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Picture Books about Maple Sugaring and Syrup

Picture Books about Maple Sugaring and Syrup

If you live in the northern latitudes, I hope you have had an opportunity to go maple sugaring. If you are too far south, try turning maple syrup into maple sugar candy to explore the science of this delicious treat! While you are waiting for your pancakes with fresh maple syrup, try these lovely picture books about maple sugaring and maple syrup! The Sugaring Off Party, by Jonathan London; paintings by Gilles Pelletier: A French-Canadian grandmother recounts … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Home Arts, Science, Spring, Weather

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

Candy Hearts Experiment

Candy Hearts Experiment

Have lots of leftover Valentine’s Day candy? Expand your mind instead of your teeth (or mom and dad’s waistlines). We actually did this one last year and ran out of time to post it! Experiment – Do Candy Hearts Dissolve More Quickly In Hot or Cold Water? Materials two bowls of water, one hot, one ice-cold two candy hearts pencils and pads Directions: 1. Form a hypothesis. My children predicted that both hearts would dissolve but the one with the hot water would … Read entire article »

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

Pasta Snowflakes

Pasta Snowflakes

While waiting and wishing for snow, my kids have been making snowflakes. They really enjoyed making snowflakes from pasta. It is a fun material with lots of fine motor practice! Materials: dried pasta of various shapes white or blue paint glitter craft sticks or coffee stirrers blue or black construction paper glue Directions: 1. Paint the pasta blue or white and add glitter. Let dry. 2. Paste three craft sticks or coffee stirrers in an asterisk shape (*) on the construction paper. 3. Use the sticks as … 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, Science, Weather, Winter

How to Make an Ice Lantern

How to Make an Ice Lantern

We were looking forward to this simple way to welcome the winter but the weather has not cooperated until now! Originally, we wanted to make an ice lantern on the Winter Solstice. Then we were aiming for New Year’s. We could have used the freezer but it is hard getting in the winter spirit when it feels like spring! Materials: one large plastic container or bucket one smaller plastic container (a plastic cup would work) water one tea light twigs, berries, … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Featured, History and Culture, Science, Weather, Winter

Why is the US Behind in Math and Science? Join the STEM Challenge #PBSKidsSC

Why is the US Behind in Math and Science? Join the STEM Challenge #PBSKidsSC

Remember when every kid wanted to go to space camp and become an astronaut? The frontier is now digital but sciences and mathematics are just as important as they ever were. Curiosity about the world and a creative approach to problem solving are at the core of what I want to impart to my children. And the sciences are building blocks of those sorts of critical thinking skills. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are increasingly the access … Read entire article »

Filed under: Academic Achievement, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Science, Technology

Fall Leaf Prints

Fall Leaf Prints

We’re in one of the last zones to experience the fall leaf change. Well, our trees have finally exploded in color! I was concerned that we would not get the really vivid colors this year after the hurricane. Hurricane Irene cut a swath across the area, “burning” crops and trees in addition to causing floods and knocking down tree. Nature is resilient, however. Although there are more browns this year than golds and reds, there is … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 1-2 (Toddlers), 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, Art, Ecology, Fall, Featured, Science, Weather

Meow! Halloween Cats from Cardboard Tubes

Meow! Halloween Cats from Cardboard Tubes

I’ve always had a cat–and when I first met my husband, his family had four! You could say we’re cat people. Right now we have two, including the friendliest, fluffiest black cat. So, the kids were excited to craft black cats from cardboard tubes (toilet paper rolls) as part of our Halloween craft fest. A quick note–one teacher told me she was not allowed to use anything recycled from the bathroom or kitchen. So, I suggested she … 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, History and Culture, Science

Is It Okay to Use a Craft Kit?

Is It Okay to Use a Craft Kit?

One of the best gifts we can give our children is our time.  Quality time spent with our children, engaging in fun, interactive activities, boosts their self-esteem and encourages their creativity. I have had moms quietly whisper to me, “I used a craft kit…is that okay?” Well, that depends… is your goal to enjoy an activity with your child or is it to improve your own bargain shopping, cutting, and gluing skills? I kid. I think we all agree … 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), Art, Featured, Science, Sight