Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Fun

Instead of doing our regular routine for school we decided to celebrate Earth Day this year by doing a few fun projects to help us be a little "green" around our house. We decided to get started in the garden and get it tilled and planted with a few of the cold weather crops. The weather has been very nice here the past few days, but there is still a change of a frost in our area, so cold weather crops only. Daddy was good enough to till the ground for us the day before, so we were sure to be ready.
We planted cabbage, spinach, lettuce, carrots, radishes, beets and potatoes. The kids had such fun dropping seeds and tamping down the dirt. Logan was "freaked" out by the eyes on the potatoes, but I think he secretly liked them. Strange alien monsters, I guess!

The dog was our quality control manager. She was in charge of rows being straight, seeds spacing specialist and general boss. That looks about right for the position of the boss, laying down on the job while everyone else works. The next thing we did was shut off the power for our entire house for 1 hour. We thought we could do without any power for 1 hour, and enjoyed the quiet of the house without appliances buzzing, furnace humming, and well pump running. So during that hour we talked about things people did before electricity. Carrying water, cooking over a wood stove, going potty outside in an outhouse, etc. We also tried our hand at tying knots, and making a cornhusk doll.

I found this kit when we went to Roanoke Island in North Carolina a few years ago on vacation. We also happened to study about the Lost Colony in history this week.

It was fun to do these things, and it made the hour breeze by. Maybe we will turn off the power once a month, until we can install solar panels or a wind generator, it may have to do.

Our final activity of the day was making our very own compost bin. I found the idea on Kaboose. Check out the instructions and make one for your own family. It was very simple and I happened to have all the supplies on hand.

We then sat in the garage and fed Landon strawberries and talked about composting. What it is, and what can and cannot go into our compost bin.

I think the kids will get excited when they see the "rotten" fruits of their labors. Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

So much Candy Fun!

In history this past week we studied about the life of William Shakespeare and his wonderful and timeless writings.
For our activity we read the scene from Macbeth where the weird women make their Eye of Newt Soup. "Bubble, Bubble, toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble." But instead of lizards legs (very hard to come by this time of year) and baboons blood (don't think the zoo would give me any of that),

We used edible ingredients instead of real ones. I dug out some old baby food jars that I have been saving, for who knows what, but they came in very handy for our purposes. I printed out labels with a creepy font and we set to work.

As I read the story, in my best witches voice, the kids added ingredients to their concoction and created their brew.

Addison had to really get into the part and put on her best witches costume from her dress up. She even wanted me to get the Halloween costumes down from the attic. That was a bit much for me and was the bad guy and said no.

Logan didn't care about his clothes, his "Cars" sweatshirt was good enough for him. He was more interested in eating all the treats from the brew.

Here is the list of ingredients (courtesy of Story of the World Activity Book):

Fingers: tootsie rolls

Eye of Newt: chocolate chips

Tongue of Dog: red licorice

Lizard's leg: pretzel sticks

Owlet's wing: mini marshmallows

Sale of Dragon: smarties

Tooth of Wolf: candy corn

Gall of Goat: raisins

Baboon's blood: Grape juice, cranberry juice, red Kool-Aid or red colored water

Have fun bubbling up your own brew!