Friday, April 29, 2016

Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day

April 30th is Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day.
We celebrated our first PIYP last year with teeny, tiny felt envelopes
so this year our only task was to change up the poems.
Since we're working with Gnomes & Fairies this week, it works out well that these tiny letters can be delivered through Fairy Mail!

When O was born, a friend in Shanghai gifted us with 'Here's a Little Poem'; the best book of poetry on our shelves. It combines a collection of short poems geared for children, with illustrations from Polly Dunbar, making it a modern masterpiece!

Mum is having a baby!
I'm shocked, I'm all at sea!
What's she want another one for?
What's the matter with me?!
~Colin McNaughton

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Vegan Bites: Raspberry Ice Cream

Raspberry Ice Cream

Two versions of ice cream today.
One in the strong lead!

Raspberry Ice Cream received the highest ratings (though Roasted Banana was a close...well the only....second).
This one has a tinge of tartness, so you may decide to add extra maple syrup sweetener.

We combined the leftover banana and raspberry to make bi-coloured popsicles.

Vegan Bites: Roasted Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream

Our freezer is often loaded with sad looking overripe banana's, but this recipes suggests roasting the banana's before freezing to enhance the flavour. Also the use of coconut milk makes this one a winner!

Gnomes & Numbers: Roman Numerals

In the first story of Gnomes and Numbers, we are introduced to the four gnomes and their masses of jewels they hide in the center of the Earth.
They cannot decide how to share them, so they use a twigs to count and divide the jewels.

Baby C was in charge of counting out jewels (glass beads), while O used popsicle sticks to serve as broken twigs. In this story, when the Gnomes reach five, they realize that continuing to use single twigs will take forever, so they switch the twigs to a V shape (though Roman Numerals,  4 is represented as I before V, so you may have to alter your version!).

Once we reached 10, O & Baby C gathered the jewels in a pile and divided them evenly between the Gnomes.

Waldorf Gnomes & Numbers

Waldorf math is introduced using the help of coloured Gnomes.
Each colour represents a math process (add,  subtract, multiply & divide) and lessons are given in story form, without naming the processes involved.

We used the story of 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' from 'The Book of Little Folk', to introduce our new Gnome friends. This book is chock full of international fairy and gnomes stories as well as several famous poems.
I left out patches of unfinished felt cut-outs to be made into Gnomes capes & caps for the morning!

Each of the Gnomes has a little poem to tell about their character.

Plus keeps what he finds
He has quite a heap
He adds the new to the old
And yells, “They’re mine to keep!”

Minus has a loving heart
But his pockets are always bare
For what he doesn’t lose
He is always willing to share

Our friend Divide
Takes the greatest care
To ensure that everyone
Has an equal share

Times is quick and able
He gathers with great speed
Handfuls at a time he gets
His bounty multiplies indeed!

Good King Equals is always fair
He sees the same amount everywhere!

Fairy Tee Pee & Maypole

Fairy Garden idea's are bountiful, but my favourite resources for all things childs play are from 'Imagine Childhood.'
In 'Fairies Love Camping', they feature adorable wee tee-pee's, bunting and we added a Maypole in honour of Beltane.

We included our Beeswax Snails and some tiny frogs from my Granny's collection.
I wrapped wee packages of fairy mail and left it outside of the tee pee. (inspired by Leafcutter Designs

Beeswax Snails

"Slowly, slowly, very slowly creeps the garden snail.
Slowly, slowly very slowly, up the garden rail.
Quickly, quickly very quickly runs the little mouse.
Quickly, quickly very quickly to his little house!"

'Frontier Dreams' has a tutorial on making Beeswax Snails.
Since beeswax is a bit challenging to use, this is a fantastic, simple intro project.
The first task, is to search for empty snail shells!
Once we found two, we got to work warming our hands by friction.

The beeswax smells amazing and once warmed, can be manipulated into shapes. The snail shape is simple enough for starters. Adding antennae starts to get a little complicated!

The results are super sweet!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fairy Crowns

Fairy Flower Crowns were a three-day process!!
First we had to create graded paintings, diluting one colour so the page had an ombre appearance.

We used several paper flower tutorials.
It involved lots of fringe-making, rolling, taping and curling paper edges!
Then we had to measure wire length, wrap in glittered tulle and attach the flowers!

Baby C couldn't stand keeping her single flower intact, so she took the scissors to them.
I loved this link for crepe paper peonies and managed to make one for her crown!

Fairy Houses.
Fairy Tutu.
Fairy Necklaces.
Fairy Cakes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ribbon Rings

Simple ribbon rings are a cinch to make.
These ones I had from years ago and work well with May Pole themes!
We used them for Circle Time activities, combined with some magical music from Music Together, called 'Breezes'.

You can include some Shape-Making exercises.
Baby C figured out how to make circular patterns! 
You can also introduce rainbows, spirals, waves etc. 

Every day this week, we've had to play the song up to ten times as O & Baby C discover more ways to move their ribbons!!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Vegan Bites: Sprites & BROWNIES

What better way to kick off Beltane (May Day) celebrations than with Unbaked Brownies, in honour of sprites and faeries!

We changed up our recipe, omitting walnuts and substituting sesame seeds. The processing part takes a good few minutes to become a solid, sticky mass.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sci Fri-Winch Work

Our plan was to create a simple winch
It would help us enhance Sci Fri and connect us to the story of The Lorax, which we have been reading in honour of Earth Day. When we asked Daddy to help us find a recycled 'winch wheel', he came home with this gigantic spool!

It was so large, we threaded it with a broom handle. A winch covers the criteria for several basic machines: wheel and axle, lever and pulley. (Though ours was lacking an actual lever).

Testing the Winch

O is an engineer of contraptions and on many occasions has set out to make her own pulley systems in the yard. So she was not convinced our winch worked any better than some of her inventions.
She went on to demonstrate her point!
Point taken.

We then figured out that our gigantic spool fits snugly on it's side while being rolled down our balance beam!

Once-ler's Voice Pipe Phone. 

Sci Fri-Breathing Plants

A simple science experiment with a strong message: plants breathe!

We set this up over breakfast to talk about how plants breathe in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen.
Even on an overcast day, it only takes a half hour to produce water vapor.

We combined this with our Earth Day projects and the very sweet book, The Mighty Tree

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Plantable Paper Earth

Shredding paper, soaking it in warm water, whizzing it up, adding seeds and squeezing the 'juice' from pulp is a sensory dream come true! We found these sweet Plantable Paper Earth's on 'MPMK'

We started off by taking a closer look at sheets of paper with the magnificent Jeweler's Loupe's.
Ours magnify objects thirteen times to get a super close-up of everyday materials.
We could easily see the fibers of the construction paper.

After shredding and ripping a bowl of each blue (water) and green (land) paper, we added boiling water and watched as the paper fibers soaked up the H2O.
A few minutes later, we used our second-hand 'science' blender, to whiz our paper into pulp.

Leftover seeds from last years catalog purchase, are aplenty, but in honour of Earth Day, we chose the Bee Pollinator Mix, to invite our insects friends to the garden.

An old screen was saved from our window reno's, specifically for paper-making.
We pushed "a pinch of this and a pinch of that" pulp, into round cookie cutters, over the screen, while squishing out the excess water.
You have to carefully lift the cookie cutter and press your pulp down to prevent your circle from falling apart.

We set out the screen in the sunshine for several hours to dry out our Plantable Paper Earth's!

Seed Tape Flowers. Imagine Childhood is chocked full of lovely gifts and a wonderful blog of DIY activities.
Seaweed Paper. If we lived closer to the sea, this would be an ideal way to use up seaweed!
Paper Favour Paper. Want to Go Green for an upcoming festivity? Make your own trendy plantable paper.
Recycled Paper Seed Cards. Start saving your old paper from the blue bin!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Smash Subtraction

 Get the Ball Rolling
Smash Subtraction got big ratings!
Math, in the form of a game, it is much less intimidating than coming from a sheet of equations.

Step #1. Get the ball rolling. O rolled out 14 play dough balls and set them aside.

Step #2. Write an equation. The first number written, O had to count out in play dough balls. We then used the 'minus' sign to indicate how many she could 'take away' (in this case, SMASH!)

Step #3. Count the leftovers. It equals the difference.

War. This activity is basically hiding math in the form of a game. First divide the entire deck of cards evenly among the number of players. Each slap down your first card. Highest card takes all cards played. If you compete with another player for highest card, you each lay 3 cards face down and play the last card, to see who wins them all.
Baby C even plays this game with us. Beware of boredom, as she will turn it into 52 Pick-Up or, as she calls it, "SNOWBALL FIGHT!"
Two rounds tops, before cards start raining!!

GO Fish. A great 'first' deck of cards game for number recognition. Baby C plays this one too, but needs a little help. And the conversations are quite candid!
O: "Mom, do you have a 5?"
C: "Ask Charlotte!" 
O: "Okay, Charlotte, do you have a 5?"
C: "No. But next time I get one, I give it to you, okay!?"