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Today is March 12

Plant a Flower Day 

Gardening is beneficial in various ways. The AARP states that some of the health perks associated with gardening include improved mood, increased vitamin D levels (which benefits bones and immune system) and reduced risk of dementia. In addition, if gardening efforts include growing herbs, fruits and vegetables, it can be a cost-effective way to eat healthy.

For gardeners without sufficient space or for those with mobility issues, container gardening can be an ideal way to grow everything from flowers to vegetables. Better Homes & Gardens says most plants are not fussy about the containers in which they grow so long as some of their basic needs are met. This means watering correctly for the type of plant, and ensuring sufficient drainage.

The following are some other ways container gardening efforts can prove successful.

  • Watch water. Planet Natural Research Center says plants with thin leaves typically need ample water, and plants with thick leaves need less. Use this as a guideline to gauge water needs.
  • Size correctly. Plants should be sized to the container. Consider dwarf varieties of certain plants if your containers are small.
  • Choose the right soil. Fill containers with a commercial potting soil rather than soil from the garden. Garden soil can dry into a solid mass, while commercial mixtures have amendments like peat moss, vermiculite, compost, and other ingredients to help with soil texture and moisture retention.
  • Mix it up. When planting containers of flowers and other greenery, Good Housekeeping says to include “a thriller, a spiller and a filler” as a good rule of thumb. The thriller is the focal point, the spiller a trailing plant, and a filler has smaller leaves or flowers to add bulk and color.
  • Poke holes. Drainage holes are essential so that soil will not become waterlogged. Holes don’t need to be large, but there should be enough of them so that excess water can drain out readily.
  • Select the right container material. Container materials may be affected by gardeners’ budgets, personal taste and other factors. For those who live in hot climates, selecting a light-colored container can help prevent further soil heat absorption.

Container gardening is a healthy and enjoyable activity that can pay dividends in various ways.

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National Preschooler’s Day

Developmental Milestones

Skills such as naming colors, showing affection, and hopping on one foot are called developmental milestones. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (like crawling, walking, or jumping).

As children grow into early childhood, their world will begin to open up. They will become more independent and begin to focus more on adults and children outside of the family. They will want to explore and ask about the things around them even more. Their interactions with family and those around them will help to shape their personality and their own ways of thinking and moving. During this stage, children should be able to ride a tricycle, use safety scissors, notice a difference between girls and boys, help to dress and undress themselves, play with other children, recall part of a story, and sing a song.

 

Positive Parenting Tips

Following are some of the things you, as a parent, can do to help your preschooler during this time:

Continue to read to your child. Nurture her love for books by taking her to the library or bookstore.

Let your child help with simple chores.

Encourage your child to play with other children. This helps him to learn the value of sharing and friendship.

Be clear and consistent when disciplining your child. Explain and show the behavior that you expect from her. Whenever you tell her no, follow up with what he should be doing instead.

Help your child develop good language skills by speaking to him in complete sentences and using “grown up” words. Help him to use the correct words and phrases.

Help your child through the steps to solve problems when she is upset.

Give your child a limited number of simple choices (for example, deciding what to wear, when to play, and what to eat for snack).

For more information visit https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/preschoolers.html

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In 2001  Judy Garland’s Over The Rainbow  was voted the Song Of The Century in a poll published in America.

Rainbow Brownies

INGREDIENTS

1 package Pillsbury™ Family Size Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix

Additional ingredients to prepare brownie mix per package instructions

1/2 cup candy-coated milk chocolate candies

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.

Prepare brownie mix according to package instructions using oil, water and eggs. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes.

Sprinkle candies evenly over brownies. Gently press candies into surface of brownies. Bake an additional 9 to 12 minutes or until brownies are set in center. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars.

For more recipes visit https://www.pillsburybaking.com/recipes