Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mail from...Hawaii

Coming up with a craft or activity that I can relate to each of the 50 states is turning out to not be as easy as I'd expected it to be!  For Hawaii it seemed like the Internet-gods only wanted me to make paper leis.  While the options were plenty and very cute, I thought for sure there was something more boy-centric that we could use to make Hawaii exciting.  We fell back on a little experiment with exploding volcanoes...
video

 Obviously, Beck loved this activity.  The bonus for me was ticking off the Teaching Your Children Joy activity that has been hanging me up since January!  That's right-it's been that long since we got way-layed in the chapter on curiosity.  I just could not find the motivation to prepare, so I never did.  The closest I came was finding Science Sparks, a great website full of child-friendly experiments, which I do look at from time, if only to remind myself of the guilt I feel in falling off the teaching bandwagon.  With volcanoes now cleanly under our belts, I'm checking the box and moving on...to magic tricks...aye, aye!
My 2-year-old's volcanoes turned out vibrantly tropical colors, didn't they?
And because I promised a bird picture, here you go...the Hawaiian Goose, an extraordinarily un-tropical looking bird...
state bird

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mail from...Arizona

The "Mail from..." series was part of our participation in a a postcard swap hosted by Beth at Living Life Intentionally.  The idea was to send out 50 postcards of your state-one to every state in the Union-and then receive back the same.  Being a travel junkie, I thought it was an exciting way to add a little geography into this year's kindergarten lessons.  Besides, what kid doesn't LOVE to get mail?

Well, the postcards have started to trickle in.  While most of them have included fairly generic tidbits of information, my kids seem to be most fascinated with learning each state's official bird.  They get confused with senders who didn't understand that was vital information.  And because that's what they're intrigued with, I've started printing out the official state birds and attaching them to the map as we study each new postcard.

The Arizona Cactus Wren
To get us started, let's take a look at Arizona...

The postcard we received showed an enormous Saguaro Cactus.  
I adapted this cute cactus craft from one I saw at Creative Jewish Mom.


To make:
~Cut apart the square parts of a cardboard egg container 
(This part was unexpectedly messy and probably should be done by mom)
~Paint the squares.
~Send your kids outside to collect pebbles and rocks while the paint dries.
~Glue the squares into whatever shape your child thinks a cactus looks like.
~Glue the rocks onto the cardboard  (we used the side of a cereal box) 
so your landscape looks like a desert.
~Crumple tissue paper and glue to your cactus for "blossoms" 


What fun tidbits can you share with us about Arizona?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

And Then They're In Kindergarten

It has been a long time since I've taken a look at Eating the Nibbly Bibs.  Not a long time since it's been on my mind-there are plenty of times I feel guilty for slacking on teaching my little boys-but definitely a long time since I've done anything with them worthy of posting.

If you'll remember, I started this blog with a goal in mind of working my way through the book, Teaching Your Children Joy.  I blew myself away with how consistent I was in actually getting my boys together and doing the activities, and we were having a lot of fun!  So, why the sudden disappearance from the blogging universe?  I found out I was pregnant...with twins...two more boys...and preschool completely went by the wayside.

Well, the new little boys are finally here and it couldn't have been more interesting timing as I begin my new life as an exhausted mother of newborns, a two-year-old, and a five-year-old homeschooling kindergartner.  The goal is to continue working through the Teaching Your Children Joy book, but on a more limited basis.  Give me a month to get the hang of our new "school" schedule and I promise I'll be back with those activities and a whole bundle more!

Can you tell he's excited to be starting school?

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