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04 April 2009

Free class

I just ran across this online class for elementary kids. Here's the link. It is FREE and begins April 13th. You download new material each Monday for 4 weeks I believe. It looks interesting and I think Tamarin might enjoy it even though he is not quite "Elementary" age yet.

02 April 2009

Cut it up

This is no new idea, but we had a blast yesterday doing it. I brought together a whole bunch of our old National Geographic Kids magazines and a couple of pairs of scissors. We were focusing on the letter "E" so Tamarin (almost 5) looked for words that had the letter E at the beginning, middle, and end. He also found pictures with E. Little Baboon (3.5) cut out mostly pictures of E with some large printed E to accompany.
Later in the afternoon, we made colages with our findings.

You can do this activity with just about any theme, colors, math, science, spelling, or make your own book, tell your own story and add handwriting to the pictures you cut out. Using scissors helps develop great dexterity with little fingers and hand-eye coodination.
Post comments if you have done something like this. I love variations on the same theme!

31 March 2009

Groovy Lava Lamps

The boys have been into experiments lately. I found a bunch that we are trying out on We tried this one today. I thought the instructions said to use Kosher Salt so we did and it doesn't work so well! We also found that using a wider jar works better.

We'll probably do this again once I get some more oil and salt from our new house. I keep realizing I've moved things we need! The boys enjoyed it a lot. We talked about why the oil floats on top. The boys loved seeing the bubbles.

Sorry we didn't get a picture. It was a little messy and the camera was upstairs.

29 March 2009

Let it snow!

We didn't get much snow this winter so we decided one day to make some of our own! A friend of mine gave me a great tip to use tissue paper or coffee filters when making them. They are much easier for little hands to cut out. We happened to have some coffee filters in our 72 hour kits, so I pulled them out for a little fun!

Here's what you need first!

We had some fun with art while getting our snowflakes ready. On this day. we focused on DOTS!

Fold your circle in half.

Then fold it perfectly in thirds. (The edges need to meet the folds.)
Here it is all folded in thirds.

Fold it in half again.

Next we added some "shapes" to the edges. Another great way to sneak in some basic math!

My kiddos are still a bit young for cutting out the intricate shapes, so I did the cutting here, but here is our finished product!

Learn all about the man who first started photographing snowflakes here:

Some incredible pictures of snowflakes here: (and the science of them too!)

Some fun "how to's" here:

01 March 2009

Bird Seed Wreaths

We did these on Friday for Preschool and thought that you might like to see how I did them.
I found the idea on a website where they suggested using bagels. A great idea and one I would have used had it not been 10pm at night the night before we were to meet! So, I threw together some flour, oats and water to make these cute rings.

I dumped, so here's my guess:
1 1/2 to 2 cups wheat flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups white flour
1 cup oats
2 cups water
I put oats in because I wanted to add texture, I thought the birds might like them, and they are great for soaking up water. (Which I needed to make the rings rock hard.)
I mixed it all together to get a stiff dough. Rolled it into 1/2 inch thick, then cut it into strips. I cut the strips in half which gave me enough to make about 12 rings. I ran one tip of each strip under water for just a second to get wet when I picked them up to mold them into a rings. That helped them stick together better.
Baked at 350 degrees for about 45 min. Then I turned off the oven and let them sit in the heat of the oven overnight. This is not necessary, but, like I said, I wanted them rock hard. I definitley accomplished my desire!
At preschool, we glazed each wreath with peanut butter. Then let the kids dip their wreaths in bird seed. I found that it helped to really press the seeds into the peanut butter. The more seeds you can get on there the better!
The finishing touches: A bright yellow yarn for attracting birds! This was messy, fun, cheap, and easy.

12 February 2009

Valentine Hugs

One day this week we made Valentine HUGS! I got the idea over at "No Time for flashcards"

11 February 2009

Planting Seeds

The middle of February is a wonderful time to get seeds planted for the spring. We just had a couple of days of nice weather and it almost feels like Spring is in the air! Today we had a magical moment with some dirt, egg cartons, and scoopers. And of course, seeds!

Last fall I walked around my yard and harvested seeds from off many of my plants. Cone flowers, Sunflowers, Hastas, Watermellons, Marigolds, Zinnias, Basil, Cilantro, Daisys and Cantelope to name a few. I opened Marigold flowers and Hosta pods to reveal the miracle of seeds hidden inside. Another wonderful way to explore nature!

09 February 2009


Today we learned about money. Tamarin and I had a lesson on how all the coins work (a quarter=.25 cents, two nickels=a dime, etc), then we played "STORE". He loved it!

Baboon sorted the coins, then made patterns with them.