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Discover and Engineer with littleBits (Review with Coupon Code!)

Discover and Engineer with littleBits (Review with Coupon Code!)

The makers of littleBits sent me a Base Kit to explore their unique building blocks of circuitry with my children and share with you. Read on to see what we made with littleBits and also to get a coupon code for a 10% discount. With littleBits, even young children and people with no technical knowledge can put together basic circuits for robotics and engineering projects. littleBits are color-coded building blocks of circuitry that snap together with … Read entire article »

Filed under: 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Science, Toys

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

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

Sharpie Fireworks T-Shirt

Sharpie Fireworks T-Shirt

My friend, Athena, hosted an awesome craft group this afternoon. The girls made fireworks t-shirts and I know my son is going to want to make one, too. Materials: t-shirt Sharpie (permanent) markers rubbing alcohol medicine dropper cardboard Directions: 1. Place cardboard in between the layers of the t-shirt. Make dots with your sharpie marker in a circle shape. 2. Use the dropper to drop rubbing alcohol into the center of the design. The marker will spread. 3. Experiment with concentric circles of dots, dashes, … 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), Art, Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Science, Summer, Visual-Spacial

Hot Air Balloon Craft – Inspired by American Girl Saige

Hot Air Balloon Craft – Inspired by American Girl Saige

My daughter is really enjoying her Saige American Girl of the Year doll. She’s been reading the second book, Saige Paints the Sky. So, we decided to make a hot air balloon craft, inspired by Saige! Materials: inflated balloon glue, diluted with a few drops of water tissue paper yarn fishing wire plastic container raffia   Directions: 1. Tear or cut your tissue paper in strips.   2. Coat the balloon with the slightly diluted glue mixture. 3. Cover the balloon (except a small circle at the bottom) in … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-12 (Middle Grades), Featured, Science

Pot of Gold St. Patrick’s Day Craft

Pot of Gold St. Patrick’s Day Craft

My son asked to make a St. Patrick’s Day craft today. I didn’t have anything planned but I made a few suggestions and he said he wanted to make a pot of gold. Materials cup or plastic container (we recycled an applesauce container) construction paper: black, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo (optional), and purple ruler pencil scissors glue Directions 1. Cut a length of black construction paper long enough to wrap your plastic cup or container and glue the paper around the container. 2. … 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), Featured, History and Culture, Science, Weather

Create your own Dinosaur Fossils

Create your own Dinosaur Fossils

At a recent trip to the American Museum of Natural History, we say this Dinosaur Skeleton Fossil Playset and I claimed it as my own souvenir when my boys opted for Safari Dinosaur figurines instead. I immediately thought it would be lots of fun to try to identify our dinosaur fossils and make impressions of them on play dough for a dinosaur fossil craft and activity. Our kids are definitely paleontology fanatics. The two older kids … Read entire article »

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

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

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