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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cooking on the Road

Pirate Road Trip Series: Cooking on the Road from In Our Pond #travel #hotel #roadtrip #travelwithkids #hotelcooking #roadtripfood #hotelwithkids #roadtripwithkids #food #lunch #bento #piratefood #pirateparty

It's Road Trip Tuesday, and I'm back with more packing and planning ideas for summer travel.  Today, we're going to talk about hotels.  We try to stay a hotels with a kitchenette in the room, and a good breakfast.  After a long day of travel, it's nice to have the option of making some "real food" for the kids.  It also helps to calm the kids to eat something familiar in an unfamiliar place.  Most of the time, my husband and I will eat either PBJ sandwiches or a microwave meal.  Occasionally, we'll order food to be delivered to the room, or we'll order the whole family a pizza.  In the mornings, we try to take a few minutes to eat a good meal at the hotel breakfast bar.  If a breakfast at the hotel isn't an option, then it's easy to pack breakfast foods to eat on the road.  Here's what we pack in our "hotel kitchen."

Our Hotel Kitchen
- washcloth
- dish towel
- metal butter knife
- paper cups
- disposable spoons

I'm not much of a food blogger, but I tried to take lots of picture of our road trip meals for inspiration.  Each of our on-the-road lunches were themed to add interest to the meal and to help me plan them before we left.

Pirate Road Trip Series: Cooking on the Road from In Our Pond #travel #hotel #roadtrip #travelwithkids #hotelcooking #roadtripfood #hotelwithkids #roadtripwithkids #food #lunch #bento #piratefood #piratepartyPirate
- sea shell pasta
- octopus hot dogs
- fruit swords
- chocolate treasure
extras: sword toothpicks
Pirate Road Trip Series: Cooking on the Road from In Our Pond #travel #hotel #roadtrip #travelwithkids #hotelcooking #roadtripfood #hotelwithkids #roadtripwithkids #food #lunch #bento #piratefood #pirateparty
- dinosaur shaped PBJ
- dino bone graham crackers
- broccolli trees
extras: dinosaur cutter

Planned But Never Done

USA                                                        John Deere
- red, white, and blue spinach salad                                  - tractor PBJ
- star shaped cheese and meat                                          - yellow and green veggies
- red, white, and blue skittles                                            - haystack rice crispies
extras: star cutter                                                              extras: tractor cutter, knife

Reptiles                                                  Cowboy
- crocodile PBJ                                                               - jerky
- summer sausage                                                          - tortilla chips
- veggies                                                                       - dried fruit
extras: crocodile cutter, knife                                         extras: none

Pirate Road Trip Series: Cooking on the Road from In Our Pond #travel #hotel #roadtrip #travelwithkids #hotelcooking #roadtripfood #hotelwithkids #roadtripwithkids #food #lunch #bento #piratefood #pirateparty

The lunch box labels can be downloaded here.

- mac and cheese packs
- bread/jam/peanut butter
- bags of cereal
- popcorn
- microwavable rice/soup/etc
- frozen potpies

To be honest, we carried in pizza twice at the hotel and ended up eating Subway or restaurant food for lunch.  Not all of our hotels were accommodating to hotel cooking (one didn't have a bathroom and several didn't have microwaves).  When you travel, you just have to go with what is cheap and practical.  No regrets.

Pirate Road Trip Posts

Pirate Road Trip Series: Cooking on the Road from In Our Pond #travel #hotel #roadtrip #travelwithkids #hotelcooking #roadtripfood #hotelwithkids #roadtripwithkids #food #lunch #bento #piratefood #pirateparty

Pirate Road Trip Series: Cooking on the Road from In Our Pond #travel #hotel #roadtrip #travelwithkids #hotelcooking #roadtripfood #hotelwithkids #roadtripwithkids #food #lunch #bento #piratefood #pirateparty

Pirate Road Trip Series: Cooking on the Road from In Our Pond #travel #hotel #roadtrip #travelwithkids #hotelcooking #roadtripfood #hotelwithkids #roadtripwithkids #food #lunch #bento #piratefood #pirateparty

Pirate Road Trip Series: Cooking on the Road from In Our Pond #travel #hotel #roadtrip #travelwithkids #hotelcooking #roadtripfood #hotelwithkids #roadtripwithkids #food #lunch #bento #piratefood #pirateparty

Pirate Road Trip Series: Cooking on the Road from In Our Pond #travel #hotel #roadtrip #travelwithkids #hotelcooking #roadtripfood #hotelwithkids #roadtripwithkids #food #lunch #bento #piratefood #pirateparty

Pirate Road Trip Series: Cooking on the Road from In Our Pond #travel #hotel #roadtrip #travelwithkids #hotelcooking #roadtripfood #hotelwithkids #roadtripwithkids #food #lunch #bento #piratefood #pirateparty

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Pirate Road Trip Series: Cooking on the Road from In Our Pond #travel #hotel #roadtrip #travelwithkids #hotelcooking #roadtripfood #hotelwithkids #roadtripwithkids #food #lunch #bento #piratefood #pirateparty

Thursday, July 21, 2016

More Fonts for the DIY Educator

I'm always on the lookout for fun or interesting fonts to use in our homeschooling.  I wrote a post about them before, but here are twenty more:

{1} DJB Chalk It Up (pictured)

{2} KG Neatly Printed (school print)

{3} KG Empire of Dirt

{4} KG Ten Thousand Reasons (crayon)

{5} Big Top (circus)

{6} Paper Banner (garland)

{7} Build a Game (game boards and pieces)

{8} KG Teacher's Helper (stuff for worksheets)

{9} Tilez (Scrabble)

{10} KG Fractions and KG Traditional Fractions

{11}Animals (silhouettes- Wild Kratts)

{12} KG Math Bar Models (math worksheets)

{13} School Script Dashed (cursive with lines)

{14} KG Arrow (dingbats)

{15} Geobats (silhouettes of countries and continents)

{16} Gallaudet (ASL finger spelling)

{17} Braille (dots)

{18} Tally Mark (math helps)

{19} Human Body Parts (anatomy drawings)

{20} White Dominoes (math worksheets/games)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Travel Busy Bags for Kids

I wrote a few weeks ago about the activities that we took with us on our Pirate Road Trip this summer.  I thought it would be fun to do another blog post of other simple busy bags that parents can make for their kids.  Most of these found on other people's blogs (smile).

- peanut butter and jelly game

- i spy bag

- mickey matching game

- velcro blocks

- felt doll and clothes in a box
         (also ocean, robot, and garden)

- sensory bottle

- matchstick drop

- word building kit

- silly sentence strips

- pompom poke

- lego building kit

- felt mr potato head

- photo i-spy book

- button chain

- tic-tac-toe

- tangrams

- straw threading

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Work Box Based Homeschool Planner

FREE Printable Homeschool Planner for Work Box System from In Our Pond
We're using work boxes next year.  Here's the planner I made to help me fill the boxes.

The PDF includes both a 10-box "single student" form and a divided planner for multiple students (which is what we'll be using next year).  Each set of pages also includes a place to write in lists for things to buy and things to make or print and a calendar week to keep track of appointments or field trips.  To download the planner, click here.

I also made a July 2016 through June 2017 one-page calendar for the front of the planner.  You can download that here.

FREE Printable Homeschool Planner for Work Box System from In Our Pond

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Travelling with Crystal Lite Containers

Crystal Lite containers are one of my favorite things for organizing, so it's no surprise that I'm also using them on our road trip.  Here are a few ways that I'm using them and a few other ideas that I've found from the web.

I got a set of nice, double-sided markers for my birthday.  I was so pleased that they all fit in a Crystal Lite container.  I love that the lid keeps them from rolling all over the car and the opaqueness makes it easy to find the color I want.

A pleasant surprise is that plastic forks and spoons fit inside a C.L. container.  I'm going to stick these in our glove box so that we'll always have a utensil if we need one.

I'm also using a container for candy, but I didn't take a picture of it.

From the Web
- hard-boiled egg holder (great for the cooler)
- cheese sticks
- mini first aid kit
- plastic-wear kits
- sauce holder (this would prevent them from exploding)
- charge cords
- markers (for adult coloring books)
- granola bars (to keep them from getting squished)
- contact lenses
- hot dog and bun
- sunglasses
- a serving of pasta (uncooked)
- kid snacks
- brick of cheese
- batteries
- crackers
- shipping souvenirs home
- charging station
- keep matches dry

Monday, July 11, 2016

Monkeys and Apes 3-part Cards

FREE 3-Part Cards for Safari Ltd Monkey and Ape Toob from In Our Pond

I don't have anything to say about this set of 3-part cards.  They match the Monkeys and Apes toob by Safari Ltd.  They would be good in a study of rainforests.  I think we'll be using them in our "G is for Gorilla" weekly unit next year.

To download the file, click here.

FREE 3-Part Cards for Safari Ltd Monkey and Ape Toob from In Our Pond

Friday, July 8, 2016

Ask More Questions Printable

I have three preschoolers.  They ask a lot of questions.  It's how they learn about the world.  One, in particular, is quick to ask questions.  She wants to know exactly how things work and why.  We welcome their questions, and think that adults could learn a lot from their curiosity.  "Ask More Questions" is a great theme for our family and our homeschooling.  I plan on hanging it near our eating area, where it can inspire other adults to ask more questions.

To download the 8x10 printable, click here.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Number Tiles and Games

FREE Printables: Number Tiles and Games from In Our Pond
After making my letter tiles and some games to go with them, I thought that number tiles and games would be a good things to make as well.  I made these tiles to be the same size at the others (one inch square).  I included as many number-value concepts as I could easily fit on a small square.  I made my tiles so that one side was the numbers and one side was the number concept (word, clock, 10-frame, or domino).  Putting them back to back provides a "control of error."  I have included a colored set and a black-and-white set.

FREE Printables: Number Tiles and Games from In Our PondThe tiles can be used by themselves, for math problems, or in these "number hunt" game boards that I created.  The numbers can get tossed in a bowl or sack and the players can take turns pulling out one number at a time.  If they find a match, they can keep the tile.  If they already have that number on their board, then they should put the tile back and "lose a turn."  The first person to fill up their board is the winner.

FREE Printables: Number Tiles and Games from In Our Pond
The games could also be done individually, with one set of tiles instead of all four.  I have created black and white versions for classroom settings and color versions for small groups or homeschool letters.

To download the number tiles, click here.

To download the colored number hunt games, click here.

And, to download the black and white number hunt games, click here.

FREE Printables: Number Tiles and Games from In Our Pond

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wish List- Science Books (early elementary)

We love science in our family, so putting together a list of science books was very easy.  Here are a few we own and want to own:

Let's Read and Find Out Science books like Wiggling Worms at Work and Forces Make Things Move.

- Uncover It books like Uncover the Human Body and Uncover a Shark.

- Life Size Zoo books and the Life Size Series books

- Science Alphabet books like S is for Scientist, A is for Anaconda, and G is for Galaxy.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Old Fashioned Family Road Trip

The "Old Fashioned Family Road Trip" has ingrained itself into our collective culture as the epitome of summer fun.  The ideal family road trip promises us the chance to bond, grow closer together, make lasting memories, and solve all our problems.  If you're looking for the old fashioned, unplugged, gadget-free family road trip this summer, this list should help you get started.

{Family Games}
When I was growing up, my family took a lot of road trips together.  One set of grandparents lived three-days' drive away and the other set lived a day's drive away, so we did a lot of traveling to see them.  We also took "learning" trips to zoos or museums, staying in hotels with pools and exploring during the day.  I have great memories of our family road trips.

As I've been doing this road trip series, members of my family have been reminding me of the games and activities that we used to play.  I thought I'd share the games with you below:

In the days before built-in DVD players, families entertained themselves by the movies in their heads.  We played a game called "Name that Movie," where one member of the family would name a quote from a movie and everyone else would guess the title.  This was more challenging when we were older and had developed diversified movie collections.  It would be very hard now that we're all adults, but was really fun when we were kids.

When it was snack time on the road, my mom would say, "It's time for a mystery snack."  We would then play 20 questions to guess the snack.  The questions always had to have a yes or no answer.  So, we might ask, "Is it salty?"  Yes or No.  "Is it chips?"  Yes or No.  "Have we had them before?"  Yes or no.  And so the game would go until we knew what it was.  It was a great time waster, but I remember being bored and frustrated sometimes if the snack was too hard to guess.  Set a time limit or a question limit to it (like actually stick to the 20 question limit) so that the kids don't become discouraged.

Some of the most memorable snacks were pigs feet (yuck!), bugle chips (so fun!), and chip ahoy cookies (which were new to us then).

When it got too dark to color or read, we would play the "Marathon Movie Quotes Contest."  One person in the family would take turns naming a movie and everyone in the car would take turns naming quotes from the movie until we couldn't think of any more.  We had the rule that you couldn't do a scene- they had to be unrelated quotes.  This game was easy when we were younger and watched movies at the same time.  It was much harder when we got older and had our own movie collections.  This game could go on for hours!

When we got tired of playing movie games, we would play "Name that Tune."  One person would hum a few lines of a song and everyone else would try to guess the TV show theme song or common song.  We're not a very musical family, so this game didn't last as long as some of our others.

{Nostalgia Toys}
If an old fashioned family road trip reminds you of the toys you played with in the car, then you'll enjoy this list.

Ring Toss Game
I think I got this game at the dentist or as a Bible club prize or something like that.  I used to get so frustrated when the car would jostle (or one of my siblings would bump me) and the hard-won ring would float off the peg.  Such a difficult game.  But, so many good life lessons in patience from playing a game where you have so little control over the results.

License Plate Game
I don't think that we actually owned a "toy" for this game, but I do remember playing it a bit.  It's a classic.

Woolly Willy
Another classic toy.  I don't think we ever owned one, but they exist to be bought today if Woolly Willy was part of your childhood.

Candy Phones
The first family road trip that I remember was the summer I turned five (the same age as Dragonfly).  My mom gave each of my siblings (4 and 3 at the time) a car bag with several activities for our road trip.  One of the items in the bag was a candy phone.  After we ate the candy, we talked to each other for hours and days and had all sorts of pretend play in the car.

It's all fun and games until you accidentally slam the little drawing tool in the car door.

Travel Spirograph
I mostly remember losing these little disks to the vast pit that was the bottom of the car.  It really isn't a great car activity, but I think it would work well on a plane.

Magnetic Game
We had a tin of travel games, with magnetic pieces that were almost too small too pick up.  Now, I make my own magnetic games (thank you Pinterest).

I never did get the hang of this toy.  I mostly made "mazes."

Travel Bingo
I mostly remember sliding the little doors back and forth mindlessly until they broke off.  I don't think I never actually played bingo with them.

Where's Waldo Books
I had one of these books, and spent a lot of time looking for Waldo.  I wasn't very stilled at it and could never find him a second time even if I had found him before.  To quote someone else, "If he was supposed to be easy to find, it'd be called 'There's Waldo.'"

Kids' Coloring Books
More than anything else, I remember doing a lot of coloring in the car.

Handheld Ball Mazes
I remember doing so many of these as a kid.  I think that they might have even been the prize from the dentist.

"When I was a kids, television was called books."  Writing about all these movie quote games has gotten this line stuck in my head.

We've selected "The History of the American People," "The Adventure Collection" (Treasure Island, Swiss Family Robinson, etc), and "The Ramona Quimby Audio Collection" (so excited to introduce our kids to Ramona) as our audiobooks for the trip.  Using our Audible credits, we were able to get $138.70 worth of audiobooks (and 110 HOURS of listening) for the price of three months' membership ($23).  I'm excited about all the listening possibilities, discussions, and shared experiences that these audiobooks will provide.

Just a few more weeks until our big road trip!  I hope this list helps you as you plan for the summer!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Journaling the Bible

As I have been studying various homeschooling methods, I kept running into the idea of copywork.  It is as basic as having kids learn writing, spelling, and grammar by copying text.  It can be a simple sentence or a long quote.  There is a typical progression to copywork through the years (tracing, copying, dictation, and memorization.  Traditionally, Bible verses or quotes from the Founding Fathers are used.

I had been feeling a tug toward doing my own Bible copywork for years, before I had even heard about copywork.  I dismissed it as a bit nutty.  After discovering that copywork was an actual "thing," I decided that copying the Bible book by book would be a good practice and a chance to show my kids that copywork is normal.  By making copywork an "adult" activity, I'm hoping that it will be more appealing to my kids.  It's also a great way to put the Bible into your mind and heart, and to see the Bible in a different way.

After a few failed starts with the wrong paper, I decided to use a college-ruled composition book.  I'm left-handed, so I like how it lays flat without spirals or rings to get in my way.  The composition books are bound, so I'm hoping that it will last a lot longer than loose leaf or spiral bound notebooks.  Back to School time usually features composition books with fun covers at a good price, so that's a perk as well.

I decided to start with the book of Luke, because our women's Bible study just studied it this past winter.  It seemed like copying it would be a good review.  If you're more OCD about order, you may want to start at the beginning of the Bible so that each of your books will flow one right into another.

I haven't been scheduling my copywork time.  I try to do it when the kids are around to see me working on it.  Sometimes they're playing with sensory bins at the table or just playing outside.  I want them to be interested in what I'm doing and to want to try copywork for themselves.  In the picture below, Tadpole (2.5) had climbed onto the table while I worked and was asking me over and over, "What are you doing, Mom?"  He wanted to do it too.

I now belong to a facebook group called, "Writing the Bible."  Some people in that group are using calligraphy and artwork to make heirloom Bibles.  Others are using these "Journalible" Bibles to do their copywork.  Some are using it to practice their cursive and some are printing.  It's been neat to have a place to spur each other on.

Copying the Bible reminds me of the monks from the middle ages, who spent their lives hand-writing the Bible, preserving it for future generations.  I wish I had their discipline!

I first became interested in copying the Bible from reading the Randy Alcorn novel, Safely Home.  In the book, there is mention of people in other countries who have very limited access to the Bible.  In some cases, a church may only have one copy.  In those cases, the pages of the Bible may be passed around the congregation, so that each member may have the opportunity to copy the Bible for themselves, one page at a time.

The  dedication to complete such a big project spoke to me, and caused me to think about how common our English Bibles are.  Biblegateway.com has 53 English translations on their website, meanwhile The Joshua Project claims that at least 1800 people groups around the world still don't have a Bible translated into their native language (that's really a different topic for another day).  In modern America, we can listen to the Bible on the radio or audiobook (multiple versions), watch Bible story videos, or read the Bible on our phones, tablets, computers, or in books (Americans own an average of 3.6 Bibles per person).  We're glutted with Bibles!

"Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness." Isaiah 30:8