Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Transcontinental Railroad

My mom is a genius.  Seriously.  I'm not just saying that because she reads this blog either (Hi Mom :)

During this semester, she is teaching a history co-op class to my boys, my little brothers, and another family's kids.  One of the subjects she covered was the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad.  In addition to reading the kid's a couple books about it and I think watching a YouTube video or two, she came up with this great activity using wooden trains and track for the class to do to help them understand and remember how the building went.
So the kids were divided into two teams and each started at one end of the room.  The kid by the basket of train tracks was responsible for choosing and handing a piece of track to the kid with the train, who then had to drive it down the track to the kid at the end, who then got to lay the track.  Then the train had to go back to the beginning and do it again.  The idea was to help the kids understand that this was how the REAL train track was built (transporting the materials to the end and building as they went)

The thing that made it really exciting though, was that just like the real railroad build, there were TWO teams building at the same time at opposite ends of the country and they met in the middle.  So the other team of kids was doing the same process at the other end of the classroom (and as the teams had lots of boys, it got rather competitive) to see who could reach the middle first.

Then, the two trains met in the middle of the track and everyone came to see the dedication of the First Transcontinental Railroad!

We were sort of trying to copy that famous picture of the two trains meeting and driving the golden spike moment.  Sorry it turned out kind of blurry.  Hopefully you get the idea :)

I had never seen anything similar to this activity done (even on Pinterest!) and thought it was a really ingenious way for the kids to have a hands-on way to review and remember this incredible event in our nation's history.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Very Hungry Caterpillar Baby Shower

My mom, sister, and I recently threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law who is expecting a baby girl in a few weeks.  One of her favorite kid's book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  So we made that our theme.  The butterfly crackers came from Target as did the snail canvas (on clearance!)
I made the mobile, the onesies, and the baby blanket under the gifts.
For games, we wrote on diapers (my favorite contribution was "I like clean butts and I cannot lie").

We played two children's book games: Alternative Titles, and Name the Book.
The food labels came from this site.
We were really inspired by all the different ideas and pictures we found on Pinterest and thought that these pictures might help/inspire someone else in their planning!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

5 Pigs So Squeaky Clean Quiet Book Page

I LOVE this flannel board story and decided it would make a super fun quiet book page!  My youngest son and I will often lay in bed at night and sing songs together and he is quite fond of "the pig song".

Here is my interpretation:

On the left side is the bathtub (full of pigs) with vinyl and sequin bubbles to count.
On the right side is the pig pen with muddy pockets for the pigs to squish around in.

The pigs are clean on one side and dirty (with brown acrylic paint) on the other.

After the pigs get dirty, they can be soaped off in the tub and turn around to the clean side again!

I am hoping to have the pattern for this page up very soon!  Keep checking back!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sparks Tic Tac Toe

I really like having easy games that my Sparks can pull out after they are done with verses or while they are waiting for their parents to pick them up. This is a super simple little Spark's themed tic tac toe that I made.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rocket and UFO Space Pages

I revamped my space page a little bit to make it bigger and add a rocket ship, astronaut, and stars to count to the basic UFO/alien page.  I really love how it turned out!  These are actually the second batch of aliens I made because my three year old absconded with the first set :)

I finished the pages in black satin with a star overlay.  Such a simple but super fun space set!