“What is THIS? The things hanging from this plant?” Jansen was holding up a yellow DUPLO brick with a picture of a potato plant. His little forehead wrinkled, with an inquisitive look in his brown eyes. He titled his head to the side and looked at the brick, then at me and then back to the brick… wondering about the strange plant.
(Thank you LEGO, for sending us the DUPLO “My First Garden” set. Please know that all the opinions are mine and Jansen’s.)
AHA! A teaching moment. Moms LOVE to take an everyday situation and turn it into an opportunity for education – we thrive on these things!
In Denmark we eat potatoes with every meal: morning, noon and night – or at least so it seems. Potatoes! I can teach the kids about potatoes in my sleep! We talked about the anatomy of a potato plant, how we eat the “fruit” that grows under the ground. Jansen was fascinated by my potato knowledge! The yellow potato brick was all of a sudden much cooler in his 4-year old eyes.
Then it struck me, let’s take this teaching moment to the next level… less words, more hands-on activity. I set up our craft area so we could make our own upcycled LEGO vases. These LEGO vases are the perfect activity for budding green thumbs (pun intended).How to #upcycle an old glass into an awesome #LEGO vase! @LEGO_Group #Craft #BrickMom Click To Tweet
How to make an awesome LEGO vase:
- We trimmed our resident spider plant (Latin name: Chlorophytum Comosum!)
and put the biggest sprouts in a glass of water. The plant was long overdue for a grooming session. I trim it at least once a year.
- You can use any type of small cylinder shaped glass. I used both old juice glasses and mason jars. I found our collection of random juice glasses worked perfectly, don’t tell my husband, he still hasn’t noticed that they are missing.
- Wash the glasses and make sure that they are completely clean and dry before you start.
- Paint the outside yellow with long vertical strokes. I painted two coats for the right coverage.
- Once the yellow paint is dry, draw the face (eyes and mouth) with a black Sharpie PAINT pen. (A regular Sharpie pen will bleed when you spray the glass – I am speaking from experience.)
- Bring the glasses outside or into a well-ventilated room. Spray the clear coat thoroughly on the outside of the glasses. This will protect the paint from fading.
- Once the glasses are completely dry. Fill them with water and the spider plant sprouts.
- Display proudly in a well-lit area of your house, or outside.
Remember to refill the water weekly and change it completely every other week.
Once the sprouts have grown a nice network of roots, go ahead and plant them in soil. The vases can then be used for another batch of spider plants, or low cut flowers will be fun too.
“Mama, I LOVE these plants. Will they grow French fries too?” Jansen’s eyes sparkled with excitement. It took me a second before I realized where my teaching moment had led him astray.
I had obviously told him that we make French fries from potatoes… and since we were putting these sprouts in water to watch their roots grow… well it only makes sense that plants with roots grow delicious French fries…
Jansen quietly shrugged his shoulders, as if he was shaking off the disappointment before he turned his attention back to the new DUPLO “My First Garden” set. Jonah was thrilled to have his brother’s attention again. He held the two DUPLO people that came with the set high in the air and proclaimed “Look Jansen, mama and dada!”
This wonderful set spurred a great teaching moment and inspired a fun craft, but lo and behold – the two DUPLO people also resembled me and my husband as children. To say that we have had hours of fun with this DUPLO set is an understatement.
When life hands you a DUPLO brick with potatoes you turn it into a lifetime of great lessons.
These vases make adorable hostess gifts for when you visit a fellow “Brick Mom” and her brick-loving kids.
Don’t miss my LEGO tea candle holders… another fun way to decorate with the iconic LEGO mini figure head!
See how we used LEGO decorations in the kids’ bathroom too! The possibilities are ENDLESS…