Leaf Connect the Dots

17 Oct

 

Leaves are all over the ground in New England, blanketing the ground in beautiful Autumn colors.

After taking a walk with my kids, we had collected a pile of various shapes, colors and sizes of leaves.

 

I thought it would be fun to create a “Leaf Connect the Dots” (or dot to dots as my kids call them) using the collected leaves as stencils.

What a fun way to practice number recognition, sequence, and counting!

To make your own Leaf Connect the Dots:

Put a leaf down on a blank piece of paper and draw dots around the perimeter of the leaf, taking into account the various juts and jags of each leaf.

Once you have all the dots drawn, begin numbering the dots (in sequential order).

 

Give your kids the paper and let them

CONNECT THE DOTS

 

The beauty of this (besides the leaves of course) is that this can be as easy or as hard as you like.

For my younger daughter I stayed with dots numbering 0 – 10.

For my son, I used a very large maple leaf and was able to have his dots go up to 87.

The bigger the leaf, the easier it is to have A LOT of dots.

Have fun!

 

5 Fun Fall Projects

10 Oct

Fall is officially upon us now that the calendar has flipped to October.

Looking for fun Fall themed projects to do with your kids?

Check out some of our favorites below

Pumpkin Decorations:

Apple Tree Prints:

Handprint Apple Tree:

Pumpkin Tin Can Jack-o-Lantern:

Leaf Rubbing:

 


 

4 Favorite Fall Snacks

5 Oct

To me, Fall isn’t just about the change in weather. It is about the change in food as well.  My family happily welcomes the change in seasons, especially when accompanied by some of their favorite Fall Foods.

Here are a few of our favorite Fall Snacks that we have made together

 

Applesauce

 

DIY Halloween Candy: Peanut Butter Cups and Mounds Bars

 

Caramel Corn

 

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (Gluten Free)

 

Do you have a Fall favorite snack or food you love to make with your kids?

Tell us about it

 

 

 

Apple Tree Math Game

2 Oct

In an effort to decorate our house with apples, and have a little fun with numbers at the same time, we create this Apple Tree Math Game.

To do so,  cut out apple shapes, then let your kids color them in as they see fit.

Have the kids write the numbers 0 – 9 on the various apples.

Then hang the apples on a large tree

At this point we then made a game out of our apple tree.

For my 3yr old daughter, I asked her to find the various numbers on the tree.

For my 6yr old, I asked him math questions {what is 3 + 5 =?} and he would look for the answer on the tree.

This apple tree math game can become as easy or hard as you desire.

Additional ideas:

  • write higher number apples for more complex math equations.
  • create apples with +, -, x, ÷ then let your kids create their own math equations on the tree
  • let the kids ask each other math problems {instead of the teacher/parent}

 

Lego Jewelry

26 Sep

Earlier this summer we made Cornstarch Bead Jewelry.  After we had made the standard bead shapes we got inspired to make other shapes.

My son has a deep love for Lego’s. So much so in fact that our dining room table has become Lego-land and we no longer can see the surface most days.  So, while my daughter Sydney was happy with heart shaped beads, Silas wanted Lego jewelry.

To make the cornstarch dough, Mix together:

  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ½ cup water

Combine all ingredients in a pot over medium heat.  Mix well until it has thickened {similar to mashed potatoes}. This only takes a few minutes, so don’t walk away. Remove the pan from heat. Gather the dough into a ball in the pan. Once cool enough to touch, remove the dough and separate into smaller balls.  The dough begins to dry and harden so don’t wait too long.

Here’s an option: make colored dough by adding food color drops to the mixture. Make a few batches of dough and experiment with various colors.  Or leave the dough plain, and have your kids paint their beads once they have created them!

Give your kids each a ball of the dough, and let them immediately begin making their own beads! Shape a piece of dough into the desired Lego shape, then gently press a Lego into your dough to make an imprint.

Use a straw to poke a hole through the beads so that you can thread them onto a string later.  Leave the beads to dry and harden. You can place the beads on a pan (placed on parchment paper) at 200° in the oven to speed up the drying, or place them out in the sun.

Once dried, get out the paints and let your kids have fun painting their beads.

Once the paint has dried, string the beads onto yarn, string, elastic, etc!

My kids have been wearing their creations ever since we made them.

I hope you and your kids have as much fun as we did!

 

How to ripen a green tomato

19 Sep

Do you have tomatoes that haven’t ripened yet {and might not at this point in the season}?

Wondering what to do with them?

Watch as Silas shows you what we do with our green {and half-red} tomatoes.

Want to learn more about what makes tomatoes ripen?

Mature green tomatoes give off a gas, called ethylene, which aids in the ripening process.  This gas normally blows around in the wind while the tomatoes are outside growing on the plant, thereby causing the ripening time to be drawn out.  If you are running out of time in the season, and are worried your tomatoes wont ripen before the frost sets in, you can place the green {or even partially-red} tomatoes in a paper bag on your counter. The paper bag will hold in the ethylene gas, allowing those green tomatoes to ripen more quickly.

 

Growing Potatoes

14 Sep

Did you know that potatoes grow underground?  That there is an green leafy plant above ground, but the potato itself is down under in the dirt?

We grew potatoes this year, and today we harvested some of them.

Have your kids check out this video, where they will see Silas talking to them about growing potatoes…..

Want to know more about growing potatoes?

They are easy {and fun} and can be grown in a container or in a garden.

 

 

Cooking Class in NYC

9 Sep

 

Thanks to all those who voted for us in the Clorox Cooking Up A Mess contest a few months ago.

This past weekend we went on our grand prize trip to NYC. The days were filled with adventure, food, and lots of sight-seeing.

One of the parts of the prize was a cooking class for the kids.

 

 

We had our class at Taste Buds, a company that caters to child chefs with a full equipped child-sized kitchen.

With a moto of “Learn, Laugh, Cook”, I knew this would be a good place for us.

 

 

The class was 2 hrs long, at which the Nicole taught the kids how to make sushi, a soba noodle salad and fortune cookies.

The fortune cookies were a BIG hit with my kids.

 

 

Taste Buds offers story times, weekly classes, individual classes, camps, parties {and even adult classes}.

 

 

This is a great place to check out if you are in the NYC area.  The staff are friendly and great with kids. The cooking area is open, airy, and speckled with jars of sprinkles, colorful mixing bowls and miniature wisks.

Your kids are bound to have a fantastic time, just like we did.

Thanks Taste Buds!

Pick Your Own

29 Aug

I love picking fruits and veggies. It might be my all-time favorite thing to do.

So, it seems only nature that I would bring my kids along in this adventure.

Sitting in the sunshine, picking food, then eating it, what is not to like?

Getting to know the farmers, knowing where your food comes from, learning about how food is grown, this is all very important in sustaining good food-growing practices.  My kids have learned a lot about farming and vegetables this summer.

I encourage you, in the weeks left of this summer growing season, to find a local farm and pick some fruits or vegetables with your children.

My daughter {age 3} lost interest in picking beans after a while, so she brought her books into the row to sit and read while we picked.

Supporting your local farmers is important.  Showing kids how green beans grow, and then letting them eat said beans off the bush…..that is also important.  Its not just a teachable moment about nature. It is a moment to encourage an interest in good food, while exposing them to the reality of how food is created.

 

 

Hiking Scavenger Hunt

22 Aug

A walk through the woods {or your backyard/neighborhood} can take on a fun new twist when you turn it a scavenger hunt.

Here is the list we use:

The kids each had a bag, and searched for items that matched the description on the list.

When we were all done, we emptied the bags out and matched the items the kids had found to the list.

This is a fun way to get outside with your kids, while teaching them about wildlife and nature.

And here’s some proof:

This is Sydney, making silly faces about the object she had just found. Hahaha!

~Enjoy

 

 

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