Monday, April 23, 2012

Homeschool Theme of the Week: Birds!

Miss A really enjoyed our unit on birds!  With so many neat kinds out there, who wouldn't?  :)
Here are some snippets from this theme:

A fun last minute snack one day:
Muffin Cups 1 & 2:  blackberry clouds.
Muffin Cup 3 (NOT shown):  peanut butter "mud" for spreading all over the Peeps!
Other items:  Purple grape clouds, red apple umbrella (I saw a photo of some amazing apple umbrellas on Pinterest - I think you can find them on - and thought I would try one) with a string cheese handle, purple Peeps with peach boots, and blue M&M raindrops.

We learned about different types of bird nests and then attempted to make one of our own!  This is a great activity for kids who love to get down in the dirt and mud, squishing it around in their fingers as they construct a nest.

Miss A also practiced the art of making a nest cozy by adding pieces of ribbon, felt, etc. to it.  In order to incorporate some addition, she added two numbers together to determine how many items to add each time.

More math fun with an egg graph!  Actually, the eggs were really just sparkly jelly beans but they certainly worked well for our graphing purposes, not to mention our tasting purposes afterwards.  ;)

I found a neat bird feeder idea on Pinterest  (see it here), so we made one and filled it with seed!  I wonder who our first feathered visitor will be???

Some kids have lemonade stands, but WE have a Scraps-of-Aid Stand for the birds.  Inspired by this post, we constructed our own little container from an oatmeal can and some paint, filled it with scraps of yarn, ribbon, raffia, felt pieces, etc. for birds to use when making their nests cozy!  :)

This painting was just a matter of finding items around the house with different textures to use for making the different parts of the picture:  thumbprint birds, corrugated cardboard trees, sponge clouds, and lots of paint!  :)  We also added feathers for the wings.  I believe the lines you see are showing the flight paths of the birds (also note the nests of eggs)...

We found a neat book in the library illustrating how to draw a large variety of birds, step by step (see the link at the bottom of this post if interested).  Miss A chose some to draw and then we looked them up on so we could listen to the sounds the birds made and learn a bit more about them.

These two bird houses are not only a fun and simple craft, they are also serving as a science experiment.  Miss A painted one in bright colors and one in camouflage colors.  The goal is to see which house attracts more bird attention.  Who knows - maybe a feathered friend will even decide to nest in one (or both)!

Peepscake, anyone?  We followed a very simple no bake cheesecake recipe.  We then melted some chocolate and mixed it with edible Easter grass to make our nest on top of the cheesecake.  Jelly bean "eggs" placed under the Peeps in the nest were the finishing touch for a yummy dessert in honor of our bird theme!

For anyone interested in incorporating a bird theme into a homeschool or classroom environment, I highly recommend this free website  My kids loved it!  You can learn about different types of birds, listen to the sounds each makes, see pictures and videos (if available), etc.   We were especially captivated by the live video we found when we looked up the Great Blue Heron and could see one up close sitting on her nest of eggs!

Some bird books:

Linking to:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Homeschool Theme of the Week: Spring (Splash Picture Activity)!

Here are a couple of activities we did this past week which tie into our spring theme and were also a great follow up for one of the books we read "Splish, Splash, Spring!"

This person piqued my interest when she painted using condensed milk and food coloring and it came out looking so shiny - see here!  So I pinned it (saving it for a rainy day - ha, ha, ha), and we tried to make a fun symmetrical splash picture early this week. 

Basically, the picture was to look as though Miss A had just jumped in a puddle (notice the tips of the yellow construction paper boots on the bottom edge), and she is now looking down at her reflection in the water.  She was instructed to only paint half of her face and half of the puddle on a pre-folded piece of paper.  When she was done, I closed it, rubbed it and opened it back up (such a fun activity for a kid to see a mirror image on the other side completing his/her face).

I love the texture of the puddle that came out when we did that - I am not quite sure if it was the texture of the kind of paper we used or paint or both, but it had a kind of rippled/splashed look to it - AND shiny like a puddle should be when it is reflecting light.  :)  My daughter touched up the picture (nose and mouth were kind of messed up), and we were done!  Very cute!  :)

This was a math activity (went along with the book as well) - Roll a Spring Storm!  I found a picture online of a girl with an umbrella but no rain (perfect!) and printed it.  Miss A colored it and then rolled two dice to create an addition number sentence on a separate piece of paper showing how many raindrops she could add to the picture.  She then added the drops using blue paint and a cotton swab.  If you do this at home/school with your kids, repeat several times for lots of drops and a bigger storm!  

Linking up: