Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nature Club ~ Seedling Pots

A week ago we met up with our Nature Club friends on a very blustery, Spring day to make some newspaper seedling pots. This is our second year making them and they are such a great little project. Granted this day was blustery... wind and newspaper are not always a great mix, do-able but tough!

The kids were great sports and the parents were all wonderful attendants to helping the kids out. Each child made several paper seedling pots and planted seeds for their gardens. A fun Spring project.

Holly already has sprouts from her project!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Point Defiance Zoo

We recently took a trip to our local zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, with friends from our homeschool group. The weather was actually pretty good for winter - no real rain, dry skies until the last few moments as we headed for the car. It was cool, which helps with animal activity we have found... really hot days are NOT fun at the zoo for both people and animals.

We spent time discovering one side of our zoo where the kids all enjoyed tigers, elephants, lemurs, tapirs, anoas, the aquarium and more! I had let Holly have just a mellow day at the zoo, no real focus for studies - just enjoy and take it in. She however decided to bring her pack along with her notebook, a small mini book she created and colored pencils. Throughout our visit she bringing her supplies out to do some drawings and write facts out. All on her own!

It was a really great day and we are so glad to have enjoyed that time with friends!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sewing Class

This month in Holly's sewing class she learned how to sew a button on. She is loving it!!!

They have a little flower drawn for them on felt and her project is to fill the whole flower in with buttons. Once it is filled in she will then add a small ribbon and make it a little wall hanging. She has so far enjoy sewing the buttons on and has added her own goal of also creating a little stem and leaves too.

This has been a great little group class so far. We are fortunate that we get to meet at our house while Hudson is resting... making it a nice way to add just a bit more learning to our afternoons - a good life skill too!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fizzy Chemistry

A classic experiment that Holly and Hudson tried today was mixing vinegar and baking soda to see it's reaction. Before we started we read a little bit on chemistry from our What's Chemistry All About from Usborne, discusses mixing different items to see what will happen, made a prediction and then set to work.

Holly filled some glasses with a couple of tablespoons of baking soda, added a couple drops of food coloring to some of the glasses and left one without. Then she added vinegar. Adding the vinegar caused a fizzy reaction along with a lot of 'oohs and aahs'! On the first one she added green food coloring after the vinegar was in it - that was pretty cool to watch. The other glasses already had food coloring in it so the fizzy reaction was colorful.

After having some fun she and I found some various sources on line to learn what exactly happened. She learned a base and an acid were mixed - the base being the baking soda and the acid being the vinegar and together they created carbonic acid. After reading a bit more she learned that basically these two items mixed will immediately break down into water (the liquid) and carbon dioxide (the fizzy reaction).

This was a very fun activity and inspired wonder in what happens if I mix 'this' and 'this' together....

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fizzy's Lunch Lab

We have been using some fun Health Lessons from PBS this winter, they have been great! Holly has been working her way around various aspects of food and the health benefits offered. The lessons are fairly short, easy to accomplish, open up dialogue and include some fun cartoons from Fizzy's Lunch Lab. Typically her lessons have started with a very short cartoon clip, we do the lesson at hand and then she might watch one or two more small clips to bring the ideas together.

Today her lesson was on whole grains. I unloaded the pantry with both whole grain and processed grain foods. We discussed whole grains, looked at whole grains up close, looked at labels on food, talked about foods we eat and then enjoyed a whole grain snack of freshly popped (on the stove top) pop corn. She enjoyed this lesson a lot... because it involved pop corn - but I enjoy it because it is opening her mind to a better diet, how it helps her to stay healthy and feel her best!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Nature Club ~ Signs of Spring

Friday we enjoyed a wonderful morning out and about with our Nature Club friends, a well needed outdoor session! While enjoying a nature walk with friends the children were all searching for signs of spring. We brainstormed some ideas to look for:

  • Budding Trees
  • Grasses Growing
  • Bulb Plants Breaking Ground
  • Birds Returning
  • Bugs
  • Frod Egg Masses In Pond
  • Green Shoots
  • Birds Building Nests
  • Squirrels
  • Wild Flowers
  • Animal Tracks
  • Blooming Trees

The kids found just about everything on their list while enjoying a mile walk. Holly nature journaled her findings and we discussed them on the way home. I think we will try to return in a few weeks and see if many changes have happened as Spring arrives!

Friday, March 2, 2012

PBS Writers Workshop

Last weekend Holly attended the PBS Writers Workshop for the second year. It is held at our local TV studio in conjunction with their children's writers contest. She really enjoyed it last year and once again, she had a great time!

The host is a gal from Live Paint, who is amazingly talented! She does a wonderful story telling selection that is very interactive with the kids. As she works her way through the story telling she brings it back to writing your own story and inspires the kids to include so much more creativity than they might have before.

For Holly this was a great kick off to writing. She has officially started her story this week and it is coming along nicely. Her story is due at the end of the month - she is looking forward to finishing it up and entering the contest. I am excited for her!