Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Park Day with our Homeschool friends

What a great time we had today at the park with our homeschool friends! The weather was amazing and the kids had a blast. We had over 80 people show up and a huge Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey, ham, potatoes, pasta, deserts, and just too many things for me to name (or remember). Our homeschool group is so awesome and we are very blessed to be a part of it. I couldn't imagine where we would be without the support of these inspiring individuals.
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Monday, November 12, 2012

~Melted Crayons and Cotton Swab Art~

   This is a very good project to do if you have some broken crayons that you don't know what to do with, or if you simply want to have some fun (the crayons don't have to be broken up)! All you need is a warming plate (griddle), a muffin pan, paper, some Q-tips, and crayons.

Turn your griddle on to the lowest heat, Take the muffin pan and place the broken crayons into the holes (one color to each space). After the crayons have melted, get out your paper and Q-tips. Dip the Q-tip into the melted crayons and make short, quick strokes onto the paper. Only use one Q-tip per color if you don't want the colors to mix. We found that with the Rose Art brand you can make much longer strokes because it dries slower than the Crayola brand.
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bottle Rocket ~ Newton's Third Law of Motion

   Who doesn't like rockets? Besides the fact that they are pretty cool looking, you can watch them launch up into the air. We will show you how we made a rocket using Newton's third law of motion which states that when a force acts on an object, the object will push back in the opposite direction with equal force.


You Will Need:
•Empty plastic bottle
•A cork
•Air pump with needle adapter

   First use the card-stock and tape to decorate your rocket anyway you would like (we cut out four fins for the sides and a cone for the top). After you're done with that fill a quarter of your bottle with water. Take the cork and press your needle adapter to your pump all the way through it. Next place the cork inside the mouth of the bottle and attach the back of the needle adapter to your pump. Start pumping air into the bottle, making sure to aim it away from you and anyone else, after a few seconds you should have liftoff!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Marble Art

   Having fun with paint and marbles!!! All you need is some liquid paints, construction paper (any color), a baking sheet, tape, and a marble. Just take the construction paper and tape it to your baking sheet (just 2 small pieces will do for each side). Place a couple dollops of paint anywhere on the construction paper you like. Then place the marble on the construction paper and start tilting and moving the baking sheet around to get the marble rolling. Do this until the marble is no longer making a trail of paint. Luckily we did this on the porch since the boys got excited and the marble went flying out of the baking sheet a couple times!

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

*~Painting Foil with Crayons~*

   This can be an exciting project to do with children, but it can also be very dangerous if they are not informed how to stay away from the hot spots (besides the obvious areas, the sides and under the warmer can burn as well) and monitored carefully! So please keep a very close eye on your children at all times during this activity. Also enjoy and have fun!

   All you need for this project is some aluminum foil, crayons, and a warming tray (we used a presto griddle on the lowest setting). Simply cover your warming tray with foil before turning it on. After you turn the tray on, get out the crayons and draw!

   Another way to have fun with this project is to get a piece of printer paper, set it on top of the painted foil, lightly press down on the paper with an oven mitt, then carefully lift the paper from the foil. You end up with the print from the foil smudged onto the paper! After the paper dries it has a very rough texture the kids really enjoyed.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Geodesic Dome made from Recycled Newspaper

   How to turn your old newspapers into a fun play structure for kids!

You will need:
- 100 full-size sheets of newspaper
- Pencil
- Scotch tape

   The dome requires 25 newspaper logs. Each log consists of 4 sheets of newspaper stacked on top of each other and rolled together. Just set the pencil in one corner and roll up the sheets diagonally. The pencil is just used as a guide, so try not to roll it up too tight, you want it to be able to slide out after you've rolled the papers. Then make sure to tape it so it doesn't came apart. Repeat these instructions until you have 25 logs.

   After you have all 25 logs, set 5 of them to the side for later. With the remaining 20 logs you will make a triangular pattern as shown in the picture below. Taping all the ends together so it doesn't come apart (make sure to have plenty of room, its about 14 ft long).

   Take the entire pattern you just made out of newspaper logs and stand it up very carefully so you can attach the ends to each other, creating the base for your structure. When you have the ends attached and it's standing up on its own, get out the 5 logs you set aside. There are 5 points on the top of the base, place each extra log at these points and tape them in place. After you have them taped to the base, take the ends that are loose and tape them together so that they come to a point at the top of the structure.

Now all that's left to do is enjoy! We placed a king size sheet over ours to create a pretty unique fort (queen size sheets are too small). The boys are having lots of fun with this dome and are asking to slap some paint on it next, which I think is a great ideal. Enjoy!

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Creating Masterpieces from Crayon Shavings

   Don't know what to do with all those broken crayons you have lying around? Well there is a number of creative things to do with them, and we will show you one that you and your kids (or grand-kids) are sure to love.
*Broken crayons
*Knife or Cheese grader
*Plates or Bowls
*Paper (any color)
*Aluminum foil

  All you do is take your knife or cheese grader and start shaving away the broken crayons into a plate or bowl (I used one plate for each color). After that take your paper and fold it in half. Open the paper and let your child place the crayon shavings on one side of the paper. When your child is satisfied with the amount of shavings on his paper, refold the paper and place some foil over top of it (you might want to put some foil under the paper as well because the crayons will bleed through the paper). Take your iron (set on high) and rub it over the tin foil a couple of times. Then you simply remove the tin foil and gently open the paper while it is still warm. The melted crayon shavings will make a very cool and symmetrical design on the paper. Dries in a mater of seconds so you can hang it up right away!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Art with Bubbles and Paint!

   Mixing two of kids favorite things, Bubbles and Paint! This art project is very fun, but also very messy, so I would recommend doing it outside if possible. For each bubble paint mixture you will need 1 TBS liquid dish detergent, 2 TBS washable liquid paint, 3 TBS of warm water, a small shallow bowl (like a cereal bowl), drinking straw, and some white paper.

    First mix the detergent, paint, and water into the bowl until it is well blended. Place one end of the straw into the soap-paint mixture and gently blow until bubbles start to overflow the bowl. After that lower the paper onto the bubbles very gently and remove when you get close to the top of the bowl. At first the print will look light, but after a few minutes the colors will get brighter. You can prepare as many soap-paint solutions as you want to make multicolored prints (my boys just wanted one color each). We also tried taking spoonfuls of the bubbles & splattering them onto the paper and blowing them off to create different designs. We made 6 different prints in all and every one was completely different than the other. It had the boys very fascinated as they tried to control the outcome of their designs.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Making Marshmallow Shooters


My kids grandparents went to a Fall Festival last weekend and came back with two marshmallow shooter kits for the boys. The marshmallow shooters were very easy to put together and all the supplies can be bought at a small hardware store. For one shooter you will need a total of 31 inches of 1/2 inch PVC pipe, two 1/2 inch PVC elbows, two 1/2 inch PVC tees, two nickels (yes as in money), and one 1/2 inch PVC coupling. You will need to cut the 31 inch PVC pipe into six 4 inch long pieces and one 7 inch long piece. After that I have attached a diagram showing you how the pieces fit together. Nickels are used to block off passages to give the shooter more air power.The mini marshmallows fit into the shooters perfectly without getting stuck. Also do not glue the pieces together, you will need to be able to take the shooter apart to clean it. My boys had tons of fun with this project, and since it was chilly outside, I let them play with it inside (luckily we have tile floors, I would imagine the marshmallows would stick to carpet) and they did not want to stop.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Using plastic bottles & socks to make Bubble Foam

    What kid doesn't like playing with bubbles? My kids play with bubbles on an almost daily basis and enjoy every minute of it. In this project we will be using an empty plastic bottle, a sock, scissors, and of course bubble solution. First you need to use the scissors to cut the bottom off of the plastic bottle. Then simply place the sock over the hole you just created on the bottom of the bottle. After that just dip the bottom of the bottle into the bubble solution and blow on the mouth of the bottle to create foam. The kids will love it. You can use any size bottles or socks, I just found the smaller ones to be easier for my young boys. If you don't have any socks you want to use, an old t-shirt or blanket will work as well. You would just have to cut a piece out of the fabric big enough to fit around the bottle and cover the hole and secure it in place with a rubber band.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

~A Random Thought~

Going through some pictures on the computer, I run across some older photos of the boys. Nothing big like their births or anything like that, just some photos from about a year or so ago. Anyways, I'm sitting here looking at these photos and I just cant believe how fast time flies, and how much kids can grow and learn in just a years time. Since this time last year my oldest has stared reading, adding, subtracting, and more. My youngest has learned his alphabet, colors, shapes, and speaks in perfect sentences (well perfect to me). Last year was when we moved 700 miles away from the place where our boys were born and more than half our family lives. It was also the year we started discussing our options with schooling and what we thought would be best for our family. Homeschooling can be tough at times, there are days when I just want to give up, send them to public or private school and never think about it again. But if I were to do that, I would miss all of this. Being able to watch them grow every day, learning how opposite they are in almost every way. Seeing their little faces light up when they discover something that interests them. The way my oldest loves to write and do puzzles, and how my youngest hates to even pick up a pencil or crayon and would rather use flash cards or point at things with a yard stick. I know this post is completely out in left field compared to any of my other post, but I just thought it would be nice to share this moment of reminiscing will you all.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Do-It-Yourself Bath Crayons & Paint

   My kids absolutely love bath time! But during bath time they usually like to splash and get water all over the place. To try and keep this from happening too much, we decided to give them something else to do that is way more fun and lets them be creative.

   We'll start out with the bath crayons, since they take more time. All you need is a bar of soap, a cheese grinder, medium sized bowl, warm water, ice cube tray, and food coloring. Grind down the soap bar with the cheese grinder into the bowl. Then add about a 1/4 cup of warm water to the soap flakes and stir till it gets to a consistency were you can mold it with your hands. After that you scoop out an amount big enough to fill an ice cube tray, add food coloring to it and start kneading it till the color is well mixed (you might prefer to wear gloves if you're worried about getting food coloring on your hands). Place the well colored soap mold into an empty slot on the ice tray and repeat till all the soap is gone (We filled 10 slots on the tray). Now just wait for the soap crayons to dry (about 2 day) and pop them out just like you would ice cubes.

   Now we will make some bath paints, which is extremely easy, cheap, and fast to do! All you need is shaving cream, a muffin pan, food coloring, and a spoon. First fill each slot in your pan with shaving cream (all I had was the gel kind and it worked fine). After that add different color food coloring to each slot and mix them well with your spoon. The kids can use paint brushes, their fingers, or anything they please to make amazing designs all over the bathtub walls that can be rinsed off when bath time is all done.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

~Making Flubber/Flarp/Gak~

   Who doesn't love Flubber? You can stretch it, bounce it, mold it, make fart noises with it, and if you keep it in a container with a lid, it will last forever! This recipe is very simple and quick so make sure to have all your ingredients set out before you start.

What you Need:
8 oz of glue
Food color
Measuring cup

 First you pour all the glue into a large bowl. After that you fill the empty glue bottles with water and shake to help get out the rest of the glue and pour that into the bowl as well. Add food coloring to the glue and water mixture and mix well. In the measuring cup add 1 teaspoon of borax to 1/2 cup of warm water and mix. Slowly pour your borax mixture into your glue mixture while stirring. It will form quickly so once it gets hard to stir with a spoon, reach in and start mixing it with your hands, adding water as needed to reach your desired consistency. Now all that's left to do is enjoy and have fun!

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