Many older houses come equipped with clotheslines in the backyard. Our home is one such place.
The large metal pole cemented into the ground in the middle of our outdoor classroom was an eye sore for me to look at every day.
So I sat down and brainstormed up a few ways that we could take that eye sore and make it useful.
The holiday season has come to a close, the gifts have been given, and you probably have a lot of packaging materials sitting in your recycling bin at the moment.
But before you toss those cardboard boxes to the curb, stop!
Collaborate and listen!
Cardboard is an excellent material for hands-on STEM projects! (more…)
About two months ago LittleMan took a tour of a local recycling center with one of his homeschool groups. Ever since that field trip LittleMan has been reminding us constantly to watch what we put in the trash and make sure we recycle everything we can. Given his increased interest in recycling, we thought it would be a good time to put together a recycling station in our own home.
Keep reading for details of our field trip, the directions to make your own recycling station, and free printable recycling bin labels. (more…)
If you live in Oklahoma, then I have got the field trip for you!
If you don’t live in Oklahoma then keep reading because the Tulsa Children’s Museum has inspired ideas that could be implemented in almost any home or classroom environment. The best part? All of their ideas are frugal and environmentally friendly.
For our fairy garden this year, we decided to try and make our children’s favorite stories come to life for them.
Of course, before we could build castle, a hobbit hole, and a viking village, we had to plant a garden. (more…)
Last week we had a rather blustery day outside and I wanted nothing more than to make kites with the children. The problem though is that at 5 and 2 years old, neither of my children is quite able yet to fly a proper kite. I thought back to my own childhood and remembered how one year in school we made kites from grocery bags, this seemed simple enough that even SunnyGirl could do it.
Sometimes toys and learning tools can be found in the most unexpected of places. Take for example these alphabet block beads. I picked up a pack of 12 on clearance for $1.50 in the bird aisle of our local pet supply shop. They are meant to be used to make bird toys but I thought the children might get some use out of them, and I was right.
As I mentioned in our post about emergency relocation, a good travel toy should be compact and serve multiple purposes. These blocks do just that. When paired with a pipe cleaner they make a fun threading toy for SunnyGirl’s fine motor practice. (more…)
If your family is anything like mine then you likely have some comic books laying around the house that the children have accidentally ripped so its no longer worth keeping after its been read, or someone bought two of the same comic and you don’t really need to copies. Because of this we often find ourselves having to put comic books in the recycling bin. Every once in a while though, we try to find ways to up-cycle the comics so they’ll be useful again, and so the artwork doesn’t go to waste.
We’ve had several fairy gardens this past summer. All of them in containers on our patio. All of them drown as soon as there was a decent rain. Seems to me that if you want a fairy garden to be able to survive a bit of wet weather then you need to supply it with either some coverage or to make your garden in the ground where the rain water will naturally seep away. I didn’t think it would be possible for us to have such a fairy garden in our current living situation.
Then I noticed our bushes looked like a tiny forest near to the ground. Unfortunately they were a bit messy. I always knew there were lots of dead leaves and a couple plastic baggies tangled in the branches but we generally just avoided the bush because we didn’t know what sort of wildlife might be under those piles of dead leaves. I decided that it was worth the risk to investigate further, perhaps if I found no snakes then this could be the perfect site for our fairy garden.
I didn’t find any snakes but I did find out that people are disgusting. Under those piles of dead leaves I found broken glass, cans, bottle caps, nails, screws, a rusty metal pipe, scrap wood, insulation, fast food containers- the list goes on. How have we been living with this 2 feet from our front door?! Our neighbors bushes look similar to ours, with what seems to be piles of dead leaves and a couple plastic baggies, but I doubt that there isn’t just as much disgusting stuff underneath theirs as well.
Once I had cleared out all the rubbish, things were looking much more promising. (more…)
This is one of those, “now that summer is over, what am I supposed to do with those pool noodles?” projects.
All that is needed is foam pool noodles, cable (zip) ties, and a piece of chicken wire.