Monday, January 31, 2011

Make your own Window Clings - Part 2

Since our first window clings, made out of Elmers glue, ended up dried out and on the floor I thought we could give these clings a try.  I found this craft at Family Fun and they turned out GREAT! 

This is going to be our go-to window cling activity for every holiday!

You will need......
dimensional fabric paint (I used glitter fabric paint)
ziploc freezer bags (They recommend using wax paper but the reviews suggested using either a glass baking dish or heavy plastic bag.  I tried both and prefered the plastic bag.)
snow flake template (you can find one at the link above or draw your own design)

Place the template into the freezer bag and start tracing with your fabric paint.
Wait until dry and carefully peel off.

Stick on your window and enjoy!

.......I think you might be seeing some Valentine window clings.......and St. Patrick's Day ........and Easter.  

I love these clings!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Borax Crystals

This was a COOL experiment/craft.

Here is what you will need.....
Borax Laundry Booster
boiling water
jars or glasses

Create a shape out of your pipecleaners and attach it to the pencil {either with the pipecleaner or some yarn/string}
Boil water and dissolve Borax into the water - I used about 4-5 tablespoons of Borax per glass.
Put your pipecleaner shape into the glass being sure that it does not touch the sides of the glass.

Note - while Borax is a natural product it should not be consumed or inhaled so be careful and follow the precautions on the box.

Here is our snowflake before adding water to show how it will hang in the glass without touching the walls of the glass.

Here it is after a few hours with crystals starting to form.

Here are the final products after sitting in the solution for 24 hours.

So pretty....

.....and so easy!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Snowflake Craft and Treat!

Tin Foil Snowflakes

Frugal Family Fun Blog had this really easy activity to try!
Just take some tin foil and tear it into small pieces.

Then use double sided tape to make a snowflake design on your paper and start sticking the tin foil onto the tape! 
Super easy!

Sarah sped through her snowflake and Matthew left half way through the activity but Jillian sat and carefully placed each little piece onto her paper.  Here are some of the finished results.

Baked Snowflake Treat

After you have made your shiny tin foil snowflake here is a yummy snowflake treat!
Take a flour tortilla and fold it and cut it with a pair of kitchen scissors as if you were making a paper snowflake.
Place the tortilla snowflake on a foil lined cookie sheet and brush with melted butter.
Sprinkle with some sugar sprinkles.

Bake for 5-7 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Remove when the edges are lightly browned.
Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Day

Today was SNOW DAY number 6!
Wow we have a lot of snow!

  I thought we should spend time on worksheets today since all the kids have been missing so much school.

I found some great worksheets to keep us busy for the morning.
While Sarah did a Winter Word Fraction worksheet found here, Jillian worked on a Quilt Square Challenge found here.

{Jillian dressed herself this morning}

Then we did some wonderful Valentine worksheets found here.

My Heart Skips a Beat
{skip counting by 5's}

Candy Heart Graphing
{ok we didn't have Candy Hearts but these gumdrops worked well!}

The kids sorted and counted the colors while Sarah graphed their findings.

Candy Heart Patterns
{again used the gumdrops instead}

It was neat to see the kids level of understanding come through in this activity.  Matthew's pattern was all purple gumdrops, Jillian's pattern was alternating orange and purple, and Sarah's pattern involved all the colors.

Dip and Record

I gave the kids a scoop so they could dip into the candy bowl and put the M&M's on a plate.  From there they would count out the candies into groups of 10's and 1's.  Jillian and Matthew did the counting and Sarah did the recording.

Valentine M&M Hugged Pretzels
Finally, Sarah and Matthew worked as a team to prepare our M&M Hugged Pretzels.  We have made these before {find instructions here} but these were with a Valentine twist!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sun Catcher Ice Art

Bring on anything with water and food coloring and you have one happy Sarah!
We thought we would try another ice decoration that we found here.

Once your ice cubes are frozen put them into a dish or container of cold water that has already been in the freezer for about an hour and then freeze again.

Here is Sarah's SUN CATCHER!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shaving Cream Fun

Often when we craft I am a little too particular about not making a mess.  A messy craft can leave me feeling a little twitchy and wondering why I attempted it in the first place.  I decided it was time to just let the kids go wild and have a messy fun time.  I sat them down and let them spray shaving cream all over the kitchen island.  I think they thought that mommy had gone mad!

This is a great sensory activity and it really wasn't too bad to clean up.  It was interesting to see how at first Matthew didn't like having any shaving cream on him but then he relaxed and started having fun. 

Jillian wrote out her name.

I knew before we even started that Sarah would be the one who would play the longest with the shaving cream.  She is our sensory loving child.  I still remember when she was in daycare and her teachers showed me a picture they had taken of Sarah covered in pudding.  They had been painting with pudding and Sarah had decided that she would take a bath in it!

Have fun! 
They are only young once!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Marshmallow Math Fun

Let's build with MARSHMALLOWS!

I was inspired by The Artful Parent who gave her daughter marshmallows and toothpicks to build sculptures and by Almost Unschoolers who built a great structure of fractal tetrahedrons.  Since Sarah is participating in Odyssey of the Mind this year I decided to put a slight twist on the activity and turn it into a challenge.

I challenged the kids to build a structure out of the marshmallows and toothpicks that was as high as they could build.  It was so interesting to see how their ideas started to change and evolve as they went along.

Be sure to use stale marshmallows - ours were out for about a day before we used them.

You can see Jillian and Matthew starting to build their structures.  Sarah, however, was using her Odyssey skills and trying to come up with a group solution before tackling the problem - Jillian and Matthew didn't want to discuss and just dove right in!

{I don't usually let the kids sit on the counter but they were so excited for this challenge I let them go for it!}

Jillian decided to start with a cube but then realized that it would lean and was not very stable.

And Sarah, who started with a cube as well, began to realize that her structure was more stable using triangles. 

After talking about their two different structures {and Jillian running off because her cube was not as stable as what Sarah had built} I showed them how to build a tetrahedron.

Here is the super stable building block!

Then we started connecting lots of tetrahedrons together! 
Check out this link for step by step instructions.

And here was our final product!!!

Sarah had so much fun with this!  She was determined to finish it and was so proud of the result.  I was impressed with how long it held her attention {which is always a challenge} but also with how versatile this activity is.  As Sarah was busy building tetrahedrons I had Matthew putting basic squares and triangles together and Jillian working on hexagons and octagons.

A great way to make learning math - FUN!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Snowball Soap Surprise

We had another SNOW DAY here last Friday! 
I started preparing the night before - since they seem to close schools with the lightest flurry.
I found some cool WINTER crafts to try out!
{more posts to come}

Snowball Soap Surprise
is from Family Fun and you can find it here

All you need is a bar of soap, a grater, some warm water, and a little toy!
{I only let the kids grate when the bar was still large as this could be an accident waiting to happen}

Soap shavings for the snowball.

Here is the Squinkie 'surprise' that Jillian put inside her snowball.

The fun part was molding the snowballs! 
We gathered up the soap shavings, added a little bit of warm water, and started molding the snowballs around the small toy - adding more shavings and more water as needed.  Then we let them dry on some parchment paper.

I wasn't sure how well these little cuties would hold up, but they have been great!  They are perfect for little hands to hold and make handwashing fun.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Penguins Penguins Everywhere!

Another Penguin themed day!

Are you getting tired of these cute little birds yet?
I've almost reached my saturation point and am looking forward to posting some Valentine themed crafts soon!

Here is a cute little Penguin Glyph.  You can print it from here.

And here is a little Penguin song I found.
Jillian LOVED it since one of the penguins is named Jill!

On Top of an Iceberg
(Tune: On Top of Old Smokey)
On top of an iceberg,
All covered with snow,
I saw my first penguin,
And I wanted to know.

Oh, is it a bird,
Or, is it a fish?
I looked at his feathers,
And knew which was which.

I said, "Mr. Penguin,
Which species are you?"
He said, "I'm an emperor,
And not a gentoo."

I said, "Mr. Penguin,
What's under you patch?"
He said, "It's an egg,
It's ready to hatch!"

I said, "Mr. Penguin,
Oh, where is your wife?"
"She's out in the ocean,
She'll be back tonight."

Said Mr. Penguin,
"Her name is Jill.
She's out in the ocean,
Feeding on krill."

The next thing I knew,
I heard a small peep.
And I saw a chick,
At the emperor's feet!

Tonight we had a PENGUIN themed dinner!

The kids waddled to the table and really got into the whole PENGUIN idea!
Sarah called her milk 'sea water' and {when she accidently dropped some food on her clothes} said, 'oh no - not on my nice tuxedo!'

We started with an appetizer of 'krill'.

 {cream cheese spread on ritz crackers with shrimp on top}

The main course was fish followed by.......

Penguin Pie for dessert!

We filled out this Penguin Pie worksheet that you can find here.

This worksheet teaches kids about similes......

My penguin pie is as COLD as ICE
My ice cream is as WHITE as SNOW
{I never knew that these popular sayings were called similes - I love learning with my kids!}

If you would like to read more about similes, idioms, and popular sayings check out this fun book by Loreen Leedy and see how many similes you get right!

{Chris got 12/14 correct - smart man I have!}

And that ENDS the week of PENGUIN posts!
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