Saturday, October 29, 2011

Science Notebooking by the Pond

Since the cool-down of fall, we've been getting out a lot more often, and it is calming to my nerves.  Recently we went to a nearby pond and drew anything we pleased.  We only walked a quarter of a mile, but it took us 2 hours to get out of there.  We lost track of time.  I rarely do this, but it was worth it.

Here are some examples of what we did that day!

Leaf drawing and identification and some insects

Leaves covered with packing tape to keep intact

Leaf identification and drawings

I hope we gave you some inspiration for your own notebooks!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mini Nature Garden

As usual, our art projects for our preschool daughter are short, simple, and to the point!  She is loving exploring art media and finding her creativity!  Actually, isn't it easy for a child to find that creativity?  Where does it go as we get older?  Mine has come out while participating in our children's creative projects.

Anyhow, these mini nature gardens are self explanatory.  Just go pick some weeds and sticks and flowers out of your yard and stick them in a clay ball on the bottom of an egg carton cup!  How easy (and fun) is that?!  I bet you're preschooler will love it.  In fact, our 7-year-old had a blast too, and she helped our 4-year-old. :)

Nature gardens


Monday, October 24, 2011

Trip to the Farm

What a great time we had at the farm!  We went with our homeschool group, and the laziness of the day was absolutely restful.  There's something about a day with nothing scheduled except sitting in the warm sun and smiling that is healing.

One of our fall farms in our area has every farm animal you could think of, a hay bale castle, dried corn "sandboxes," grind your own corn off the cob and feed to the animals, playgrounds, lawnmower train, corn maze, pumpkin patch with pick your own pumpkin, and a hayride.  What more could you want in a day?

Here are the highlights of our fabulous day!

Coco holding neck pumpkin.

This enormous pig was a bit creepy with his deep oinks and foaming mouth.

Atop a hay bale castle!

Riding the lawnmower train pulled by tractor.

Running in the corn maze!

Dried corn box. They loved this!

Feeding the calf thrilled her!!

De-corning (I made that up!) corn husks to feed to animals


Friday, October 21, 2011

Leaf Stamps

I guess to go along with fall, my children and I decided to make some leaf stamps, experimenting with fingerpaints and different leaves from our backyard.  We just smeared fingerpaint to the "spiny" side of the leaf, and pressed it onto plain paper.  The results were fantastic!

Working on leaf stamps

End results for leaf stamping!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pyramids and Bean Monkeys

Sonlight Week 14 and SOTW Chapter 12

We focused mostly on pyramids and The Sphinx.  Our notebooking pages reflect this.  We made a Monkey Bean doll meant to signify gifts from different parts of Africa to the reigning Egyptians.  You may remember we made an Egyptian paddle doll also, which was a huge hit, especially when we saw illustrations of them in our Ancient Egyptian books we've been reading.  All of these activities have been cementing everyday life of this time period into their minds; it's great!


This is from History Pockets Ancients grades 1-3

Moses drawing from Draw and Write Through History; plague flap book from 2 Dynamic Moms

Sphinx sketch from Draw and Write Through History and lapbook components (see below for links)

On the right are free printables from Handle on the Arts; on the left is a free page from Notebooking Nook (see links below)


We made some bean monkey dolls as gifts to the Egyptians from the Nubians.  The girls loved it, though I had to make them for the most part, as we used a hot glue gun.  Kinda cute!

Bean monkey dolls

Extras!  Extras!

Plague flap book (cover)
Plague flap book

Handle On the Arts Ancient Egypt lapbook

Play Virtual Senet!

Puzzles, games, and trivia


Monday, October 10, 2011

Ancient Africa

Sonlight Week 13 and SOTW Chapter 11

This week we focused more on Ancient Africa, especially African tales like Anansi the spider.  We talked about how the Sahara Desert used to be fertile and green and how archeologists know this, and we recorded this information by sketching and coloring a map of Africa.  See below under "Extras! Extras!" where some of these printables are.  It looks like most of them this week are things that I purchased, either through SOTW Activity Guide or Notebooking


SOTW Notebooking

Inside of SOTW lapbook component; we attached to map (see picture above)

We did some Egyptian notebooking this week too, particularly everyday life.


Shakers we made while studying Ancient Africa.

Completed shakers

We also made some Egyptian Palace Bread! While it was extremely rich and sweet, it was delicious.  I didn't take any pictures, as we ate it before I got the chance.  :)

You will need:
2 slices plain white bread

Cut off the crusts of the bread.  Place on plate and generously cover with honey (soaking).  Let sit for 1/2 an hour.  Place in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Dip or cover with cream and enjoy!  The girls loved it!

Fried Plantains

We fried up some plantains to go with our African study this week.  We've never had them, and while we thought they were good, I don't think we'll try it again until we come back around to this study again.  ;)

Fried Plantains

Carve a Scarab!

We didn't do this either, but it looks like fun.  Get any bar of soap and use a butterknife to carve a scarab shape into it.  It may not be for younger children, but I want to give many ideas for everyone.

Extras!  Extras!

Write Your Name In Hieroglyphs!

Make some Egyptian lilies with your handprints

Look Inside a Pyramid!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Crayon Rubbing Transfer

This is discovery art at it's finest!  Preschool Art by Maryann Kohl  is fantastic for its open-ended art projects from clay and paper to construction and paints and more.

Once in a while we do a craft that has an end like making a paper plate hen or something, but these crafts are nearly always done by me and they are always forgotten about a few days later.  I love to do these and the girls love to do them, but I can only handle so much of it.  The schedule I made (Let's Explore the World) has a lot of these types of crafts, and I appreciate them being there if we choose to do it, but (gasp!) I never do them every week.

I much prefer the easy to implement and scads more relevant and freeing open-ended art projects.  The art is in the discovery of new materials, new ways of doing things, and it doesn't matter one whit what the end product looks like.  It's the child's and his or her personality has a chance to shine through!

This week we did crayon rubbing transfer projects.  Easy as 1-2-3!  I found relatively flat objects around the house (paper clips, safety pins, buttons, pieces of yarn, torn paper towel, coins, puzzle pieces, glitter), and I "hid" them under a sheet of paper while the girls weren't looking.  I then had them come and rub the side of a crayon across the whole sheet of paper to help them discover what was hidden.  We used different colors and they had a blast!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Henry Huggins notebooking

We are in love with Beverly Cleary!  So much so that I went ahead and ordered Ralph S. Mouse and The Mouse and the Motorcycle from Paperback Swap.  We giggled so hard, it was hard for me to finish sentences.  Ribsy is adorable and endearing, and Henry is your typical 8-year-old boy.  From finding a stray, skinny dog to breeding hundreds of guppies to green skin to pink powder, you and your family are sure to find fun in this delightful book.

Check it out!

Note:  I had to delete all my links to HS Launch, as the site went down, and now all the links go to questionable material.

Dog Lap-Notes

Dog Lap-Notes


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

From Assyria and Babylon to Egypt (Again)

Sonlight Week 12 and SOTW Chapters 7 and 8

This week we did a little of 3 different ancient peoples, the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians.  Sonlight schedules Egypt for a while, and we are ready to move on, but since Time Traveler presents the material in a fresh way, the girls are tolerating it.  ;)  We didn't add much this week, but here are the highlights!



Joseph sketches

Enkidu drawing. Notice I printed thumbnails of books we read to jog the girls' memories as they look through their notebooks.

Code of Hammurabi mapping with SOTW lapbook component and ziggurate coloring from SOTW Activity Guide.


We only did one activity this week; we made falafel.  We used 1 can of chick peas (garbanzo beans) , 2/3 c bread crumbs, 2 eggs, 1/2 t salt, 1/4 t pepper, pita bread, cucumbers, onion slices, italian dressing, tomatoes.  Combine the beans, crumbs, eggs, salt, and pepper to form patties.  Fry in olive oil on both sides.  Place falafel in pita, top with dressing, cukes, onion, and tomato!

Falafel for Middle East (Assyrians, Babylonians)

Extras!  Extras!

SOTW lapbook

Egyptian Tomb Adventure

Explore a Pyramid

Egypt Adventure