Thursday, May 31, 2012

Exploring Nature: Worms


My girls have always been fascinated by worms. They will run screaming from a tiny spider, but will gladly hold a wiggly worm in their hands. They've learned that worms are a welcome presence in our gardens and will always give the lost worms they find in their sandbox a new home in our garden. This is the extent of their knowledge about worms, so I thought it was time to learn about worms and why they are so helpful to our gardens.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Go Outside: Take Story Time Outside


Story time definitely doesn't have to be an indoor-only activity. We take books outside all of the time. When the weather is nice, it's so relaxing to take a few books outside and enjoy a few good stories while soaking up the sunshine and fresh air.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Picnic Blanket Collage


Now that the weather is at that perfect stage of not-too-hot and not-too-cold, picnics have been on the brain. We recently celebrated our love of picnics with this picnic blanket collage which combined paper weaving and collage making.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Kid's Co-op



It's Friday and you know what that means? It's time for the Kids Co-op! Link-up your favorite kid-related post and make sure and check out all the fun that has been linked up from other bloggers!

Since I've been spending the week talking about creating a summer bucket list, I'm going to feature some ideas from the ones linked up last week that would be perfect additions for a summer bucket list.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Bucket List: Our 2012 List


I gave you tips on creating your own summer bucket list, found inspiration for displaying the list, and even provided a mega-list of 200 ideas for your bucket list. Now, it's time to share our 2012 Summer Bucket List. We kept it simple and only have 20 things on the list. Our time may or may not be limited, so I wanted a very doable sized list. Plus, if we finish too quickly, I do have 200 more ideas we could use!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

200 Fun Ideas for Your Summer Bucket List


Before I share our 2012 Summer Bucket List, I wanted to give you some ideas for your own. Here are 200 fun and simple ideas for summer fun. Some are indoor ideas and some are outdoor ideas. But, all would be fun for the entire family. Have fun making your summer bucket list!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Bucket List: Inspiration Roundup


Have you started writing your summer bucket list yet? We have! Notebook - check, Pen - check, fun ideas - check. Ours always starts out in a notebook and usually stays in that notebook. We don't usually take the time to make it pretty, but I'm considering doing something different this year. I want it someplace where we remember all the fun we can have this summer. It's so easy just to stash a notebook somewhere and forget about it. So, I did what I normally did and turned to the Internet for inspiration.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer Bucket List: Creating a Summer Bucket List


Summer bucket lists have become quite popular lately. This will be our second year to do one and I'm so excited about the possibilities. Have you ever made a summer bucket list? Or are you wondering just how to get started?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weekends: The Pinterest Challenge


Are you addicted to Pinterest yet? I'm definitely addicted. Can you see that little number up in the corner of the picture? Yep, it says 3237 pins. That was the number when I made this graphic a few days ago. It's bigger now. I pin kid's activities, recipes, household hints, sewing projects, home decor ideas and many, many more things. But, up until recently, I've only done 1 or 2 or things I've pinned. So, what was my point in saving all these pretty pictures and great ideas? 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Kid's Co-op


It's Friday and you know what that means? It's time for the Kids Co-op! Link-up your favorite kid-related post and make sure and check out all the fun that has been linked up from other bloggers!

There were so many fabulous ideas linked up last week; fun book activities, outdoor games, Mother's Day ideas, and many more. Here are a few of my favorites from the 200 that were linked up last week.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Creative Family Fun Nights: Paper Airplane Races


I'm not sure I've ever met a person who didn't smile at the idea of a paper airplane. They're inexpensive, fun, an perfect for an awesome family fun night. All you need is a pile of paper, some instructions, and a little healthy competition.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Straw-Printed Dandelions


After our dandelion exploration, we decided to get a little crafty and paint our own dandelions. We were trying to get the wispy look of the puffball and a paint brush was just not going to work. So, we decided to try straw printing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Exploring Nature: Dandelions


Most adults see the dandelion as a weed, but to kids it's magical. My girls constantly pick me beautiful dandelion bouquets. They blow the seeds and watch them fly. In a child's eye, this sometimes pesky weed is beautiful. 

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Go Outside: Jump!


Do you have active kids who need to burn off some energy? Tell them to jump! It's easy, fun, and requires nothing more than your own two feet. Here are some fun ways to add a little variety to this classic exercise.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Weekends: Reflections on Motherhood


Five years ago, I became a mother. It's the most important role I've ever had to play. It's a humbling experience knowing that I have these two girls to love, nurture, and guide. I get to teach them and play with them. I laugh with them. I pray every day that they will continue to delight in the world around them. We play games, go on walks, draw pictures, and cook together. I do all this knowing that one day this will change. They will grow up and find their way in the world. They'll make mistakes, have their heart broken, and struggle at times. But, they'll also laugh, love, follow their dreams, and have adventures. Oh, I do hope they have adventures!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kid's Co-op



It's Friday and you know what that means? It's time for the Kids Co-op! Link-up your favorite kid-related post and make sure and check out all the fun that has been linked up from other bloggers!

There were so many great ideas linked up last week that it was hard to pick a few to feature. Here are 3 of over 140 fabulous posts!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

10 Ways to Explore the World Without Leaving Home


By far, the best way to learn about world cultures is to travel. But, for many people, that is not possible. Here are 10 fun ways to explore the world without leaving home. You may have to take a trip to your local library or grocery store, but that's it. Get ready to explore the world!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Story Time: Books About Russia

Exploring a different country can be as easy as picking up a book. For our recent exploration of Russia, we found many fun books about the country, the culture, and the folklore. Here are a few of our favorites.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for details.



Russia (True Books: Countries) is a great book for a quick overview of the country. It touches on the culture, people, geography, and history in an easy-to-understand format. It's a good choice for introducing a young child to a new country.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Get Crafty: Shape Collages


When I first saw this shape recognition robot from Make, Do, & Friend, I though it would be a fun craft project. I set to work cutting out shapes from construction paper and told the girls they could make try and make robots from the shapes. They had different ideas!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Art Lessons: Russian Matryoshka Dolls


As part of our Around the World in 12 Dishes challenge, we read the book The Littlest Matryoshka by Corinne Demas Bliss. It was a very sweet book about a set of Matryoshka dolls. The littlest doll got lost and at the end is reunited with her sisters. After reading the book, we were inspired by the beautiful illustrations to design our own set of Matryoshka dolls. 


We used out oil pastels for this project in order to get some nice vibrant colors, but any art material would work. Try watercolors, tempura paints, markers, crayons, or even glued-on paper for a collage version. I drew a quick outline of the dolls for each girl, then let them create and color without any further instruction. They worked hard. Lizzie (age 5) carefully chose each color and design for the individual dolls. She continued long after AJ (age 3) was finished.


My favorite part are the faces! Big eyes, long eyelashes, and round cheeks. We used some of the illustrations in the book for inspiration and the girls kept referring back. You'll notice that they added head scarves to mimic the dolls in the book.



Here are the finished products. AJ's (age 3) is the first picture. I was pleasantly surprised to see that she added faces to her dolls. Lizzie's (age 5) is the second. I love the colors and details in her dolls.

*Special note: You'll notice that I've changed the ages of the girls. In one short week, they will both celebrate a birthday! Yikes! They grow up so fast!

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Linking up to Show and Tell

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Around the World in 12 Dishes: Russia


This month's virtual trip in Around the World in 12 Dishes was to Russia. For our food dish, we decided to make potato pancakes and eat them for a fun Russian-themed lunch. I needed help to find Russian food to cook, so I turned to a new blog discovery, Natasha's Kitchen. Natasha has an entire category devoted to Russian/Ukrainian food. When I saw her recipe for Easy Potato Pancakes, I knew the girls would enjoy cooking them and eating them. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Kid's Co-op


It's Friday and you know what that means? It's time for the Kids Co-op! Link-up your favorite kid-related post and make sure and check out all the fun that has been linked up from other bloggers!

Here are a few of my favorites from the over 200 ideas that were linked up last week!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Exploring Geography with Mama Smiles


Did you know you can walk across the Mississippi River? You can in northern Minnesota. I'm guest-posting today at Mama Smiles and would love for you do come over and read my post about the Mississippi River and Itasca Minnesota.


Go here to read the post: Exploring Geography, Itasca Minnesota!

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Go Outside: Two Classic Games

I'd love to introduce another new series, "Go Outside." This series is designed to get you and your kids outside and to give you some ideas of things to do. I've already been writing many posts that would fit in this category, but now they have a name and will be organized better! Enjoy!



It's usually not too difficult to find something to do outside, but sometimes it's fun to play a few organized games. I'd like to reintroduce you to a couple of classic games you probably played while you were a kid. Red Light, Green Light and Mother May I? are both easy games and suitable for all kids, both young and old. Neither requires any equipment besides room to run and a few willing participants.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Earth Day Every Day: Be a Friend to Trees

Welcome to my new series "Earth Day Every Day." This will be a space where I will share activities, ideas, and ways to teach your children about the Earth and how to respect it. I  hope you enjoy it!

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for details.


None of us would be here on Earth if it wasn't for trees. We've learned about them and looked closely at them, but I also wanted to show the girls why trees are so important. I found a copy of Be a Friend to Trees by Patricia Lauber at our library and it was the perfect tool to learn about the importance of trees.