Monday, June 16, 2014

Glowing Bowling Math!

While surfing Pinterest I discovered a pin for glow in the dark bowling.  Knowing our daughters enthusiasm for bowling, I quickly thought of a way to use this idea as a tool to enhance their math skills.

What You Will Need
Water Bottles
Glow in the Dark Sticks
A Ball
Math Sheets


For our game we used six empty water bottles. We started off with water still in the bottles; however our ball was not hard enough to knock over the "pins". You can use as many bottles as your family can knock over.  The girls had to record the number of pins they knocked over with each roll on their math sheet to create a number sentence. Writing their score added to their excitement of playing the game. 

For our daughter entering kindergarten I used simple addition sentence facts. For our daughter entering 2nd grade we reviewed common core 1st grade math by making a "tens" and "ones" block. For example: If the child knocks over 3 pins, then they write 30 in the tens section. On the next roll if they knock over 4 pins, then they write 4 in the ones section, 30+4= 34. Plus, I added three multiple addition number sentences.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Time Craft: Homemade Suncatcher Paint

Making your own colorful paint:

Jennifer Wieland is a true blessing in our crafty household with her blog My Sweet Sanity! She discovered a perfect technique that cut the cost of both of my daughter's favorite craft  project of painting suncatchers. Her solution, make it yourself! My girls LOVE color, and would use every drop of paint in one painting session. Plus, there would always be that one color that would run out before all the rest. With this gem, in just a snap, you can always stir-up another batch of that beloved color.

It is simple, cheap, and the colors are more vibrant than the store bought paints. The cherry on top is the little painters can make their own colors by mixing primary colors together. Mixing the colors was a funny learning experience for my soon-to-be Kindergartner. 

What you will need:
Clear Glue
Food Coloring
Small Containers or cups to hold the paint
Plastic Suncatchers
Section-cup hangers or string to hang the Suncatcher
toothpicks to stir

Squeeze desired amount of glue for your group into your containers. I happened to have some old dried out paints that I had bought. I cleaned out the little cups and reused them to make our own paints. For our containers, I used two drops of food coloring. To create other colors, we put one drop of each primary color we needed to make orange, purple, and blue-green. Use the toothpicks to stir the food coloring into the clear glue. Mix well. 

         Once your paints are mix together let your painter create their masterpiece!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blueberries: Float, Sink, or Dance

Today we went on an adventure to our local U-Pick blueberry farm. We started our journey at story-time on the farm.
Then off we went to pick fresh plumb blueberries.

Once at home, we placed three clear cups onto our experiment tray. One cup we filled with water, the second vinegar and the third Club Soda. We took three blueberries and placed them in the freezer to use later. With fresh berries in-hand, we tested our theory if a blueberry would: float, sink, or dance in the liquid. I told the girls which liquid we were placing the berry in, and each girl had to call out their theory. It was exciting to see if the girls would pick the same or different answer.  Then we added some kick by adding baking soda in the water and vinegar cups. The results were interesting.I could tell them to you, but that would take away the suspense of you conducting this experiment with your little ones. I will say this, let them sit in the cups and you will see some dancing blueberries!

We retested the experiment with the frozen berries to see if we would have the same reaction as the fresh ones. We discussed how a berry is filled with water and juice. We covered the fact that water and juice will freeze, just like water can freeze into ice-cubes.

After our experiment was complete the girls wrote in their journals. The math portion will be introduced as we make a delicious blueberry treat!

 What you will need:
3 clear cups
Baking Soda
Club Soda

Have a berry time!

Erupting into Summer Jello Style!

This Summer we will be challenging our creative juices and exploring our imagination. Our little ones are like dry sponges, thirty to absorb knowledge!  The goal is to perform an experiment or craft each week day that will enhance their math, writing, reading, and science skills. 

We started the Summer off with "Erupting Jello". This is an experiment that I discovered on Pinterest

What you will need:
Two Colors of instant Jello mix
Baking Soda  
A tray
2 clear cups/bowls
A spoon

Place 1 1/2 to 2 tsp of sodium bicarbonate, baking soda, into the clear cups. Then add 1/2 of the package of Jello. Take this time to talk to the little ones about fractions. We discussed that the package was a whole and how we had to split the whole into equal halves. Before going further, discuss a hypothesis of what will occur once you add acid of the vinegar to the sodium bicarbonate. We also examined the light color of the jello powder. The girls came up with the theory of the powder reacting to the liquid enhancing the brightness of the lime and red. 
 Then it was time to erupt! The girls add the vinegar to the powders.  We placed about 4oz of vinegar into each cup.
 The girls theory of the color changing was correct and so was our hypothesis. We took this time to discover the reaction the acid had to the sodium that would have a cause and effect to erupt. This is a wonderful experiment for all ages! Seeing we are a melting pot of school age children, I have attached an informative link to that gives 5 reasons for the reaction.  
 The girls had a great time watching the colors erupt into each other. By using a spoon they were able to create designs by blending the colors into swirls. Then using their hands they created a brownish color by mixing one big mess. The girls have a science journal to log their experiments to enhance their writing.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Recycle Preschool Toys to Make a Garden Bed

I had two issues to deal with during Spring clean-up in our backyard this year:

1)  What to do with the out-grown preschool toys that took up space in the backyard?
2)  Seeing cost of veggies are climbing due to the drought, where to plant a garden suitable for plant growth?       

Stepping back, I saw a low-cost solution to resolve both issues. Recycle! A garden would require raised beds, and the discarded toys have depth containers that can hold soil . The boat was perfect! Once a water toy it was already equipped for drainage. Mr. Turtle had to undergo a little operation of about 10 nail piercings on his underbelly. I explained to our daughters that the nail holes allow the water to drain keeping the strawberry roots from drowning. Living in California, I haven been educating the girls the impact the drought is having on our State from farmers, stores, cost to home. We placed a bin next to the play house to catch rain fall to help water our plants. Now if we only had more rain!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Making Graduation Decorations Personal

I wanted to create a graduation party that was all about my beautiful daughter and her journey into adulthood.  I was looking to keep the theme simple, elegant, personal, and in her school colors. While searching Pinterest for ideas, I came across the blog Thoughtfully Simple

I was drawn to the fact that the decorations were simple and happen to be her exact school colors. Attracted to the idea of  using the yearbooks as a center point, I took a closer look to discover there was a  reason her ideas were perfect. The school on the yearbooks were from my daughter's school! What a small pinning world! 

Everyone loved the personal touches of the decorations, and even learned a little something more about Katie that night.

  I bought prayer candles from the Dollar Store. I photo copied each page of all four years of Katie's photos from her yearbooks. Make a water/glue mixture. Lightly apply the mixture around the candle while carefully alining the photo paper as you go around. You may have to rub out wrinkles as you go.  I used apples to hold-up little signs that read "Congrats" and "Grad". I placed simple white daisies around each apple. On top of her yearbooks is a cardboard graduation hat also from the Dollar Store. The banner was created by using ribbon, scrapbook paper, and numbers from the kids art section.

Katie loved reading all the wonderful advice the guest gave her for her up-coming journey into the college world!

For the banquet table on either side were vases with flowers in her school colors and photo sticks from her journey as a baby to present day. The photo sticks are printed out photos from the computer, decorative stock paper, and floral sticks. 
 Using mementos from Katie's birth, first steps, preschool, kindergarten, prom and a photo from her graduation, I created the card table at the entrance of the house. 
Candy grad hats: Once again the scrapbook paper came in handy. Just place cut out little squares on top of the candy. Cut out yarn and knot one end and glue the other on top of the square. Using a hole punch, punch out the scrapbook paper and glue on top of the yarn.
I will be honest, you will need a box of tissues and you will find yourself eating the chocolate candies as you wonder, when did she/he grow-up!

Happy Graduation to All!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Peter Pan and the Never Land Birthday Party

Welcome to Never Land!

With the sprinkle of pixie dust, and the magic of our inner child we were able to transform our home into Never Land for our daughter's 5th birthday!

We invited our guest to dress as their favorite character using what they already had in their clostes. It was fun guessing what character our friends were dressed up as. The birthday girl was a fan of mermaids at the time, and wanted to be one from the Mermaid Lagoon. Luckily, she was a mermaid the previous Halloween. Her older sister became Wendy and her friend chimed in as Peter Pan. Baby sissy was our magical Tinker Bell. Little did Wendy and Peter Pan know that Tinker Bell's mom was going to use her pixie dust carrier to have them pick-up pizza's. The fun of being a mom!
A flag let our guest know they have found the secret entrance into Never Land
To enter into Never Land, they had to go through the magical waterfall 
  Once through the waterfall, the hint of the treasures left by Captain Hook at the coves entrance let them know they were getting close.
Where they were also greeted by, Tinker Bell
To lead them on the right path, they had to follow the sign
After a long journey, our guest were treated to a fest of Lilly pads, lady bugs, grass sticks in a ranch pond, a bowl of jewels (aka fruit salad), and the catch of the day ( aka fish crackers)

In Never Land, there are treasure to be found! 
All seemed safe, until we spotted Captain Hook's Pirate Ship! Together they all protected 
Never Land!

 At the Mermaid Lagoon, our guest were able to create sand art to take home with them.
In a group of two, we went on a treasure hunt to find the missing treasures around the local islands (aka neighbors). Seeing we had our hands full, we forgot to take a picture.
For the time in-between the guest were able to play at Tinker Bell's house.
Then it was time for cake!

It was time to say good-bye. Before leaving Never Land, our tired guest were able to transform into fairies and pirates as their "goodie bags" to start their journey back to their beds for a much needed nap.
Remember, once in a while we have to let our inner-child come out to play to keep us young at heart!