Have students sign a pledge to be good stewards of the Earth.
- April 23: National Zucchini Bread Day: Although it's a bit early in Wisconsin to use zucchini from the garden, this is still a great opportunity to cook with fresh produce. As a class, make zucchini bread and discuss fractions, measurement, and the importance of following a recipe in the right order. Perhaps this will inspire you to grow zucchini in your garden!
- April 23-25: Global Youth Service Days: Participate in community service. Donate time to your school or community garden. Have students create a service project that starts your school garden. It is a great way to get students involved and ensure that the project gets off the ground. Check out your Got Dirt? Toolkit for more information about using school gardens as service learning opportunities.
- April 26-30: School Building Week: "Celebrating our nation's school and reinforcing the connection between school facilitates and student learning...School Building Week provides an opportunity to draw national attention to the importance of well planned, healthy, high performance, safe and sustainable schools that enhance student achieve and community vitality." Click here for more information. Use this week to evaluation the sustainability of your school and identify areas that need improvement.
- April 27: Tell a Story Day: Read garden and fruit and veggie stories and have children write their own stories.
- April 29: Greenery Day: A day in remembrance of the birthday of Japanese Emperor Hirohito. The day is a time to commune with nature and be thankful. Go outside and explore where you will put your garden. Start to prepare your garden for planting. Have students imagine what it will look like in the summer when everything is growing. As a class, research some of the cultural differences between the United States and Japan (for example: what grows in a typical Japanese garden?).
There is plenty going on during the month of April. What do you plan to do to celebrate these fun holidays? Share your ideas below!