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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

24 Fire-Free Camping Meals

I've been enjoying Travel Time Tuesday so much and have been posting so much content (twice a week lately) that I decided to move all of it to it's own blog.  The Camping Meals blog post is now at my new site- Party Through the USA.

Click on the picture to go to the camping post.

Monday, August 28, 2017


Click on the Picture to go to the Blog Posts in each Category.

Wikimedia Commons



Click on the Picture to go to the Blog Posts in those categories.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Science Toys that Spark Curiosity

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

I've spoken on here often about how my kids love Science!  They ask a lot of questions, make observations, connect information, and always want to learn something new.

Fortunately, we live in an amazing time, where kids have access to so many cool Science Toys that spark their curiosity and ignite their imaginations.

Check out this list of 15 wonder-inspiring toys and don't forget to enter my first ever Giveaway at the end of the post!

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

I'm wrote a review of this microscope recently with free printables for preschoolers/kindergartners.  This is a great toy for budding scientists and would pair very nicely with a lab coat and tool set for pretend play.  How cute would it be to have a mini lab in your house?

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

It's no secret that we love frogs at our house.  We've even build a whole Science Center around them.  My kids would love to own this frog model, and I think it would look great on our shelf.

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

Thinking Putty is like play dough for older kids and adults.  It comes in all sorts of neat configurations like magnetic (shown above), glow-in-the-dark, metallic, and color-changing.  Each tin has different properties from slimy to stiff.  I think this would make a "just because" gift or stocking stuffer.

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

Robots are so cool and this little drawing robot is very cool.  He shakes and rotates to create different patterns.  Adjust the angle of the pins and the picture changes.  Sort of like a high-tech spirograph.

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

My kids loved our skeleton model to pieces.  Literally.  We'll buy it again and again because they loved it so much (the problem is lost puzzle pieces not an issue with the product itself).  I'm sure they would enjoy the entire collection, but we'll save those pieces for when they're old enough to assemble them themselves.

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

Whether it's the galaxy, the drinking bird, or Newton's cradle, people love perpetual motion toys.  They allow us to play with force, motion, and kinetic energy in a safe, visible way.  People usually associate them with work desks, but they would be great on a Science Shelf.  How long could you keep it going?

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

My kids aren't as interested in plant science as they are in animal science, but I'm sure they would get very interested in growing things if they had this clear growing container.  They could watch the leaves go up and the roots go down.  I think it would be great for traditional kindergarten experiments like beans or carrots.  Older kids might also enjoy this clear composter that allows them to explore the roles of worms and microorganisms in recycling.

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

We love the Safari Ltd Life Cycle sets!  I think we own them all.  They give kids a tangible way to explore and compare stages of animal life cycles.  I have 3-part cards for the chicken and bee sets, and the rest can be found for free on the internet.  This turtle set would be great for sensory bins, water play, or small world play.  I found an inspiring crochet blanket that would make a great play mat.  I'm thinking about making it for Christmas.  Maybe one side will be sea turtle beach and the other side will be the frog pond.

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

Some kids are very interested in geology and would love this tray of rocks.  I think this would be a great start to a collection.  It's a very hands-on way to study geology.

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway
Bugs in Resin

I'm think these bugs are so neat and much more durable than pinned insects.  Look at them under the microscope, label them, or find live matches.  These bugs would be great for preschoolers who love "icky buggies."

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway
Moon in My Room

This moon is the ultimate nightlight!  It hangs on the wall of a bedroom or wherever and softly glow.  It can be programmed to go through the moon phases in sync with the real moon or can glow as a full moon.  Every kid needs one of these cool toys.

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway
Ant Farm

The ant farm is such a classic science toy.  There are lots of different types of small animal kits available for sale including worms, butterflies, ladybugs, frogs, and trilops (as well as lots of crystals, plants, and bacteria).  Kids love things that change in front of their eyes- I know mine do.  Their begging me for chicks right now.  I'm going to try to talk them down to some triops or bugs.

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

Snap Circuits are becoming a classic toy, even though they're fairly new to the science toy scene.  They're electronic and programing toys that snap together to make circuits.  We got a set for free from another homeschool family, but my kids have been a bit young to play with them (the oldest will be ready soon).  Snap Circuits are like legos that run motors and light up bulbs.  So cool!

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

My kids have been interested in the stars since the movie Moana came out.  In this modern age, telescopes are much more affordable than ever before and less bulky.  They're also great for encouraging kids to be outside and in nature.

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway
Space Toob

We love Safari Ltd toys, and I've been writing about them long before I became in official #howisafari campaign blogger (exactly a year ago from today).  Safari is the sponsor of this blog post today, and has allowed me to do my first ever Giveaway!

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15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway

Safari Ltd has graciously accepted my request to do my first ever Sweepstakes with their products!  Use the Rafflecoper link below to enter to win a Space Toob by Safari Ltd!  Prize is only open to residents of the continental US (sorry Alaska and Hawaii).  Safari Ltd will mail the prize directly to the winner after the contest closes on Aug 29th.  Prize has no cash equivalent.  Good luck, Everyone!

The Contest is over!  Thank you for all your entries, Everyone!

The Winner was Lori M-C from Chicago!  Congrats, Lori!

Be sure to grab my free 3-Part Cards that match the toob!

15 Science Toys that Spark Curiosity + a Giveaway + Space Toob 3-part Cards

8 Ways to Use the Space Toob for Learning

If you've been following this blog for any time, you know that we love Safari Toobs.  One of my most popular posts is about how to use toobs for learning.  I also have almost 30 free printables for the toobs.  Since I'm giving away a Safari Space Toob, I put together this infographic to show you a few of the many ways you can use the toobs for learning.

8 Ways to Use Safari Ltd Space Toob + a Giveaway

1- Space Shuttle 3-Part Cards
// Pinay Homeschooler

2- Space Sensory Bin
// Growing a Jeweled Rose

3- Space Toob 3-Part Cards
// In Our Pond

4- Felt Play Mat 
// Whimsical Ways

5- Spelling Stars Sensory Bin
// My Miraculous and Mundane Life

6- Space Play Dough 
// No Time for Flash Cards

7- Space Writing Tray 
// Gift of Curiosity

8- Moon Sand Bin 
// Totally Tots

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Kids' Science Toys for Homeschoolers // In Our Pond // Guaranteed to spark curiosity about the world around them and excite their imaginations.

Science Toys for Kids that Spark Curiosity about the world around them // In Our Pond //

Sunday, August 20, 2017

10 Kids' Youtube Videos for the Solar Eclipse

10 Kids' Youtube Videos for the Solar Eclipse
It's finally here!  The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse is nigh!

In an effort to explain this astronomical phenomenon to my kids, I've found 10 Youtube videos that explain different aspects of the event.

Also, be sure to check out my post from earlier this month about planning an eclipse party.  It's not too late to stock up on moon pies and astronaut ice cream!

Difference Between Solar and Lunar Eclipse

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10 Kids' Youtube Videos for the Solar Eclipse

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10 Kids' Youtube Videos for the Solar Eclipse

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Microscope Matching Pictures (free printable)

FREE Microscope Matching Pictures for Early Elementary
Since finishing our Science Center recently, I've been looking for things to add to it to make it even more engaging.  Every Scientist need a microscope, so I bought the My First Microscope by Geosafari for the kids.  This durable plastic toy has a very low magnification, but allows kids to see the world like a real scientist- through the lens of a microscope!  Pair with a lab coat to complete the effect.

Since we have a microscope, we needed something to use with it.  I created these printables a pretend slides for observation.  Kids can look at the smaller pictures under the microscope, and then match them to the larger pictures.

I first made the Autumn pictures, in sort of a back to school theme.  Apples.  Pumpkins.  Leaves.  They should be easy to match for a preschooler.  In fact, they could probably be matched with the naked eye.

I got pretty fascinated looking at microscopic images and geometric patterns on Google, so I decided to do a set of cards based on geometry in nature.  The small cards show items like a circular flower or the triangles in a citrus slice and the larger pictures show the geometric shape.  I'm hoping that it will be a good way to introduce geometry and order to the kids.

Dragonfly asked me to do a set of cards with frogs on them (she's a bit obsessed).  So I did.  These should be easy to match.

I anticipate adding more cards as the kids develop new interests.

What are your kids interested in?  Comment and maybe I'll make a free printable for it!

Click on the links below to download the FREE printables!

- Autumn Symbols
- Geometry in Nature
- All Sorts of Frogs

FREE Microscope Matching Pictures for Early Elementary
*Pictures from Wikimedia Commons*

If you loved this printable, check out all my others by clicking on the picture below or the "printables" tab on the menu.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Place Value Flip Book (printable)

Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond

Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond

I haven't done a true Homemade Homeschool post in a long time.  A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how I could use my binding machine and came up with the idea of these flip books.

I made the "money" one first (hundred thousand to hundredths), because I was thinking early elementary.

Then, I made the decimal place one to help students with numbers smaller than one (hundreds to ten thousandths).

After I made these larger ones, I realized that my kids weren't ready for either of them and would do better with a smaller flipbook only covering ones, tens, and hundreds.  The smaller book matches our place value set that I made last summer.

Each of the books has been printed, laminated, and bound!  They should last us for many years.  And the
kids are absolutely fascinated with them.

I'm planning some CVC flip books soon!

Click on the titles below to download the files.

Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond

Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond

Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond

Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond

Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond
Hundreds-Tens-Ones in Color

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Free Place Value Flip Books from In Our Pond

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

10 Must Own CDs for Kids

We love listening to music as a family.  It's on almost every time we get in the car and several times thoughout the day in the house.  In both the house and the car, we use bluetooth transmitted from phones.  With the Amazon Music Unlimited, we have an amazing variety of songs at our fingertips.  It's also allowed us to explore new music without commiting to buying the CDs.  These are our current favorites.

I've written about Songs for Saplings before in my Christian Doctrine for Preschoolers post.  We continue to enjoy these great songs, full of orthodox Christian doctrine and Bible verses.

This is our go-to road trip CD.  When we went on our 11-day road trip last year, we used this album to create stability and a sense of home wherever we roamed.  The children would be anxious, grumpy, would up, and tearful, and this CD would instantly calm them.  It was magic.  Every time we played it, at least one person would fall asleep.  We still play it when the kids need to be sedated after a big day.

We sing a lot of Getty hymns at church, so I love that my kids can get to know the songs in a very friendly way.  The words are sung by children, which my kids love.  The first time they heard the CD, they exclaimed, "Kids can sing church songs too!"  The best thing about this CD (and the sequel) is that the music is played by the Getty band, so it's not too hard on parents' ears and features the Celtic sounds that we expect from the Gettys.

This CD rocks!  Songs for Saplings is very conservative, but The Ology is a bit wild.  It's good for parents who need a bit of drum to their theology.  It even has a bit of rap.  The kids love the simple concepts that make sense to them.

These CDs are scripture put to melody.  Unfortunately, they can get a bit annoying, so I (the parent) can't listen very long.  The kids don't seem to mind and like hearing the verses they've already memorized being sung by others.  Once again, this emphasizes for them that the Bible isn't just important to our family, but to many people.

This album has been in our family a long time.  I think it was one of the first kids CDs we bought.  The Go Fish Guys have a lot of fun music and this one is no exception.

This CD is classic.  I remember laying on the floor with the songbook and listening to these songs on tape.  I was suprised when I heard it as an adult how many of them I remembered.

These are mainly silly songs, but we love the adoption song (I'm Adopted).  It gets played the most often.  Check it out- specially if you've been touched by adoption like our family.

Patch the Pirate is a well-known performer and has bunches of CDs for kids in all sorts of themes.  This hymns album is very traditional, so I found myself singing along right from the first listen.

This is my new favorite.  There are three CDs in this series, singing verses from Genesis to Revelation.  They are all lullaby songs, so there isn't a lot of heavy doctrine, instead the focus is on comfort and fearlessness.  It's a perfect album to play at bedtime to assure that Scriptures are the last thing the kids dwell on before they sleep.

All of these CDs can be found to buy on Amazon or you can listen for free with Amazon Music Unlimited.  I hope you and your kids enjoy!

What's your kids' favorite CD?  Answer in the comments!

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