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How to Make a Daisy Chain Flower Crown (Plus, Video Tutorial)

How to Make a Daisy Chain Flower Crown (Plus, Video Tutorial)

In mid-August, the black-eyed Susan and purple cone flowers reach their peak around here. It is a perfect time to take a nature walk and look at all the wildflowers. Pin It While we are walking through the flower fields, we like to make daisy chain flower crowns. Pin It All you do is: 1. Gather flowers. 2. Pierce the stem of the first flower with your nail so that you can fit a flower through the hole. 3. Pierce the stem … Read entire article »

Filed under: 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Home Arts, Spring, Summer

Picture Books About Sharks for #SharkWeek

Picture Books About Sharks for #SharkWeek

Pin It In honor of the end of Shark Week, here are our favorite children’s picture books about sharks. Most of our picks are non-fiction. When choosing fiction picture books for themed exploration, I try to choose ones that weave facts into the narrative. While there is no shortage of cute picture books with shark protagonists, the sharks tend to take the role of “scary-looking but really sweet inside.” While sharks are not the indiscriminate man-killers … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Science

Straw Pan Pipe Craft for Kids

Straw Pan Pipe Craft for Kids

My daughter came home very excited that she had made a pan pipe out of drinking straws at camp. However, she had left the homemade craft instrument there and wanted to make another one. I helped her figure out a way of making one at home. Ours was a little different and she really liked it. Pin It Materials: plastic drinking straws tape (clear or decorative Washi tape) scissors yarn or thread (optional)   Directions: Pin It 1. Cut the drinking straws in increasingly smaller … Read entire article »

Filed under: 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Music, Performing Arts and Theater, Science

7 Best Picture Books About Zoos

7 Best Picture Books About Zoos

Pin It In honor of National Zoo Keepers’ Week last week, here are picture books about zoos my children enjoy! Pin It ZooZical Pin It : In addition to being a cute tale about animals, this is a lovely story about drawing on your own creativity to beat the boredom blues. When the zoo is empty of visitors, the animals put together a ZooZical–a series of punny acts that draw upon their unique talents. My kids enjoy the lively and … Read entire article »

Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured

Popsicle Craft Stick Pencil Holder

Popsicle Craft Stick Pencil Holder

My daughter has made these Popsicle / craft stick pencil holders as end of the year teacher gifts the last two years and was very proud to see that her kindergarten teacher still uses it. This also makes a great “back to school” craft, whether your child goes to school outside the home or has homeschool. Pin It Materials: tin soup can Popsicle / craft sticks tacky glue rubber band acrylic paints/glitter/ribbons for decorating (optional) Directions: Pin It 1. Cut the top off of a … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured

Perfect Illustration of the Issues with Common Core Elementary Mathematics

Perfect Illustration of the Issues with Common Core Elementary Mathematics

In the past, I’ve written about the Common Core from the perspective of its inevitable arrival and how we can help prepare our kids. I’ve also written about some of my objections to the Common Core elementary mathematics standards. I couldn’t resist sharing this video, which should be required viewing. Please watch this clever little girl trying to show her mom how to solve a mathematics problem the way she is taught in class. Based … Read entire article »

Filed under: Common Core, Mathematics

The Magic of Healthy Living #DisneySMMoms

The Magic of Healthy Living #DisneySMMoms

Trying to Eat Healthy We try to eat healthy around here. Unlike some people I admire very much, however, it isn’t my main passion or cause. We buy some foods organic, others not. We buy local when we can, but we aren’t a member of our local CSA share (despite knowing a woman who runs an organic farm that serves as a the local distribution center) and we do not grow our own produce. There are … Read entire article »

Filed under: Bodily-kinesthetic, Health, Health, Home Arts

Sharpie Fireworks T-Shirt

Sharpie Fireworks T-Shirt

Pin It My friend, Athena, hosted an awesome craft group this afternoon. The girls made fireworks t-shirts and I know my son is going to want to make one, too. Materials: t-shirt Sharpie (permanent) markers rubbing alcohol medicine dropper cardboard Directions: Pin It 1. Place cardboard in between the layers of the t-shirt. Make dots with your sharpie marker in a circle shape. Pin It 2. Use the dropper to drop rubbing alcohol into the center of the design. The marker will spread. Pin It Pin It 3. Experiment with … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Art, Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Science, Summer, Visual-Spacial

Math is Everywhere! Bedtime Math #STEMchat

Math is Everywhere! Bedtime Math #STEMchat

Math is everywhere! Every day we use math–to estimate distances, tell time, divide up treats, listen to music, take care of finances, and to make the most of our day. So, I am thrilled to be part of the Bedtime Math Parent Blogging team supporting an excellent new project to promote mathematical literacy for kids: Bedtime Math. Just like we make special time for reading to our children at the end of each day, Bedtime Math … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Mathematics, Me

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

To all the Dads, Papas, Grandpas, and other father-types out there, Happy Father’s Day! Here’s hoping you get lots of hugs, some cute and funny homemade gifts (I know one Daddy whose son thinks his eyes are “red”), and maybe even a little time to yourself to relax (good luck with that)! Here are our 2013 Father’s Day photo montages with the kids spelling out Daddy and Papa… Pin It Pin It … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured