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Learning About Owls

Owls, in my opinion are one of the coolest groups of birds out there. Their unique appearance and their amazing hunting capabilities make them an especially interesting group of birds. Out of all the types of birds we studied this year, owls were my daughter's favorite.


All About Owls:
There are over 200 species of owls and they are found on every continent except Antarctica. They live in a wide variety of habitats including deserts, prairies, forests, and even the arctic tundra.

Owls are one of only a few types of birds that are nocturnal, meaning they are primarily active at night. They have several adaptations that make them especially stealthy night hunters. Owls have large eyes and an excellent sense of hearing for honing in on prey. They also have long wings with soft fringed feathers called flutes. Flutes reduce the sound of the air flowing over the owls wings, allowing them to fly almost silently. Owls eat insects and other invertebrates, amphibians, fish, and small mammals.
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Nature Print Salt Dough Ornaments

We had a 25 pound bag of flour rip open and spill all over our pantry earlier this week. Luckily the majority of it stayed inside the bag and I was able to repackage it. Instead of wasting the several cups that did spill out, we decided to attempt making some salt dough ornaments, and I just love how they turned out!




Salt Dough Recipe:
Salt dough is simple to make and only requires a couple ingredients. You will need:
-2 cups of flour
-1 cup of salt
-1 cup of water

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Then slowly add the water and stir until a soft dough forms. You can add a little more flower if it's too sticky. It should feel similar to playdough.

Nature Print Ornaments: 
Grab a cutting board, a rolling pin, and a little extra flour and roll out your dough just like you would cookie dough. You want your dough to be about a 1/4 inch thick. 



Cut out round ornaments using a cookie cutter or a plastic cup.

Now it's time to decorate! We used various nature items my kids collected aro…

Learning About Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are one of my favorite types of birds. I love watching them hover over the feeder on our porch. They are fascinating little creatures, so of course we had to include them in our bird study!




Information About Hummingbirds

There are over 300 species of hummingbirds and they are only found in the Americas. The world's smallest bird species is the bee hummingbird, measuring in at just 2 inches tall. Hummingbirds are the only birds that can hover and fly backwards, some can even fly upside down! A hummingbird flaps it's wings around 80 times per second. That is crazy fast!
In order for hummingbirds to fuel their incredibly fast metabolisms, they need to take in a lot of high energy foods, like flower nectar and small insects and spiders. A hummingbird typically eats nearly half it's weight in a day, and may stop to eat as often as every 10 minutes.
Hummingbirds build tiny elastic nests mainly from twigs, grasses, and spider silk. Female hummingbirds typically lay 1-3 n…

6 Eggless Easter Egg Crafts for Kids

Since there is a shortage on eggs many places right now, including here, I set out to find a few alternative Easter egg activity ideas, incase I can't get my hands on any real eggs this week. Here are a few of my favorite ideas that I came across:



Easter Egg Rocks
Collect some oval egg shaped rocks from your yard or neighborhood. Clean them up and let them dry. Then paint them like fancy easter eggs with acrylic paints. These could be used as an alternative for real eggs in an egg hunt.

Decorate Easter Egg Sugar Cookies
Make a batch of roll out cookie dough and cut out oval shaped cookies to bake. After they're cool, decorate them with icing and sprinkles. (Click the link for a good recipe and decorating tips)

Painting Plastic Eggs
If you can't find real eggs, grab a pack of plastic Easter eggs, and paint them with acrylic paints or decorate them with colored permanent markers. Then you can stuff them with goodies and hide them for an egg hunt.

Yarn Eggs
Yarn eggs are a fun projec…

50 Activities to Keep Your Kids Entertained at Home

Since we're all spending more time at home than usual, I thought I would share some of my favorite simple activities for keeping the kids busy when they start complaining that they're bored. I tried to mostly pick activities that require minimal materials and the materials they do require are things that most people are likely to have around the house.




STEM Activities 

-Make a Marble Maze: Grab some plastic straws, some cardboard, glue, and a marble and challenge your kids to design and make their own marble maze. 

-Make and Test Aluminum Foil Boats :
Challenge your kids to make boats out of aluminum foil. Then test how much weight they can hold by filling them with pennies in the bathtub or a kiddie pool.

Make a Marshmallow CatapultChallenge your kids to design a catapult for throwing marshmallows. 

-The Paper Chain Challenge : Challenge your kids to make the longest paper chain they can with a single piece of paper.

-Lego Tower Challenge: Challenge your kids to build the talles…

Learning About Birds

My 4th grader asked to learn about birds this year, so I started searching around for a good curriculum kit. I didn't find anything that looked like it would work for us, so I set out to put together my own bird study. I wrote a series of blog posts sharing about what we covered and the activities and resources we ended up using for each sub topic, in case anyone else is ever looking for a simple to put together bird study. I wanted a place where all the links were easily accessible, so here they are:



What Makes a Bird a Bird?
Birds are a fascinating group of animals that have adapted to live in a wide variety of habitats. They can be found on every continent on Earth, from the hot dry savannas of Africa to the frozen tundra of Antarctica. They are a highly varied group, but there are several characteristics that all birds share, regardless of habitat or diet:

-All birds are vertabrates, which means they have a backbone. Birds also have a lightweight but strong bone structure, which …

Make Your Apartment Balcony an Enjoyable Outdoor Space For Your Family

Science says spending time outdoors is beneficial for our health in so many ways, but when you live in an apartment without a yard, getting your family enough outdoor time can be tricky. While it may be a small space, apartment balconies can be set up to be amazing little outdoor areas for your family to enjoy. Here are a few ideas for making your apartment balcony an enjoyable space for your family:


Container Gardening
Who says you need a yard to have a garden? Use your outdoor space to grow an herb garden, or flowers, or even container friendly veggies.



Some plants that do well in containers are:
Herbs- basil, oregano, mint (any variety), rosemary, lemon balm, thyme, and parsley.
Flowers- begonias, marigolds, zinnia, and petunias
Fruits and Veggies- strawberries, tomatoes, peas, beans, potatoes, lettuce, bell peppers, radishes, garlic, and cucumbers.
Succulents like aloe vera and jade plant also do well in pots, just bring them indoors for the winter.

You can maximize space by using hanging…