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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

8 Picture Books About Apples

8 Picture Books About Apples

There are so many wonderful picture books about apple trees, apple cider, apple pies, and everything apples! Apple Farmer Annie, (ages 2+) by Monica Wellington: A contented-looking Annie picks, sorts, presses, bakes, and transports her apples and apple products to the city’s market. At the end there are recipes for apple muffins and applesauce. Although the story is simple, the rich illustrations have plenty of details to discuss.  We own the bilingual edition, Ana Cultiva Manzanas … Read entire article »

Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), Ecology, Fall, Featured, Science

Four Seasons of the Apple Tree

Four Seasons of the Apple Tree

One thing I missed when we lived in Texas was the changing of the seasons. We made this “Seasons of the Apple Tree” craft last year and the children requested that we do it again this year! We used slightly different materials but the process is very similar. Materials: blue sheet of construction paper (larger is better) glue scissors tree: brown paint spring and summer leaves: green paper buds: pink tissue paper for buds apples: red paint or red hole punches autumn leaves: orange and … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), Ecology, Fall, Featured, Science, Weather

A is for Apple Sun Catchers

A is for Apple Sun Catchers

We make new sun catchers for our windows every season. There are a few ways to make easy sun catchers and this is the simplest! For the early fall, we made apple sun catchers with an upper and lower case letter “A”. Materials: permanent (“Sharpie”) marker plastic (from a clear plastic bag, packaging, folders, whatever you have on hand) tissue paper (for whichever color apples you want, plus green for the leaf) glue glitter (optional) to hang: either glue stick OR a hole … 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), Ecology, Fall, Featured, Science

Dinosaur Pasta Skeleton

Dinosaur Pasta Skeleton

We’ve been learning about dinosaurs and have enjoyed our visits to the American Museum of Natural History. The kids tried their hands at assembling a dinosaur skeleton made of macaroni. Materials: printout of the outline of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton clear plastic glue macaroni crayons, color pencils, and/or markers Directions: 1. Tape clear plastic over the printout of the skeleton. 2. Glue macaroni along the outlines. 3. Remove the plastic and allow to dry while you draw a prehistoric scene on the paper. 4. We … 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

Over 12 Picture Books About Dinosaurs

Over 12 Picture Books About Dinosaurs

There are a lot of picture books featuring dinosaurs but only a handful that use an entertaining story to share facts about dinosaurs. Most of the books I found are either illustrated non-fiction or stories that just happen to involve dinosaurs without sharing much factual information.  Here are some of my favorites. I’m Bad and I’m Big!, by Kate McMullan: Even the youngest dino-fans will enjoy these two tales. McMullan captures the voice of these two … Read entire article »

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

Websites For Teaching Children About Hurricanes

Websites For Teaching Children About Hurricanes

I’m waiting until the storm passes to discuss Hurricane Irene in more depth with my children–my daughter was obsessing about tornadoes months ago and I wanted her to get some sleep tonight! If we still have power, I plan on using some of these websites to help my children learn a little about hurricanes: Weather Wiz Kids: Hurricanes: Excellent graphics showing storm surges, how hurricanes form, and more. Experiments, including showing how cahnges in temperature create … Read entire article »

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

4 Picture Books About Hurricanes #Irene

4 Picture Books About Hurricanes #Irene

Here are some Picture Books About Hurricanes for kids. I didn’t have the foresight to check these out of the library this week before Irene shut everything down. So, the descriptions are from the publisher. I will update this post once we’ve had a chance to read these Hurricane books for kids. Hurricane by David Wiesner: The morning after a hurricane, two brothers find an uprooted tree which becomes a magical place, transporting them on adventures … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Science, Weather