Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Japanese Festival

I love Fall and all the fun activities there are. The weather in Texas is still pretty hot, but it's cooler than it has been. Last weekend we went to the Japanese Festival. We are just starting to study Asia as part of our homeschool, so this was a fun outing. The festival was a lot of fun and there were several fun activities for the kids to do. Blue Rock loved learning more origami. He's gotten really good at it and it was neat to show him a bunch of different things people have done. They even got their names written in Japanese. He also liked feeding the fish and even made a little fishing pole out of a tall piece of grass. He picked up a dead dragon fly and tried putting it on his fishing line as bait to catch a fish. When that wasn't working he reached in the pond to try and grab a fish that way. He's so much fun! Princess loves being outside and she has fun anywhere we go. 

One of Blue Rock's favorite games was a game that they gave him a little fishing net that dissolved in the water. He could scoop up as much prizes as he could before the net broke. He loved this! While we were there he was thinking about how he could recreate this game. When we got home he had a plan and did a great job coming up with recreating the dissolving fishing net game. He made some for him and his sister. 

After the festival, we went and ate fish for lunch. It was a lovely morning.

You can kind of see his fishing pole here

Fishing by hand

Dissolving fishing poles

Toddler Busy Bag Swap 2, 6 busy bags for toddlers

I met some friends to do another toddler busy bag swap. I love these swaps! Since I had some left over busy bags from the previous swap, I was able to bring them and exchange them for these awesome busy bags! I know these activities will keep Princess busy. Here are six more busy bags for toddlers!

Geo Board

Beading and making jewelry practice

Marble Maze - there's a marble inside the felt

Wiffle Ball Weaving

Cupcake Felt

Pom Pom stuff it in the container activity

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to Make Mini Pumpkin Candles

I love Autumn! I love seeing all of the pumpkins and being outside enjoying the mildly cool weather we have in Texas. I am also always thinking of fun things to do with the kids. Recently I decided to try making candles. We made soap last year and that was fun. This year I decided to take some cute mini pumpkins and make candles out of them. I had never made candles before and these turned out great and were pretty easy to make! You could make these for Halloween and/or Thanksgiving! Here is how you mini pumpkin candles. 

Mini Pumpkin Beeswax Candles

- Candle Making Kit (use a coupon), the kit includes everything you need except pumpkins! I didn't use the wax from the kit, though.
- Beeswax Wax (I used organic beeswax for all of the benefits of beeswax), purchase pellets if you can, it would be much easier than trying to chop a block of wax
- Organic coconut oil, this helps the wax not crack once in your pumpkin

First, cut a round hole on top of the mini pumpkins and scoop the insides out. Rinse with water and turn upside down to dry some. 

Heat the wax on the stove until melted and added some organic coconut oil. Use a double boiler or the pitcher in some water on your stove. The coconut oil will help the wax not crack. Then put a wick in your pumpkins. Once the wax is melted, quickly and carefully pour the wax on top. After the wax is cool, they are ready! They smell really nice. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Baby School

I really think the longer you can truly wait for formal education the better. The more I research it and am living it out with Blue Rock, the more important I find free-time and play to be. That, however, doesn't mean you don't teach anything to your child(ren). A few months ago, I started bringing out basic puzzles and showing Princess how to do them. She obviously cannot do them herself, but she loves watching and listening to me talk about them. We read daily, which I believe, is the most important thing you can do for your child's future education. 

So what do I do when I'm teaching Blue Rock? I have started making treasure baskets for Princess to explore. I keep two different type of containers with different objects in my bathroom. While I'm getting ready I give her a bucket with random household items such as a velvet jewelry box, links, rollers for hair, and big clips. I also have a box with various size boxes, such as a tooth paste box, contact solution box, empty toilet paper roll, and what ever other random boxes I can find. I let her explore these boxes and then will talk to her about the items but mostly just let her explore the feel and look of them, even taste, if she chooses. 

Last week I started making treasure boxes for during our school time. It takes more planning when you're homeschooling a big kid and a baby. My plan is to set-up part of our school room as a mini Montessori Room for toddler/preschoolers. I'll rotate different activities and lessons. We're starting off with colors. Since it's October, orange is a great color to start with. I'll be gathering common household items for Here are a few of the simple baskets I have made and combinations of items and activities.

Orange Basket: cup, pipe cleaner, mini pumpkin, holey ball, squish ball, and sponge

Her favorite item was the cup.

Matching the ball to the block.

Matching like items or like colors. Match pumpkins or colors.
I made her a mini light table

Exploring kid sunglasses

The exersaucer is always helpful during school time as well

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