Getting a Little Nutty in your Nest?

A little birdie told me you might need a new fun activity to do!  Today I will share a few fun activities to help you prepare for the first days of Spring and Easter!  Hopefully you might have some or all the supplies to craft these with someone in your family or on your own.  I will show step by step pictures to help make it as easy as possible.  One of my favorite nest memories was when a squirrel kept visiting me outside and each time would take some tissues from a box I placed outside.  I could not figure out why he might need a tissue and he did not appear to have a runny nose.  Then, one day on a walk I spotted the reason why he needed my tissues. He had neatly padded his entire nest with tissues…how cozy!  This clever little squirrel figured out a way to insulate his nest for the upcoming winter months!

LOOK!  SOMEONE MADE A NEST

First let’s make a nest that could hold just about anything from a toy bird to a chocolate Easter egg (Mmmmm!  I LOVE chocolate!).  Here is an image one of my little bunnies made about 5 years ago.  She made hers with a paper lunch bag but any kind of paper can work…even magazine pages.  These little nests can last for a long time!

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To begin you need to gather:

  • paper of choice
  • scissors
  • glue and water mix (2 parts glue and one part water)  For example 1/8 cup water & 1/4 cup of glue.
  • bowl for nest (pick a shape/size you want the nest to be) and one to hold the glue mixture
  • placemat or another paper/wax paper to work on

Here are the steps below:

  1.  Set up you supplies in a creative space to make your nest.
  2. Make sure you nest bowl is upside down when you begin.
  3. Dip strips into glue mixture.  Using your pointer finger and thumb squeeze off the extra glue mixture before laying it on the bowl.  Begin to criss-cross strips.IMG_5594
  4. Continue to add strips in different directions until you can no longer see your bowl. Be creative and add any colors you want your nest to be!  Let your creativity fly! 🙂

5.  When you are finished lay your nest outside or in a safe space to dry. It can take about six hours to dry completely.  When it is dry, flip it right-side up and gently peel it away from the bowl.  Voila! Next fill it with any treats you imagine might come your way on this beautiful spring day!

 

How nutty are you about nests?

Here is a fun and easy recipe you can make!  They are a great breakfast snack to have anytime of the day!  My kids love them and they are fun to fill as well!  We just happened to have a few chocolate chips and sprinkles we added for a pop of color!

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Here is what you need:

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups of Oatmeal

3/4 Cup of Peanut Butter (Almond/Sun work too)

pinch of salt

1-2 mashed bananas

TO MAKE:

  1. Mash one banana in a medium size bowl.
  2. Add nut butter and mix them together completely
  3. Next, add the oatmeal and continue to mix.
  4. After scoop out spoonful, round and place on cookie sheet
  5. Make a small well with back of a wooden spoon inside each cookie.
  6. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  7. Fill with chocolate chips before baking or a jam or candy after (like jelly beans).
  8. Yum!  Enjoy with family!

A Birdie Told Me You are Creative!

Last idea for the day is try to make a bird out of Legos!  I received a bird kit for Mother’s Day last year and it made three beautiful birds.  You could try to create your own imaginary bird out of Legos.  If you do not have Legos, create one out of paper.  My children made some adorable paper birds that I just love!  Send me your creations!  I would LOVE to see them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tales from the Single Sock Bucket

My washing machine has a severe case of sock stealing!  Somehow the socks go in the washing machine in pairs and come out alone!  Months and days go by and the partner never appears.  I am beginning to think there is a secret tunnel leading to extra fun adventures too tempting for many and they never return.  Some day I feel they might magically appear once again, so I save them in my trusty single sock bucket.  I never lose hope!

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Yesterday, we finally decided to say goodbye to five single sock friends who decided to take a new mission and be a part of our new MAD LIB created story…”Tulip and Bean Sock“.

First, I will introduce you to the amazing sock ensemble for this witty and and ever-unfolding tale and then I will share our very own MadLib story we created together.  Here they are now!  Meet…Twiddles the dog, Ralph the scientist, Tulip the candy shop owner, Geraldina the Olympic race horse and Bubbles the bean sock.  They all live together in a small village and are brought together one day in the most unexpected way.

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We began to create our very own MAD LIB with the help of Mad Libs…one of our favorite car ride activities!  Here are the steps we began with:

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  1. Start by thinking of a story and writing it down.
  2. Use a highlighter to mark the words you think might be fun for someone else to replace.  
  3. For each word that is highlighted, talk about what part of speech it is and write it above the word.  Is it a noun, adjective, adverb or even a body part.
  4. Once that is complete rewrite your story with those words missing and replace them with a blank line and the part of speech needed.  
  5. Print it out and have someone fill in the blanks.  
  6. When complete you can read the “new story” aloud or even act it out with puppets that you have or other toys at home!  
  7. See where your creative juices take you!  
  8. Have FUN!

HERE IS OUR MAD LIB!  The story is TO BE CONTINUED…perhaps you want to write the ending and send it to me with the parts of speech for me to fill in!

TULIP AND THE BEAN SOCK

      In a land with ____________________[adjective], bumpy roads and _______________[adjective] meadows, there was a village with all kinds of _______________[plural noun].  The people there loved to ______________ [verb] and ______________ [verb] all day.  Sometimes a ____________[adjective] scientist in the town would cast _________________[adjective] spells and get into all kinds of mischief.  

One day Ralph the scientist concocted a ___________________[adjective] potion.  He poured it slowly on top of some jelly and suddenly it turned into a __________________________ [adjective] pile of beans. He then went to the market and traded them for a ______________________________[noun].  Ralph was excited  and ________________[verb] all the way home.  Twiddles who received the beans was also feeling _____________________[adjective] and yelled, _______________________[exclamation] as he reach his home at the end of the path.  Geraldina galloped up to him and looked ____________________[adverb] at the beans.  Together they decided to plant the ________________________[adjective] beans in his ________________________[adjective], ___________________[color] garden. _____________________ [number] days later a ________________________[adjective] little bean sock began to sprout up ______________________[adverb].  His friend, Tulip the _____________________[adjective] candy shop owner came over to examine the sight and sprinkled it with ____________________[a spice] to ensure it was not a jelly bean.  She passed out at the sight of the bean sock and almost hit her head on the ________________________[tool in the garden].  Twiddles popped a piece of ____________________[type of candy] in her mouth and she awoke _____________[adjective].  This bean sock was not like anything they had ever laid their _______________________[body part plural] on.  The bean sock had _______________[adjective] hair and a ____________________[adjective] smile.  She even _________________[past tense verb] when she giggled.  The trio decided to call the bean sock Bubbles and she immediately became a special member of their village.  She helped them understand what ______________________ [emotion] really means and how to help people _______________[verb]. She was extra special because she could _____________________[special talent].  The village was ________________[adjective] and did not see what _______________[adjective] event was about to happen.  

TO BE CONTINUED….

 

We will post our video of our MadLib performance on the blog.  Stay tuned!  Should be witty and a little ___________________[adjective]!  He, He!  Please share your stories too!  Exchange them with a friend via email and then read them back to one another in a Zoom room!  Remember to try to keep your sock buddies close on their next field trip to Clean Town!  If one gets lost, create a sock puppet to keep his or her story alive!

YAY! Saturday! Let’s Deck the Halls!

52 PICK UP TIME

Today find a deck of cards around your house!  Experiment with what you can build with a deck of cards.  Can you build a tower?  How tall can you make it?  How wide?  Try to make different shapes as you build.  Squares, rectangles and even triangles!  Which shape do you think would be the strongest?

 

ALL HANDS ON DECK TO TEST YOUR BUILD

Test your build and place a couple of objects on top and see how strong your build is.  Can it hold a small object like a chess piece or a toy car?  Can it hold block or a book? If it falls try a new way of building.  I will give you a clue…one shape works better than another.

 

Read about bridges and learn why they build them as they do.  You can make a bridge of your own wth popsicle stick or cardboard and even pasta or Legos.  Be creative and see where your design takes you.  I always advise making a blue print first of your design so you have a guide along the way.  Here is a build completed by some of my students and look at how many books their bridge was able to hold! I think it even held more than pictured! Wow! If you build your own, you might need to let it dry and test the bridge the following day! We even drove a robot over our bridge!

 

 

BOOKS ABOUT BRIDGES

Here are some wonderful books about bridges and you could also watch the recent Lego Master Show and their challenge on building bridges.  Audible also has many books for free right now.

Here to There, Me and You by Cheryl Keely

Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting

21 Elephants by April Prince

The Bridge Home – Audiobook

13 Bridges Children Should Know by Brad Finger

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

 

CREATE YOUR OWN CITIES

Then, create two cities with your family or allow your bridge to connect two worlds.  You can simply draw them on a piece of paper and tape them if the city grows.  Add any object from home such as a lego car or toy dog.  Make these worlds a mystical place to travel and tell why you would want to go there.  I would love to connect Kindness Kingdom to Grumpy Groundworks and help turn frowns upside down!

If you send your city and bridge pictures to me, I will post them!

 

Do you see what I see?

 

Shadows…how I love how they follow you about and lurk in the most unexpected places. In the next couple of days, explore shadows about your home and outside.  See if you can catch one, stomp on one or even chase one!

Remember to always, “Capture a shadow, dance with the wind, stand in a rainbow, begin at the end.”  –Mary Anne Radmacher. Let the adventure begin!

 

Snow is falling in Denver today so Mr. Sun might not be out as much today but these activities can still be done with flashlights and natural window light.  Begin by gathering some white paper, cardboard, tape and found objects.  These can be Marvel characters, cars and more.  Set up a shadow stage and let the stories begin.  If you do not have paper, use a sheet over some chairs!

 

To make a small stage use cardboard, blocks or books to create the side of the stage.  Tape white paper across (see image above for inspiration) and ensure it is stable.  Place a light behind the stage and have your audience on the other side.  Let your stories begin.  Change places with your audience and let them try.

For story ideas you can read these wonderful books about shadows:

SMOOT a Rebellious Shadow by Michelle Cuevas

Who’s Shadow is This? By Claire Berge

Papa’s Lucky Shadow by Niki Daly

Shadow by Marcia Brown

On a Dark, Dark Night by Jennifer Morris

The Queen’s Shadow by Cybele Young

 

If you have a ruler at home you can try to measure your shadow at different times of the day.  If you cannot go outside find something at home to measure by a sunny window.  You can mark the distances with any little object such as a penny, block or small toy.  See how they objects move.  Does your shadow get bigger or smaller by the hour?

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Go outside and see if you can make snow shadows.  Do they look different than other shadows?  Are they wider?  Lighter? Are they a different color?

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Place a toy by a window and try to trace it’s shadow on a piece of paper.  Does your toy become larger or smaller?  Wider or longer?  Why do you think this happens?

Make a sundial (save it for after the snow fall today if needed) and place it outside with the 12 facing north.  You can find a compass on an app on a phone if you do not have a compass handy at home.  It is fun to see how the sun works just like a clock!  All you need is a paper plate or cardboard, an unused pencil and some markers.  If you have any of the play dough from the lesson before you can use this in the center of the dial to stabilize your pencil on a windy day.  Be creative and make your dial into a moon and have planets and aliens be the numbers or make it a flower and each petal is a number.

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If the artist is alive in you, make a sock puppet and tell a story tonight by flashlight on the wall of your room or living room.  Write a story about your sock puppet.  Make sure to give your puppet a unique name it, give it a superpower and a challenge it faces everyday.  Tell how your puppet overcomes his or her challenge and how he spreads a special message to the world.  Please stay tuned for my story coming to you soon!

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Lastly, start a quote wall with your family and leave this message up somewhere like a shadow that reminds them of something special to carry with them for the day.  You can have someone put one up each day!  We use a dry-erase board!  Be creative and think of a fun way to display your quote.  You could even make a frame and change it daily.  Here is our inspiration for today:

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Be Someone’s Rainbow Today!  

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Hope you are wearing green and have a gleam in your eye!  Get ready for some fun STEAM activities that are messy and full of predictions and investigations!  Start the day with getting all supplies prepped for the adventure.  I hope the scavenger hunt yesterday helped you place everything nearby!  

Let’s begin with that rainbow to brighten someone’s day!  You will need seven cups…preferably clear.  Then, fill everyone other cup with primary colored food coloring and warm water starting with red.  In the first cup put red, third cup yellow, fifth cup place blue and the seventh cup put red again.  Then fold your paper towel in thirds or fifth depending on their size and place one half in each of the cups with color and arch them into the empty cup between them. (see pictures below).  Continue until you reach the end.  Watch your rainbow grow bigger and brighter hourly to light up your day!  It’s magical!  Perhaps you will even discover a pot of gold in the end!

Speaking of gold…let’s make fool’s gold.  Hopefully you found some “not so shiny pennies” hanging around that need a good bath.  Let’s experiment on what really make a penny shine.  Predict what you think might work best.  If you only have two of the listed tests, predict an either/or and if you have all of them, test each way!  Try to even find another way to make a penny shine.  Maybe mustard? 

Try these methods:

  • 1/4 Cup white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a non metal bowl = shiny penny
  • Ketshup and little massage = shiny penny?
  • Coca-cola soak = shiny penny?

After the fool’s gold is ready prepare to tempt a leprechaun by hiding them in magic green quick sand…OOBLECK!  Drop all your pennies in and see if you can find them all hidden deep below.  Can you discover the trick to finding them?  

OOBLECK RECIPE

2 parts cornstarch

1 part water

Green food coloring

Place water in a bowl.  Slowly mix in cornstarch.  When all is mixed well, stir in food coloring. 

(We placed in 17 pennies (for the 17th of March plus 1 golden Sacajawea)

Try to be a very curious leprechaun and dig out all the gold.  Be careful not to get stuck in the bowl.  You can also read the story “Bartholomew and the Oobleck” by Dr. Seuss.  What a fun adventure and you might even turn a bit green yourself along the way!  

If that isn’t enough of an adventure, make another rainbow either with the help of mother nature or with the help of someone using a hair dryer.  Place crayons on a piece of cardboard in this order:  Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and add more if your rainbow in your mind appears a bit different.  Make sure to peel off the wrapper before placing them outside or using the hair dryer.  *Hairdryers will work best or you can try on tinfoil in the oven as well if the weather is not warm enough!  When it is all melted a rainbow will appear and then add some paper towel clouds while the wax is sticky.  After  it is dry, write a special note on it and deliver your rainbow to someone in your neighborhood who might need a smile today.  Remember messages from afar are okay and needed!  

For a fun outside activity, try potato bowling.  Find cans, paper towel rolls or blocks and try to knock them down with a potato.  Do potatoes roll differently than a ball?  Why?  Is it the shape?  Is it the bumps?  Talk with someone about why you think it changes the accuracy of the roll.  

If you have building in mind, try to build your very own “fumblin’ leprechaun trap” with a big tube or box.  Poke holes and poke sticks, straws, or even chopsticks through the holes.  Draw leprechauns on cardboard and place them at the top under a rainbow.  Slowly take turns pulling the sticks and try to see who makes a a leprechaun fumble down into the meadow below.  You can shout, “ohhh thar she blows!” as the leprechaun fumbles down!  Use the image below of the fun game Tumblin’ Monkeys as your guide and inspiration.  Get creative and share your pictures!

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Lastly, design your very own catapult to launch your found gold (pennies) over a rainbow!  Draw a paper rainbow and stand it up with some cardboard supports.  See how many coins you can launch over a rainbow (you could draw one on a tissue box as well) and for more fun see how many you can get in the pot on the other side.  For a math challenges launch all the change you can find. Count all the coins that land in the pot each time and see the different amounts of cents you get catch with the luck of the Irish each time.  You might have the luck of the Irish and hit 100 cents exactly!  

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Keep this Irish saying close today:

“May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart and warmed by the smiles of the people you love.”