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.

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