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Pine Cone Bird Craft

Pine Cone Bird Craft

Even before my eldest could talk, she loved birds. I admit, I did not know much about birds before my kids came along, but I’ve learned a lot along with them. For my daughter’s Daisy troop, we made these pine cone song birds. My son wanted to make one, too! Next month, February, is National Backyard Bird Feeding Month and this is a cute little craft to do with kids. Materials pine cone googly eyes feathers paint glitter (optional) tacky glue glue dots orange and/or … 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), Ecology, Featured, Science

Tinfoil Painting (Just Make Art!)

Tinfoil Painting (Just Make Art!)

Yesterday, I promised my kids we would make some special art so we painted on tinfoil. I wanted to share this with you to give you a better picture of what we do around here. Generally, I share projects and activities that require special instructions. However, most of what we do around here is just play, just read a book, just make art–no themes, specific directions, or structure. My kids like to draw or break out … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Art, Featured

New Year’s Interviews with Your Children

New Year’s Interviews with Your Children

Our children change so much every year and I wish I could bottle up a little of this precious time with them. Despite my compulsive documenting through photographs and notes, the days fly by. One fun tradition is to interview the children every year at New Year’s. I think I originally saw this idea from Amy at TeachMama.com. I asked the kids about their favorite color, their favorite activities, their favorite memories, and more. I also … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Featured, Intrapersonal, Winter

Elevate the Arts with American Girl of the Year, Saige Copeland — An Interview with Author Jessie Haas

Elevate the Arts with American Girl of the Year, Saige Copeland — An Interview with Author Jessie Haas

In Saige, the first book for the American Girl of the Year for 2013, Saige Copeland, author Jessie Haas shares an inspiring story about a young girl who loves painting and takes a stand for keeping the arts in her school. In the first book, Saige grows as an artist and as an equestrian, makes a new friend, develops a more mature relationship with a life-long friend, takes on new responsibilities, and helps save the arts … Read entire article »

Filed under: 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-12 (Middle Grades), Art, Featured, History and Culture

Organizing a Sing-a-Long to Spread the Cheer

Organizing a Sing-a-Long to Spread the Cheer

This past weekend, we brought some Christmas Cheer to a local home for the elderly. We have been visiting since my two eldest were 3 and 1.5 and we caroled with a play group. That first year, my daughter asked if she could play piano. We didn’t have her music so she just played “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Every year since then she has wanted to go back, this time with Christmas carol sheet … Read entire article »

Filed under: Charity, Featured, Interpersonal, Music, Musical, Performing Arts and Theater

Rudolph and Friends: A Reindeer Footprint Craft

Rudolph and Friends: A Reindeer Footprint Craft

Holly, a friend of mine, posted this family reindeer footprint craft and was kind enough to allow me to share it with you. Isn’t it adorable? If you are looking for a Christmas or winter craft to do this weekend, just get out your paints and feet and you’ll have a sweet reindeer keepsake–you can even include Rudolph. Materials: brown, black, and red paint white paper frame (optional) Directions: 1. Paint a foot of each family member with brown paint and … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Winter

The Twelve Days of Christmas Picture Books

The Twelve Days of Christmas Picture Books

One of my favorite monthly rituals is opening our boxes of seasonal and holiday books and bringing out these classic stories. December is the time for Christmas decorations and our collection of Christmas picture books. Each year we add new treasures to our library and get reacquainted with old friends. It is always fun to see which books capture the children’s interest the most this year and to share our favorites with the baby.   The Twelve … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture

Our Gratitude Tree

Our Gratitude Tree

We made a gratitude tree out of a cardboard paper towel tube, a paper bowl, and construction paper to express our thanks for all of our blessings this Thanksgiving. This was such a simple craft and it really engaged the kids’ attention. Materials: cardboard tube (either a paper towel tube, 2-3 toilet paper tubes taped together, or a wrapping paper tube cut in half) construction paper (brown, green, red, orange, yellow) glue scissors marker craft knife Directions: 1. Wrap and glue brown construction paper … 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), All Ages, Featured, History and Culture, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal

Handprint Turkeys

Handprint Turkeys

With Thanksgiving so early this year and coming on the heals of the Sandy “Frankenstorm,” we’ve been focusing on helping others and keeping things simple. We did spend a little time revisiting the classic “Hand Turkey” Thanksgiving craft with our own spin–a handprint and footprint Turkey–and then added a new twist. This time, we used magazines and catalogs for our tail feathers. Materials: construction paper (blue, green, brown, red, and orange) googly eyes magazines or catalogs glue scissors pen or pencil 1. Fold … 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), Ecology, Fall, Featured

Gratitude After the Storm

Gratitude After the Storm

I’ve started and stopped this post dozens of times. I want to tell you some contradictory things. I am grateful. I am so very grateful. And I am hurting. I am hurting so deeply. Hurricane Sandy ripped through our region, leaving much of Long Island without power–we were without power for a week and my mother-in-law lost power for two weeks.We had gas lines and gas rationing and I had to drive my husband to emergency … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured