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March: Yup, In Like a Lion!

March: Yup, In Like a Lion!

While we still haven’t seen the kids’ much-wished-for snow, March entered like a lion with a wet, cloudy, chilly day. As in past years, we will be reading In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb, by Marion Dane Bauer, and making some sort of craft, like our lion and lamb masks from last year. Last year we created a March weather bar graph of lions and lambs. This year, my daughter will also create a chart … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Science, Sight, Spring, Weather, Winter

How Sweet it Is: Maple Sugaring

How Sweet it Is: Maple Sugaring

Each year we visit a local family farm for their Maple Sugaring demonstration. What a hands-on (and tasty) way to learn about Native American and Colonial culture and history, chemistry, the weather, and ecology! We followed the maple sugaring process from start to finish. First, we learned a bit about the sugar maple (which is so important that New York, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia share it as their state tree). Farmer Bob gave a talk on how … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), All Ages, Bodily-kinesthetic, Ecology, Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Logical-Mathematical, Science, Spring, Taste, Weather, Winter

How to Make a Flower Fairy

How to Make a Flower Fairy

We made these Flower Fairies in early summer but I am just getting around to posting them.  In the fall, we will make them with leaves. We had been wanting to make Flower Fairies for some time and I was inspired to finally give it a go when I saw these forest fairies at A New Bohemia during the Smart Summer Challenge. Materials: 1 wooden bead artificial flowers 2 chenille stems 1 metallic chenille stem embroidery floss or yarn glue dots or hot … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-12 (Middle Grades), Featured, Home Arts, Literacy, Spring, Summer

Apple Blossom to Zinnia: 3 Flower Alphabet Picture Books

Apple Blossom to Zinnia: 3 Flower Alphabet Picture Books

Flowers are such a lovely part of spring and summer. We’ve planted, pressed, dissected, drawn, and studied these beautiful blossoms and are ready, soon, to move onto pollinators. To enrich our knowledge base of flower types, we borrowed some alphabet books featuring flowers. Flower Alphabet Picture Books The Flower Alphabet Book (Jerry Pallotta’s Alphabet Books): We own a number of Pallotta’s alphabet books and this one does not disappoint. The marginalia illustrate interesting facts about each … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), Ecology, Featured, Literacy, Smart Summer Challenge, Spring, Summer

F is for Flowers

F is for Flowers

Earlier in the spring, we learned about rain and the water cycle and about the plant life cycle.  Then, once our flowers bloomed, we explored our garden. We dissected flowers, pressed flowers, made daffodil flower crafts out of cardboard toilet paper tubes, and we also practiced writing using flower petals. As with most of our “letter of the week” crafts, I modify it to include writing the whole word for my daughter, who is in … 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, Literacy, Science, Smart Summer Challenge, Smell, Spring, Summer, Taste

Backyard Science – #SmartSummer Challenge Week 3

Backyard Science – #SmartSummer Challenge Week 3

It is Backyard Science week here for the Smart Summer Challenge*. I have been so excited for Week 3 of the Smart Summer Challenge!  Science and art are just such natural parts of a young child’s play that it is just so easy to point out these opportunities for learning…right in our own backyard! I could have filled the entire summer with experiments, crafts and art projects, book lists, games, and more for this theme. Here … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ecology, Science, Smart Summer Challenge, Spring, Summer

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

We made these fun Father’s Day photo cards with the kids spelling out “Daddy” and “Papa”.  We got the idea from the very awesome Amy of Crunchy Domestic Goddess! The kids even learn how to spell “Daddy” and “Papa”! And if you make this card every year, it will be a fun way to see the children growing and developing. For more great Father’s Day DIY gift ideas from bloggers, including a few you could whip up … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, History and Culture, Interpersonal, Spring, Summer

Flower Anatomy Dissection

Flower Anatomy Dissection

As part of our study of flowers, we dissected a bloom from a rhododendron bush in our backyard. This was a good opportunity to see what my kids already knew about flowers and maybe teach them a few more terms. First, we picked some blossoms off the bush. Then, I used a knife to slice apart the petals to reveal what is inside. We pasted this diagram of flower anatomy from Enchanted Learning into our science journal. That is … Read entire article »

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

Daffodil Craft

Daffodil Craft

We had our April Showers and then some and we’ve been waiting on our May Flowers.  We’ve had a few soggy buds but the lack of sunshine has delayed some of our blooms! We did see the crocuses and the daffodils as spring sprung and we made this pretty daffodil out of a cardboard toilet tube. Materials: toilet paper tube yellow and orange paint green chenille stem single hole punch scissors Directions: 1. Cut petals on one side of the tube, approximate three-quarters of … Read entire article »

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

Growing Bean Plants

Growing Bean Plants

It is that time of year when kids grow like weeds and everything is verdant, sprouting and budding. We’ve been studying the water cycle and now we are learning about the plants the grow after the early spring showers. Question: How do seeds become plants? My daughter hypothesized that they need light and water and that the roots would come out first. Materials: seeds (we planted beans since they sprout so quickly) glass jar (so you can observe the growth) potting soil … 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), 9-11 (Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Science, Spring, Summer