Sproutside at the Flint Children's Museum

To inspire a love for learning and awaken imagination through exploration and hands on play.


Many of our little museum visitors enjoy critters–insects, lizards, bats, etc.–so we try to bring them to the museum as often as we can.  We are very lucky to work with the Michigan State University Extension-Genesee County to make this happen.

Darren Bagley, a 4-H Youth Development Educator from MSU-Extension, came to the museum yesterday with loads of bugs and creatures from the local river and water sources. He has been a guest educator at the museum many times, and we lovingly nicknamed him Darren BUG-ley for the day.  Darren spent the day in Sproutside, interacting with museum visitors and teaching them about the critters.

Even museum staff learned new things! Below is a water scorpion.

Leave a comment »

Edible Flint Food Garden Tour

Our Sproutside gardens are part of the “Edible Flint Food Garden Tour” tonight from 5:30 – 8:30 pm.  We are along the bicycle tour route.  We have worked very hard on our gardens this summer and are proud to showcase our work!  It’s a beautiful day here in Flint, MI and this should be a wonderful event.  Check out the information below and come visit our gardens!

From Edible Flint:

Genesee County residents are improving their health, reducing their weekly grocery bill and transforming their neighborhoods by creating urban gardens in both their own yards and on neighboring vacant lots.

The movement to utilize urban properties to produce food is growing nationally, and Genesee County is right in step. The second annual “Edible Flint Food Garden Tour” Thursday, August 12 will offer a close-up look at several of the innovative and inspiring food gardens developed in the Flint area.

Participants will be transported to the garden sites by bus. The tour is free and open to the public. Last year’s garden tour attracted more than 175 participants, so organizers of the tour added a second bus tour this year as well as a bicycle tour option.

Check-in and food for the tour will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Flint Farmers’ Market, 420 East Boulevard Drive. Buses and bicycles will depart at 5:30 p.m. Everyone on the tour will be given a light meal made from locally-produced delicacies.

Tour participants will meet local food producers, including some who are growing food year round and raising bees and chickens. They will also see, firsthand, how local residents of all ages are transforming community concerns, such as vacant land, into valuable neighborhood assets.

Immediately following the tour, members of Edible Flint will host an after-glow with live music and dessert at the Flint Farmers’ Market.

The entire evening is free, though participants must register in advance. There will be plenty of opportunity for participants to talk with others on the tour and with local growers. Donations will be accepted and will be used to support food gardening efforts in Flint.

To register for the bus or bike tour, contact Natalie Pruett by August 9, 2010 by calling 810-257-3088 ext. 541 or by e-mail at npruett@co.genesee.mi.us.

Edible Flint members include Applewood Initiative for Garden and Community, the Genesee County Land Bank, Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Michigan State University Extension, Salem Housing Community Development Corporation, plus other organizations, local gardeners and independent producers who work together to provide support to those growing food.

Leave a comment »

Garden Update

Take a look at our garden’s progress:

Pole Bean Teepee – July 14 & August 3

Three Sisters – July 14 & August 3

August 3, 2010

Gardens – July 14 & August 6

And we have collected many vegetables! The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan stopped by yesterday to collect some of the vegetables we grew for their Plant A Row for the Hungry program. There is also a basket at the front desk with different vegetables that museum guests can take home!

Leave a comment »

Rolling Ice Cream

“Rolling Ice Cream” was one of our special Sproutside programs yesterday–making ice cream by rolling coffee cans!

We had four summer field trips and other families participate in the activity.  All of the children were pleased with the result of their hard work.  “It was DE-licious!” exclaimed a preschool student.  The activity requires basic materials and is something you can try at home.  We suggest outdoors.

What you need:

  • Large coffee can
  • Zipper bags (quart size will work)
  • Half & Half
  • Vanilla
  • Sugar
  • Rock salt
  • Ice


  • Mix ingredients
    • Recipe:
      • 1 pint half & half
      • 1 1/2  teaspoons vanilla
      • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Divide ingredients into 2 zipper bags
  • Place zipper bags into large coffee can. Pack ice and rock salt around the bags. Close the lid on the can
  • Roll the can around on the ground for about 10 minutes, then check ice cream
  • When ice cream is frozen, serve in small bowls

The finished product!

We hope you enjoy!

Leave a comment »