Bringing in the Joy

The holiday season is upon us and so we decorate and plan parties. We cut, glue and write; measure, stir and wonder. Now that may sound elaborate (and it could be) but we keep it simple. In part, because the majority of the household is 4 and under but no less important is that simple also means more time for fun and helps to emphasis what it is that brings each of us joy.

And while I could show you some photos of all the cookies baked (ok we got a little bit elaborate there) decorations made, books read etc it seems more fitting to finally introduce  the newest member of the family:

Megan

She’s such a good dog! In her own way she brings each of us joy everyday.                    We love her.

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Explore

With a bit of luck (and some rain) we have a reprieve from the snow. So we set out to explore.

We explore the trees, sticks, branches, stumps and pinecones.

We explore the stream, the snow and melting ice.

We explore the plants- what’s gone for the winter? What will the animals that stay eat?

We explore with a following.

We explore the world.

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This post is part of

and Outdoor Play

Little Critters::stART

Just Me And My Puppy by Mercer Mayer

Several of the books we read this week had a reoccurring theme: puppies. Just Me And My Puppy by Mercer Mayer starts with Little Critter trading his mitt for a friend’s puppy (don’t get any ideas boys). Little Critter gets to keep the puppy as long as he takes care of it and so ensues his attempts to train his puppy. Of course the results aren’t quite what he was going for.

Using pipe cleaners and the instructions from Twisted Critters we twisted up a puppy and a mouse (because of the mouse Mercer Mayer often includes in the illustrations). The boys love them. The only downside is that the pipe cleaners don’t hold up well to  a lot of  handling (especially the handling by a 2 yr old).

Meet Snuff:

Ezra's Loopy Puppy

 And Squeak:

Noah's Mouse

 This post is part of stART

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Yes

Yes: To experiments involving  lots of  containers, water, dyes and pouring from one cup to another.

Yes:To mixing all the playdough colors together at once. And creating awesome skulls!

Yes: To getting the ink out and making chicken feather pens.

  These worked really well with some india ink!

Yes: To singing a sea shanty and sharing the fun.

 “Take chances, make mistakes,get messy.” (Ms.Frizzle)

Yes

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Bear Caves::stART

After seeing Almost Unschooling’s bear caves I knew my boys would love to make their own after reading Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen.

picture ffom openlibrary.org

 They did! Going On A Bear Hunt is a modern classic. And art involving 3-D caves, glue and googly eyes is awesome! Noah and Ezra have also picked up the phrase ” What a beautiful day!”. So we’re hearing that a lot around here whenever the sun comes out. Love!

Here are two of Noah”s. They’re monster bears because Halloween isn’t just a day – it’s a season.

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Spiders, bats, ghosts and witches!

My boys had a lot of fun with Halloween. One post just didn’t do it justice. :)

So here are a few more things we did:

Spooky houses have to have spiders and webs.

and ghosts too.

The ghost is a piece of cheesecloth stiffened and dried then hung with string.

Space Ghoooost!

 While Noah carved his pumpkin, Ezra picked out this squash and struggling_along drew on Space Ghost for him. A huge hit!

Potato Stamp Skulls

We made some potato stamps. This is the skull one. These worked out well. The paint is just water colors. The down side is that the potato ages quickly and then you have to make a new one. You can add a day or two of use if you store it in the fridge.

Of course we had to read some Halloween theme books. I’ll just share a few favorites.

Do you dare?

A classic Berenstain Bears.

Witches having fun.

A Woggle of Witches as well as A Halloween Happening (also by Adrienne Adams) keeps Halloween and witches playful and friendly.

All about bats

A Read and Learn book with lots of facts about bats. (Thanks Kerri) This lead us to some youtube videos about bats, owls and even spider hunting. I learned a few things too.

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Our other Halloween posts:

Making Halloween

Some Halloween Fun

Joining Owlet in:

Snow

I’m posting today over on Plastic Pumpkin Farm.

About what? Here’s a hint:

Looks like we checked it out right on cue! Snow by Manya Stojic is an enjoyable read. The painted illustrations are bright and colorful with just enough detail to linger over. The prose flows and introduces kids to how animals adapt to winter. If you have little ones this a fun winter read.

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Making Halloween

This year the boys are really into Halloween.

It all started about a month ago, thanks to the store displays, and they’ve been preparing ever since. Every rendering of a skeleton, witch, pumpkin, spider, bat, ghost etc must be put to use. All crafts, movies, books and play revolves around being spooky and scary and HALLOWEEN!

So we’re jumping in and enjoying Halloween to it’s full potential.

Learning about skeletons, bones, joints and muscles.

I move at all my joints.

 Brains too…Why carve just pumpkins?!

Very rough watermelon model of a brain.

It’s also a great time to learn about bats, owls, mice and spiders habitats and habits.

Of course we need a few around the house to give everyone a scare.

Creepy Crawly Critters

Bake some cookies and count them.

Witch fingers and pumpkins

The recipe we used is this one. Rolling out the fingers was not working well so we switched to pipette and pumpkin cut outs which worked well and bat ones which came out too puffy.

Of course we carved a pumpkin and have a few other Halloween surprises to share too but that will have to be another post.

What do you do for Halloween?

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what starts with m? math? or was that muffins?

Can numbers be any more fun than when baking? Or more rewarding?!

  I don’t think so either.  And it makes for a delicious breakfast.

The hardest part, really, was standing back and letting the kids do it.

Whee! Flour Everywhere!

Quality Control

Pour It

Stir It!

Bake It! This is where I come in.

Fresh Out of the Oven (Photo by Noah)

They came out great! Clean up with 3 people was a snap. They even wanted to wash the dishes but I had cabbage soaking. Next time.

From what I’ve overheard next time sounds like  pumpkin. But pumpkin what? Pie? Muffins? Cheesecake? Soup? Oh the possibilities.

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Joining Owelet in: