Stay Connected To Family & Friends During Lockdown

5 Ways To Stay Connected As A Family During Social Distancing And Lockdown

Image Credit: Pexels, Free to Use Licence. 

 

COVID-19, social distancing measures and lockdown have put restrictions on families and friends, stopping them from visiting one another and gathering in close groups. For elderly relatives, or those living alone, this can be a very isolating time, so it is important for families to come together and to stay connected-somehow. If you’re missing your family gatherings and have relatives who are confined to their homes alone, then here are 5 ways you can stay connected safely. 

Write to everyone 

There’s something very special about receiving a handwritten letter in the mail. We just got letters and “specials” from some friends that we are used to seeing often. The kids were so excited to each receive their own mail and of course, they felt connected to the family that sent them.

Why not have an arts and crafts day and create some beautiful cards to send to your loved ones. Let the little ones go wild with dot paints, crayons and water color pencils. If you want to add an extra special touch then you could even use an embossing folder to create a 3D effect.

The lovingly created designs will brighten anyone’s day.

Host a family quiz

Who doesn’t love a quiz? Get your family together online through a platform such as Zoom or Skype and host your own weekly family quiz.

Name your teams, answer the questions, have a laugh and enjoy each other’s virtual company. To keep the questions varied and to ensure that no one person has to always put in the work, let the winner of the quiz choose someone to host it the following week. If you really want to go all out, get all the different families that will join on Zoom the same game (we love Trivial Pursuit) and play together virtually.

Have a cook-along

Missing Granny’s pot roast? Then have a cook along and recreate her dish using her recipe. Circulate a list of ingredients that everyone needs to get ahead of time and then arrange a time and day to come together via a video link. Whoever is leading the cook-along is in charge of this cooking show, so simply follow their lead and in no time everyone should be eating a perfect replica of the family favorite. You could even set the table and sit down altogether from behind your screen to enjoy it.  

Video chat 

Although a cook-along or quiz may be fun, sometimes all you need is a good, long video chat. Set up your video link, get comfortable with a cup of tea or coffee, and simply catch up on the activities you have been doing and how you are all feeling. Isolation and lockdown can be very trying on our mental health, so offer a sympathetic ear to those in need and have a laugh to make you all feel better. Be there for those that get especially down during isolation, or who have fears during this time.

Throw a Netflix party

Finally, if you’re looking for a way to relax together while staying apart then throw a Netflix Party.

Netflix Party allows you to synchronize the playing of your favorite shows and also has a built-in group chat so you can discuss the plot and keep the conversation flowing. What’s more, Netflix Party is completely free to use for Netflix members and with more than a million shows to choose from, you won’t be running out of things to watch any time soon. 

 

Surviving social distancing as a close-knit family may be hard, but together we’ll get through it, and be stronger, more appreciative, and have better habits when it is all done!

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Perfect Hobbies for Kids

When young children adopt new hobbies, they discover all sorts of new skills and learn some important life lessons. Through hobbies, children can find what lights them up and excites them at a young age, as opposed to doing it later on when they feel it’s ‘too late’ to do anything about it.

My husband and I are both huge hobby lovers- crafting, journaling, sewing, embroidery, painting, woodworking, gardening, leather work, and animal husbandry … the list goes on! We have enjoy distilling a love for handicrafts and hobbies in our children, and watching them grow in their skills.

Here are just a few hobbies children of all ages could test out!

hobbies for kids

Pexels – CC0 License

Reading And Writing

Reading to children is essential for language social, emotional, and cognitive development.  Reading aloud to children will improve their listening and speaking skills, and they might even become good writers themselves, as it can help them to develop their own imagination. Once children have learned to read on their own, cultivating a love for reading is one of out biggest jobs! A child that loves to read loves to learn, and from there they will grow into unstoppable, teachable, curious adults. Loving to write often comes when a child enjoys reading, because they are driven to write their own stories.

Visiting Places of Interest

Traveling to visit a historical site, a history or pop up museum, a well loved author’s home, and other sites of interest can be a brilliant hobby for a child. As well as having fun and exploring, they will learn plenty from immersing themselves in culture. It gives them a base to build plenty of other hobbies on – writing, crafts, and reading, for example. Anything you can study in science, history, art and literature can be turned into a field trip, or family road trip. There is so much to experience no matter what your child loves to learn about-get out there and explore!

Building and Engineering

Children love to build- what they can build and create with blocks, legos, and Magnatiles is endless. From model bridges and giant towers, to cars and boats, they can have an incredible amount of fun building just about anything that takes their fancy.  Expand their possibilities by providing a child-friendly tool kit which allows them to build whatever they like-a small hammer, screw drivers, age appropriate nails, nuts, bolts, washers, screws, zip-ties, etc can be kept in an old tool box near some scrap wood, so kids can easily create!

Painting

Painting is an excellent way for children to learn to express themselves. Open ended art-meaning, no defined assignment, no rules- allows for the most creativity. If they paint the sky green, let them have a green sky. This again goes back to helping them develop their imaginations and having confidence in their abilities. You never know – you may have the next Picasso in your family! =)

Gardening

Gardening not only helps children develop an interest in nature and stay active, but it also strengthens their immune systems. Why not give them their small plot of garden to play with and grow things? You could let them grow things inside the house if space is at a premium. A plot of land, or a potted plant, either way we are cultivating a sense of responsibility and nurturing in our kids!

Cooking & Handicrafts

Cooking is an essential skill for anybody to learn – after all, everybody needs to eat! Let them cook with you from a young age, and maybe start letting them use cooking kits when they are old enough. Children of all ages can help in the kitchen-prepping oatmeal, mixing, stirring, browning meat, poor liquids, measuring ingredients. Get them involved and enjoy your time together!

hobbies for kids

Handicrafts are anything children can do with their hands- sewing, knitting, crocheting, whittling, calligraphy, cross stitching, dyeing yard, quilting, bead work, wood working, pottery, mosaics the list goes on and on and on. We do handicrafts while listening to audiobooks, while I read aloud, or while watching an art video.

Let your children find a hobby that they enjoy and you’ll notice a vast difference in their confidence. Starting them off while they are young gives kids the chance to know what excites them and can help them find their passion in life later! Most any hobby requires a skill, and those skills can mean enjoyable work later in life.

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Mid Homeschool Year Update{2018/2019}

You’ve been asking, so here it is:

We have made it to March, which is actually pretty far past mid year. I will break things down per student/age and what we do as a family.

This is going to look like … a lot. I think I say that all the time. We loop schedule our extras, so extras are on a continuous loop that we don’t fret over doing every single day. Because my 8 year old is a very independent learner in most areas, she has a lot of independent-learning-style subjects, as you will see.

Keep in mind we do a LOT of oral learning via reading, memory work review, and research interest led learning. I have each child tell us what they’re learning about so everyone can learn from everyone, in a school house style environment.

Mid/End of Year Homeschool Learning Update

In our homeschool, like most, learning time isn’t confined to the table, so while we do the things listed below, learning expands over our entire day, our entire life.

Family Learning:

  • Sonlight Core B: History, read alouds, and Bible reading. We have LOVED the read alouds this year! (I paired up the SL read alouds with different Arrows from Brave Writer for my oldest, to make a LA program.)
  • Free Writing: We journal and freewrite as part of our family culture. All of my kids enjoy writing stories, and are especially into poems right now. Sometimes I choose something the kids have written to edit and revise together, so they can make their favorite freewrite into a polished piece. Most of these are in their personal journals or school writing notebooks. My husband often gets them journals when he travels to different places/countries, and they are filled quickly! I keep them in hope chest downstairs when they are full.
  • Science/Nature Study: We are currently working from Anatomy of Nature and Anatomy of a Farm; from these pages I choose a topic to study. We recently did honey bees and butterflies. Soon we will begin pond life, because spring is the perfect time to study from our pond! We have also touched on anatomy this year, and a few other topics as interest has arisen.
  • Handicrafts: We do a LOT of handicrafting around here. Almost 100% of it is child led-they have free access to most of our crafting supplies, so crochet, hand sewing, embroidery, whittling, wood working (simple with hammer and nails/saws) ink making, and the list goes on, are done by them during their free times. Thankfully, homeschool allows for a LOT of free time; boredom = creativity and problem solving.
  • Art: We follow a few favorites on youtube and online for art.  Our Read Aloud Revival premium access membership has live artist workshops we attend to learn to draw with wonderful illustrators and authors, these are my kids’ favorites! We also enjoy ChalkPastel.com’s tutorials, and may add their membership to our wish list next year!
  • We use the IXL app on the ipad (read my review here) for extra learning practice because they love it. Because I limit what they are allowed to do online for now, this is something special and educational for them =)
  • Games are part of our schooling and family time. We love games like 4 Way Count Down, uno, and Pass the Pigs. Any GameWright game is a hit here (I don’t do super complicated games). We add family games via Christmas gifts, birthdays, spring basket, and of course, homeschool box day!
  • Morning Basket: (AKA any time of day basket) This is just a fancy homeschooler term for circle time… you know, the thing we all did in preschool through elementary school? Calendar, read a book, learn about something new, review something, sing songs, listen to music, read poetry, do a fun activity, share knowledge, and/or handicrafts? Yep. That’s morning time basket.
  • Read Aloud Revival premium access membership: I cannot emphasize enough how much I love this resource! We missed this months events, due to illness (the flu had us sleeping/resting a LOT), but you can see the schedule

8 Year Old/2nd Grade

Lady works on different levels, anywhere from 2nd+; we still struggle with reversals but writing and spelling continue to improve with cursive and lots of oral practice. Numbers and math operation orders can be difficult with reversals, including reversing math signs. But she knows her stuff and likes oral math challenges against her little brother 😉

  • LA/Writing: We are using Brave Writer Arrows for copywork, and supplemental focus areas (in grammar and spelling), as a literature based approach. We are finishing a Narnia Arrow, because we read, The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe together this winter, and will continue the series through part of spring. All of my kids have just loved this, as have I (since I never read the whole thing as a child-fantasy wasn’t my favorite).
  • Reading: Along with the Arrows that go to read alouds, we are also working through AAR 3. This is not something we do often, because she is such a great intrinsically motivated reader. She needs more emphasis in spelling, so we do way more spelling practice than reading at this time. She does read aloud to me throughout our daily life, a LOT, so we call that reading =) We mostly use AAR when we “do” reading, because she really likes reading the readers to me-haha. At this point, the Arrows from Brave Writer are really enough for her reading and copywork.
  • Spelling: We are using AAS Level 2 with resources from Level 1
  • Vocabulary: We really enjoy the Wordly Wise books, especially their crosswords puzzles and activities found in them. She has learned a LOT from these.
  • Grammar: Along with the grammar topics discussed/pointed out in our Arrows, we are using Easy Grammar. Lady does this independently, without much help from me. We apply what she learns when writing spelling sentences, journaling, freewrites, etc.
  • CLE Math: Lady is working through grade 2 CLE math. We use Saxon math worksheets as a supplement-FYI-I do NOT have her do every page from Saxon. We use the even lessons, sometimes skipping some lessons between. Saxon and CLE are similar on levels, but each approaches their questions and answers differently, and I like this! I feel like it gives her a different way to approach math, and Saxon is good about reminding us to get our hands-on learning things out for practice! Sometimes we don’t even use the worksheet, but just set up hands on learning activities that fit what’s on the paper. It is really just a jumping off point for me, as well.
  • Extras: We loop extras throughout the week. Lady uses CLE’s geography and science workbooks. I am not a huge advocate of workbooks, however, the CLE books are very nice! The illustrations are simple, and very … nature study-ish; they’re lovely and fun to color with pencils if you have a art lover on your hands like I do. She is a visual and audio learner, so reading is one of her best learning super powers, however, she needs practice writing, which the CLE books provide. They bring us both joy, so we stick with them. I also find they are great for her to open on her own when I need to work independently with another child; I love hearing about what she’s learned in these!

Regarding workbooks– These are going to depend on your family’s learning style. Each child is different; some will be bored to death with workbooks! My 4 year old loves them, my 8 year enjoys them, my 6 year old is reading independently enough to do his math alone, and some language arts, but isn’t in love with workbook style learning (with the exception of CLE Bible 1). I am 100% okay with that, so for his age and development we keep them to a minimal.

6 Year Old Boy/Kindergarten

  • Language Arts: We are using AAR Level 2 for his reading. He just finished level 1.
  • LA Extras: We are using The Good and The Beautiful Level 2 for him as well. This is a beautiful curriculum that includes grammar, spelling, and reading, however we don’t use it that way. I will try to make a video on how we implement the program, but we use their spelling list for sight word spelling/common words, and enjoy their readers for extra practice. I really LOVE their practice pages and the grammar concepts covered. This is working better for him than Easy Grammar, at this point. Easy Grammar is a bit more dry and fill in the blank (again, my 8 year old begs to do this!), and that just isn’t Mister’s jam.

**I do not believe there is ever such a thing as too many books or readers at appropriate levels-hence me using so many different ones. Variety is the spice of a nurtured reading life haha**

  • Spelling: He is doing AAS 2 with his sister. Mister is a natural speller, and things that are harder for my 8year old (due to dysgraphia symptoms) are easier for him right now, so they’re actually in the same level.
  • Math: He is using CLE math 1. Math is super easy for this boy, he flies through his books and often asks for more than 1 lesson. He loves dictation word problems, writing math problems, and speed drills.

4 Year Old Girl/PreK

  • This one tags along, and we are slowly going through AAR 1. She can read CVC words pretty well.
  • We use Handwriting Without Tears; next year she will move into A Reason for Handwriting like the others have.
  • Math is Math Eggs K, she loves this book.
  • We also are using Rod and Staff Preschool Set, because *I* love them. They’re so simple, much like the CLE books we use, but they allow her some independent style work, which she likes.

The toddler tags along, of course. As summer creeps upon us, I won’t be doing as many “extras.” We strip down to basics when the weather is nice to allow lots of outside play-we have a farm that is blooming into spring and full of life, so we need to enjoy it while it lasts!

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

 

Valentine Resources for the Very Young

Valentine’s Day is upon us.  And in honor of that, I am here with some great Valentine’s Day Resources for preschoolers and kindergarteners.

Free Valentine's Day Resources for Prek-K from Quietinthechaos.com

I really like BusyBeeKidsCrafts.com  They offer lots of printable educational Valentine’s Day activities such as word searches, mazes, math worksheets, and dot to dots.  Lexie really enjoys dot to dots, mazes, and anything where she has to find numbers.

As you may know, I loove This Reading mama all year round!  We use one of her reading curricula to supplement our homeschool activities.  She also has some great Valentine’s Day activities and printable packs:

This awesome Valentine’s Day Scripture pack is one of my favorites!  It is a countdown to VDay, using scripture, courtesy of Kim from Not Consumed.  She has some other great resources on her site.  Check it out!

ChristianPreschoolPrintables has some fun Bible themed Valentine’s Day printables- you can make your own valentines, create a minibook, and print a VDay sewing craft!  Lots of fun stuff for the tiny humans.  =)

These links should hold lots of fun ideas for you and your littles this Valentine’s Day!  Hope you enjoy; and check out other’s posts about VDay resources by clicking the Schoolhouse Review Crew image below!

Valentine's Day RoundUp

My Favorite Things: August

This month I want to try to begin a series of posts about my favorite “things,” that help me in my family life, and thus homeschool life (because homeschool is our lifestyle, right?).

  1. The Read Aloud Revival Premium Membership– I have heard Sarah discuss it on her podcast for ages. I’ve been a loyal listener for a few years, and never really thought the Membership applied to me. Our whole family life revolves around books, after all. Boy was I wrong! After a very hard summer (emotionally physically, mentally) for our family, I needed to simplify, set new goals for our homeschool, and get started FRESH. And I needed to do this without the drudgery of “too many things” on our to do’s. Just because it is good, beautiful, and wonderful doesn’t mean we have to cram it in right now. We have SO many days, so many weeks, so many month, and years to add in the many wonderful homeschool resources. They don’t all have to fit RIGHT NOW. (remind me of this in 3 months haha)
  2. The Read Aloud Revival Book Bag– Nope, I am not being paid to tell you how much I love RAR. I just really do. And her book bag is no exception; beautiful, perfect for library trips, easy to load, strong, wide straps, lined with a zippered pocket … I could go on but I won’t. These make great gifts (I think each child will get one for Christmas because I love mine) and you get a discounted rate when you are a RAR Premium Members!
  3. Thriftbooks– I love books. I love cheap books. I love cheap books that come in the mail.
  4. Little Jewel Books– I wasn’t so sure what to expect with these, but I ordered 2 I thought we would like for our family. These are beautiful little books … really they aren’t so little. I have found them to be perfect for my almost 4 year old 3rd born who needs a little “help” remembering right from wrong. The covers are enticing, and the pages are really lovely. I can’t wait to order many more!
Rain = happy ducks

ducks swimming in the flooded chicken run

  1. Rain- We have been in a pretty serious drought in our neck of the county since the winter. This month, however, mother nature has decided to bless us with something like 20 days of rain. I am *so thankful* for the rain! The pond my finally fill up this year, the grass and trees feel better, and the ducks are sure enjoying it!
  2. Playing games- In our efforts to take a step back in everything, we have found our afternoons and evening usually empty, meaning we have time to play games as a family, crochet, and water color. Mostly, I play UNO with my son and oldest girl while the other do crafts, art, etc. It has been so pleasant!
  3. Reading Aloud-We have finally found our groove for reading aloud again, and *it is perfect.* Even the 2 year old is getting better about being quiet so we can listen. Whew whooo!
  4. More Free Time- did I mention we all have more free time now? Everyone is picking up books more often, playing outside more often, loving on the goats, playing pretend, climbing new trees MORE. It makes my heart happy, and I can already see a big difference in the kids’ emotionally without the stress of everything we had on our plates before.

What have you enjoyed most this month?

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Homeschool Video-Based Art Curriculum {a review}

We have been using Art of the Ancients from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. This is a new edition book from their Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray series. Art is always a fun topic in our home; we have really enjoyed ARTistic Pursuits when we reviewed it in the past. This time was no different!

Homeschool Video Art Lessons K-3

K-3 Volume 2, Art of the Ancients

This beautiful, hardcover, 64 page book consists of 18 lesson, 6 of which are video based lessons focused on chalk pastels and clay sculpture. It comes with 2 discs: 1 DVD, and 1 Blue-ray Disc.

The lessons on ancient art are thorough, allow students to see creativity and life differently than they may in their own culture, and introduce new experiences in chalk pastels and clay. We already had chalks and sculpting clay on hand; we used these chalks, and this clay set. You can use any brand that you may have on hand-one lessons even suggests using sidewalk chalks outdoors!

Volume 2- Ancients {homeschool art video lessons}

There are prep notes found at the beginning of every lesson, allowing the parent or teacher to better prepare for teaching. Simple suggestions like how to set up before hand for a group (4 small children at home, anyone?), or moving the lesson outside, are just what I needed to help our lesson go smoothly.

Each lesson in Art of the Ancients gives the history of an ancient culture, and the art they used in every day life- from cave drawings and carved city walls, to more sophisticated statues and pillars, students get an intimate look at the beauty found in ancient history and it’s purpose. There are over 100 illustrations found in the course book!

After the history portion of the lesson, students will find an opportunity for a picture study- our favorite part! Here is a chance to practice some narration (for all your Charlotte Mason homeschoolers!) and pay close attention to details in art. I found that often times, my children are better at finding the details than I am! Simple prompts which ask what the children see (how many, what size, what kind/shape) or where something is hiding in the picture encourages young learners to look at details, while other questions encourage them to see the art as a whole piece.

Lastly, children create! The instructions for creating your own piece of art are easy to understand and implement. The supplies needed are listed in a box at the top of the page, followed by a brief description about the type of art, explanation of new vocabulary, and instructions of how to create.

What We Think

My children have been pleading to do art since we received our book in the mail. Each time we open the book we are glad we did! The simple history lessons are fun, meaningful, and help make history come alive. My 7.5 yo enjoys reading it for fun, and everyone loves the beautiful art found inside. Lessons are short enough to hold young children’s attention & make it easy to fit into an already full life. They are very easy on mama, not parent intensive at all, which is always nice!

My toddler watched the video lessons along with us, enjoying the clay and pinch pot-making. My 3 year old followed right along in her care free way, using chalks and clay independently, while her 2 older siblings were much more serious about their work. 😉

We have loved this program and will likely use more books from the Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray series. Thank you ARTistic Pursuits!

 

Pinch Pot-making {homeschool art curriculum}

pinch pots {homeschool art}

 

Video Art Lessons

 

Chalk Pastel Art

Connect with ARTistic Pursuits

Read more reviews on this and other books from this series by clicking the banner below:

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Homeschool Weekly Wrap-Up {April 7th}

The last 2 weeks we’ve spent our days adjusting our routine. I think I’ve said it before … at least I’ve thought it-vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors make reading aloud SO. HARD. I feel like I am yelling over a toddler the entire time. At this stage everyone fusses over my lap, so we’ve moved our reading aloud to my room, on the big king sized bed where they can spread out and hear me better.

Our new routine involves mama tending to the farm chores before the kids wake, getting her workout in after breakfast ,and brain warm-ups for all the kids! Day light savings really threw me for a loop this year as far as waking early goes. I am finally getting used to it. I strive for my mornings to look like this:

  • 5:30/6am- mama wakes, breakfast for the hubs, pack his lunch, coffee with him before he leaves
  • tend to meat chicks & LGD pup outside
  • Jesus devotional & coffee with my Help Club for Moms book
  • Prep Breakfast
  • 7am Kids up, eat, morning basket
  • Kid chores and 7yo practice violin- dishwasher, waste baskets, laundry, pick up floors if not done night before
  • 8:15/8:30 Mama works out, kid brain warm-ups (videos on youtube for crossing midline)
  • 9:00 Begin read alouds in my room
  • 9:30/9:45 begin table work- each day includes Reading/LArts for each child, math, handwriting/copy work We do other activities on various days, looping them (Latin, Apologia Science we are reviewing, art, messy play, game school)
  • During that time, the tot (20 months) goes to independent play in her room, and after the 3yo has done school along with us for a while, she also goes to IP
  • 11:30 Lunch
  • 12:15 Tot’s nap, others play outside
  • 12:45 Preschooler’s nap
  • 1:30 5yo naps, 7yo rest time or time with mama
  • 3:00 everyone up from naps-play outside, nature study, handicrafts of their choice
  • 5:30 dinner
  • This time of year, depending on what daddy is doing outside after work and how everyone napped, we are outside after dinner then come in for baths and wind down. We’ve been spending several evenings a week at the table coloring, doing more learning time (science, or new spelling, writing letters, practicing cursive, etc). I LOVE this time because it brings Daddy into our homeschool setting for just a snippet, allowing the kids to tell him all about what they’re learning, show him new skills, inviting him into their world.

**Some evenings are spent folding laundry as a family while watching Create TV on PBS-Martha Bakes, This old House, Lydia, America’s Test Kitchen, etc. They are our favorites! We have pretty much written off all the mind numbingly ridiculous kids shows on Netflix & Amazon. They truly hurt my brain- We are already very picky about what our kids take in (supposedly targeted for kids … targeted being the key word here) but even the appropriate shows are just stupid. These days our shows consist of Mr. Rogers, Reading Rainbow, and sometimes the book adaptations of If You Give a Mouse, or The Snowy Day, or nature shows. Nothing else seems worth our time or brain cells. (If you have any suggestions for quality kid shows that aren’t “twaddle,” please share in the comments!) The amount of content out there that you really wouldn’t want your kids seeing really seems to be overwhelming these days but at least parents have access to more information than ever on how to combat this harmful material being consumed by their children.

Our studies this week have included:

  • David and Saul in the Bible
  • each day we read The Little Island– focusing on narration and seasons (3yo loooves this living book!)
  • read The Apple and The Arrow from our Sonlight Core A, and our missionary stories from The Good News Must Go Out
  • commas in a series, writing sentences, list making and narrating an item from that list (from The Good and The Beautiful LA), spelling from our new Memoria Press (for review), handwriting letter review (5yo),
  • naming and measuring line segments using linking cubes, writing numbers, skip counting (5yo)
  • handicrafts- my daughter is finishing a bag for her co-op sewing class, all of the kids are really into card making, and other paper crafts. We made crowns this week
  • All About Reading level 1-beginning and ending blends, read stories from reader (5yo)
  • the 3yo is learning her letter sounds, enjoys Starfall 1 day a week, and literally writes and draws all day long
  • Science right now is coming from Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Anatomy & Physiology We are loving this just as much as their Astronomy, and I will have a review on that very soon!

In between lessons we have planned special plants for our garden, played outside, studied the bees collecting pollen, taken nature walks in the woods, and observed the changes that come with SPRING! (though this morning we have played in SNOW, and made snow cream … Because winter just doesn’t want to leave us!)

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

DIY No Cook Play Dough

This is the easiest DIY play dough recipe I have ever made, and it is so soft! The play dough only has 3 ingredients that you are sure to have on hand.

This winter has been so frigidly cold, we’re in need other ways to meet all the kids’ sensory needs, so I am being more intentional this winter about sensory and messy play with my 4 children. Usually, all 4 are in the dirt, mud, flower beds, mixing flowers and leaves in buckets, and running barefooted.

Play dough can double as a good heavy work activity for children that need help self regulating, as well.

Easy DIY Play Dough

 

We like adding essential oils to our play dough for an added calming affect. After they explore with just the dough for a while, I let them have their rolling pins, dough stamps, and other tools. I also like to have them divide the dough into 10 balls, set up like a ten frame, then we do some hands on math!

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Washable Markers That Won’t Dry Out for 7 Days {Magic Stix- a review}

The holiday season is here, and among my favorite Christmas gifts, there is always an item from The Pencil Grip, Inc. We have been using their 12 pack of Magic Stix markers and of course, they were a hit! These can take their place next to our favorite art supplies.

Magic Stix art supplies markers won't dry out

Easy and safe to use, Magic Stix are non toxic, washable markers- but even better-they won’t dry out for 7 days with the cap off! *Calling all mamas of toddlers* These are your markers! Magic Stix are true, vibrant, colors with a smooth writing tip. My 7 year old daughter really enjoyed writing with them, because they’re not a very fat marker, but not the very skinny markers that are harder to hold. The tips were good for both writing, drawing, and coloring she said. The kids made a few Christmas cards for family and wrote in their journals today using Magic Stix; I was impressed with the quality of the marker and the nice colors! There are so many games to play on a whiteboard that I just knew that these markers would be great at entertaining my kids when needs be.

Being able to hand my children art supplies for free time at the table has been *so* easy with our Kwik Stix, and now I can add Magic Stix those activities. When the 3 year old leaves a lid off a marker, it will continue to work, saving me a lot of time (checking lids), and money! Markers can be expensive, especially when a new color is dried out every few days- but not with Magic Stix. We were only able to leave the lid off the marker a few days before someone accidentally put it away, but it was still working as if the lid had been on the whole time!

Magic Stix make a great birthday gift, and will be wonderful last minute stocking stuffers this Christmas.

 

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