Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Winter morning fun

We wanted to enjoy a nice hot breakfast outside today while watching the sunrise. 




I made up some quick cinnamon buns using crescent rolls.

Recipe for Crescent Roll Cinnamon Buns:  I rolled out the entire package as one flat rectangle and pressed seams together.  Then I brushed it with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar.  I rolled them up from the short side and sliced into 6 equal pieces.  I put them in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned around the edges.

While they were cooking, I made up 4 mugs of hot cocoa to go with it.  I asked the boys to get on coats, ski pants, hats, etc while I made up a tray to carry it all outside.

It was a nice way to welcome the morning.

 It was invigorating too.

We talked about the colors in the sky and the boys said it reminded them of a rainbow so we talked about light, the colors found in white light, what happens when light bends, etc. 

Luckily we keep our picnic table out on the back patio all winter long!

Much like the book promised, once outside our 15 minutes quickly spread to much longer than that!

We wandered around the yard and checked out our half- melted snowman.  We watched our breath fog and I was struck with the idea that it was below freezing!  I had stumbled upon an entire website of science experiments to do when it's freezing out or below freezing so when I realized it was only 17 out this morning and that we were already outside,  I came running into the house trying to find our bottle of bubble solution.  I finally found ours in the garage (which was great since it was already a bit cold!) and ran outside with it.

I called the boys around and explained that I had read bubbles will freeze outside in the winter if it's cold enough.

 So we set about experimenting!

frozen bubble
Making Frozen Bubbles: We finally realized that we had to catch the bubbles on our wand and then we could watch them slowly freeze.  It was so neat!  When frozen the boys poked it with their fingers and felt the paper thin edges.  "It's like an egg" Alec yelled excitedly.  We watched the solution freeze in the wand itself before blowing bubbles and the boys could see the ice crystals form.  "It looks all scratchy" Alec noticed.  We watched the bubbles quickly shrink and pop leaving bits of frozen bubbles floating to the ground.  Ian wondered what would happen if we brought frozen bubbles inside -- would they melt?  Would you be able to blow bubbles with them again?  Would they be more like water?  I thought it sounded like a great way to extend our science experiment.   I couldn't believe all that we accomplished in our first hour of the day!  It wasn't even 7:00 yet! 


it popped!
We headed inside and read a few books about winter and snow:   Snowflake Bentley, Arctic Fox; very cool! and A Warmer World.  We really enjoyed them all.  It's not often we read books that are all non- fiction.  A warmer world deals with climate change and how it effects animals all around the globe so that set off a lengthy discussion about what we could do to help stop global warming. 
  
Ian and I played a very fun math multiplication game I found on math- salamanders.com called Race to the Moon.  We only played with the board that went up to the 5's times tables, but we played three quick games.  He won two and I won one.  I made sure to come out with the wrong answer on occasion to make sure he was paying attention and checking my answers too; plus he then gets to remove one of my counters and get ahead in the game.


Ian and I playing Race to the Moon; he's red and I'm blue
Alec played two different math games.  One he played alone and it dealt with adding three integers.  I got the idea on this blog; it's a game called shake and spill (but we found dropping worked better; spilling led to a pile all on the same color block).   We made our own game board by tri- folding a blank sheet of white paper and I then asked him to color each block whatever color he'd like.  He didn't really like this "game" since he was playing alone and there wasn't a winner and a looser so I offered to play another game with him that I had found yesterday.


Alec playing shake and spill
We played Group 10.  A fun game that also uses three columns (so I quickly made a board to match his) and counters.  We assigned red and orange counters to be the "ones" and purple counters to be the 10's and we worked on being the first to have the green 100 counter.  Basically as you turn over a card you put that many counters on your board and you have to trade one's in for tens and it was great practice with tens, ones, and hundreds.  He was the first to 100 so that made the game much more fun and I'm sure we'll be playing again real soon!

Alec has a 7 so he places 7 counters in his 1's column

Trading a group of one's for a ten counter

counting to see if he can make another group of 10
We finished up our study of Texas by reading L is for Lone Star; A Texas Alphabet.  The boys then pulled out our old map sheets and filled in Texas (and Hawaii) on our maps as well as filling out a sheet on the state bird, flower, flag and tree.



We painted some winter birch trees.  

I found this idea on a few kids' art websites and it was both quick and easy.  The kids had fun with this simple project.  We used long strips of ripped painters tape to make a moon and tree branches.  Once we had our trees the way we wanted them we painted everything that was left showing a deep blue like the night sky.  We did sprinkle them with salt to give the paint a textured look like a speckled star filled night.  Once dry we peeled up the tape sections carefully and revealed our trees. 

Masking our trees

The completed trees. 
        
It was the perfect way to spend our winter morning. 

Linking Up With:
Thinking Outside The Pot

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