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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

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

9 Picture Books About Election Day for Kids

9 Picture Books About Election Day for Kids

At Lifetime Moms, I posted 6 Ways to Talk About the Election with Kids. Picture Books are a great way to introduce complex topics like elections. Here are 9 children’s books that examine our democracy in action:   Vote!, by Eileen Christelow: My kids really like this book that follows one woman’s local election from the perspective of her two dogs. They enjoy the real-life applications of the principles of democracy and the running canine commentary. This … Read entire article »

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

Spider Pretzel Crackers: Halloween Snack

Spider Pretzel Crackers: Halloween Snack

My daughter wanted Halloween-themed snacks for her play date and she wanted at least one option to be “more healthy.” So, we made these spider and pretzel crackers in addition to the chocolate-covered pretzel bats. Ingredients for Spider Pretzel Crackers: two crackers per spider four pretzel sticks per spider spread (can be cheese, cream cheese, hummus, peanut butter…you name it…if you can spread it, you can use it) raisins or craisins Directions: 1. Spread cheese or other spread on your crackers. This … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Ecology, Fall, Featured, Home Arts, Taste

Fall Changes

Fall Changes

The Fall is upon us and things are changing. The leaves are falling, the weather is cooler, and squirrels are hard at work storing food for the winter. Yesterday I overheard my ever curious 4 year old asking her 6 year old sister questions related to the change. “Why are there leaves on the ground? Why is it red? What is that squirrel doing?” Upon hearing all of this questioning a light bulb went off … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Fall, Featured, Science, Seasonal, Subject Matter

Yarn Art Pumpkin Halloween Craft

Yarn Art Pumpkin Halloween Craft

We have some favorite Halloween crafts we do almost every year and we also try to add some new ones in. In the past, we made a a yarn pumpkin molded around a balloon. This year, we tried a flatter version of the craft, a Yarn Jack O’ Lantern you can hang on a wall or window. Materials orange yarn black paper glue green chenille stem (pipe cleaner) wax paper permanent marker Directions: 1. Trace a pumpkin on a piece of wax paper. 2. Soak … 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, History and Culture

5 Pumpkin Books for Your Story Patch

5 Pumpkin Books for Your Story Patch

Pumpkins are popping up all over the place here! I love how the pumpkin theme lasts the whole fall season, from harvest to Halloween to Thanksgiving–we study pumpkins, make Jack O’ Lanterns, pumpkin pies, roasted pumpkin seeds, and, of course, pumpkin crafts. We also enjoy reading picture books about pumpkins. Here are some of our favorite pumpkin books for kids:   Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin, by Mary Serfozo: Toddlers will love the language play and the adorable cartoon-ish … Read entire article »

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

Halloween Science

Halloween Science

Did you know that Halloween can be a perfect learning opportunity for your kids?! Yes that’s right, grab your kids and head to the nearest pumpkin patch! Materials 3 pumpkins of varying sizes knife bowl carving kit (just to make it fun!)   Let your children pick out pumpkins. The bigger the pumpkin the longer this project will take, so in this case smaller is better.  The one shown here with my son is way too big. Start by letting your children observe … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fall, Featured, Science

Picture Books for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot

Picture Books for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot

We enjoy exploring traditions from a number of cultures. Although we are a Christian family, I try to introduce my family’s Jewish heritage to my children, as well. We made a Sephardic apple compote, Mansanada, with our orchard-picked apples. And we have also been enjoying these picture books about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Each of these books explore ethical questions in the spirit of Jewish self-reflection and questioning. They are perfect springboards for discussions … 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), Fall, Featured, History and Culture

Grow A Seed

Grow A Seed

  My kids and I love looking through and doing my old lessons which I had used when I taught.  Here is one of my favorite lessons, both in school and out.  I actually had more fun with it at home since there were no time constraints. The purpose of this lesson is to demonstrate the stages of plants life cycle and to explain where our food comes from. (when I taught I did this along with … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Fall, Featured, Home Arts, Science, Subject Matter