Friday, October 25, 2013

Milk Jug Ghosts

My husband saw this idea on Facebook and picked it for the kids to do.  It takes a bit of preplanning (we had to save the milk jugs for a few weeks) but otherwise is easy to do. 

You  need a milk jug that has is washed, dried, and has the cap and all labels all removed from it.  Simply draw faces on the cartons with a sharpie marker.

Next, use an craft knife to cut a small opening on the side opposite your face.  You need it big enough to fit your light inside.  For safety reasons, we used battery operated flickering tea lights (thanks Mandie for the suggestion!) instead of candles.

You can't tell from this picture, but they do shine really well at night.  We put them out for our neighborhood Fall Festival last weekend, and will put them out again for Halloween night.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Handiwork: Halloween Pillows

The kids have been asking me for a sewing project, and we decided that Halloween pillows sounded like a fun idea.  This project was made up as we went along, but it was easy to do.

First, we decided what our pillows should look like.  The Boyscout and The Bug picked pumpkins, Miss M selected a witch hat, and I chose a mummy and Frankenstein for the adults in the house.  We took a family trip to the fabric store and selected felt to make the faces of our pillows, and fun Halloween prints for the back.

Next, we cut the felt and backing to 12 inches square.  Each child drew and then cut out (or in the case of The Bug dictated the drawing) the features.

 I had The Bug glue his face onto the pumpkin and then sewed it on for him later.

Miss M and The Boyscout, however, did the hand sewing for their pillows.

I stitched the backs onto the pillows leaving a small opening for the kids to stuff their pillows.

This took us the better part of a day, but they were so excited with their end results!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Making Corn Husk Dolls

We are continuing to study the Native Americans, using the American Girl Kaya as our springboard.  Currently, Miss M is working on a lapbook comparing the different tribes and their lifestyles.  The crafts, however, are still her favorite part.

We followed the directions found here to make corn husk dolls.

We actually took the husks from some corn we bought and dried them ourselves, but you can buy them at a craft store.

The directions were very easy to follow, although Miss M did need some help tying the strings.  Not to leave The Bug out, I made him a boy doll at the same time.

Miss M declared this one of our most fun crafts!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Learning With Frog and Toad

Miss M just finished reading the Frog and Toad Treasury (affiliate link) aloud to me, and I wanted to do a small project to extend her reading.

First, we did this character analysis from Step Into Second Grade.

Secondly, I asked Miss M which was her favorite character.  After she chose Toad, I had her write to tell me why.   It says " Toad is my favorite because he sleeps all the way through  November and to tell Frog a story he hangs upside down and pours water on his head."

Then, she made this cute toad craft from Once Upon a First Grade Adventure.

Don't you love how he turned out? 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scarecrow Writing Craftivity

I saw a cute writing project on pinterest, and knew Miss M would love it.  First, we brainstormed a list of things she likes about fall. The she picked three (playing in leaves, pumpkin patches and pumpkin cake) and illustrated them.

The cover to her "Fall Favorites" was a scarecrow. She did all the cutting and gluing herself.

(I asked why she signed her name Miss M instead of her real name, and she told me it was so I could put it on the blog and people wouldn't know who she was!  I am not sure how I feel about that.)

When he saw her making a scarecrow, The Bug had to join in. He said his had so many eyes to make it extra scary.

I think these would look really cute as paperbag puppets, so we might have to do them again that way.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Scissors and a School Bus

The Bug is very much into anything involving scissors right now.  In fact, we have to watch him as his favorite activity is to cut all the elastic loops for the loom weaving apart!

I was working with Miss M at the kitchen table, and The Bug came over and asked me for some paper.  He cut and cut and cut.

After a while, he asked Miss M to cut him two circle "wheels" and asked me for the glue.

When he finished, he had made this cute vehicle.

He tells us it is a school bus.  I just love how he came up with the idea and executed it all by himself!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Chemistry Labs at Home

The Boyscout is in 8th grade, and he has spends most of his school time reading and writing these days.  Science is one of the few areas where he has consistent hands-on work.  He is using Prentice Hall's Physical Science: Concepts in Action (affiliate link) to do an introduction to chemistry and physics this year.

One experiment we did involved testing chemical and physical reactions. For the first part I gave him three white powders (baking soda, baking powder and corn starch).  He added water, vinegar and lemon juice to each powder and recorded the physical and chemical changes.

Next, I gave him two white powders in baggies.  One was from a "crime scene" (that was baking soda) and one was from a "suspect's shoe" (that was actually a crushed alka seltzer tablet).  The Boyscout had to test them and tell me if they were the same substance or not based on their reactions.

The second experiment had to do with the correlation between changes in temperature and pressure.  We heated an empty soda can in the oven for 5 minutes until it was hot.  Using tongs, he then placed it open side down into a shallow dish of cold water.  The change in the can is instantaneous, and got quite a reaction from The Boyscout!

We have done a few other experiments the last few weeks, but these were by far his favorites.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tot School: Apples and More

Tot School 
 The Bug is 3 years, 4 months old.

We have been doing Tot School with The Bug on the days he is interested.  Some days, he tells me that his school will be just doing puzzles or watching Leap Frog. Usually, though, he wants to do school like his siblings.  (This post contains affiliate links.)

One of his favorite games lately is Camelot Jr.  (He copies the patterns from the book, but he is not yet ready to try to solve the puzzles.)

Another day I got out the Who Lives Where game and he played it for a long time. 

This week he wanted to do apples so I quickly printed the pack from 2 Teaching Mommies and he worked on some of the activities including:

patterning with apples.  He was confused by the yellow apples (nobody in our house likes them) so we took a trip to the grocery store to look at the many varieties of apples they had.

We did some of the spin and graph, although he only lasted through about ten spins.

Counting the seeds on the apple was a much bigger hit.  The Bug is a getting to be a pretty good counter, and Miss M just informed me that he was able to count to ten for hide-and-seek "without missing any numbers" today.

We also used red and yellow bingo chips to count the number of apples in the tree.

He worked on this upper and lowercase letter match.  I only printed letters A through L, and it was a struggle for him but his big sister helped him with it.  We also worked on some activities besides apples.

I made some homemade pumpkin pie playdough, and he has played with it a few times.

Painting is always a favorite here, as is doing the cutting and gluing Kumon workbooks.

The Bug rarely colors more than a few scribbles.  However, he saw Miss M doing this kitten activity from her All About Reading Level 2, and he wanted the cats.  (He loves all animals, but especially cats.)  So I gave it to him when she was done, and he happily sat and colored all 12 cats.
We did a variety of other activities (most of them involving movement of some kind like charades and musical chairs) but I didn't get pictures of those.

Since October is Fire Safety month, I think we will be working on that next week.  Assuming The Bug is interested, of course!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Painting Falling Leaves

Autumn is a season we do not really get to enjoy where we live. The leaves are still green, the flowers are still blooming, and it won't be sweater weather for another month (we are 91 degrees today). However, that doesn't stop the kids from wanting to do autumn projects.

For school this week, we painted trees.  First I traced The Bug's hand and arm onto construction paper and cut it out to make a tree trunk.

After he glued it on, he sponge-painted on leaves using red, orange and yellow paint. He really enjoyed the sponge-painting, this is a technique we will be using for him again soon.

Miss M didn't want to be left out and enjoyed painting her own tree.

Happy Fall!