Fall is here….

I would have to say that fall and winter are my favorite seasons!  I love this time of the year!  So much fun for homeschooling as well!  There is nothing like a fall hike/walk.  So many colors, sounds and I would have to say it even smells like fall.  If your child loves science or art, then mixing nature into it during the autumn season can be an extra burst of fun!  Here are some ideas that you can do for fall…

-Our kiddos love a great nature hunt.  They can collect all kinds of treasures and leaves to use for all sorts of things.  Have them take a small sketch book and each time you go out have them sketch something in nature that they see adding detail.  Start a nature journal with them of different kinds of pressed leaves, seeds, or other things you collect along the way.  Do leaf rubbings, paint the items you collect and press onto paper, turn leaves and seeds into things (ex. make a leaf man out of different sizes of leaves).  Press leaves and make cards or bookmarks.

-So many great fruits and vegetables to use for fall.  You have your pumpkins, gourds, indian corn, apples.  Bake up some fun or paint a pumpkin/gourd, find some indian corn that you can pop for a tasty snack.  Take a trip to a farm/orchard to pick some apples or pumpkins.  I have to mention again about baking.  Yum! 

-Search the web for some great fall crafts.  One of my favorite sites is www.familyfun.go.com.  There are so a many sites on the internet with creative ideas.  It’s fun to just take some time and search them out! Another one I use from time to time is www.education.com.  If you go to the right section on it it leads you to ideas for whatever grade/subject you pick. 

-Have your kids write down things that they are thankful and put them up as a paper chain, collage, a writing project.  Or they could write a letter to a family member or friend and let them know why they are thankful for them.

-They could be their own author and illustrator and create their own book about fall or write a poem.

-Have kids make up their own games that have to do with fall objects or themes

-Have kids write spelling words, math problems, or other learning things on fall colored paper in the shapes of fall items (pumpkins, leaves, acorns, etc…).  One of my kids did this today.  We 100 pumpkin shaped post its for a buck in a dollar bin at target and they worked perfect to write fall words on and glue onto a half sheet of poster board

There are so many fall ideas out there!  Most of all relax and enjoy the time that you are spending with your children.  I know for me, sometimes I let the stresses of life interfer with my day.  I have to step back, take a breather and give it to God being thankful for the family and children he has placed in my life!  One of the things that I love the most about fall is that it seems to remind us to be thankful for so many things!

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Fun Felt Finger Puppets!

Here’s an easy craft that you and your kids can make.  If you have some scraps of fabric laying around, some craft glue, googly eyes and scissors you are set.  Just figure out the finger puppet you would like to make, cut out the pieces and glue on.  Make sure to let dry completely.   When you make the matching pieces that your finger slips into, make sure that you only glue around the edges.  Here’s pictures of some that I’ve made.  Kids can get creative and make different animals/people/things in stories to act out with later as well.

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Pull Out The Paint!

My boys love to paint and ask to do it often.   The other day we pulled out all the colors of the rainbow and they painted for a good chunk of the day.  We found these little birdhouses for a dollar at a craft store and decided that instead of just painting on paper, they would paint on poster board to hang on their walls when dry.

There are so many things that can be painted on!  Craft stores have so many cheap wood projects that can be painted into a masterpiece by your kids.  We have found masks, little boxes, pieces of wood that you can paint and hang up, even little cars, animals and toys.  You may even only need to take a few steps just to find something to paint around your house.  You can paint puppets or designs on wooden spoons or even go outside and find some flat rocks to paint on and turn into magnets or paper weights.  You can even recycle boxes and containers and turn them into something fun (we did this once and made a giant robot).  Most of the time we use kids paints or acrylic paints.  Go out and find something fun to paint and create!

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Cooking with the kiddos!

 I cannot tell you how much fun the boys have cooking at home.  It saves money and brings the family together at the   table!  Plus things just taste better with some love added into the recipe!  My boys are big fans of homemade pizza! We like to add whole wheat flour into the dough to make  it more healthy and we make our own tomato sauce to give it more flavor.   You can also make extra sauce and freeze it for next time.  I’ve also made extra dough for the freezer as well and it saves time later on when you need to get a meal ready with less time on your hands.  I like to look up recipes at www.allrecipes.com because it rates the recipes so you can choose the ones that are higher rated for a better taste.  I have used dough and sauce recipes from there.  The only difference is that with the dough I swap out some whole wheat flour for the white.  Also make sure to read the top tips from others who have tried  out the recipe for some great suggestions! 

  Recently we also made fruit leather from www.weelicious.com.  Just type in strawberry fruit leather in the search bar.  Really make sure to watch the recipe at the end because it can burn and did with our batch, but the part that didn’t burn was very tasty!                                                          

           I just want to encourage everyone to take the time to make some yummy creations in the kitchen!  It’s such a great way to make memories with your little munchkins!

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Easter Fun!

 

Well Easter came and went, but not without a time of remembering and celebrating Jesus!  Our new recipe that we tried this year was resurrection rolls http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Resurrection-Rolls/Detail.aspx.  We also did some other things as well.  Did you see some little chicks hanging around? 

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Fun With Food!

Well tonight I guess I felt a little creative spark while I was thinking of what to make for dinner.  I had just gone grocery shopping yesterday so I had lots of veggies.  This is the mini veggie forest that I came up with…

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Early Learning Fun!

     I really believe that kids can learn at any age!  There is so much that you can do (low or no cost) with those little learners.  Early learning can teach kids to grow in many areas while having fun at the same time.  Here is a list of things that you can do with your little kiddos…

*use magnets for learning letters or words on the refrigerator or a cookie sheet

*make an ABC or word book.  Have a page in a binder with each letter and magazine cut out pictures/drawings of things that begin with those letters (or of the words). 

*trace words/letters/their names

 *when you are at the grocery store you can ask your child to find something red (or whatever color you are working on) and then keep changing the colors or you can count things in the grocery store with them to teach them numbers. 

 *when they are a bit older you can make a grocery store at home with food/boxes/cans/bottles you have at home.  Set the items up on a table.  Use fake money and grocery bags and play store to have them learn about money, cost, adding or just numbers

 *put down a big piece of wax paper/baking sheet, spread out some pudding and have them/help them write letters and words in it.  It also works with drawing shapes.  You can also do this in a small tray of sand or with shaving cream

 *make up songs or rhymes to teach them things

 *do math with snacks (raisins, cheerios, blueberries, grapes, carrot sticks, pretzels, etc..).  Have them count, add or subtract with them.  You can also do this with things outside or around the house.

 *go on a nature walk and collect nature items to talk about/observe

 *you can find really cheap flash cards at dollar stores

 *have a puppet show or use stuffed animals to have your child make up stories and use their imaginations

*make a flannel board and create whatever felt board pieces that you would like 

*make simple patterns out of blocks or other items around the house (buttons, paper cut into pieces, toys, etc..)

 *have them find things that are taller, shorter, bigger, small or ask about two items and have them point out which one is __________.

 *have a little art box of stickers, glue, scissors, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, paper, feathers, pieces of tissue paper, felt, sequins, pom poms or whatever else you can find that is crafty for them to create art projects with

 *have a sensory box (under the bed boxes work great) that you fill with different things throughout the year (sand, water, rice, dried beans, or any item you can think of) to have them use their imagination and play in

 *make a texture book. Each page is a different feeling.  Sandpaper on one page with the word rough under it or bubble wrap on another with bumpy under it (felt with soft, foil with shiny, etc..)

 *make a music box.   If you don’t have any toy instruments there are lots of ideas online of crafts to make different musical instruments

 *read lots of books together.  The library has so many great books that you can read with your child.  You can also make a reading spot with pillows, a bean bag chair, on the couch with a small bookshelf nearby, a special reading chair, on a bed or anywhere.  If your child is old enough you can have reading log

 *There are free workshops at most home depots and some lowe’s stores where your child can build projects and get their own apron/earn pins

 *painting/drawing for shapes, color, numbers, letters, etc…

 *make homemade playdough and create creatures, numbers/letters, shapes, etc…

 *hunt for bugs for science

 *learn about health by creating a doctor bag with cotton, bandaids, popsicle sticks, bandages, etc… and show how we can take care of ourselves by using a stuffed animal/doll to take care of

 *cook together and have child look at recipe to learn numbers and words

 *there are online ideas for file folder learning activities you can do with your child for most subjects (or file folder books at the library to print out)

 *chalk board/dry erase board for letters/words/numbers

 *fish for words/number/shapes/colors on flash cards.  Attach a paper clip to each flash card on floor, then tie a string to the end of a stick/wooden dowel with a magnet on the end and have them fish for whatever it is that you want to teach them.

 *there are lots of board games that can help with math

 *plant in the garden to teach science (learn about what you plant) and to teach a child to take care of it

 *have themes for different weeks (check out one of my later notes on different themes you can use)

 *do some bird watching and make a bird book for science

 *have a prayer, worship and Bible reading time everyday

 *add number on dominos (this many dots +this many dots =)

 *Have a family reading time together (even if it’s only 15 minutes a day)

 *go on a scavenger hunt letters/numbers you’ve hidden around a room

 *make lots of crafts for art (so many can be found online and at the library, even christian themed ones)

  Find those things that your kids love and figure out how to put education it them.  For young ones it’s hard to keep their attention at times, so the the more excited and fun you make it the better. 

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