Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer Crafts

Well, so far, we are doing pretty well with our summer activities! And we're so busy that I'm behind on posting about it all!

We have our "learning door" with the word roots, numerals, letters, and Ellie's color-in reading log. 
Plus the workbooks and activity sheets we occasionally do. Anthony asks to do his "homework" almost daily. 

We started out summer with a visit to Hobby Lobby for supplies. I let each kid pick out a craft. Katie colored a wooden unicorn, Ellie chose scratch art cross-shaped bookmarks, and Anthony got a foam top hat to paint. Right in line with their personalities. 

We also made some designs with perler beads, which can be frustrating for little fingers sometimes. 

Ellie had wanted to make kites ever since we last flew our stor-ebought kites, so we tried our hand at making some with tissue paper and bamboo skewers. 
They sorta-flew. 
More importantly, it was fun. 
Then we made silly bird marionettes, and the kids set up a show for me. 

It was a cool project, but I did most of the construction and spent the next few days constantly untangling those darn things. 

We made god's eyes with popsicle sticks and yarn. Also not easy for littles, but they sure tried!
Here's mine. Ellie uses it as a bookmark now. 

June 24 was flag day. We made some patriotic wind socks. They have stayed up even past the 4th of July!

For our next project, we recycled our kites into paper pulp and mixed it with papier mache glue...
... Which we then molded onto bowls to make our own paper bowls. We have yet to paint them. 

We did, however, paint our papier mache globe, in preparation for the next week. 

Of course not all crafts went according to plan. We tried glue batik painting, and it didn't work for us, mainly because it didn't hold their interest. 

Also, we did no crafts during VBS week, but that was ok. We did plenty of other things along with our planned activities:

Swim with friends
Bake cookies for Paul. 
Play Legos (a rare moment of quiet!). 
Observe nature. 
Eat cake (and BBQ!)

So far, our summer is off to a great start. Hopefully we can keep our momentum going!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Summer Plans

I know there are a handful of people who look forward to seeing our shenanigans unfold over the summer. This time, I typed it all up and included links to my resources. In case anyone wants to follow along. And because it'll help me stay organized and find everything in one place. I know; that's what Pinterest is for, but I didn't make separate boards for each theme, so it's a hot mess. This just makes more sense. I hope I'm not being too ambitious; we're going to have a lot going on, and of course not everything is on-level for all 3 kids, but as in the past, they all will get something out of it and participate in ways that they can.


Greek/Latin Roots: Learn a few roots every week, then at the end of the summer, play "build-a-word" where they can make up their own words and define them with what they learned.

Math and Roman Numerals (I have workbooks for math, no links, sorry!)


June 6-10: Crafts

Make a kite with materials found around the house because Ellie has been wanting to do this forever.

Field Trip: James & the Giant Peach 11:00am at Miller Outdoor Theater WThF
Explore Houston (Hermann Park, fountains etc). 

June 13-17: VBS at St. Clare

In the afternoons:

June 20-24: Countries of the World

Go to library, pick out a country to learn about (maybe one per kid) and an Atlas for kids if there isn't one at home. 
Finish the papier mache globe from 2 weeks ago. 
Nesting boxes for size reference of city, country, continent etc. 
Activity possibilities are fluid, let the kids guide... depending on the countries chosen... Could make traditional outfits with paper that the kids can wear, learn phrases in the language, cook food from each country, listen to traditional music, learn a dance etc. 

Field Trip: Go to the Zoo, find an animal from each continent, draw it or write it on a "passport" book or just a paper
Peanuts Movie 10am Cinemark Summer Movie Club Wednesday

June 27-July 1: OnStage Kids camp for E & K

Activities for Anthony:

Camp Show on Friday night

July 5-8 and 11-15: Human body

Check out books from Library
Trace kids' bodies on big roll of paper to fill in with systems/organs throughout the weeks (could just do one kid, for simplicity), or do Organ Systems foldable throughout the week https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Human-Body-11-Organ-Systems-Foldable-412646
Learn about cells; make shrinky dink cell model http://www.gottoteach.com/2014/12/shrinky-dinks-cell-models.html?m=1
Language tie-in: idioms about the human body 

Circulatory System
Circulation game

Respiratory System
Parts diagram, vocal cords demo, lung model (several activities at this site) http://www.spelloutloud.com/human-body-respiratory-system.html

Digestive System
Edible system
Digestion demo (hands-on, possibly gross) & visualizing the length of the digestive system
Tongue map
Sense of taste

Nervous System

Muscles & Bones
Explore real bone marrow from the grocery store
App: This is my Body Anatomy for Kids

Listen to music

Skin (it holds it all in!)

Field Trip: Go to the Health Museum to wrap up all lessons

July 18-22: Fairytales, Myths, and Superheroes

Library for books about mythology, fairytales, and superheroes (comics?) 
Act it out (stop motion movie?) my paper world scenery http://www.mrprintables.com/paper-toys-my-paper-world.html
Some craft(s), guided by kids, related to all the themes 

Field Trip: My BFF the Dragon 11:00am at Miller Outdoor Theater Weds

July 25-29: Science and Engineering

Pulley-making or Rube Goldberg machine http://fun-a-day.com/14-fun-engineering-activities-for-kids/

Field trip: Go bowling (physics!)

August 1-5: The Olympics

Library: pick another country to root for in the Olympics (other than USA)
Make paper flags of the countries we chose
Country-specific craft?

Field trip possibilities:
Gymnastics day Camp (Little Gym)
Martial Arts trial class
Watch Opening Ceremonies Friday/games next 2 weeks

August 8-12: Service and Manners

Like I said, I hope I'm not being overly ambitious, but I also try to remain realistic and know that if we don't do it all, if it's not working out, if it's not flowing... we abandon it. Planning this is just as fun as doing it, and we only do it if it's fun! So far, the kids have shown enthusiasm about everything... even the math and learning parts of the plan. Wish us luck, and join us if you'd like. 

Cake roundup

Hi. I haven't been around much. Sorry, blog. I guess I should catch you up on what I've been up to. Or just dump a bunch of cake pictures here and move forward. Now that summer vacation has started, I'm going to need this blog to document our adventures again, so here's a quick catch-up on what I have been up to in cake-land.

Quidditch cupcakes for a dear friend's son's Quidditch team. Yes, really!

Cat in the Hat cake for Dr. Seuss day at my daughter's school. The hat was wonky and not my favorite, but I loved the pictures I stuck all around it to cover its imperfections.

Cupcakes for a "Dive-in Movie" party... awesome party idea!

A Bugatti Veyron made from modeling chocolate and fondant atop a buttercream-iced cake for a 9th birthday.

A BB-8 cake for our friend Lia's 5th birthday. We got to eat this one too! Sidetone: I still haven't seen The Force Awakens.

Fireman-themed toppers for my nephew's 3rd birthday. His mom made him a donut cake.

A peacock cake for my big girl's 8th birthday. She had a Spa party, and it was pretty fun, but I was too busy to do a write-up on it, so you'll have to take my word for it.

I also made her some peacock cupcakes for her birthday at school.

These cupcakes were for our local police department who captured 2 criminals on the run in my backyard, right outside my bedroom window. I was thankful the police were there!

A moon landing cake for my nephew's 7th birthday.

My big girl's First Communion cake and my first gum paste lilies.

A ganache piano cake with gum paste flowers for my daughter's end-of-school choir party.

A Shopkins cake for my husband's ex-secretary's niece's 5th birthday.

An 8th grade graduation cake for the kids who are finished at our school and heading on to various high schools. 

And now it's time to put my "teacher" hat back on. Sorta. Because schoooooooool's out for summer! And Camp Mom will soon be in session. I'm excited. It's all planned out, and it's going to be great.

I still hope to have some more cakes to make, but currently I have no orders until August, so if you need a cake in June or July (or beyond!)...