Computer Science- Coding Your Name


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.


Engineering- Robot Hand


4H Challenge is to build a robotic hand. I found this great example while on Pinterest. Check it out here.

Just one more day to enter into the 4H photo contest. I just checked the number of entries and there are over 1.1 million. Crazy but happy for the interest of getting kids ‘inspired to do.’

The Activity

Today we traced my daughter’s hand to try and make a robotic hand.

Once her hand was traced, we cut it out then proceeded to bend the paper hand at the same location of her finger joints.

Next, we cut and taped small pieces of straw about the same length of her hand bones.

Did you know? Your hand has 27 bones, 14 of which are the phalanges (small bones) of the fingers and thumb.

After adhering the small straws to the paper hand, I helped her thread the straws with different colors of thread. The different colors will help us figure out which digit we are going to move without having to try them all.

Last, we taped the ends of the thread to the paper finger tips and the paper hand to the table. This way the hand doesn’t move when we pull the strings.


  • 5 different colors of thread
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Thick paper like cardstock
  • 5 straws

Chemistry – Bath Bombs


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.

Art – Crayon Candles


The 27th daily challenge of the 4H photo contest is making crayon candles. Which we are excited to try. I did not purchase wicks so we will try and make those too. Click here for more info about the contest.

The Activity

How to make a wick? Interesting question and after doing some research, I’m surprised how long it takes to make a wick. Some websites say 12 hours. Not time that I have but I found a blogger whom uses a popsicle stick to make a wick. Very interesting. Let’s see if it works.

First, we need to eat a popsicle. Yum!!

Look at the mean mug from my almost 2 year old. Once the treat was eaten, we made a metal base out of paper clips by folding up one end.

Then we began a process of removing the crayons’ wrappers.

While unwrapping the crayons, we boiled water in a pot. Just enough water to cover the full jar except about an inch of the top of the old jelly jars. Lastly, we filled the jars with crayons and bits of old wax from other candles.

It takes about 30 minutes to melt the wax.

Did you know? Wax’s boiling point is >370 °C (698 °F).

Then I removed the jar with canning tongs.

The final product. Let’s see if we can light it tomorrow. Check back.

Build a campfire


During a family reunion this summer, we had a wonderful teacher (my cousin, Hunter) show my family how to build two different types of camp fires, which is today’s 4h challenge. I’m kicking myself right now because I do not have a picture of either of them. But I didn’t know I would be writing about campfires today.

For those of you who have just joined me, today is Day 26 of the 30 day challenge 4H is doing to “inspire kids to do.” There is a $10,000 grand prize of a scholarship for the kid who is inspired to do. Check out the whole challenge at

The Activity

Well, another time of year we always build a campfire is the 4th of July. Below is a picture of daddy and grandpa building a fire.

Most of our fires gather friends and family to cook marshmallows aka s’mores. My daughters style of s’more is chocolate marshmallow chocolate. No graham cracker for my daughter.

To build a good fire, you need three kinds of wood.

Tinder are small twigs, dry leaves, needles or forest duff to start the fire.

Kindling are small sticks to get the fire going.

Firewood is the larger pieces of wood you put on top to keep the fire going.

Option 1: teepee campfire

WikiHow has a great step by step instructions to build a teepee style campfire.

Option 2: pyramid campfire

Pyramid campfire is built like a jenga game. WildernessArena has a great step by step instructions. Check it out here.

Art and the Park


Today’s 4h challenge is go to the park and draw the view. Since the park is now clean from the previous challenge, now we can enjoy it. It wasn’t hard to clean since the park was pretty clean already.

Only 5 days remaining in the 4H 30 day challenge. Check out how you can win a $10,000 scholarship.

The Activity

As you can see below, my girls had no problem playing after cleaning the park yesterday.

Though the view from the park is pretty but not as pretty as one of Claude Monet’s landscape paintings. Scholastic has a great book series about different historic artists that includes maps of where they live, cartoons of the time period and examples of the artists work.

This inspired me to pick a Monet landscape painting that we mimicked. I watched a few YouTube videos to get inspired. Check out one of my favorites here.

We set up a couple easels made of cardboard and painters tape then leaned the canvas against the board. I place the primary colors, red, blue and yellow, plus black and white on a plate so my kiddos could learn how to make the secondary colors, purple, green and orange.

We started with a green background by mixing blue and yellow together then added more yellow to make the foreground.

Then we used blue and white paint for the clouds and sky.

Lastly, we used the end of a straw to dot the poppies in the foreground. Finished…

Pick Up Trash


Daily challenge number 24 is to pick up trash in our park. I’m feeling so excited that I’ve been able to commit to blogging this much. I have to thank 4H for inspiring me to do a variety of activities this month of September.

If you missed the 4H photo contest challenge, check out my earlier post that includes a link to each post as well as more information about the $10,000 scholarship offered by 4H.

The Activity

I started this post about my excitement. Which I think is fitting since I’m not super excited to pick up trash. The potential germs my kids are touching is too much for me. Thus I brought gloves for everyone even my almost 2 year old. Even though she didn’t wear them.

There was some foam in the sand pit and my kids were happy to dig it up and the 10 cups of sand beneath it.

Below is an picture of all the trash at the park. We are so lucky to live in a clean neighborhood. I’m sure there is a good neighbor whom goes around and picks up trash.

So check out tomorrow’s post. After cleaning up the park, we enjoyed it by playing and drawing.

Food Bank Drive


Today’s 4H challenge is to set up a food drive but instead of setting one up we participated in an existing one. A great food drive that is on going is for Mill Creek Community Food Bank at our local church.

If you missed the 4H photo contest challenge, check out my earlier post that includes a link to each post as well as more information about the $10,000 scholarship offered by 4H.

The Activity

North Creek Presbyterian Church has a wagon in their lobby that collects donated food. Then volunteers from the food bank pick up the donations.

Hope Creek Foundation supports Mill Creek Community Food Bank by hosting them on one of their properties. Families and singles in need can stop by the food bank every Thursday from 4 -7pm.

The food bank is currently in need of:

  • Pasta sauce
  • jelly
  • baked beans
  • canned meats (other than tuna)
  • sugar
  • oil
  • cereal
  • pancake mix
  • syrup
  • fruit juices
  • coffee
  • toilet paper
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • bar soap
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • diapers
  • baby wipes

Though I feel like they are always asking for peanut butter but it isn’t on the list. I included peanut butter anyways.

Why donate to charities? I donate for a couple reasons. Partly to show my children the joy of giving. I feel you have to be a good example. Kids are always watching (or listening). Also, I want them to be appreciative of their life, things and family.


We dropped off the food for the Mill Creek Food Bank at our local church today. My oldest was at school but my almost 2 year old was eager to help.

She was ready to walk away with it once we added the food to the wagon. I convinced her to leave the wagon where it was.

Art n Chemistry – Cooking and Meal Planning


4H’s daily challenge is to plan, shop and prepare a meal plan. My daughter loves to help in the kitchen and is very interested in cooking.

If you have missed the other 21 daily challenges, check out my earlier post that includes a link to each post as well as more information about the $10,000 scholarship offered by 4H.

The Activity

So last week we tried Sun Basket because I was feeling overwhelmed with going back to school and our youngest daughter was given the recommendation to eat dairy-free (which dairy is staple in our household).

I found a offer for 60% off your first basket which is smart because once you try it you are hooked. I love how easily it is to identify if a meal is paleo or dairy-free or soy-free. It encourages us to try new recipes, like this week we are trying shrimp on glass noodles and cabbage.

Why is it great for kids? Each recipe has a portion that kids can assist with you.

The kids portion include pretty easy steps of the recipe but still a great way to get the kiddos involved. Lastly, some recipes include ingredient IQ which can explain the chemistry behind the cooking or food facts. This is a great educational addition that make my experience with Sun Basket that much better. Definitely 2 thumbs up!!

If you are interested in checking it out, click here.

Kids Yoga Exercise Excursion


4H challenge is family yoga session. Can’t believe there are only 10 days left of the 30 day challenge. Check out the challenge calendar or on

Do you want to win a $10,000 scholarship for your kiddo? Participate in the photo contest and see the full rules at

The Activity

I love yoga for exercise. It makes my whole body feel better. Though my favorite poses are the ones where you are laying on the ground and stretching your back. I don’t mind the work out from downward dog too. I’ve tried yoga with my 5 year old daughter and she thought it was boring. Maybe cause we were at home following some yoga cards.

My friend owns a yoga studio in Spokane that offer kids classes. It is called Homegrown Kids Yoga. Here is a video of a sample class.

The studio offers a mommy and me class for toddlers. The class includes some simple partner poses, games, music, crafts and breathing exercises! You build a stronger bond with your little yogi and having FUN! They fly like airplanes, jump like kangaroos and balance on one foot like a flamingo! The classes strengthen their muscles and build body awareness through their yoga journey.

If you ever find a yoga studio that offers a kids class near Snohomish Washington, please message me. I’d love to try it out.

Red Tricycle has a great list of Seattle yoga studio’s that offer kids classes. Check it out here.

Art – Cooking New Foods


Today’s 4H challenge is to try a new vegetable and use it in a recipe. By participating in the 4H challenge and photography it, you have a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship. Check out all the activities by downloading the list here.

The Activity

So we went to the local grocery store and found these unique fruits and vegetables.

I have never cooked artichokes before. It seemed complicated. So I have found a recipe on YouTube for artichoke spinach dip. Check out the recipe here.

The next vegetable is jicama. A Mexican yam or turnip is sweet that can be eat raw or cooked.

Rambutan is a fruit original from Southeast Asia. The outer skin peals right off to reach the juice sweet meat inside. Beware of the seed inside. It is hard to remove from the fruit. Check out this step by step guide to prepare a rambutan.

The next vegetable is a chayote squash. It seems to have a mild flavor. Chef Rick Baylass has a great recipe that uses chayote squash as the filling in a taco. Check it out here.

Lastly, we picked up a prickly pear. Very unique fruit that grows on cactus.

When my daughter came home from school, my 1 year old and I sat her down then had her close her eyes to feel and guess the different fruit and vegetables. She never felt anything like them.

We ended making a salad with the jicama and rambutan. It included:

  • 1/2 jicama; julienne cut
  • 1 Mandarin orange; chopped
  • 1 cucumber; peeled, seeded and julienne cut
  • 1/2 pint strawberries; sliced
  • 2 rambutan; peeled, seeded and chopped

Dressing is citrus sesame vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger powder
  • ¼ cup mixed sesame oil and grapeseed oil or canola oil

Toss the salad then eat. I really liked the jicama and it may be a frequent new addition in my cooking now.

Did you know? 1 cup of jicama has 44% calcium of rdi

Helping Senior Citizen Excursion


Today’s 4h challenge is to help a senior citizen with technology or household chores. A couple of senior citizens that we help often are my parents and in laws (but to be honest; they help us out a lot too). With Grandparents Day earlier this month, let’s think of some activities to celebrate them.

Did you know? Grandparents Day is September 9th and has been around since 1978.

The Activity

Hangout with the Grandparents is awesome in my book. They have a total different perspective then we (the parents) do. My favorite activity that my kids and their grandparents do together is just going for a walk. Grandparents point out so many different things than I do and usually bring home treasures like pine cones and leaves or sand cause they have been digging in the dirt.

Other activities I love:

Nothing is better than grandma or grandpa reading the little ones a book.

Or going on an ice cream date.

HuffPost has a list of the 101 prefect activities with your grandparents. Here are a couple of my favorites:

  • Build a marble run.
  • Make pay doh.
  • Create a musical instrument like a pan flute out of straws.
  • Do a magic show with sucking an egg into a bottle using air pressure.
  • Conduct an egg drop experiment.
  • Create a fairy garden.
  • Interview each other and share with the family.
  • Construct paper hats.
  • Become a mummy with toilet paper.
  • Create a new recipe for a smoothie.
  • Play card or board games together.
  • Go out for a coffee and coco date.
  • Paint rock monsters.

Though back to the challenge, my kiddos help my parents with our Apple TV. The remote with the touch surface can be tricky if you don’t use it frequently. Usually my oldest is the navigator of the tv to help her grandparents but also be in control. I understand… Who doesn’t want to be in control of the remote.

Homeless care packages


The 4H photo challenge today is to collect items for the homeless. Make a care package is a great way to show you care.

If you don’t know about 4H photo contest with the chance to win a $10,000 scholarship, please check out the calendar for the 30 day challenge in September or

The Activity

Mary’s Place is a local homeless shelter for women and children. At, you can find a list of items they are accepting for donations. Some items included but not limited to:

  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Seasonal coats
  • Lysol wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Saline nose spray
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Shampoo
  • Baby bottles
  • Bibs
  • Diaper bags
  • Travel mugs
  • Reusable grocery bags
  • Unopened food with original packing dates

After making our list, we had a scavenger hunt to see if my 5 year old knew where we stored these items in our house.

So this is what she (we) found in the house. We’ll go to the store this week to fill in the gaps. My 5 year old daughter doesn’t quite understand why we are giving our stuff away but check back in a few weeks after we drop it off. Maybe then the concept of giving will click.

Art – Thank You Letter


4H recommendation for today’s photo contest is write a thank you letter to a local community leader. I asked my 5 year old daughter whom she would like to write a thank you note to. She told me it was a secret. Remember she is 5.

Who do you think she wrote to?

The Activity

So she got out some white paper and asked how to spell a couple of words. “How do you spell love?” she asked.

She is so sweet. It makes me remember that her world is pretty small still and happy that my husband and I are her “community leaders.” My heart is just melted.

Volunteering with Animals


Today’s 4H challenge is volunteering at a local dog shelter. I’ve looked into kid volunteering at our local pet shelter, Paws located in Lynnwood, WA. This shelter requires volunteers to be at least 18 years or older to work with or around animals, but there are many other ways kids can help.

The Activities

PAWS website has some great ideas how kids can volunteer their time and/or money. Here are some of the ideas:

    Host a fundraiser or gift drive for animals

PAWS is a nonprofit organization that cares for thousands of animals each year thanks to the kind donations from people just like you. Kids have the opportunity to help by organizing a Friend-raiser or having a Gift Drive to collect animal supplies! Click here to find out more.

  • Donate your (birth)day to your animal friends

Similar to a gift drive, kids can ask for donations to PAWS instead of receiving gift for their birthday.

    Bake sale fundraiser
  • Holding a bake sale or lemonade stand is a great way to raise money for the animals. Check out our lemonade stand event here.
    • Host a movie night or dinner datefor animals

    Another way to raise money is to invite friends and family over to dinner and/or a movie with an “admission fee” to be donated to PAWS.

    • Participate in PAWSwalk

    PAWS’ biggest fundraiser is their PAWSwalk which raises thousands of dollars during the summer months. You and your furry pet (or not if you don’t own one) can ask for sponsorship and raise money from friends and family then spend the day at the park and walk your heart out. To learn more, check out the PAWSwalk website.

    • Become a foster family

    While you must be 18 or older to do hands-on volunteering at PAWS, becoming a foster family is fun for all ages!

    PAWS foster families provides a kittens, cats, puppies and dogs a temporary home. These homeless animals receive care and food from these kinds families before the animal is adopted. By providing safe temporary homes, PAWS foster families prevent overcrowding at PAWS Companion Animal Shelter, while the family and animals have lots of fun! Learn more about foster care and get started today.

    • School service credit

    Some school project can receive school service credit for helping PAWS. Please review your school requirements then simply submit a completed Youth Service Projects Form.

    Let me know if you can think of other fun activities to help an animal shelter like PAWS.

    Science- Lemon Battery


    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.

    Mathematics – Lemonade Stand


    4H challenge today’s challenge is to raise money and give the profits to a charity. Great experience for kids. If your little one is unable to raise money with a lemonade stand like us, 4H recommends doing a car wash but if you live in a rainy climate like us in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe car wash in September won’t workout. Surprise it didn’t rain on our lemonade stand.

    The Activity

    So as you can probably tell we raised money with a lemonade stand during our neighborhood’s annual fall sale.

    We sold donut holes for 25cents or 5 for a dollar and lemonade 50cent a cup. I have to say my little salesperson was not afraid to ask strangers “would you like lemonade or a donut.” She would look so sad when people said no, some individuals (mostly grandparents) would just give her a quarter. If she doesn’t become a salesperson I would wonder if she missed her true calling.

    A recommendation before doing a lemonade stand or any sales activity, has some great math activities. An easy activity is to practice the difference between coin values. A quarter equals 25 pennies or 2 nickels equals a dime. This was a hard concept to understand that difference in the value of a nickel versus dime because the value does not reflect their size.

    Daughter – “why isn’t a nickel worth more than dime, it is bigger.”

    We didn’t tackle dollars but my daughter didn’t have a lot of challenge understand the difference between a five dollar bill versus one dollar since the value is printed directly on the bill.

    The Donation

    We decide to give the profits to Alex Lemonade Stand. It just felt right. We know a little girl who had cancer when she was a two year old. Happy to report she is in remission but knowing her made the concept of donation for my 5 year old. Thus any support to help kids going through such a difficult time is important to me and hopefully my kids now too.

    We encourage you to donate too. Check out their website here.

    Engineering- Boat Race


    Today is the boat race challenge for the 4H photo contest. By participating in the photo contest, you have a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship. Check out all the activities here!! Download the list here.

    The Activity

    Since we live in Washington state, we are surrounded by ferries that will take you back and forth from the San Juan Island. The ferry rides are about a half hour one way and if you ask nicely you can go round trip. It is just long (or short) enough to be exciting versus boring.

    During the ferry ride is a great time to talk about different types of boats which will aid the kiddos in designing a boat for the boat race. Once the kids are familiar with the different types of boats, this is a great time to play eye spy with boats on the water.

    Book Review:

  • The Activity

    We started the project by coloring 4×4 inch pieces of paper for the sail then we lined up popsicle sticks and glue support braces.

    I recommend assembling it upside down. Let the glue dry then flip it over and glue a few popsicle sticks on the sides. Voila!!

    Chemistry – Sour Milk


    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.

    Art – Card Making


    The activity we have in store for today is card making with some of the pressed flowers from yesterday’s 4H challenge activity. If you didn’t catch the pressed flowers activity, check it out here.

    Day 9 4H challenge is making and deliver cheery card to senior citizens in the area (if the missed the challenge and want to learn more, see my earlier post, 4H Challenge, here).

    The Activity

    The finished card has a pressed flower heart with the phrase ‘thinking of you’ below it on a thick paper card.

    We started by gluing 2 pieces of paper together to make a strong background for the heart. The dark brown paper complements the white paper making this area stand out on the card.

    My daughter outlined a heart on the white paper as a template then added glue within the heart area followed by laying the hydrangea petals to form a heart.

    Lastly, my daughter stamps below the heart ‘thinking of you’ in a metallic purple ink before gluing the heart paper to a pre-folded card.

    Finished Project

    After the cards were made, we contacted our church for a list of senior citizen members that are home abound due to being unable to leave their home without assistance. My MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers) group has sent them cards in the past and they truly enjoyed receiving the little note informing them that someone is thinking of them.

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