Showing posts from November, 2016

Elf Traveling House

3 more Mondays until Christmas!

I've been having way too much fun preparing for Joy, our Kindness Elf.  She debuts with our kids this week for the very first time.  I bought a 10 inch metal lunch box to store her and her belongings.  As you can see from the picture, they fit pretty nicely.  Here's the list of what I've put in it:

Crafts I've Made

- gingerbread cookies (buttons) on a cheery teal cookie sheet

- button Nativity scene set on a plastic canvas background

- folding bed out of plastic canvas sized to the doll and 1/2" thick

- printable Cheerios box

- printable cake mix box

- printable chocolate chip bag

- printable tissue box

- knitting: embroidery floss (variegated) on mini wood spools with large eye needles

- plastic canvas Christmas tree

- mini tea cup and saucer

- wood suitcase

- good luck minis frog and duck

- bottle of rock chips (for bath salts)

- elf dust in a bottle (elf medicine)

{Other Ideas}
- apron
- laptop
- coffee cup and newspaper
- colored …

Felt Pies (pattern)

Happy Thanksgiving!

The kids are getting a play kitchen for Christmas, so I made them some food.  Here are the pies.  They are sized to fit in a 6 inch mini pie pan like this one.

The recipe for this pie is pretty easy 😉  Use my pattern to cut out a base and sides out of off white or light brown felt.  Cut the larger circle out of red, blue, or purple felt to act as the berries.  If you're feeling very bold, use pompoms to simulate the berries.  Using another set of tan/brown felt, cut it into ½ inch strips and lattice weave it, gluing the crosses with fabric glue.  Sew the base onto the sides piece.  Cut a piece of sturdy cardboard as a stabilizer.  Set aside.  Begin sewing the "berry" top to the top edge of the pie, adding creases every couple inches to keep the top even.  About halfway around, put cardboard circle inside pie and sew another few inches.  When you have a 2 inch section left, begin stuffing the pie, taking care to keep the cardboard at the base.  Make s…

Accessorize the Play Kitchen

4 more Mondays until Christmas!

The kids are getting a play kitchen for Christmas!  My dad is building it, and I'm very excited.  I've been sewing up some felt food and collecting some clean recycling to stock their kitchen.  I thought it might be helpful for others if I did a blog post about play kitchen accessories.  I hope this inspires you in your own Christmas preparations!

Store-Bought Accessories

Melissa and Doug Pots and Pans
Every kitchen needs some pots for the stovetop.  I like this set by M&D because they're a good size for pretend play (about 5" diameter) and they look durable.

Green Toys Tea Set
In all reality, these tea cups will probably become the kids regular drinking cups 80% of the time.  They're made from recycled milk jugs, so I feel good about letting my kids drink out of them.  I can see many tea parties in our future.

Stainless Steel Tea Set
If staying way from plastic is important to you, then you'll need to check out this stainless s…

p is for pumpkins (year 3, week 10)

Pumpkin Week at Mommy School!

Gymnastics class!

Today we had a play date with some good friends and made pumpkin muffins.  We also made homemade, pumpkin spice play dough, which all the kids enjoyed.  It was a bit crazy with seven kids under eight, but still lots of fun.

Dragonfly did some math tonight.  She's doing addition to ten and learning her numbers to 30.  She counts everything!  At the beginning of the year, she didn't know how to write any of the numbers.  Now, she can write 0, 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, and 9.  We're still doing hand over hand for 3, 5, and 8.  She was very excited to learn that the bigger numbers are just made up of those ten digits.  She almost knows how to write every number possible!  She loves to spy numbers everywhere.

AWANA day!

We were planning on opening a pumpkin today to play in the guts.  Our pumpkin got bumped around too much over the last week and has rotted.  Another week where the planned activity didn't go as plan…

Elf Movie Night (free printable)

5 more Mondays until Christmas!

I got the idea for the elf-sized movie night from My Froggy Stuff.  They have a great tutorial on how to make a TV and accessories on their blog.  There blog inspired me to put together a whole pile of Christmas movie "screens," mini DVD cases, remotes, and DVDs.

I chose some of our favorite movies for the printable: Miracle on 34st Street (the 1947 version), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (cartoon), Elf, The Santa Clause, The Grinch, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Jingle All the Way, and Home Alone.

To complete the miniature Christmas movie night, you may want to add a microwave popcorn box, packages of candy, or a take out container.  If you enjoy making things with polymer clay, then you'll want to check out the neat tutorial for theater snacks from Toni Ellison.

If the Elf isn't your thing, you could use these printables to host a barbie or stuffed animal movie night or to announce a "family date night" to your kids.


n is for night owl (year 3, week 9)

We spent a lot of time homeschooling in the dark this week as we learned about night owls.  We bought a black light flashlight for our schooling this week and did a lot of fun activities using the fascinating light.

Next year, I think we should have a glow light party for Day Light Savings Time day!

Gymnastics class!

After dinner, I let Dragonfly trace the numbers in her math workbook with highlighter.  It's not a great writing tool for every day but it was very fun tonight.  It was an easy way to make a boring task more interesting.

Then, Tadpole wanted to join the fun so I gave them both a highlighter and a piece of paper for drawing.  I had them draw with regular light first and then revealed their picture in black light.
They were delighted.

Election Day!

We watched a few videos about owls and compared them to reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and other birds.  Dragonfly was especially fascinated to realize so many animals hatch from eggs, but they're not all th…

Book Review- PTSD and the Holidays

I just finished reading "Holidays and PTSD: A Parent's Guide to Survival" by my favorite blogger, Ranae Eddy (Every Star is Different).  Her and her husband (Jason) write about homeschooling their four special needs kids and have tons of free Montessori-style printables on their blog.  Even better, though, is how honestly, openly, and encouragingly they speak about life with special needs kids.  Not only are they parents who work hard to give their kids all the advantages, but Jason is also a family and marriage therapist (just like my dad!).  The combination of therapist who is also a parent lends a lot of credability to their writing.  I love hearing about their joys, fun, challenges, and victories.

In Renae and Jason's new e-book, they continue their gentle, practical wisdom as it relates to the holidays.  It's a great book for parents who are just beginning to understand PTSD as it relates to their children or parents who feel like they already understand th…

Science Toys for Science Kids

6 more Mondays until Christmas!

Dragonfly is a "Science Girl" so I'm always looking for gift ideas that fit her interests.  Biology seems to be her favorite science, but I've included the others to be fair.  I hope this list inspires you and the little "science geek" in your life.

- tadpole to frog (add frog life cycle set and a book)

worm farm (add worm life cycle set and a book)

ant farm (add ant life cycle set and a book)

sea monkeys (aka brine shrimp)

- larvae to ladybug (add ladybug life cycle set and a book)

- caterpillar to butterfly (add butterfly life cycle set and a book)

- My First Mind Blowing Science Kit

- Learning Resources science lab (pretend play)

- Everything Kids' Science Experiment book

- Legos (and Duplos)

- magnetic tiles

- tinker toys

- snap circuits

traditional wood blocks

western architecture wood blocks

- middle eastern architecture wood blocks

-  build-a-coliseum wood block set

l is for lizard (year 3, week 8)

I don't know what it is about the American Desert, but we never seem to do very well learning about it each year.  I don't get it.  This week sort of got away from me.  Part of it was because of the holiday on Monday.  I also was fighting sickness all week.  The end of the post has ideas for your own desert unit study.

Today was Reformation Day, so we got donuts for a special treat (we don't do trick-or-treating).  We talked about how "life without Jesus is like a donut- cause there's a hole in the middle of your heart (the Donut Man)."  Life with Jesus is sweet like a donut!

We also talked a bit about the Reformation; although they're a bit young for the details.

Dragonfly did some math workbook and we worked on our 10-frame to make ten.  We rolled a dice to find the first number, then put counters on the board to equal the second.  She'd been doing well at addition, but was challenged by the 10-frame.

We cleaned the house today and mad…