Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's Electric! Exploring the Science and Nature Museum

We headed to a local museum yesterday to check out their temporary exhibit on electricity.  We had a wonderful day exploring the museum and enjoying the sunshine.  We met up with my mother, sister and her sons and the boys all had a great time learning together.

There are so many fun and engaging hands-on learning opportunities at the museum and they have an assortment of live animals too that we enjoyed looking at.

The boys loved watching the metal ring jump
when they pushed the button to charge the metal rod

Using the wool pad to build up a static electricity charge before
putting his hand hear the brass ball to feel the charge transfer

Using magnets and electricity combined to twist rope and stir beakers

Using electricity versus a manual control of a motor

Learning Morse code! 

Evan loved playing with the plasma tube 

Alec had a great time talking to the curator and learning
all about rocks, fossils, and the difference between
butterflies and moths 

We did some pendulum/motion drawings; the boys
had such a fun time watching the different designs  

We spent our afternoon outside playing on their playground enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.  The boys were content to make up their own games and challenge each other to jump the streams, climb the rope netting, and win races.

He made it to the top multiple times 

Inspecting the pussy willow tree.  Alec loved how soft it was. 
Linking Up With: Hearts for Home,

Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop

A Kreative Whim

Christian Montessori Network

52 Lists week #13; The Things You Want to Make!

This week's list was totally made for me!  I was excited when I saw that we were supposed to list the things you want to make!  I am a Jill of all trades and enjoy so many different forms of crafts.  I always have a list of projects I'd like to get to.

In no particular order here are some of the things I'd like to make:

  • Some new recipes-- I just love cooking and baking and there's nothing like trying out something new. 
  • Some more scrapbook pages-- I've been taking a hiatus from this craft and I miss it... plus my pictures are piling up. 
  • An arm- crocheted blanket-- I do not knit or crochet but I thought this sounded simple and looked amazing when finished. 
  • Washer necklaces-- I love trying new crafts and this one looks pretty easy.  Pain a metal washer with nail polish and then affix it to some string. 
  • Some more earrings-- It's been a while since I've used my beads to make myself some new earrings. 
  • Hand and body scrubs for myself! -- The boys and I made sugar scrubs for just about everyone at Christmas but I forgot to keep some for myself and I just love how my skin feels after using them.  
  • Family vacation plans and reservations-- "making" reservations and "making" family memories are two of my favorite things to make!
  • My own book--  I've always wanted to be a writer.  I've started a novel a time or two but always petered out.  I'd love to give it a real honest try though. 
  • Some new paintings- I haven't really painted since college and I miss it so much.  I enjoy watercolors, oils and acrylics; painting on wood, ceramic and canvas.  It doesn't really matter.
  • Wood burning crafts-- I've been pinning ideas ever since we inherited a wood burning kit a few years ago... but I've yet to actually try my hand at it.  I've helped the boys a time or two and I did enjoy it.  
  • A new quilt-- I haven't made a quilt since before Evan was born.  I made each boy their own quilt for their crib and even made a huge one for our king size bed once but I sort of gave up on sewing after the boys were born.  
  • Christmas gifts-- I've been pinning ideas like crazy since last Christmas and made it a goal to try and make most of the Christmas gifts we give this year.  
  • Make my blog more professional. 
I do find it hard to juggle all that I want to do with all that I have to do though and find that even when I finally have free time to make something I usually don't have the desire to.  But I keep trying and planning and imagining....  

One day I will get around to it all.  
Linking Up With:   

52 lists with Chasing Slow

I Choose Joy!

This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

75 Screen Free Activities for Spring

Today I'm making up a list of activities for my boys to do during their free time now that the nicer weather is on it's way.  I don't mind my boys watching TV and Movies or playing video games but I do mind when they stare at them endlessly like zombies because they can't think of anything better to do.  Working with my boys we compiled a list of things they could work on that do not include any screens.

Here are our screen free activities for spring:

1.  Make play-dough
2.  Use our Loom band kits to make bracelets and key chains

3.  Plant flowers in pots for the porch
4.  Plant a vegetable garden
5.  Go on a nature hike
6.  Make snake bubbles & bubble art
7. Have a silly string fight
8.  Put together a jigsaw puzzle
9.  Have a picnic & tell stories about the cloud shapes
10.  Draw with chalk
11.  Go for a bike ride

12.  Take out the Jump ropes
13.  Play kickball
14.  Paint a picture
15.  Make a chalk pastel rainbow or flower
16.  Build with Magnatiles
17.  Bake a new snack
18.  Paint ceramic pots
19.  Make our own kites and test them out
20.  Take an early trip to the beach and search the shore for shells

21.  Build pop rockets and test them out
22.  Make slime
23.  Make spring pictures using pattern blocks
24.  Build a fort
25.  Host an egg drop challenge
26.  Have a minute to win it party with a few friends
27.  Go roller skating
28.  Play with stomp rockets
29.  Play baseball
30.  Have a car wash day; wash cars, toy cars, & bikes
31.  Play with snap circuits

32.  Go to a free building class at Home Depot or Lowe's
33.  Take scooters to the skate park
34.  Play frisbee
35.  Make tissue paper flower bouquets
36.  Make cootie catchers
37.  Make some sun art
38.  Set out yarn nets for the birds to use to make birdhouses
39.  Play hopscotch (with or without school facts)
40.  Break open rocks using hammers or large rocks to see inside them
41.  Find a new park or playground to check out

42.  Take a trip to the zoo
43.  Make a volcano
44. Learn how to press flowers
45.  Grow our own crystals
46.  Make a chain reaction
47.  Make a pet rock
48.  Write a story about our pet rocks
49. Go to the aquarium

50.  Make a sun catcher
51.  Make pony bead wind chimes
52.  Build a Lego marble maze
53.  Go fishing
54.  Go kayaking
55.  Build a bird house or bird feeder
56.  Go geocaching
57.  Visit the farmer's market
58.  See the baby animals at the farm
59.  Set up a Nerf gun shooting range & game
60.   Play a board game

61.  Put together popscicle stick chain reactions
62.  Make birdseed snacks for the birds
63.  Make a windsock
64.  Make bird nest snacks
65.  Make some garden stepping stones
66. Decorate a T-shirt
67.  Make milk jug butterflies
68.  Climb a tree
69. Go find a vernal pool and count frogs
70. Bring dinner to the beach and watch the sunset together
71.  Grow and hatch butterflies

72. Design your own boat and have a boat race
73.  Make marshmallow constellations
74.  Play flashlight tag
75.  Play in the puddles after the rain

Linking Up With: A Little Bird Told Me,

Celebrating Spring Party Graphic

Live Live Well Pin

Awesome Life Friday

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Viking Study

When my kid were asking and begging to learn about the Vikings last year I was so excited! Finally they WANTED to learn about world history.  They were anxious to delve into some books, art projects, and really study the viking culture.

I had no idea how hard it was going to be to find appropriate materials with which to teach them.  Most everything I found about vikings was geared more towards adults and focused a lot on pillaging, war, raping, and the like.

We were finally able to piece a unit together using a blend of fiction and non- fiction books, some fun craft projects, and ended up combining it with a study of Norway.

We talked about Viking ships, Vikings, where Norway is located.  

We read about the climate of Norway, the traditions of the people there and we talked about/compared it all to our Disney trip to EPCOT and the Norway pavilion.  

My boys have even eaten some of the food from that country when we had dinner at that pavilion.  We have photos of the boys with a Viking statue and I reminded them of some of the houses and ships we saw.  

The unit was great fun and I was happy with all that we covered.  I have since found a few more books and the boys have read them here and there as they were interested in it.  

Here are the books we've enjoyed reading about Norway and the Vikings:

1. Odd and the Frost Giants-- It's about a Viking/Norwegian boy who has to go to the land of Asgard and defeat the frost giants.  

2.  Felix Travels Back In Time-- This adorable travelling bunny ends up travelling back in time during this book and visits different time periods; the viking time included. 

3. Who Were the Vikings?-- Why did they have horns on their hats? What do we know about them... this book has answers.  

4. Eric the Red; The Viking Adventurer--  This book tells the story of one famous viking; Eric the Red.

5. Leif the Lucky-- Son of Eric The Red, this story tells about Leif.  My boys enjoyed this biography tremendously. 

6.  How to Be a Viking-- This fictional tale was written to go along with the How to Train your Dragon series it's so funny. 

7.  How to Train Your Dragon--  We listened to all of these books on CD and while we knew they were not true we loved reading about Hiccups adventures and all his mishaps. 

8.  Yo Vikings-- While learning about viking explorers, one little girl's imagination runs wild.  This fun book allows readers to join her on her adventures.


9.  Viking Ship at Sunrise-- Jack and Annie travel back to the time of the Vikings. 

10.  Viking Fact Tracker-- The non-fiction book to accompany Viking Ship at Sunrise. 

11.  Voyage with the Vikings-- Cousins Beth and Patrick join Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky on their voyage to America in this Imagination Station novel. 

12.  You Wouldn't Want to be a Viking Explorer-- Find out what life was like back then and learn why you wouldn't want to be a viking explorer. 

13.  Life as a Viking-- A choose your way adventure! My boys love these; they are our new favorite series to read!  This one tells about heroic viking adventures and it's no surprise that most choices lead to death. 

14. The Last Viking--  In this book a timid little boy imagines himself as Knut, a fearless viking.  
The Last Viking

15.  National Geographic Kids Everything Viking-- Everything you've ever wanted to know about Vikings!

Here are some of the Craft and hands on Projects we enjoyed or thought about using:

1.  We made viking ships-- Here is a great tutorial link

2.  We made and decorated Viking Shields--  a wonderful set of instructions can be found here; though we just cut colored foam board into circles and used tape and markers to decorate ours. 

3.  We made Viking Masks-- Using this printable color and cut paper

4.  We were going to make Viking Bread-- You can find the recipe here

5.  There are all sorts of printable papers and activities here to go along with the book The Last Viking. 

6.  How to Draw a Viking Long ship.   

7.  These are great instructions for making a viking broach. 

8. We wrote using runes and made up stories of viking voyages.

9.  We looked at maps and talked about the various routes they might have traveled. 

10.  We bought viking helmets-- but you can make them!  Here is great idea making viking helmets using cereal boxes! 

11.  Make this Viking Village-- a great book filled with all sorts of paper crafts to make a realistic looking viking village.

12. We found this beautiful stained glass coloring book about vikings-- 

13. We used some activity pages from our Felix Activity Book

14.  There is this viking craft book; Crafts from the Past.

15.  We also liked this viking color book

Linking Up With: What to read Wednesday, 
Hip Homeschool Moms