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Monday, August 13, 2018

When Life Give You Lemons... Fun Lemonade Ideas for Kids


Next Monday (August 20) is National Lemonade Day!  It's a perfect day to celebrate the end of summer and to raise a sweet and sour glass to many summers to come.  For homeschoolers and teachers, I've included many books, activities, and other things to help you turn the day into a learning adventure.  This post was so much fun to make, and I hope you enjoy it!


Books

Book!  Books!  Books about lemonade!  Most of these are early reader ones for elementary kids.  Some of them even include math concepts!















Sensory Play

Lemons are so cheery that they draw you in for playtime, plus they smell amazing!  As well as drinking lemonade, your kids might enjoy pouring and dumping lemon-scented rice, squishy yellow play dough, or making a lemon explode.














Recipes

Drinking lemonade isn't the only thing you can do on Lemonade Day.  You can also eat amazing lemon-y foods!  Don't eat the chapstick, though.


Poke-a-Dot Blueberry Lemonade Popsicles // Mama, Papa, Bubba

Pink Lemonade Rice Crispy Treats // Thrifty Jinxy

Earth Day Lemonade // Paper and Glue

Lemon Sugar Scrub // The Thrifty Couple

Maple Syrup Lemonade // Mama, Papa, Bubba

Sunny Lip Balm // Sugar Spice and Glitter

Honeydew Lemon Slush // Amanda's Cookin

Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate // Ruffles and Rainboots



Have a Lemonade Party with your friends to toast the end of summer!




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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Go Back to School with Instant Ink


We recently got an Instant Ink compatible printer for our homeschooling.  I had been putting off buying ink on our old printer for several months, not wanting to put out the money to purchase new cartridges.  Then, I heard about a great deal on a new HP printer.  For the price of two cartridges for the old printer, I bought a brand new wireless printer with 10 months of free ink!  I've wanted a wireless printer for a long time, so it's even more perfect.

The printer is part of HP's Instant Ink program, a subscription service where ink is automatically sent before you need it (amazing!).  When you sign up for the program, you chose how many pages of printing you think you'll use a month- 30, 100, or 300.  Every month, your printing allowance starts over.  When the cartridge gets low, HP automatically sends you new ink.
                                                     
Never run out of ink again!



Advantages


- Big, Big Savings!
        check out the list on the right

- The Ink Gets Sent Before You Need It
        never run out again!

- Wireless Printing
          anywhere in the house or from your phone


- Suspend or Cancel At Any Time
         no penalties (possible bonuses for returning)


Disadvantages

- Pay Every Month
        whether you use it or not

- Limited "free" pages
        must pay for additional pages

- must have wireless internet
         printer doesn't come with a USB




Update- One Year Later

We LOVE our Instant Ink Printer!  It's so amazing to always have ink in the printer when you need it, to print from anywhere, and to get FREE ink!  It's the best thing we've ever bought for our homeschool classroom.  Now, we just need a similar service for printer paper.

As well as the codes listed above, try adding- FREEINK, SAVE50NOW, 3FREEINK, SAVENOW50, HPINSTANTINK4U.  The more you stack, the more ink you get for free.  Also, make sure you sign up for the most pages at the beginning when you'll get them for free and then bump your subscription back down when the months run out.




Monday, July 23, 2018

Outrageously Amazing Toys for the Backyard


A few months ago, I did a post on making your backyard a paradise for kids.  In that article, I listed mostly homemade outdoor toys.  Today, I wanted to focus on manufactured toys.  My kids would love to own any of these amazing products.

Can you guess which one was Dragonfly's (age 7) favorite?  Six-year-old Skimmer's pick?  Or Tadpole's wishes- in his four-years of experience?  Which one would your kid chose?  Comment below!


These are the best, most envy-worthy toys for the under-10 crowd.  Put any one of these toys in your backyard and impress your friends with how much you love your child.  A gift guide from In Our Pond.
MOUNTAIN CLIMBER- Work on hand-eye coordination and strengthen muscles

AIRPLANE TEETER TOTTER- The best part is the propeller

RIDE-IN JEEP- Vehicle for your 6-year-old

WATER SLIDE BOUNCER- My kids' dream summer water experience

CEDAR PLAYGROUND- This is the ultimate swingset

POD SWING- Great for sensory seeking kids

CABIN PLAYHOUSE- Adorable for pioneer play

CLIMBING DOME- Monkey around with this structure

TRAMPOLINE- My sensory-seeker would jump all day

CATERPILLAR TUNNEL- Crawl through the tunnel and peek through the windows 

BOUNCE HOUSE- Be the party all the time!

GIANT CHESS- Get your whole body involved in this classic game

TODDLER ROLLER COASTER-  What toddler doesn't want to ride their bike down the slide?









Monday, July 16, 2018

S.T.E.M. Toys for Kids



Everyone is talking about S.T.E.M. right now and schools are spending extra time focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  As a homeschool parent, I love that my children's exposure to these subjects can be through playtime.  My kids loved helping me put together this list of amazing toys that spark curiosity and teach great concepts.  They're wish list is now a whole bunch longer.






DNA BUILDING TOY- I think I've wanted this toy for most of my life.  It's on my list for the near future.  I can't wait to explore the amazing traits of DNA and RNA with this toy.

BUTTERFLY HABITAT- Growing a caterpillar into a butterfly is also on my wish list.

EXPERIMENT KIT- This looks like it would be a good set for homeschoolers as it contains a bunch of different experiments.

MOLECULE BUILDING SET- Build molecules and learn about basic chemistry.

FLOATING MAGNETS- A simple toy that allows kids to explain the power of magnets.

NEWTON'S CRADLE- An object in motion will stay in motion... test it with this toy.

CRYSTAL GROWING KIT- Explore molecules by growing crystals.

BUG NET- Send the kids in the yard to catch bugs for studying.

STRAWBERRY DNA EXTRACTION KIT- Extract and analyze fruit DNA with this kit.

FOSSILS-  Set of fossils for collecting and studying.

VOLCANO- This classic science toy is a must in every home.










SMITHSONIAN MOTOR WORKS- We picked this toy up at a yard sale and are anxiously waiting for the kids to be old enough to build our own engine.

CODE AND GO MOUSE- This is a coding game for preschoolers.  Move the tiles to make the mouse move as the cards show.

CAN ROBOT- Turn an ordinary tin can into a simple robot.

SNAP CIRCUITS- We also have a set of used snap circuits that we're excited to grow into soon.  Put the pieces together to create complete circuits and make things happen.

HEXBUG SCARAB- This little robots look amazing.

CODE-A-PILLAR- Take off and snap together pieces of this caterpillar to code him to do different things.  There are even other pieces to buy and add.

DOT PROGRAMMABLE ROBOT- Use your tablet to make this robot do different things.  It can even fly.

KINDLE FIRE KIDS EDITION- There's so much for kids to do and learn on a tablet.  We love our Kindle Fire and especially the kid-safe "Freetime" mode.

LEARN TO SOLDER KIT- My husband solders pretty often.  This toy for teens teaches an important part of computer and robot building.

ROCKET- This classic toy should be done at least once by every child.

NANOTECHNOLOGY KIT- Explore nanotechnology with a series of experiments.

PROGRAMMABLE ROBOT- A different type of robot.  Looks interesting.






LEGO BRICKS- I don't think it's possible to have too many plain Lego bricks.  We've been working on our collection.

BRAIN FLAKES- Use these interesting plastic pieces to build all sort of things.

MAGABUILDER- These magnetic tiles hang out together to create.

WITKA MAGNETIC BARS-  Build towers and bridges with these magnetic rods.

MIDDLE EASTERN ARCHITECTURE BLOCKS- Even the youngest kids can learn to appreciate architecture with these neat blocks.

BRIDGE BUILDING KIT- Explore physics with this bridge kit.

CITY PLANNING TOY- Pretend to be an architect with this city planning kit.

K'NEX FERRIS WHEEL- K'nex have a reputation for making cool engineering toys that really work.  It was hard to pick just one.

STRAW BUILDING KIT- What could you build with a simple straw and a few connectors.

TAKE APART AND BUILD CAR- Early elementary kids can practice using tools as they build this car.

LINCOLN LOGS- For over 100 years, this toy has been an imagination-inspiring toy.

MARBLE RUN- Build a maze for marbles and experiment with physics.






FRACTION CUBES- Explore fractions and find equivalencies.

STACK AND COUNT PARKING GARAGE- This is a counting toy for preschoolers, but it could also be used for basic addition and subtraction facts to 10.

SUM SWAMP GAME- I keep hearing good things about this game.  It's on our list.

CASH REGISTER- Make calculations and count money with this toy.

ABACUS- One of the oldest math tools, the abacus continues to be a great learning tool.

WOOD TETRIS PUZZLE- For a screen free was to play tetris, check out this game.

PATTERN BLOCKS- A stable in classrooms, these tiles are good for patterns, fractions, symmetry, and more.

TANGRAM PUZZLE- The possibilities are endless with this ancient Chinese game.

RAINBOW BLOCKS- There's something so beautiful about this toy.

GEOMETILES- These pieces snap together to create 3D geometric shapes.

BASE 10 BLOCKS- Another classroom classic, which help kids understand many math concepts.

COUNTING COOKIES- Pretend play disguised as learning!

PRIME CLIMB GAME- Multiply and divide to win this game.

GEOMETRIC SHAPES- This set shows the why behind geometric formulas.

MATCHING AND COUNTING EGGS-  Match colors and numbers with these plastic eggs.



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