You are my reason.

I have had a classroom sign saved in my phone as inspiration…a reminder of how I want my girls to feel and be treated when they walk into our “classroom”. When we sit down or go outside or lay in the bed to do our work, I want them to know that they are capable, that they are important, and that they are my reason for everything.

Then my husband made me some blank wooden signs out of scrap wood and I decided to turn that inspiration picture into a sign that can hang in our home.  A sign that my girls can look at and read daily.

I had a bit of trouble with the paint bleeding but I was able to correct enough of that and overall, I’m THRILLED with how it turned out.

Electro Dough

We are at that point in the school year where I am cleaning out the curriculum closet to make room for the new stuff.  I’m basically going through everything to see what I still want the girls to finish, what we never used and can sell/trash, and I’m even finding treasures that I had forgotten about.

One of those was the DIY Electro Dough Kit from techwillsaveus.com  I had ordered this at the beginning of last year in our Timberdoodle kit with the idea that the girls could do it with dad (he worked as an apprentice electrician for a number of years and his dad is an electrician).  The major problem with that plan?  I’m not sure I ever told dad about it or I might have mentioned it briefly but then stuck it in the curriculum closet where he never goes!  And here I was, wondering why he never did it with them….whoops!

We finally took it out today and played with it.  We had a ton of fun but the kit is seriously lacking in instruction/explanation.  The kit has the dough recipe and some brief examples of easy circuits you can make to get started.  No explanation of what the parts are or WHY it works so it helped that we had an electrician making with us, lol.  You can go to their website for more advanced projects and the manual which goes more in depth in the terminology and the WHYs.  So it really depends on your own personal knowledge of electricity and circuits as to whether or not you would need the manual—I need it to help me explain why/how you can turn the lights and buzzer on with play dough but dad didn’t need it.

The thing that I really love about this kit is that we can keep it and do this again as much as we like.  At their ages, the girls LOVED the novelty of getting the lights to turn on using play dough but they weren’t totally interested in the concepts behind it.  But as their curiosity grows or if they have a unit on electricity in their next science course, we can pull it back out, make a new batch of dough, and keep playing and learning!

So for now, this will get put back into the curriculum closet and hopefully not forgotten about this time…

Tinkerlab Art Challenge

Tinkerlab recently did a 5 day art start challenge in which we participated. It was free and used mostly we already had around the house.  There was a Facebook group to share, ask questions, etc. But each day, we got an email explaining the setup, materials, daily journal prompts, and extension ideas.

We are crafty people so daily art isn’t that far off of our norm. However, I did get some great new ideas and some guidance in how I can best foster the girls’ creativity. 

We had a blast with this art challenge and the girls loved the surprise every day of seeing what the setup would be.

Day 1 setup.

Avery’s creation with her painted coffee filters…a Hawaiian Hula Girl!

We will definitely be watching for anymore of these organized art challenges but until then, I will pull out my Tinkerlab book and schedule in different setups for the girls on a weekly basis. They love them and it is so easy to get a setup going (way easier than any Pinterest art projects we’ve tried!).

Usborne Books and More

One thing that most of my close friends and family know about me is that I am frugal….cheap…I cut coupons and I pinch pennies. There is one thing that I am very happy to invest in and that is my kids, their education, and their futures!

Usborne Books and More are our favorite books!! There are so many great options in all categories….tons of non-fiction, interactive books that we use in homeschool.

I have not found the quality of Usborne in any other books. I recently ordered through another big name company that does tons of book fairs at schools and yes, I can buy several books for $2 each.  BUT, when I compare those books to my Usborne books, it is clear to me that Usborne will last through all of my kids and beyond…whereas I’ll be lucky if the other books last a single school year.  Usborne are not only stronger quality books but I love the illustrations, the colors, all the interactive options. I want the best for my girls and as far as reading/books go, Usborne comes out on top every time!

If you aren’t familiar with Usborne, I really urge you to check them out!  For us, it made the most sense for me to become a consultant….we buy so many books that we NEED the 25% discount that you get as a consultant.

Usborne Books and More!

Grinch Party!

I officially have a 5 year old!!  Her Grinch party was a huge success!  We decorated in ll green and ate green foods (guacamole, grapes, green apples, green peppers, cucumbers, etc).  We ordered a Grinch piñata and it turned out much bigger and better than expected…it was so much fun but the piñata was too strong and the kids needed a little help breaking it open.  Mom worked really hard to make a “pin-the-heart-on-the-Grinch” game and while it turned out well, the kids were too busy and we never actually played the game.  Daddy made her a Grinch cake too…he’s got skills.

Avery had a great birthday and a great party.  I loved the challenge of the random theme where I had to put a little more thought into it.  Success all around!

grinch

Homemade Puffy Paint

It is no secret that we love craft time at our house! We try a lot of new craft ideas and methods but of course, there are always more ideas out there.

Today we tested out a homemade puffy paint that I have had pinned for awhile now. I have the same recipe pinned as different projects…ice cream cones, pumpkins, and today we made cotton candy.  You could make whatever you want with this. It is 50/50 shaving cream and glue, and then a few drops of food coloring depending on what you want to make.

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We are only a few hours out and it is dry to the touch but not quite dry enough for the kids to poke at (and they really want to…it just looks so puffy and inviting to those tiny fingers!).

We will definitely make this again….it not only makes cool art but is also just fun for the kids to stir and scoop as sensory play.  I left the extra in a Tupperware to see how long it will last before drying out, I’ll update when I know the answer.