Bee Craft

To celebrate May Day, we made a bee craft and practiced our use of glue sticks. Without bees, there would not be flowers. They are so important in cross pollination and reproduction of flowers.


Critical Skills to learn before going to Kindergarten.


Gluing is a critical skill preschoolers should learn before going to elementary school. Some other skills according to Education.com included but not limited to:

1. Writing

2. Letter Recognition

3. Beginning Sounds

4. Number Recognition and Counting

5. Shapes and Colors

6. Fine Motor Skills (like holding a pencil)

7. Cutting

8. Reading Readiness

9. Attention and Following Directions

10. Social Skills

A great tool that Education.com refers to a lot is Play Doh because it develops fine motor skills and is a safe object to practice cutting.

Once the bee was assembled, my kiddos ran around the room pretending to be bees. They built a hive aka fort. After resting in the hive, they ran from toy to toy collecting pollen.

I precut all the shapes so they just had to assemble the paper with glue.

Supplies:

  • Yellow paper for the body
  • Black paper cut into strips, triangles, mini rainbows for the mouth and antennas
  • Parchment, tracing or velum paper for the wing
  • Glue sticks

I’m in love with Chick Fila’s New Toy

At our recent trip to Chick Fila, my kiddos got this adorable forest diorama. This toy is a smaller version of a pop out and play set available at PetitCollage.com which may be my new favorite educational toy manufacturer. It comes in flats sheets with stickers of paw prints and tails. My toddler loved piecing it together and adding the stickers across the board. The animal tracks appears to have the animals all huddled in one corner for awhile.

In addition to the animal puzzles, there are mushrooms to match on the board. So much fun. Other pop up and play sets available on their website are outer space, mermaids, pirates and zoo. I want to buy them all.

I could see combining any of these toys with a fiction or nonfictional book so the kiddos can physically see what the story is about.

Is there an educational toy you love?

I’d love to hear about in the comment field below. Happy playing!

Snow Day Activities Outside

It is snowing in the Pacific Northwest. A beautiful winter wonderland surrounds my eager and joyful kids looking forward to touching the snow.


Snow Engineering


My oldest daughter keeps going outside and sticking her finger in the snow to check it’s depth. She is excited to have it up to her knuckles. I’ve already gotten the call that school is canceled today. The excitement to stay home to play in the snow is exploding in my house.

The first order of business is to make a snow angel. My daughter plopped herself down in the middle of the front yard and started to wave her arms and legs.

After a few angels appeared, she set off to collect snow for her annual mini snowman. Whenever she sees snow, she has a strong desire to build a snowman. Side note, don’t try to sing the Frozen song ‘Do You Want To Build A Snowman’ because she will shut you down pretty fast.

The snowman is approximately 1 foot tall that is about all the snow we get around here. We found some rocks for eyes and sticks for arms. Mr Snowman turned out pretty well.


Science Behind the Snow


Why do we have snow?

National Snow and Ice Data Center explains snow as ice crystals (aka. snowflakes) that formed in the atmosphere surrounding the clouds. The ice crystals grow by absorbing surrounding water droplets. In many cases, the temperature on the ground level is warmer than in the clouds were the crystals form so as the crystals melt as it reach the ground. But when the temperatures are freezing outside (below 32 degrees), the crystals (snowflakes) stay frozen and creates snow.

Happy snow day!

Say CHEESE Pizza Recipe

Today we read a wonderful book about pizza which lead to us eating pizza. It was delicious.


So You Want To Grow A Pizza


Piggy backing on the library trip we took earlier this week. I stumbled onto a book series titled “So You Want To Grow A…” by Bridget Heos. My toddler and I decided to take the So You Want To Grow A Pizza Book home to read. It was a delightful book with step by step instructions on how to grow a pizza or really grow the ingredients to make a pizza. It was like we were reading a cookbook which I guess you kind of are.

While reading the book, I grew an appreciation for pizza because I learned how long it takes to grow all the ingredients needed to make a pizza. Let’s just say if I start a garden today, I’d be lucky to eat a pizza by next year 2020. The last page includes a recipe for pizza sauce which is a nice little bonus.


Easy Pizza Recipe For Kids


The book lead to a delicious pizza dinner which my kids made. They placed pita bread on a cook sheet then brushed both sides with olive oil. I toasted the pita bread in the oven for 1-2 minutes on both sides. I recommend toasting the pitas; otherwise, they get a little soggy.

After removing the pita bread from the oven, my kiddos spread a thin layer of sauce onto the bread as evenly as they can. It won’t hurt to be uneven. It just cooks evenly.

Once the sauce is spread out, let them sprinkle the cheese and add the topping. My girls like cheese pizza like most kids. While my husband and I tried a Denver omelet inspired toppings with green pepper, ham and onions.

Bake for 5-7 minute or until cheese is melted at 425 degrees. Dinner is served… Yummy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cheese; shredded cheddar or mozzarella
  • 2-4 Pita breads
  • 1 cup of pizza sauce
  • Toppings; pepperoni, ham, veggies, whatever you want

Easy dinner that the kids enjoyed making and eating. Now who cleans up?

Egg-quality Experiment

Trying to explain equality to my girls is a difficult topic for them to understand. My daughter try’s to be friends with everyone. She is very outgoing so on the playground she try’s to include everyone and doesn’t discriminate based on their ethnicity. If the world could be like her, it would be a much better place.


Difference Between Brown and White Eggs


A Teeny Tiny Teacher blogger has wonderful worksheets that explains equality during a white and brown eggs experiment. Though the exterior of the eggs are different colors, the egg yolks are the same on the inside. Brown eggs have a minuscule amount of more omega-3 fatty acids otherwise there is no difference between the eggs yolks and taste.

Martin Luther King Jr Worksheet Download Martin Luther King Jr. Worksheet

Download the free worksheet here.

Did you know? All eggs are the same color inside the chicken. Eggs pick up their color from the tube (oviduct) as they leave the chicken’s body.

This lesson can turn into a little science experiment about chicken varieties. There are 3 different color of eggs. White, brown and blueish-green eggs.

  • Barred Rock Chickens have black and white feathers and they lay brown eggs.
  • Brahma Chicken have white feathers and they lay brown eggs.
  • Buff Laced Polish Chickens have light brown feathers and they lay white eggs.
  • Ameraucana Chickens have dark brown feathers and lay blue-green eggs.

Hope this lesson will help you explain or have a conversation about equality with your kids.

Star Activities

Today, my family and I took down the remainder of the Christmas decorations at our house and it made me feel a little sad that the holiday season was over but I reminded myself of the fun we will get to explore this year with interesting kids activities and excursions.

As a way to symbolize looking to the future, my daughter and I took a look at one of her Christmas gifts. Scientific Explorer’s My First Science and Space Kit available on Amazon.

Photo courtesy of Amazon

My daughter was so excited to build her own constellation and have the starry night glowing in her room. This kits includes:

  • 2 constellations discs
  • 2 sticker sheets
  • solar system poster
  • star film set
  • solar system film set
  • space projector
  • Plus 9-page activity guide to follow

During the summer, my friends and family get together to participate in some fun crafts and activities with the kids. Lately, I’ve been thinking one week we should study space and dedicate one day to each of the following topics; sun, moon, star constellations and solar system. Based on my research for fun crafts and activities, I came across an article with these type of activities: 50+ Awesome Space Activities for Kids by Gift of Curiosity. The article break the activities down into different parts of space which is exactly what I was looking for. Yeah!

Some solar systems activities include:

Puffy paint solar system that you can stick onto your windows from School Time Snippets

Some moon activities include:


Some sun activities include:

Some constellation activities include:

Hope you found a fun space activity for your kiddos. This summer I’ll show you the activities we decided to explore. Happy January!

Pumpkin Dessert

Today we made a pumpkin bundt cake modified from my mom’s pumpkin bar recipe.

We started by mixing the dry ingredients into a large bowl and in the large measuring cup we added the wet ingredients; pumpkin, eggs and oil.

My youngest daughter was my helper today. She loved helping me make the cake. She was my mixer.

I’ve made a few cakes lately that didn’t release from the cake pan, so we tried buttering the pan then dusting it with flour. After adding the cake mixture, we baked the cake at 350 degrees for 38 minutes.

While I was cracking some eggs by the sink, my daughter helped herself to some flour. You don’t see the flour on the floor in this picture but it was everywhere. She was so happy. How can you be mad at that.

The cake was so good. Before we eat it, we will make some cream cheese frosting, which is the prefect topping for pumpkin.

My mom’s pumpkin bars are so delicious and now we made it into a bundt cake. Yum!!

Ingredients:

2 cups of flour

2 cups of sugar

1 tablespoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 cup of pumpkin

1 cup of oil

4 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients
  3. Mix wet ingredients; pumpkin, eggs and oil
  4. Grease and flour the cake pan then add cake mixture
  5. Bake for 38 minutes

Fall Gardening

So we went to the gardening center at our local hardware store and let my 5 year old daughter pick out 2 different spring bulbs. My husband is so proud she picked Husky colors.

After I dug a line of holes for the bulbs, my kids helped me plant the bulbs. American Meadow’s website includes instruction on how to plant bulbs in the fall as well as a beautiful picture index of spring bulbs available. Check it out

Both my kids were so excited to help so I gave each of them a different bag. My oldest planted daffodils and my youngest planted tulips. Longfield Gardens has some great hints on planting spring bulbs for maximum curb appeal. Check out their website here. One tip I liked the most was to planted bulbs with different bloom times. Another reason I’m happy my daughter picked two different types, daffodils and tulips. Daffodils will come up in early spring followed by tulips.

Lastly, we spread out some mulch with weed prevention. One thing I have not been very good at in the past is fall yard care. Fertilizing and adding weed prevention to my lawn and flowering beds. First time for everything.

Salt Crystal Leaves

I apologize for being a day behind. Yesterday was my grandma’s funeral and I was a little distracted. But I’m feeling better today. Rejoicing in her life and spending time with my kiddos.

My daughters and I were all about crafts and experiments today. One fun and beautiful experiment is salt crystal leaves. You do not have to collect leaves for this project as I once thought you did with the word ‘leaves’ in the title.

We started by finding a large leaf outside to trace but it ends up being a ruff outline because the leaf is too soft to run a pencil next to. Then we cut out the leaf but you can really cut out any shape. The final product is so pretty that this would be an excellent opportunity to cut out a heart too.

While cutting out the paper, add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of salt then bring the mixture to a boil.

Did you know? The usual boiling point of water is 100°C or 212° F. The more salt added to water, the more you raise the boiling point.

Taking a picture of clear salt in clear water is hard so I skipped it and here we are pouring the boiling saltwater onto the paper leaves. I added too much water to my pan of leaves so now I recommend just adding enough that the paper is covered.

Lastly we waited for the water to evaporate. I accidentally poured some saltwater onto the craft paper. The spot ended up so glittery. I wish I could get a good picture of it.

Check back tomorrow for a final project picture.

Little Bins for Little Hands blog has some other great tips for this project, checking it out.

Pumpkin Race

It’s the Great Pumpkin Race Charlie Brown style!!! Snohomish School District students from 1st to 6th grade have the opportunity to participate in this fun and quick race.

Each kid gets a ribbon, cookie and Gatorade. Everyone has to register the week before at their local school and each grade runs a different distance.

  • 1st grade – 800 meters (2 laps)
  • 2nd grade – 800 meters
  • 3rd grade – 1200 meters (3 laps)
  • 4th grade – 1200 meters
  • 5th grade – 1600 meters (4 laps)
  • 6th grade – 1600 meters

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of the race get a pumpkin. What fun!! I look forward to seeing my kiddo run it next year and beyond!

Computer Science- Coding Your Name

Review

Today is day 30 of the 30 day 4h challenge. To celebrate the last day, let’s review the last 29 days before seeing today’s ‘code your name’ activity.

  1. Bird Feeder
  2. Plant a garden
  3. Visit the farm
  4. Zoo Excursion
  5. Nature Walk
  6. Raising Butterflies
  7. Mason Jar Garden
  8. Pressed Flowers
  9. Card Making
  10. Chemistry
  11. Egg Drop
  12. Boat Races
  13. Lemonade Stand
  14. Lemon Battery
  15. Volunteering with Animals
  16. Thank You Letter
  17. Homeless Care Package
  18. Helping Senior Citizens
  19. Cooking New Foods
  20. Kids Yoga
  21. Gratitude Journal
  22. Meal Planning
  23. Food Drive
  24. Trash Pickup
  25. Art in the Park
  26. Campfire
  27. Crayon Candles
  28. Bath Bombs
  29. Robotic Hand
  30. Coding Your Name

The Activity

To celebrate the 30 day ‘inspired to do’ calendar, 4‑H and Google are launching an exciting National Youth Science Day challenge called Code Your World. This new challenge starts tomorrow, October 1, throughout the whole month for ages 8-14. For more info, click here.

4H offers you a Code Your World kit to get ready for National Youth Science Day.

As for today’s activity, ScienceFriday has fun examples coding your name using UTF-8 binary code.

What is the UTF? The name is derived from Unicode  Transformation Format – 8-bit and has been dominant character encoding for the World Wide Web since 2009.

We started the activity by folding a piece of paper into a grid. 8 squares across and 8 lines down. We only need 7 for my daughter’s name.

Then she drew a line for each 1 and 0 making up her name. Blue represents 0 and orange represents 1.

For example, the letter j is 010010010 which is the first letter of her name and mine.

Can you figure out the other letters of her name? Here is a key to help you by ScienceFriday.

Finished

Chemistry – Bath Bombs

Review

Just 2 days left of the 4H photo challenge. Today’s challenge is to create a bath bomb and give it to someone.

Check back this weekend for the last 2 days of challenges. For the whole calendar, check out my original post here.

The Activity

For a birthday gift, my daughter received this bath bomb kit, ALEX Spa DIY Bath Bomb available on Amazon. Thank you, Helen, she is super excited to make a bath bomb.

She starts by mixing the dry ingredients together. Add baking soda, cornstarch and epson salt to a large bowl.

Next, the mixture needs some water, essential oils and vegetable oil to hold it together.

Once the mixture was smooth, she added succinic acid before dividing the powder into bowls and adding food coloring.

Lastly, she added the dyed mixtures to a mold to dry. Jillian made a bath bomb for her kindergarten teacher as a thank you for everything she goes.

Science- Lemon Battery

Review

Today is day 14 of the 30 day 4H challenge to inspire kids to do. Unfortunately, we fell a day behind and didn’t make the lemon battery as suggested by the 4H 30 challenge calendar, check it out here.

The Activity

Here is a link to the 4H website with detailed instructions how to preform this activity. It was pretty easy. We didn’t use a penny or alligator clips. My husband informed me about this cool device we own called a digital multimeter, Cen-Tech 11 Function Digital Multimeter with Audible Continuity. Below is a newer modal.

On the multimeter, we set the maximum current that can be measured on the device to “200m” DC Amps range. Then we tested a few different fruit around the house starting with a lemon. The reading read for the lemon was around negative 89. The reading was constantly changing like the electricity changes through the wires in our house.

We tested a nectarine which read negative 60. The nectarine is slightly larger than the lemon.

Finally, we tested a yellow zucchini which read around 19. No negative.

Did you know? Zucchini are actually a fruit because of the seeds inside their center.

My husband and I held each end to read the electricity moving through us. Very interesting activity.

Engineering- Egg Drop

Review

4H’s daily challenge is accept and conquer an egg drop challenge by designing and creating a container that will prevent your egg from cracking when dropped from let’s say the second story of your house. To check out future and past challenges look at my earlier post, 4H 30 day challenge, or go to 4H.org to learn about the chance to receive a $10,000 scholarship.

The Activity

Egg drop is a great activity that promotes creative thinking and problem solving. We used K’NEX to create a vessel to protect our egg. K’NEX are a great engineering educational toy. They come to tons of different kits so kids can build cars to trains to planes. Oh my.

My daughter created this rectangle container with support braces on each side then I helped her attach the egg inside with a twist tie and egg carton holder.

The Result

A broken egg. Sorry to say it didn’t serve the fall from the second story but it was great fun trying.

Chemistry – Sour Milk

Review

This summer we hosted a play date with sciences experiment activities and today being 4H’s day to be inspire to do chemistry; I thought I would reflect on those chemistry experiments.

As I feel I say in every post, you can find the 4H 30 day challenge in one of my earlier post about the 30 day ‘inspire to do’ activities. 4H suggests a chemistry experiment called Fizzy Foam or you can try Sour Milk below.

The Activity

As part of our Amazon STEM subscription, we received this science kit with great basic science information and tools to slightly more advance chemistry experiments.

Photo provided by Kids First Science Laboratory Kit

One fun experiment is making ‘sour milk’. When we first did the experiment, we used 1% milk causing the liquid not to separate like the picture. Thus we recommend using whole or cream.

Warning the milk smell awful when it is mixed with vinegar. The liquid begins to kirtle and you can see the chunks in it. Not very appetizing.

Did you know? When the protein in the milk meets the acid in the vinegar the liquid begins to separate. Casein is the protein in milk and cheese.

Chemistry- Pressing flowers

Review

Pressing flowers is today’s 4H challenge. It specifically says to press wildflowers in a book to log and preserve them but we’ll see how it goes. For the whole list and an update on all my 4H challenges, check out my earlier post about the 30 day ‘inspire to do’ activities.

The Activity

This time of year Washington state doesn’t have many perennials still blooming. We found hydrangeas in our yard but otherwise we had some annual flowers that we just planted for the fall in bloom. Neither being ‘wildflowers ‘ but the hydrangeas in my yard are very meaningful to me being that they were in my wedding.

So we picked the hydrangeas removing as much of the stems as possible and layered them down on a paper towel. Trying to make an even layer.

Lastly we payed another paper towel on top followed by some heavy books.

Did you know? Paper is essential pressed plants together. Sort of like this project.

Update:

After a day under a book, we removed the presses flowers and leaves. Then we researched some project to use the flowers with. This is what we found:

Craft 1

We decided to place them in between 2 pieces of glass. Then using a glass permanent marker we wrote ‘love’ on top.

Craft 2

Check out this craft at my newer post – Art – Card Making.

Agriculture – Mason Jar Garden

Review

Today’s 4H challenge is plant spices in Mason Jars then try recipes that include these spices. Click here to check out the full list.

The Activity

As many of these activities go, I modified it slight to demonstrate that my kids can regrow some types of vegetables by just placing it’s base in water. We are trying to regrow celery.

The website, wakeup-world.com, has a great article about different vegetables that you can regrow in your kitchen. These vegetables include but not limited to:

  • Bok Choy
  • Leeks
  • Scallions
  • Onions
  • Fennel
  • Lemon grass
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Ginger
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Mushroom
  • Pineapple

Step 1. Cut the celery about 2 inches from the bottom of the stock.

Step 2. Place celery base in about 1 inch of water.

Step 3. Place in window (not direct light) and watch grow.

How easy was that. We’ll update you on the progress of the celery over the week.

As for the second part of today’s challenge, ‘explore recipes that include celery’. We make chicken stock from celery, carrot, onion, garlic, salt/pepper and chicken bones. Plus water of course.

Did you know? Chicken stock is made mostly of chicken bones where chicken broth is made mostly of chicken meat.

Sheknows.com has 5 great broth/stock recipes that include my favorite chicken stock recipe. I simple add a little oil to a large pot followed by the garlic, celery, carrots and onions then brown the vegetables until golden. This step really add color and more flavor to the stock. Last I add a whole chicken’s bones and enough water so the chicken is totally covered. Bring the pot to a boil then place on low for 6-8 hours.

My oldest daughter has made the stock with me before. I just have to make sure she doesn’t touch the pot. Once the stock is done, we strain out the chunks and can use the stock as a base for many soups. Recently, I let my daughter add any fruit or vegetables to the new soup she was inventing. The soup was the sweetest apple and onion soup I’ve ever tasted. She would not try to when it was done but I did. Next time she will need to taste it too.

Updates:

Day 1 – It incredible to see how fast that celery regrow.

Day 2 – The middle is about a centimeter taller today.

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Raising Butterflies – Book Reviews

Review

Day 6 of the 30 day 4H challenge is raising butterflies. Check out the whole challenge in my earlier post or at 4H.org.

The Activity

We had the wonderful opportunity to raise butterflies earlier this year. Watching the process of metamorphosis is amazing. Today we won’t be raising butterflies again just reviewing our experience through pictures and books.

A couple of great books:

    Caterpillar to Butterfly by Laura Marsh at National Geographic Kids
  • This is a great book for beginner readers. It has great pictures of each stage of the butterflies life cycle.
    • Explore My World; Butterflies by Marfe Ferguson Delano with National Geographic Kids
  • As most National Geographic Kids books go, they have beautiful pictures. This books goes into detail about butterfly’s food among other things.
    • Butterfly Book by Michael Berestain
  • This book has beautiful drawing of each stage of the metamorphosis stages. I like the description of different species of butterflies.
  • Forest Ranger – Nature Club

    Review

    Day 5 of the 4H challenge is create a nature club and explore your neighborhood and backyards. Check out the full list of activities in my earlier post as well as go to 4H.org for more information about the opportunity to win a scholarship of $10,000. Check it out here.

    The Activity

    We explored our local neighborhood park in Snohomish County of Washington State for wild life, like rabbits. During our weekly trip to play on the playground this summer, we frequently saw rabbits roaming the yards.

    On our walk, we saw a rabbit in our neighborhoods yard. Let’s play ‘where’s the rabbit’ (instead of Waldo). Can you see him in the shade of that tree? Well if we were a little quieter; we may have a better picture but sorry I have two loud daughters that scared the rabbit away.

    My oldest tried to follow it down the trail but no luck.

    Did you know? Rabbits can run as fast as 45 mph. Bye-bye bunny.

    A baby rabbit visited our backyard to eat strawberries. My daughter quickly named it Strawberry. I believe Strawberry is a snowshoe hare. I have to apologize for the picture quality but fun to see the rabbit in my yard when sitting inside your home. If anyone has a better idea of this rabbit specie, please let me know.

    Did you know? There are over 87 species of rabbits worldwide and 30% of them are endangered. Check out more fun facts about rabbits at paws.org.

    So what did today’s activity inspire? Well my daughter definitely wants to care for a rabbit now. She can ‘care’ for Strawberry or other wildlife in our neighborhood. Ways to care for wildlife:

    • Drive carefully
    • Plant brush and trees that are edible.

    What do you think?

    Zoo Excursion

    Review

    Day 4 of the 4H challenge is to research your favorite wild animal then go check it out at the zoo. My oldest loves lions and cheetahs while my youngest loves giraffes.

    We explored the facts about the giraffe online at Wikipedia.org. The zoo inspires us the be aware of the other animals around us especially the animals on the other side of the earth like giraffe and loins in Africa.

    The Activity

    We went to our local zoo, Woodland Park Zoo and our kids loved it and experience the giraffe close-encounter. It costs an additional $5 but totally worth being so close to a wild animal. We stood on a high edge so we were eye level with the giraffe.

    This is Dave. He is a male giraffe about 5 years old. As the giraffe was reaching for the lettuce he licked my daughter hair with his long blue tongue. My husband tried to save her but did not quiet get to her in time.

    Did you know? That an adult male giraffe is 16-20 feet tall making them the tallest land mammal on earth.

    Giraffe are closely related to the okapis and vegetarians.

    We fed Dave romaine lettuce. He tried to eat every leaf in his reach. The zoologist informed us that every plant in the zoo is edible for the animals especially the giraffes.

    Giraffe are native to Africa and the area that the giraffe lives will determine the giraffe’s color pattern. Click here to look at the different patterns.

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