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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:

 


 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

Birthday Celebrations and a Space Shuttle Cake

16 Aug

We recently had a birthday in our house:

Silas turned 6!

Each year I let the kids decide what they want their birthday cake to look like. Yes, look like. As in, come up with whatever you want and I will try to make it.

Last year, just a few days after Silas’ 5th birthday{at which he requested a Feller Buncher cake}, he told me what cake he wanted for his 6th birthday cake: A Space Shuttle cake.

No worries, I thought, he will change his mind.

Low and behold, 12 months later, he still wanted a Space Shuttle birthday cake {and space shuttle toys, and an astronaut suit, and to go to Mars…}

It actually seemed very fitting, in honor of NASA’s 2011 retirement of the Space Shuttles, to make a space shuttle cake.

Since we couldn’t go see the real shuttle, we took pictures of our own.

We didn’t just eat cake for the birthday celebrations,  although we did manage to eat lots and lots of cake.

We also went to a local amusement park and rode the rides.

 

 

Here’s to another year filled with fun adventures and lots of love and laughter.

 

Drawing a Garden

11 Aug

 

Ever wonder what your garden looks like through the eyes of your child?  Do they see the weeds {that you inevitably notice} or do they notice the massive tomato hanging low to the ground. Here’s a chance to find out!

Keeping with our Outdoor Art theme from earlier this week, here is another easy idea to get your family outside creating.

 

 

I brought out our markers, paper/notebooks and a blanket and laid it near our vegetable garden.

I encouraged the kids to draw something they saw in the garden.

One very large green tomato has now been commemorated in Silas’ notebook.

As for Sydney, she decided to draw grass and clouds instead.

 

 

As for me, I also drew our tomato plant, but took some artistic liberties and colored all the tomatoes red {instead of the green that they are}!

Still looking for more ideas on combining nature + art? Check out this post

Painting outdoors

7 Aug

The simple act of painting can take on new life, can be new and exciting, all by bringing the paints outdoors.  Pull out the paintbrushes, the paints, paper and even an easel…then let the kids enjoy painting.

This simple change of location can inspire and invigorate your kids.  Honest.

{My kids had long ago gotten bored with painting, but were ecstatic with the idea of painting outside}.

The outdoors can inspire your children’s art, or just be a nice change of scenery.

Either way, its a fun {and easy} option.

{note the mud-laddened pants? Silas took a painting break to splash & dig in his construction site}

 

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