Geologists- Kinetic Sand

We love kinetic sand because it is a great indoor activity on a rainy day or the weather is too hot to go outside. PLUS when your kids are tired of play doh; it is a great alternative.

It does get ground into the carpet like play doh does.

I tried the sandbox this summer thinking it would be a good activity but the sand gets in the house, toes or fingernails. Kinetic sand is so much easier to clean up.

The kit comes with molds but we added some small gems to the activity that my kids loves to hide in the sand or use to decorate their sand castles. We make handprints. It is fun for all ages (but the sand is recommended for 3 yrs old plus).

Other great additions to the kinetic sand is:

  • Small dump trucks
  • Small seashells
  • Little people or animals

Kinetic Sand The One Only Sandcastle Set 1lb Sand, Molds Tools (Colors Vary)

Invertebrates: Caterpillar and Ladybug Egg Carton Craft Activity

Day Invertebrates: Invertebrates is a class in the Animal Kingdom. It is defined as animals with an exoskeleton to say it simply. Invertebrates are broken into 3 groups: crabs (crustaceans), spiders (arachnids) and insects.

Today we will be focusing on the insect part of this group. We are making ladybugs and caterpillars. This is a easy activity for all ages.

First use a black sharpie to color in the bugs face then paint the bug whatever color the kids what. Easy way to make to personal for each kid.

Did you know? Ladybugs are actually a beetle and they come in a rainbow of colors. The insect is know as a ladybug in North America and ladybird in England and other English speaking countries.

Then add the gems for the dots and paint or googly eyes for the eyes and mouth. We had some extra flowers for the bugs to sit on that we added at the end.

Did you know? Some ladybugs have no spots and others can have up to 20.

So let them add as many or few gems (spots) that the kids want.


  • Egg cartons
  • Acrylic or washable paint (your choice)
  • Black sharpies
  • Rhinestone stickers
  • Googly eyes

Craft inspired and Image by: Frugal Fun for boys and girls

Bird Excursion- Turkey Vulture

This weekend we went camping at Manchester State Park on the Washington State Pennsylvania.

Each Saturday the park has a program available to the campers and day use visitors. Last weekend we had the opportunity to meet Princess a Turkey Vulture that was saved by a hunter in the Shelton area and given to the West Sound Wildlife Shelter on Bainbridge Island. Kylee and Bart, representatives from the shelter and animal caregivers, were very knowledgeable and you can tell they truly care about the animals.

Kylee explained that Princess is a permanent resident at the shelter because her left wing is broken. The shelter received Princess when she was about 1 year old because her head was still a shade of blue like most baby vultures.

Kylee asked the audience, “what do you think Princess weighs?” There were lots of guesses in the 20-50 pounds ranges but…

Did you know? Bird have hollow bones.

Thus Princess only weighs 7 pounds.

Other fun facts:

  • Most birds don’t have a sense of smell except vultures.
  • When a group of vultures fly in a circle, it is called a kettle.
  • Vultures are flat foots because they spend a lot of time on the ground.
  • As a self defense, vultures throw up on their attackers.
  • Vultures stomach acid is as toxic as battery acid thus killing most bacteria and germs they eat.


Chemistry- Blueberry Plum Jam

So a few days ago we went to the blueberry patch, check out our adventure here, and today we are processing our blueberries. We washed all the blueberries and laid them onto cookie sheets covered with paper towels to dry. Half of the blueberries we froze and the other half will be divided to make jam, muffins and just to eat (in my belly).

Making jam is a great experience for kids to see how solid can turn into liquid then back into solid just by changing the temperature. I remember making strawberry jam with my mom as a kid and would love for my kids to have the same fond memory.

Fun Facts:

Did you know? The boiling point of sugar is 320 degree Fahrenheit and water is 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since this is only the second time I’ve made jam without my mother, I needed to follow a recipe. I don’t store pectin at my house so I found a recipe for plum and blueberries because plums and apple jams don’t require pectin. To learn more about pectin and where it came from, check out this website. It has an article about Science and Magic of Jam Making.

I loosely followed a recipe by TallCloverFarm. Check out her recipe here. I say loosely because she recommends using 2 limes and I only had lemons. Plus I didn’t follow her instructions.

Before you get started, I recommend bringing out another activity that the kids can do while they wait for the jam to solidify. It takes almost a hour of stirring constantly so be prepared to hang in the kitchen a while.


  • 2 pounds of plum (about 4 cups)
  • 2 pounds of blueberries (about 6 cups)
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 large lemon
  • I asked Alexa how many cups were in a pound.
  • Alexa responded that she is unable to help me because pounds is measured in mass and cups in measured in volume.

  • Then I thought what a great example for the kids. We have a small scale that allowed the kids see the weight of plums is different than the weight of blueberries. Then we tried sugar and lemons too. Fun little side experiment.
  • Start by combining plums, sugar and blueberries in a large pot on low heat. I crush the plums with my spoon as I stir it around. Once it is combined, I squeeze a lemon into my mixture.

    You will notice the berries starting to disappear into the liquid.

    Once all the blueberries have dissolved into the jam you are ready to remove it from the heat and let it cool. After about 30 minutes, we made peanut butter and jam sandwiches with our new plum-blueberry jam and everyone enjoyed them.

    Tall Clover Farm had a picture of jam scrambled into the shape of a heart. I thought I’d try and pay tribute to her.

    Harvest – Mountainview Blueberry Picking

    Today we went to Mountainview Blueberry Farm. A wonderful farm with lots of berries. We collected almost 10 lbs of berries in an hour.

    They have 2 different types of blueberries available right now to be picked. The staff is very knowledgeable and friendly. They informed us about the different types but if you forget like I do something Mountainview Blueberry website is very informative. Click here to check it out.

    Mountainview Blueberry Farm has many different sizes of buckets for you to choose from.

    As you walk to the field, the farmer included trivia about blueberries on the fence.

    Did you know? Blueberries are full of antioxidants.

    Not sure if kids care about antioxidants but…

    Did you know? Blueberries freeze in 4 minutes.

    Ok maybe only moms are excited by that information. Kids fun facts…

    Did you know? Early colonists made gray paint out of blueberries by boiling them in milk.

    I wondering how much of that paint actually made it onto the wall. 😁

    These are blueberries from the concord bush. The bush is taller thus easy for adult to pick from. Though still accessible to the 1 year old.

    The Mountainview Blueberry Farmer was very smart. They alternated row from short bushes to tall bushes so everyone of every height can reach those big plump blueberries.

    Lesson Ideas

    Farms offer lots of different lesson options. Here are just a couple ideas:

    • Blueberry bush through the seasons
    • Paint made from berries by HollyMann
    • Why are blueberries healthy
    • Bloom to berry

    Let me know if you have any other ideas.

    Mountainview Blueberry Farm
    7617 E Lowell Larimer, Snohomish, WA 98296

    Cougar Mtn Zoo Update

    The Cougar Mtn Zoo Trip was amazing. The zoo is smaller so you can see all the animals in about 2 hours. Not a bad thing if you want to get home before your kid’s afternoon nap. The lectures are very laid back and resembles more one on one discussion than lecture. We went to the crane and lemur lectures. My 5 year old daughter was able to ask the zoologist anything about the animals and the staff was so knowledgeable and kind.

    Did you know? There are about 100 species of lemurs and they all live on the island of Madagascar.

    We had the pleasure of meeting some friends at the zoo and all the kids became quick friends with a macaw named Max. Max said “hi” and whistled at the kids. It was pretty cool.

    The zoo has macaws in ever color of the rainbow. Each of them so beautiful and unique. The rainbow macaws were one of my kids favorite (besides Max of course).

    My daughter, who is usually afraid of feeding animals, stepped right up and feed the llamas, mule deers, emus and reindeers with ease. The zoo sells cut up apples for $4 a cup at the entrance or there are coin grain pellet food dispenser by the animals. Recommend just picking up 1 cup per kid because you will walk by the entrance a couple times and it is easy to buy more.

    They have every reindeer from Santa’s sleigh at the zoo. My kids were pretty excited to see the whole herd but the question that continued to come up was…

    Where is Rudolph? -Daughter

    Response: Rudolph is in the stables. – Staff

    Instead of doing a scavenger hunt with the bronze sculptures, as I mentioned in one of my other posts. The zoo as a great discovery area that would be a wonderful place for some crayon rubbings. Check out the activities here.

    My last recommendation is go visit the tigers and wolves. The tigers have a great assortment of colors. Golden, white and black and orange bengal tigers.

    Fish Activity 2 – Foam Clay

    Day Fish; today we explore what makes a fish unique and similar to the other animals in the Animal Kingdom.

    Fish are classified as gill-bearing aquatic creatures that lack limbs and digits. They include but not limited sharks, lionfish, tuna and stingrays.

    We explore the different types of fins and tentacles animals in the fish classes have through the foam clay craft.

    During the school year, my daughter brought home her scholastic catalog for the book fair to help support the teachers getting new books in their classrooms. So I was happy to help. I stumbled upon this fun and easy foam clay kit. My Clay Critters. I was pleasantly surprised. The step by step instruction are easy for a kid under the age of 5 to follow and understand. (Beware of the googlie eyes. They are prefect swallowing size for a 1 year old.)

    It is reasonably priced and makes 10 different little sea creatures.

    After the critter is done, set it out to dry and in 24 hours it is hard and fun new toy to play with.

    Animal Kingdom Excursion

    Photo courtesy of Cougar Mountain Zoo

    This week we will be learning about the Animal Kingdom. Each day we will be learning about a different classification (Mammals, fish, reptiles, birds, amphibians and invertebrates aka bugs). There are a couple activities for everyday of the week with an adventure/excursion day mixed in.

    This topic can go over two weeks if you want with two different adventure days. We are going to the zoo, the Cougar Mtn Zoo in Issaquah, WA.

    They have the largest bronze animal sculpture collections. Take a look at the scavenger hunt checklist page I made.

    To emphasize the sculptures at the zoo, we did a foam sculpture of a sea creatures as one of our craft activities. Check it out.

    The zoo includes great lectures about their animals about every half hour. Here is a link to their daily activity schedule.

    I plan on checking out their macaw lecture. After seeing the movie Rio 2, my kids love birds especially macaw.

    Did you know? Blue and gold macaws are the most intelligent of all the macaw species. Check out more fun facts about macaws on Cougar Mtn website.

    Photo courtesy of Cougar Mountain Zoo

    Please check back next week with an update/review on our adventure.

    Other options for animal adventures:

    • Forest park petting zoo – Mukilteo, WA
    • Flower World – Snohomish, WA
    • Kelsey Creek Farm – Bellevue, WA
    • Reptile Zoo – Monroe, WA
    • Kangaroo Zoo – Arlington, WA
    • Woodland Park Zoo – Seattle, WA
    • Point Defiance Zoo – Tacoma, WA
    • Northwest Trek – Eatonville, WA
    • Seattle Aquarium
  • Free options include:
    • Checking out your local parks or beaches. In the Pacific Northwest, most of the parks have guided tours. In Everett Washington, check out the hiking portion of the summer catalog. Andy Boos gives guided hikes on many of our wonderful trails. (Most hikes are recommended for 8+ years old.)

    The Journey Begins…

    Thanks for joining me! I do agree with Izaak Walton’s quote and I love the company and enjoyment my kids add to my journey.

    Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

    I’m a planner and researcher at heart so when I was pregnant with my first daughter I researched “what does a day look like with a newborn.” Come to find out the attention span of a child under the age of 5 years old is only 20 minutes. I had a slight panic attack.

    What do you do with young kids all day? -me

    I have almost 12 hours in the day to find engaging activities for my kids to do.

    To help me coop, I broke my new job as mother into a physical therapist, librarian, zoologist, forest ranger, doctor, artist basically an educator of all things in life. We began this journey filled with many activities so neither of us would get bored.

    This made motherhood enjoyable for me and I hope my kids benefited from my over planning. As I gained mom friends, I have included them in my activities. They seem to enjoy doing them with their kids (they keep coming back) thus I want to share them with you too.

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