Earth Day Project!

20 Apr

Earth Day is April 22nd, so two days away!  Where has April gone, my father was right, time flies!     Every year in my Kindergarten class I used to make these paper mache Earth’s… It was a bit of an undertaking, but with lots of parents to help I was able to do it.  I tell you this because if you are afraid to paper mache with your children, just remember we did it with 20 kids, YOU CAN DO IT!  So here’s the scoop:

You’ll Need:

Balloons

Newspaper cut into strips,

Paper mache paste (recipe below)

Blue and Green Paint (I used tempera)

Paint Brushes

Directions:

Blow up the balloon to the desired shape.  The bigger you blow the balloon the more oval shaped it will turn, I tried to keep mine relatively small and round.  The goal of paper mache is to cover the entire balloon with the paste coated newspaper strips so GO!  I try to help the kids keep their strips flat (not crumpled) and smooth.  I also try to show them how to dip their strip in the paste and then pinch the strip and slide your fingers down to drain off any excess paste.  Once the entire balloon is covered you will need to let it dry for a day or even longer :).  You can hang it by the balloon tie to dry it, set it in a cup, or lay it flat turning it often so all sides dry.  Once the paper mache is dry you can take a marker and draw a rough estimate of the continents on your globe.  I do this just so they know where to paint.  I then have them paint the blue first outside of all the continents.  We let this dry before painting the green…  Waiting a day is ideal, but the paint will dry rather quickly….  Once they are done you can pop the balloon on the inside or just leave it to deflate on it’s own.  Viola, an Earth to last a lifetime!

Paste Recipe:

*** I always put a little white glue in with my paste, just makes me feel better about it, but it ISN’T necessary!

Mix one part flour in with two parts water… then add some white glue (optional)… Stir until pastey adding more flour or water if needed!

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

15 Apr
I know I know, it’s spring, we should be talking about grilling and salads and lots of fresh vegetables, right?  Well, I agree, but today a cold front moved in and brought some wind and the prediction of snow in the mountains so I decided to make some soup…  Plus, it’s easy to share with friends and that is exactly what I plan to do!  You might just be the recipient of a free dinner tomorrow!
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 13 cup cooked chicken (I used 2 chicken breasts)
  • ½ cup carrot, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • snipped parsley or chives for garnish

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a soup pot.
  2. Saute the onion until it is softened.
  3. Blend in the flour and then gradually stir in the chicken broth. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil, keep stirring for one more minute.
  4. Add wild rice, chicken, celery, carrots, almonds, salt and simmer about 5 minutes.
  5. Add half-and-half and sherry, heat until just heated through.
  6. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.

Bunny Bags

27 Mar

Cute little bunny bags… I remember when Ben and I were dating and I went to his Parent’s house for Easter… I brought these little bags filled with treats as a “thanks for having me” gift for his family.  Of course at that time I didn’t know that his mom was an amazing chef and she made fancy treats and candy from scratch, but they still appreciated my gift!  Well, fast forward a few years and here we are having our boys make these bags!   They LOVED making them and it took them no time at all.  They would be fun little bags to bring as hostess gifts or even to have the kids make at your Easter gathering… I’ve made them with a classroom full of kids, as well… You can fill them with Easter grass and treats too!  So…. Here’s the Scoop:

You’ll Need:

Lunch size paper bags

Scissors

Construction Paper

Cotton Balls or Puff Balls

Glue

Google Eyes (optional, you can also draw eyes on)

Pipe Cleaners (again Optional, construction paper works too)

Directions:  I went ahead and cut out the ear shape for my youngest, but depending on the age of your kids they could do this themselves- my older two did!  The rest is basically up to your child.  They can draw eyes, nose, and mouth.  They can use puff balls, google eyes and construction paper.  Whiskers can be made with pipe cleaners or construction paper.  Really what ever you want…. The cutest part (not shown) is to add a little cotton ball to the back side of the bag as a tail, :)…  Your kids will love this too, I’m sure of it!  “HOPPY EASTER”

Baseball Player Checklist…

20 Mar

You know me, I love a good check list.  I feel like it empowers my children to do things for themselves, plus it makes my live a bit easier…  Here is the one I made for my Little Leaguer’s!  Thanks to melonheadz for the fun clipart!  Love her stuff! Screen shot 2015-03-20 at 11.57.12 AM

Fruit Rainbow…

13 Mar

BDP_0537

 

This week has been simply glorious outside… The sun is shining, the temps are warmer and my toes are making their spring time debut!  There is just something so sweet about spending time outside on those first few warm days of the season!  In keeping with a spring theme as well as St. Patrick’s Day, I remembered this snack!  It’s one of our very favorites and so easy to make… I wonder if this will help us catch that pesky Leprechaun????

 

 

Leprechaun Craft…

10 Mar

I think maybe I’ve created  monsters AKA the “S Brothers” around my house… It seems that any holiday that is approaching brings a new sense of excitement, wonder and maybe even a little “obsession”…  This month of course it is St. Patrick’s Day, but my boys call it Leprechaun’s Day. They are BEYOND excited to trap a Leprechaun and are pretty convinced they can do it!  I am hoping so because that means we’ll be inheriting some gold!  They have been asking to make Leprechauns since last St. Patrick’s Day so I figured I better give in…  I think they turned out rather cute!  Pretty easy to make, we use construction paper, glue and scissors…  Let me know if you capture a Leprechaun- these cuties might help you…

SLIME…

17 Feb

 

 

IMG_5462 IMG_5459

This week my big boys have “Mid Winter Vacation” from school…  They love to be at home and just play (and Mama loves it too), so we decided to do a few little experiments/projects while they are off…  This one was a huge hit and I assure you they played with it for hours.  If your children are old enough, this is a great lesson on polymers, as well!  I’m planning to make this with my little guys preschool class this afternoon- this might be a little adventurous, but they are rock stars so I know they can do it!

Here’s the scoop:

MATERIALS

8oz bottle of Elmer’s Glue

Borax (a powdered soap found in the laundry soap isle)

Large Mixing Bowl

Spoon

Measuring Cup

Food Coloring

Water

 

DIRECTIONS:  

1.  Empty the entire bottle of glue into a mixing bowl.  Fill the empty bottle with warm water and shake.  Pour the glue-water mixture into the mixing bowl and use the spoon to mix it well.

2.  Add one or two drops of food coloring.

3.  Measure 1/2 cup of warm water into the plastic cup and add a teaspoon of Borax powder to the water.  Stir the solution.  Don’t worry if all the powder doesn’t dissolve.  This Borax solution is the secret linking agent that causes the glue Molecules to turn into slime.

4.  While stirring the glue in the mixing bowl, slowly add a little of the Borax solution.  Immediately you’ll feel the long strands of molecules starting to connect.  Now it’s time to use your hands to do the serious mixing.  Keep adding the Borax solution to the glue mixture (don’t stop mixing) until you get a perfect batch of  slime.

5.  When you’re finished playing with your slime, seal it up in a zip-lock bag for safe keeping.

POLYMER LESSON:  

The mixture of glue with Borax and water produces a putty like material called a polymer.  A polymer is a long chain of molecules.  A great example of a polymer is cooking spaghetti.  When a pile of freshly cooked spaghetti comes out of the hot water and into the bowl the strands flow like a liquid from the pot to the bowl.  This is because the spaghetti strands are slippery and slide over one another.  After awhile, the water drains off and the pasta strands start to stick together.  The spaghetti gets a bit rubbery in texture.  Wait a little while longer for all of the water to evaporate and the pile of pasta turns into a solid mass – you can drop it on the floor and watch it bounce.  Many natural and synthetic polymers behave similarly.  If the long molecules slide past each other easily then the substance acts like a liquid because the molecules flow.  If the molecules stick together at a few places along the strand, then the substance behaves like a rubbery solid.  In this recipe, Borax is the compound that hooks the glue molecules together to form the rubbery material and demonstrate some of the properties of a polymer.

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