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Showing posts from April, 2018

8 Activities Inspired By Farmer Boy

I have slowly been reading the books from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Collection to my daughter over the last couple years. Farmer Boy was a new one for me. For some reason I skipped this one as child, maybe for the same reason my daughter was hesitant to read it, it's about a boy, not our beloved Laura. After reading it though I think it's both mine and my daughter's new favorite in the collection. I just loved reading about farm life and Almanzo and his family are just as lovable of characters as Laura and her family.
In this post I will share some fun hands on learning activities we did while reading the book and instructions or links so you can try them too.

Plant Potatoes From Eyes (or plant a whole vegetable garden):
Planting potatoes from eyes like Almanzos family, is super simple. You just grab a potato, one that's been sitting in your pantry awhile and has some growth started is preferable, but not necessary. Cut the potato into 1 inch chunks, with a…

DIY Kid Safe Bug Repellent

My family really strives to avoid products that are toxic to humans or the environment, this includes mainstream insect repellents, most of which contain DEET or other harmful chemicals. DEET has been found to inhibit the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme in both insects and mammals (source). So instead I make my own non toxic bug repellent spray using essential oils.
In this post I will share my personal recipe for a kid safe non toxic bug repellent spray.

Kid Safe Non Toxic Bug Spray Recipe:
-1/2 cup natural witch hazel
-1/2 cup of water
-1 tablespoon of vodka
-20 drops of lavender essential oil
-20 drops of citronella essential oil
-10 drops of lemongrass essential oil

Add the essential oils and vodka to a glass spray bottle and shake to combine.
Add the witch hazel and shake again.
Add the water and shake again. 
And that's it. Now you have an effective bug repellent that is safe for your family. Be sure to shake well before each usage. Also note …

My Favorite Children's Picture Books

I love children's picture books and as a homeschooling mom and a former elementary school educator, I've read a ton of them. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of my all time favorites. After quite a bit of thought and some discussion with my 7 year old here is my list of my top 10 favorite children's picture books.

A Fish Out of Water:

This is an older book that I had never read until my oldest was a toddler and we picked a copy up at a yard sale. It quickly became one of our household favorites. It's a silly story about a boy who over feeds his pet goldfish and the calamity that results from it.

Where The Wild Things Are:

I just love this story about Max and his journey to the land of the wild things. The illustrations are awesome and it's such a fun story. It reminds me of my own little "wild things".

The Lorax:

The Lorax is my all time favorite Dr. Suess book. The illustrations are gorgeous and the message is a an important one. We all need to care…

Lady Bug Lifecycle Craft

A book my daughter checked out from the library recently, inspired us to do some research about ladybugs. We spent a day learning about the ladybug lifecycle and did a fun ladybug life cycle craft.
In this post I will share how to make your own ladybug life cycle craft and share some resources for learning about ladybugs!

Making a Lifecycle Ladybug:
For this craft you will need:
-A red piece of construction paper
-A black piece of construction paper
-A white piece of paper
-A black marker
-Glue or paste
-A stapler
-Crayons or markers
-A pair of googly eyes
-A pipe cleaner

Start by tracing a large circle of the same size on the red, white, and black pieces of paper (we traced a medium sized pot). Then cut the circles out. Cut a straight line up the center of the red paper almost to the top. Leave about a half inch at the top uncut.

Next glue the white circle onto the black circle and draw lines dividing the white paper into quarters.

Next have your child draw a picture and label of each of …

7 Fun Phonics Activities

Phonics is the relationship between letters and letter combinations and the sounds they make. Phonics gives children the ability to sound out and spell new words.
In this post I will share some of my family's favorite phonics and word family activities.

Word Family Flip Cards:On a 3x5 card write the ending sound from a word family like "at".  Leave enough room to the right to add another letter or two.

In front of the ending sound staple several 2x2 squares of paper in a stack. Staple them just at the top so the pages can be flipped up.

Write a different letter on each square of paper so that they make words with the ending sound.

Now your child can use the flip card to practice reading the words in that word family. Make more for other word families.

Word Family Books:
Reading with your children is simple and probably the best thing you can do for developing early literacy skills. Some of our favorite word family books are:
-Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
-Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seu…

Make a Cloud In a Jar

We've been studying weather for a few weeks now, and this week we specifically learned about clouds. We looked at pictures and learned about different types of clouds. We watched a YouTube video about how clouds form. And today we made our own cloud in a jar in our kitchen!  
In this post I'll share step by step instructions for making a cloud in a jar and explain how it works.

How to make a cloud in a jar:
For this experiment you will need:
-A glass jar
-A metal dish
-Ice cubes
First, fill the metal dish with ice cubes and give it a few minutes until the metal dish is cold.

Once the dish is really cold, add about an inch of warm water to the glass jar. Then set the metal dish filled with ice cubes on top of the glass jar.

Give it a minute or two to build condensation on the side of the glass, then quickly remove the metal dish, spray a tiny amount of hair spray in the jar, and quickly replace the metal dish.
You should see a cloud begining to form at the top of the jar. Wait …

My Natural Medicine Cabinet

While I believe modern medicine has it's place, I personally think it's best saved for serious injuries and serious illness. When I can, I tend to treat at home.
In this post I will share the natural remedies that I almost always keep on hand and what I use them for.

Fresh Garlic and Fresh Ginger:
Garlic is a powerful antimicrobial and can be effective against a wide range of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. (source )
I infuse it in oil for skin infections and ear infections. I eat it raw (or take it in capsules) for fighting off infections and parasites.
Ginger is great for nausea, inflammation, and respiratory issues. (source)
I use it in tea for sore throats or nausea and infused in oil for chest congestion or sore or swollen joints. 

Raw Honey:
Honey is another powerful antimicrobial and has wound healing properties. (source)

I use it in tea to sooth sore throats. I use it on bug bites (it's great for bee stings, very soothing), cold sores, and minor wounds.

Essential Oi…

Make a Simple Home Weather Station

Since it's spring and we've been getting lots of little rainstorms we decided it was the perfect time to set up a simple backyard weather station and study weather for a few weeks.
In this post I'll show you how you can set up your own home weather station mostly with items you likely already have around the house.

Make A Barometer:
Barometers measure barometric pressure (also called atmospheric pressure).  Changes in barometric pressure can help us predict the weather. Low pressure usually means cool rainy or snowy weather and high pressure usually means warm sunny weather. Making your own barometer to measure changes in barometric pressure is simple. You will need:

- A glass jar (mason jars work well)

-A balloon

-A thick rubber band

-A straw


-A piece of paper

-A pen


First cut the top off the balloon. Then stretch the balloon over the opening of your glass jar. It should be pulled tight enough that there are no dimples. Use the rubber band to hold it in place. You w…