Time to Nickel and Dime

Time to Nickel and Dime

Visiting my Greatest Generation Grandparents was always a treat. We were blessed to live only a few hours away from my Dad’s parents and they played an impressionable role often coming to visit and treating us to weeks at Grandparents “Camp”. So many childhood moments were spent visiting, learning and being enriched with midwestern values.  These experiences and their personal stories created a framework for who I am today I hope to share some of their amazing traditions.

This past week, after our electric bill showed up, one such memory popped into our heads. My older sister and I recall Grandpa handing us a roll of nickels one visit.  The roll of coins was ours by the end of the stay, if we remembered to turn off the lights as we left the room.  If we were caught leaving the room with the lights still on, however, we would owe Grandpa a nickel. If memory serves me right, my sister had an almost full roll where as was a few cents short by the end of the week (Oops, LOL). This particular memory made in impact on me that to this day I can’t leave a room or my house without all the lights being turned off.  So imagine my anxiety when all of a sudden my own children were leaving lights on all over the house. All I could envision is how much money I would have owed my Grandparents.  So, my husband and I figured why not give it a try?  Which child of mine is going to have a whole roll of nickels by the end of the week and which will be short a few cents?  Sorry babies, its time to Nickel and Dime ya’ Great Grandpa style.

A Trip Back in Time

An impromptu trip to the local library in Houghton, MI lead way to a marvelous lesson in history, food and fun.

Last week, we traveled up to the Lake District of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  While out exploring and visiting with family, we stopped in to the local library. Invited to join in the history lesson at Portage Lake District Library, we met dynamic National Historic Park Ranger, Katie Keller. Ms. Keller captivated, entertained and taught us the history of immigrants of Cornwall England, what it was like to work underground in the copper minds and what unique heritage they brought to the area. During this particular lesson, the kids ages 4-12 learned how to make a Cornish Pasty, created their own with playdough and then were treated to the most delicious locally crafted pasty.

This local gem of a program is well worth the visit. Get a taste of the culture, customs and cheerful welcome of the community. Just check out some of the pictures from this most creative event.  Then, stop in and say hi to Chris and Katie.

Summer Family Adventures Week 5

Week 5

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our Summer Family Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure.

Here are our week 5 goals:

Monday: Life Skill Discovery: Writing Thank you Letters

Tuesday: Aberdeen Beads and Brushes hosts a Weekly Toddler Art lesson for $5.00.  Time to get and create!

Wednesday: Math Fun: Making Rock Candy  page 28 of the book, Kitchen Science Lab for Kids

Thursday: Foaming Slim Page 46 of the Book, Outdoor Science Lab for Kids 

Friday: Sports Day, Family Bike Ride

Family Adventure

Zoo Trip: A quick trip to a local Zoo make for a fun and easy adventure:

 

Aloha Safari Zoo 

North Carolina Zoo

 

Summer Family Adventures Week 4

Summer Family Adventures

Week 4

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our Summer Family Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure.

Here are our week 3 goals:

Monday: Sports Day at the Beach: Waterworks Public Beach in Calumet, MI

Tuesday: Exploring Science at a Gem Museum in Houghton, MI

Wednesday: 4th of July Fun – 4th of July Parade and Fireworks 

Thursday: Cooking with Math – and exploring art through gardening 

Friday: Life Skill Discovery- Fire Safety around Fireworks  check out this adorable video to help teach the safety of fireworks

Family Adventure

Summer Vacation

On the road again!! Our family is traveling to see family this week!

Summer Family Adventures Week 3

Summer Family Adventures

Week 3

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our Summer Family Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure.

Here are our week 3 goals:

Monday: Math Magic- Card Tricks from PBS!

Tuesday: Aberdeen Beads and Brushes hosts a Weekly Toddler Art lesson for $5.00.  Time to get and create!

Wednesday: Life-Skill Preparing and Packing for a trip – Our kids will learn why lists are important as they sketch their own and help us pack for the move.Family Trip Packing List

Thursday: Exploring Science  We are headed to a local park with friends hiking and exploring nature with friends.

Friday: Sports Day- Count Down/Count Up

  • 10-Jumping Jacks
  • 9- Burpees
  • 8-Sit-ups
  • 7-Frog Hops
  • 6- Bear Crawls
  • 5- Pull-ups
  • 4- Forward punches
  • 3- Squats
  • 2- Yoga Poses
  • 1- 1 minute of plank
  • 2- Yoga poses
  • 3-Squats
  • 4-Kicks
  • 5-Swings
  • 6-Bear crawls
  • 7-Frog Hops
  • 8 Sit ups
  • 9-Burpees
  • 10 Jumping Jacks

Family Adventure

Road Trip

On the road again!! Our family is traveling to see family this week!

Summer Family Adventures Week 2

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Summer Family Adventures

Week 2

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our Summer Family Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure. For a review of our week 1 adventures, click on this link

Here are our week 2 goals:

Monday: Math & Money – Building on our life skill discovery last week, we will price and shop for $ store finds with money earned from their chore chart last week learning about tax and estimation.

Tuesday: Life Skill Discovery Beat the Heat and Be a Hero! I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) 2 Minute Home Fire Drill, Create an ICE Card (Learn your phone number, parents names-not just Mom and Dad plus address, Be a Hero Online Games for Kids , Disaster Checklist for Parents ,

Wednesday: Exploring Science–The Weymouth Nature Center and picnic lunch not only has a variety of trails to hike but it has a room designated for kids to explore and discover science with puzzles, games, puppets and a large screen microscope and it’s FREE!!

Thursday: Sports Day Tabata Kids! Why not squeeze a little workout in with our kids!!

Friday: Art Class-  Painting on Ice Beat the Summer Heat with this COOL project!

 

Weekend Project: Fishing!!

 

Chalk Walk & the Art of Playing to Learn

Chalk Walk & The Art of Playing to Learn

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Spring is here and between spring rain storms, we are enjoying the warm spring weather and lovely breeze.  Who wants to be stuck indoors learning when they could be out playing scooter, digging in the dirts and exploring nature! With that in mind, our little ones have ventured out doors to play and learn.

After a quick trip to the dollar store were we stocked up on a few containers of sidewalk chalk, we decided to have a good time building learning games on the driveway.  The first round, I created bursts of word families.  Using a hop-along pony our little one formed words and sounded out words as we raced to each finish line.

 

After the rain washed this particular game away, created a winding shoots and ladders style learning game.  With two pennies, the kids moved forward one space for each head and two for tails. Boxes along the journey had learning activities and exercise ideas for the children to preform.  On this track, they used their scooters to navigate the twists and turns.

 

Since the rain has now washed this game-board, the three are already planning their next chalk walk. This time they want to create a CandyLand style game with creative magical stops along their journey. This is what they’ve come up with so far:

  • Mud Swamp
  • Magical Room of Potions
  • Candy Flower Garden
  •  Troll Bog

Activities along their path::

  • Rhyming Words
  • Beginning Sounds
  • Rubber band words (stretching word sounds)
  • Simple Math Problems
  • Hopping on one leg
  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Other Work Outs

Let us know what other creative ideas you’d like us to consider!  Or, do you have a picture of your own chalk walk? We’d love to see!

Our Weekly Menu

This weeks menu is ready! We follow the guidelines of Trim Healthy Mama developed by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison and we encourage you to check out their websitebooks and various social media platforms.

Menu

Monday: Butternut Squash Soup (E) Hearty with an added curry flavor, I’m excited to try this soup!

Tuesday: Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash (FP) Another zero fat/carb recipe for this week.  This one looks amazing!

WednesdayJalapeno Chicken Bacon Chowder (S) from Darcie’s Dishes. My oldest daughter is really into soups and this delicious recipe is a favorite of hers.  I do adjust the dish so it’s not spicy for my three children.

Thursday: Butter Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole (S) page 56 of Necessary Foods.  The picture in the book sold me on this recipe.  I’m excited to try however, I know my kids won’t be thrilled with a casserole so I may put some chicken aside for them.

Friday: Low Carb Pizza, (c/o) crust made with Cheese bread sticks on page 310of the book Trim Healthy Table. 

Saturday: Eggroll in a Bowl (S) It’s been a while since we this meal made it to the dinner table.  Easy, delicious and quick, this is a crowd pleasing meal for the whole family. Found on page 63 of the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook with our own added additions such as water chestnuts and sprouts.

Sunday: Piggies in a Blanket (S)  Another favorite for my little ones. Who wouldn’t love this low carb options.

Sweet Treats

These Mint Brownies (S) look delicious and easy!

Cinnamon Rolls

Egg Adventures

Egg Adventures!

How is Easter already next weekend?  Didn’t we just celebrate Christmas?  In the spirit of the holiday, I created a few fun projects for our kids this week.  With each one of our children at different academic levels, I wanted to develop an activity that would address each individual’s needs. Also as a combined family project, I brought back our Christmas Kindness Challenge and revamped it for Easter.

 

Kindness Challenge

Be Grateful, Be Kind, Believe in Kindness

Little toys, tiny trinkets, a coin or maybe a dollar, these are some of the possibilities that fill our kindness challenge eggs. Over the next week, our family will find places around town or even on our spring break travels to place these little gifts of love.  What would you put in your own kindness eggs?

Sight Word and Beginning Letter Challenge

Egg Fun for Four

 

Our four year old this week is working on beginning letters and recognizing site words in preparation for Kindergarten in the fall.  On the outside of each egg is the letter of the word inside. At the $ section of Target I found an egg puzzle. On one side I placed shape stickers and the other number for review.  Story starters are also typed up on other pieces of paper as a fun way to travel.  Open up each egg, read the story starter and create a family story as you drive or fly towards your family adventure.

Motor Skills and Movement Challenge

Eggs & Movement

Our middle girl is working on strengthening her muscles. So for her eggs, we placed a variety of movement exercises to get her up, moving and engaging those muscles in a fun challenge.

 

Stem Questions in Context Challenge

Stem Stories

Our oldest is working hard to master Stem questions in reading context. For her, I typed up a list of questions sent home by the school to use for her story retell.

What Egg Creations do you have planned for your Easter Celebration this year? 

Serving up Learning

Serving up Learning

Have old plasticware and plastic bowls laying around the house?

Why not use them for a fun learning exercise!

We just happen to have an odd assortment in from our last party. So with a little fun and creative planning we turned those plasticware a lot of fun.

Materials I used:

  • Marker
  • Plastic Bowls
  • Pastic Spoons
  • Play Rolling Pin (& fondant rolling pin for me)
  • plastic letters or letter cookie cutters
  • play dough or cookie dough

Label the spoons with letters, I choose to focus on a few word families and consonants (_ap and _op). Allow the child(ren) to roll out the door and stamp letters.  Also have him/her match the letters to the spoons moving them from one bowl to the next.  Make words with both the spoons and stamped letters.  If you are stamping and baking cookies why not create a fun little picnic treat.