Friday, July 31, 2015

Butterfly Butterfly

Every once in a while, a book we're reading lends itself to an activity.
Such was the case with 'Butterfly, Butterfly' by Petr Horacek
A little girl goes butterfly chasing and the final bits of the book, a surprising pop-up appears of the butterfly in flight.

Pop-ups are engineered in all types of designs, so we started off by mimicking the design used to hold up the butterfly.

Then I set out a tray of coloured tissue paper, previously cut for a former project and covered the wings in double-sided tape. I started balling up the tissue squares and within minutes Baby C had shocked me with a completed butterfly!
Baby C- Independent Art

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Number Wheel

'Money Saving Mom' featured an easy-to-create math project that can be used multiple (no pun intended) times!

I prepped 2 double-sided circles for a total of 4 versions.
My intent was to increase the difficulty with each version.
O surprised me and ripped through this activity like a pro!

Baby C also got involved, but more with the small motor bit of learning to open and close the pegs!


Can you believe these are edible?
Very peppery or "Picy" (spicy) as Baby C tells us!

Jungle Time!

Clay Flower Impressions

We've actually done this before, but our first round we opted to use play dough since Baby C was on board that particular time.
This time we used one dollar clay and the results were fantastic.
O loved getting her hands into this one and quickly caught onto her own set of tricks for popping the wet clay out of the molds.

Groovy Glasses

Sometimes when I turn around, this is what kind of treat my eyes behold!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Erupting Ice Chalk

We tried out Erupting Ice Chalk, after having seen this experiment a number of times on several sites.
It was definitely intriguing, not to mention beautiful.
Then Baby C and O discovered the hose.
Bye Bye pretty art!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Mobile: Driftwood Strands

Stick Basket

Between our stick collection and Grandpa's contribution, we gathered enough sticks to sand and cut into smaller lengths for a 'driftwood'-style mobile.

Instead of spending loads of money on beads, we went to the thrift store to buy wooden bead necklaces. Once we took them apart, we had a bowlful of beads for $3, which Baby C washed up and dried out for mobile-making.

O developed her own pattern and preferred the golden beads to the sanded sticks!
Once she was all done, she hung her work on the Gallery Wall and started colouring the sticks with blue chalk, to add a splash of colour!

Straw Mobile
Twirling Twig Mobile
Pom Pom & Driftwood

DIY Buttons. Always looking for wooden beads and bits, these buttons would be simple to whip up for threading activities.
DIY Wreath. I made one of these for our front door, except it gets so warm that the twigs actually fall off!
Twig Spools. 
Twig Pencils. These. Are. Awesome. They work so well and are simple to make with just a few twigs and a pencil sharpener. 
Forest Diorama. Though this project is a bit more involved, it definitely has a long shelf life!


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mobiles: Treasure Chest

Love me some Magic Onions! They featured a sweet Treasure Mobile that would not only be a little engineering mastery, but use up some of the sticks Grandpa collected for us, nature treasures we find and bits of embroidery thread tangling up in a heap making me crazy.

These started out as wands.
After the first round of winding, O was exhausted.
I worked alongside her and admit, it was a little tedious. So we used these as wands until we stored up some more energy.

Prism Raindrops
Organic Modern.
Sprout Mobiles with Transparencies.
Pom Pom Mobile. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Beads & Wire Sculpture

Presenting the Play Tray
I prepped for our Wire Sculpture's by presenting our 'Invitation to Play' Tray, complete with coloured pipe cleaners, wooden beads from a massage rope (taken apart) and a 2x2" wooden blocks with several tiny holes drilled in 5 sides (none in the bottom).

At first, O thought we were making necklaces, but then we talked about including the square blocks into the project to create sculptures.


Both O & Baby C were locked in intense concentration while working their fine motor skills and creativity. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly Baby C has jumped onto the project wagon, since we have included her in more of our daily activities.


Wire Sculptures. This has been on my Top 10 of Best Art Activities. I love the way these turned out and they were incredibly fun and easy to make. I still have them hanging in the library as I cannot make myself take them down.

Story Dice. These have also made the Top 10 of Best Art Activities. I love how O's art has been preserved in wood! 

Tops & Bottoms Garden

Early morning I was gathering supplies for our lesson when O and Baby C came out with aprons on and another idea completely. There's was so fully loaded, I dropped my lesson plan and went with them!

'Market Play' seems like a simple concept, but it's packed with learning opportunities not to mention, just plain fun.
O wanted to fill their apron pockets with coins, the real deal, so emptied the Bus Money jar! A few currencies were floating around, so we got to talk about coins and countries.
They categorized the fruit and veggies for sale, created price mark-ups (seriously inflated fruit and veg!), provided change (albeit, more than the customer provided in the first place!). They even delved in the world of fractions, using the velcro fruit in the mix.

Once they closed shop for the day, we read the fantastic, 'Tops & Bottoms' about a lazy bear who goes into business partnership with a money-hungry rabbit. Every planting season the bear picks Top's or Bottom's and every harvest the rabbit has tricked him, giving him the tops of carrots, beets and radishes, or the bottoms of lettuce, celery and broccoli!

The author-illustrator, Janet Stevens has even handmade her own paper and cleverly arranged the vegetables on the top or bottom of the page!

Finally for lunch, we made vegetable soup, bringing the activities full circle.

Raising Healthy Girls: "Unstoppable"

Just before our yoga video uploads, both O and Baby C are fixated on an advertisement by Always called, 'Unstoppable'.
As it turns out, many days we end up watching this several times over in lieu of our intended yoga.
I watch from a distance, at my two young and growing daughters and well up 'unstoppably' at the powerful message and positive advertising; how it contrasts from most commercials meant to 'improve' our gender.

We carried on to watch two more ads by the company, but the original proves to be my daughters' favourite, so we play it again and again.

'Like A Girl'
'Worldwide Responses to Like a Girl'
Problems with Praise. 
My Body.

Snail Tale


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vegan Bites: Creamy Avocado Pasta

Very yummy dish!
We halved and tweaked this recipe from 'Damn Delicious', to suit the masses (sadly omitting the basil leaves and using only 1/2 clove of garlic).
Creamy like carbonara without any eggs, cheese or bacon.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Piping Down: Scottish Tradition

We ended the weekend with the Scottish tradition of 'Piping Down the Sun.'
All these years and I finally learn where 'Pipe Down' derives from!
Above is O and Baby C, "Piping Down" (quote, unquote)!

The bagpiper played in the sweltering sun and even took song requests from passerby's!

It began with intense fascination...

...and eventual wandering off into the beautiful gardens, with multiple requests to pick the flowers:)

"She's onto me!"

"Chestnuts + Clubs = Chestnut Golf"

After being denied flower-picking privilege, O and Baby C amused themselves in the back garden with a few rounds of 'Chestnut Golf'.
Baby C is pictured admiring said chestnut and very likely scheming.

Mulberry Bird!

As soon as we found a mulberry tree, the piping, flowers and golf were forgotten.
Baby C stood with mouth wide open like a baby bird, waiting for someone to fill her up!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Vegan Bites: Lentils & Rice

Quick, cheap and simple curried lentils and rice.

Lentils & Rice
~handful of red lentils
~handful of basmati rice
~1/2 t each salt, turmeric, cumin
~2 cups water
Simmer all ingredients until water boils out.
Add fresh lime juice and cilantro to serve.

Foraging Friday

"Don't try to rush things,
that need time to grow."