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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

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

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

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bats: Halloween Snack

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bats: Halloween Snack

My daughter is very into “themes.” We were discussing a play date and I mentioned that we would have some Halloween crafts for her friends. “What about snacks?” I had been thinking fruit salad and cheese puffs. “Can’t we make Halloween snacks?” So, we decided on chocolate-covered pretzel bats and spider cracker sandwiches, despite last year’s banana ghost debacle. Chocolate-covered pretzels are a favorite treat around here. We also enjoy learning about bats–the kids are fascinated … Read entire article »

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

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

Why do teeth stain? A Science Experiment for Kids!

Why do teeth stain? A Science Experiment for Kids!

When i saw this experiment in the September 2012 issue of Parents magazine I just couldn’t wait to try it.  With just a few modifications it made a perfect and fun learning experience for my kids. First make a few hard boiled eggs. I used five. Tip: to hard boil eggs easily place eggs in muffin pan in preheated oven at 325 for 25-30 minutes. They will peel much more easily! While the eggs are cooking … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), Featured, Health, Science, Subject Matter

Just Make Art: Oil Pastel Resist

Just Make Art: Oil Pastel Resist

Despite how it might appear from my blog, most of our time at home is spent playing. And most of our art-making is very open-ended. I might put out certain materials, demonstrate a technique, but from there it is all up to the kids and their own inspiration and creativity. One of my kids favorite things to do is to paint with watercolors. And they love making crayon resists. When the nice people at CraftProjectIdeas.com sent … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Art, Featured, Science, Visual-Spacial

Blackberry Jammin’

Blackberry Jammin’

Have you been enjoying the summer? I cannot believe it is almost fall! We were able to join the tot cooking classes at Garden of Eve this summer and made blackberry jam. I love the whole fields-to-table experience as it gives the kids an idea of where we get our food. It is also a wonderful insight into the how people lived in a time before supermarkets–or refrigeration. The kids were able to: 1. Pick the blackberries. The kids … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), All Ages, Ecology, Featured, Home Arts, Summer, Taste

Cloudy Days

Cloudy Days

Today was a great mix of weather. Some rain, thunder and lightening, as well as periods of sunshine.  We used the wonderful array of clouds in the sky to do a fun lesson on the types of clouds. (excuse the power lines in the pic)   Materials: blue construction paper cotton glue Procedure: 1. First I sat down at the computer with the kids to show my kids a very short video on how clouds are formed. We liked this one as … Read entire article »

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