Friday, April 30, 2010

Arbor Day with kids!

April 30, 2010: Arbor Day is always the last Friday in April.  Although we haven't picked our tree yet we are going to plant a tree today. We live in Pennsylvania and our state tree is the Eastern Hemlock Tree. Here is a great site that displays all the state trees that you can use to find your state tree by clicking HERE

This day’s activities will focus on trees. We are going to take a visual stroll through the world and find out what kinds of trees grow in each hemisphere. Our focus will be on the differences and similarities. We will discuss the rainforest, remembering we are keeping our studies to trees. And we will create a list of how trees help us in our everyday lives, oxygen, paper, habitats etc.  We will research our state tree and recreating our own hemlock tree to display in our house.  You can print this poster out that has the state trees listed HERE.
Here are a few more interesting things...

Smokey the Bears 65th birthday is this year. Click HERE for resources for forest fires for kids and teachers

**** Official Website for Arbor Day *******

April 1 - May 15, 2010, consumers that purchase three Hanes® products will receive a free Earth Day t-shirt with proof of purchase through mail-in redemption. For every t-shirt redeemed, Hanes will make a $1 donation to the Arbor Day Foundation. For every $1 of Hanes donations, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree, up to 20,000 on Hanes' behalf. Click HERE for more information.

*** Free Trees, is that possible?  Non Profit "Free Trees and Plants" says it is click on link to find out how it works.  Says you have to pay $7.95 for shipping so its not that free but we think its worth a try. 

Here are some website that will help with the planting of your new tree: (click on links)




Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Poetry Reading Day with Kids!

The kids are going to choose their favorite short story or poem today and read it out loud. I will choose a really creative new invigorating poem to read to the children today and we will be acting out certain parts of the poem after I am finished reading. I believe it is always good for the children to act out characters and parts of poetry and stories. They really get into their parts. They will work on remembering certain lines and actually creating the character to who they think the character should be.

I am going to explain again to the kids the art of creating a haiku. We will then be coming up with a few of our own. A haiku is a poem that does not rhyme. You have to actually paint a mental picture using words. I like this lesson for kids and I am planning on having the kids draw or paint what their haiku is about.

A haiku is actually very easy to write. They are a 3 line poem. The first line is 5 syllables, the second line is 7 syllables the third line contains 5 syllables. With these 17 syllables the author of a haiku paints a mental picture.

Who or what am I? This is always fun to do with a haiku, you use the haiku outline and lots of facts without writing who or what you are describing and then everyone has to guess. This is going to be a fun and educational part of this day

To learn more about Haiku click HERE

Poetry for Kids has a couple of free e-books. You can check this great site out HERE

Monday, April 26, 2010

National Pretzel Day with Kids!

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…………………………. Today is pretzel day!!!!!!!

We all love pretzels and boy did we enjoy today. We started off by painting a banner and Lauren painted the salt on the letters. Very occupational, placing all those dots on the letters. Believe it or not pretzels are tricky to twist and create so we knew the kids would have to practice. So, we broke out the playdoh and practiced rolling and twisting the pretzels.

Then we came up with a work mat from posterboard and brown paint that the kids could work on and follow to make the pretzels. We covered the mat with contact paper and taped them to the table to create a work station for each person. When the dough was ready to twist we used a pizza cutter and cut each person a strip of dough to work with.

The mats were the greatest idea for this day; the kids used them to roll the dough and twist it and really did a good job creating the pretzels. Into the oven for 10 minutes and we had hot yummy pretzels to work with. Next came the very fun part, we dipped the pretzels into melted butter and then into a pan of cinnamon sugar, Yummy! This was so fun. The kids had a great time doing all the work and we all had a really fun dessert for all of us to eat. We utilized all of the senses today, smell, taste, touch, hearing (classical music today) and of course the visual. This created an atmosphere where all of us could work and truly enjoy our day.

FUN, FUN, FUN, We can't wait to do this again next year!!!!!!

Cinco De Mayo with kids!

Technically this is the day where the Mexican army defeated the French army at the Battle of Puebla. This is not a celebration of the Mexican independence as many think (that is celebrated on September 16th) but a celebration of the Mexican and Hispanic culture. We will be having a lot of fun with this day.

We just love Cinco De Mayo, what a fun, colorful, festive holiday to celebrate. We picked up a few wall hangings we found at our local party store and can’t wait to put these up. It will really give the room a lot of ambiance and this celebration is definitely one that should be a feast for the eyes as well and traditional Mexican food, music, crafts and dance.
Wendy has a friend who is Mexican and a few years ago she made a project for her kids school. She called this “ojos de Dios” loosely translated it means “God’s Eyes”. We researched these on the internet and found an interesting fact. “God’s Eyes” predates Mexico to the Huichol Indians. They used to weave these and every year until a child turned five they added a layer of thread. This is such a beautiful decoration. We both remember how much we loved the colors.

Here is my take on how to make these.
You will need sticks, glue and colorful yarn. Green, Red and White would represent the Mexican flag but you can use any colors you like. Now you need to either weave thread around the sticks to form a cross or glue the sticks together to form a cross. Now you need to fasten a piece of yarn to the center of the cross on what will be the back of the project. You then wind the first piece of yarn over and under all the sticks then tie that off, again at the back of the project so it will not be seen from the front when you are done. Do this and alternate colors as you wish until you are completed your Ojos de Dios. These can be done in any size from small pin size to large wall hanging size. Found this website that has incredibly detailed ones that you can see – HERE
We will be making a Pinata for our centerpiece to go along with all the other decorations we picked up at our local Party Supply Store.

  • Mexican Taco Salads

  • Tortilla Soup

  • Non-alcholic Margarita's or Daquairi's

  • Mexican Wedding Cookie - Recipe Below - We make these every year they are so good!

  • Cinnamon Churros with Mexican Chocolate Dipping Sauce Recipe

Mexican Wedding Cookies
FOR THE DOUGH                                                   FOR THE GARNISH
1 cup pecan halves                                                       1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1.In a food processor, pulse pecans, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt until mixture resembles coarse meal; add butter and pulse until a dough forms. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic; refrigerate until firm, 30 to 60 minutes.
2.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 level tablespoon. Space 1 1/2 inches apart on two large baking sheets. Bake, switching sheets from top to bottom halfway through, until cookies are just golden around edges, 20 to 25 minutes.
3.Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer to a rack to cool completely. Place confectioners' sugar in a bowl. Roll cookies in sugar twice to coat thoroughly, tapping off excess.
We will be researching all of this and coming up with the finer points to our day of celebration.  So remember to check back on this post :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Our Astronomy night with the kids

Unfortunately our weather report is calling for lots of rain this evening. So with that being said we switched Astronomy Day to last night.

The kids went on the computer to this website http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/planner.cfm
 and found what phase of the moon we are in.

 to compare and look at:
  • The Circumpolar Constellations
  • Winter Constellations
  • Spring Constellations
  • Summer Constellations
  • Fall Constellations

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Happy Earth Day! 

Wow did we ever accomplish a lot of stuff. The day before Earth Day the kids worked diligently on presentations on Land, Water and Air pollution that they planned to present to the whole family after dinner. This was an absolutely impressive project that they accomplished. We also took a walk to collect bottles and cans found around our neighborhood.

Matthew found old round buttons in my craft box and turned them all into replicas of our Earth. He then used pipe cleaners and created bracelets for both Kristen and myself to wear today. What an awesome piece of jewelry and both of us proudly wore these masterpieces all day long.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Some Earth Day FREEBIE's!

Found this great website that did a terrific job in finding some of the many free giveaways during Earth Week.  The site is called Frugal Fairhope - Click HERE to check them out and you will also find other helpful things. 

For those who are into Digital Scrapbooking or even computer art you can find some of these Earth Day graphics very useful!

This site has free Blog stuff for Earth Day including the Background that we are using on this blog!  Click on link to below to find many cool things:

These above Adorable Recycling Labels you can download HERE.  You can easily print them out on Sticker Paper and place anywhere you need them.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday April 26th is National Pretzel Day!

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, who doesn’t love pretzels? We have a lot of really fabulous pretzel places where we live and will purchase them to have for lunch. The kids will learn a little about the history of the pretzels. We may even attempt to make our own pretzels. It will definitely take a lot of occupational skills to twist and roll these creations.

They could also try to make different flavors of pretzels like Auntie Anne’s Cinnamon & Sugar pretzels. We found this website with the directions: http://www.monkeysee.com/play/9617-how-to-make-an-auntie-anne-s-pretzel You could also make Hot Dog Pretzels

The kids are sure to really enjoy this day.

We unfortunetly don't have this store in our area but thought others may! 
They are giving free Pretzels out at local Pretzelmaker:

Update:  Just found a FREE Pretzel Font and you can find it HERE
We will be using it tomorrow when we make our Pretzel Twist Diagram Placemats!! This will allow the kids to follow the diagram when attempting to learn the twist techniques.

Free Pretzels!!! 
You can look for any local stores in the following two company and recieve a free pretzel today:
Philly Pretzel Factory has shops in Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. No purchase is necessary. - visit there website HERE

Pretzel Maker has many locations and you can visit their website HERE

Monday, April 19, 2010

Its Earth Week!

Here are a few more great sites we found to help kids out during Earth Week....

Interesting site about pollutants:


This is a great site for kids, lots of great information on topics from taking care of the earth to educational facts: http://www.factmonster.com/

Here is a great site to check out the air quality in your neck of the woods, just click on the map and get your daily air quality forecast: http://www.airnow.gov/

This is a great site for studying the earth and biomes with the kids: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/msese/earthsysflr/biomes.html

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Day! April 15th has arrived and look who is giving away FREEBIES

Today is Tax Day - April 15th 2010.  My taxes are done, are yours?
                     Here are a few links I found on the internet.  You can bring your own travel mug into Starbucks to receive free coffee today.  Dunkin Donuts is giving away a free donut when you buy a cup of coffee.  P. F. Changs will cut 15% off your dinner bill tonight.  There are other several places doing something similiar that I provided in the links below:

Starbucks details click HERE 

P.F. Changs details click HERE

Free Tax Day Greeting Cards, click HERE

McCormick & Schmick's $10.40 Dinner Specials & Drink Specials  click HERE

Several other freebie details click HERE and HERE

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Earth Day and kids - April 22nd

Earth Day is Always on April 22 in the United States. This Earth day the kids are going to learn some facts on recycling and the ecosystem in general. Last year the kids went to the movie theater to see Disney’s Earth Day that opened on Earth day 2009.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Gardening with Kids Layout Plan & Lesson

We sat down today with the kids to figured out a garden plan. We went over how some plants need something to grow on, some plants are fine standing alone and how some plants need to be contained such as tomatoes in cages. Then we found out which plants are going to be the tallest and which are the shortest when they are fully grown.
We reviewed how every plant is going to need to get the most sun when we design our plan and we need to have access to all the plants as they grow so we can pick the vegetables and weed our garden.

National Astronomy Day! 4-24-2010

April 24, 2010 Astronomy Day 2010

Ok, this year National Astronomy Day falls on April 24th. The date occurs on a Saturday between mid-April and mid-May, and is scheduled so as to occur at or just before the first quarter Moon. This means that the event happens on a different date each year, rather than a set calendar date.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Draw a picture of a bird day and FREEBIE!

Ok, can you guess what we will be doing today?? Yup, we will be drawing pictures of birds today. We are actually going to be using all kinds of craft supplies to create masterpiece birds and then I will have the children make up their own kind of bird and name it. This is going to be fun. I love when the kids really get into their imaginations and come up with a made up image.

Gardening with Kids

Springtime! We just love the spring time and we are sure you do too.

As Ruth Stout used to say
“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”
 The East Coast has been blessed with beautiful spring weather. Being the perfect weather to escort the spring season into our lives we and the kids decided to create and begin to prepare our garden.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Easter Flowers Craft

Here is a great craft for any time of the year. We decided to use this for Easter and made Easter Flower Hostess gifts to give to our family members who hosted the various Easter Brunch and dinners we attended.

We had the fabulous idea for how to recycle plastic plant containers. With the beautiful

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

It's April Fools Day

Great website to help inspire anyone: http://www.thefoolsday.com/index.html

This year I will recreate and act out a speech to the kids. I am going to stand there and say this speech with a very dour attitude and a long face. Then I will ask the children what I was talking about and how they feel. I will then tell them I am going to reread the same speech. This time I am going to tell them a joke first and then reread the same speech with an enthusiastic approach and an animated face. Then I will ask the children to discuss the joke and express to me how they felt or how they are feeling.

This is a good way to show the children how using your attitude, voice and body language can control how information can be received. This is a great exercise that I use in many different ways to control the atmosphere around the children. It is a great exercise to get the children to try.

Knowing how to tell a good joke and gaining a broad sense of humor is critical to a growing mind. Think about it, in conferences, speeches and from a podium jokes are used to breach uncomfortable moments or to create the kind of atmosphere you want in an audience. This is a good skill to have and know. I want my children to have an appreciation for the joke as well as the linguistics incorporated in telling a joke.
  Found this Power Point Presentation that you can use to educate the kids about April Fools Day.  You can download it from there website HERE.  You can also use the same website to get more power point presentations to use with any lesson plan you have as well as to help in educating others.

Each of us made these fun and easy Jester Hats.  We used sheets of foam and hot glue with Jingle Bells on the tips. 

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