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Christmas Tree Fern Prints on Reusable Market Bags

Christmas Tree Fern Prints on Reusable Market Bags

My kids made these Christmas tree print reusable canvas market bags from pressed ferns two years ago for their grandparents and aunt. We noticed that ferns look a lot like Christmas trees so we saved and pressed some. Didn’t save any ferns? No problem! Fake ones will work just as well. Then, we simply placed our ferns on canvas bags and sprayed some fabric paint to create a negative print. We also flipped the sprayed ferns over and … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Art, Ecology, Featured, History and Culture

German Straw Star Ornaments

German Straw Star Ornaments

Every year, we make ornaments for teachers, friends, and family. Last year, my children made traditional German Star Ornaments, called Strohsterne. I first spotted these stars at a neighbor’s during trick or treating and I found out that you can order a straw star kit with straw, a 6-strand straw splitter, a placement ring, and instructions.   We bought Kit 1 (I have received no product or other compensation for this post) and made some beautiful stars. However, … Read entire article »

Filed under: 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Visual-Spacial

Native American Comanche Tribe-Inspired Hair Pipe Breastplate Kids Craft

Native American Comanche Tribe-Inspired Hair Pipe Breastplate Kids Craft

My son made this craft breastplate inspired by the hair pipe breastplates of the Plains Indians, originally introduced by the Comanche native tribe. Every year, the kindergartners at my kids’ primary school dress up as tribal peoples (Native Americans / American Indians) or pilgrims for their Thanksgiving party. I look through some old photographs of native peoples in traditional dress with my kids and they decide what elements they want to recreate. My son was immediately … 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), Featured, History and Culture

Witches’ Hats Cookies

Witches’ Hats Cookies

I saw these adorable witch hat cookies on Pinterest but the link just led back to a photograph. As far as I can tell, the photo I saw originated from Explore. Dream. Discover. but I couldn’t track down any specific instructional post. We made these to go along with our chocolate pretzel bats for my daughter’s Halloween play date. I let the kids make them so they aren’t perfectly even but I still think they turned … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts

Jack O’ Lantern Ornaments for Halloween

Jack O’ Lantern Ornaments for Halloween

We made this easy craft with my daughter’s friends for a Halloween-themed play date.   No pictures of the process because there were lots of children there who aren’t mine…but it is very simple to do. Materials: clear, plastic ornaments (we got ours at Oriental Trading but many of the craft stores have them out for Christmas) permanent (“Sharpie”) markers orange filling (paper, feathers, beads, tulle, pom-poms, anything) green pipe cleaner (chenille stem) or curling ribbon fishing wire Directions: 1. Stuff your ornament with some … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Fall, Featured

13 Tips for Photographing Nature #NGKInsider

13 Tips for Photographing Nature #NGKInsider

My eldest has a growing interest in photography, especially nature photography. As a National Geographic Kids Insider, I had a chance to listen in on a chat with photographer Kelley Miller talk about how to photograph animals. We also found out how we can be part of setting a Guinness World Record! First, here are some tips for photographing nature from Ms. Miller, illustrated with her photographs and a few of mine: 1. Be patient. 2. Practice … Read entire article »

Filed under: Art, Featured, Science, Sight

Daisy Girl Scout Crafts and Activities for Earning Petals

Daisy Girl Scout Crafts and Activities for Earning Petals

What are your favorite ideas for earning Daisy Girl Scout Petals? I led my daughter’s Daisy Troop the past two years, with lots of help from a co-leader and some other parents, and we had a great time! As a new leader, however, I often struggled with planning out the year and figuring out requirements. Through the help of the council website and Google, though, we managed to piece things together. Here is a list of … Read entire article »

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

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. While we are walking through the flower fields, we like to make daisy chain flower crowns. 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 of the … 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

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 often … 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. Materials: plastic drinking straws tape (clear or decorative Washi tape) scissors yarn or thread (optional)   Directions: 1. Cut the drinking straws in increasingly smaller sizes.   2. Tape … 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