Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Schedule - Make it Monday (SLIME)

As my kids get older, our schedules get busier! Between swim team, horse back riding, tennis, summer camps and family vacations, it seems like we are always on the go. And because of our crazy summer lives I felt like it was important to make a loose schedule that kept us grounded and having fun. I got the idea here and tweaked it a little to better fit us.

So, for Make it Monday we made colored slime! We have made slime before, but this time we used white glue instead of clear glue, making the colors more vibrant. We also used food coloring gel which also made brighter colors. 

What you need:
1. white glue
2. gel food coloring
3. liquid starch
4. small mixing bowls

What to do:
The recipe calls for equal parts glue and liquid starch. I find it works best if you pour the desired amount of glue then slowly add the liquid starch until it is the right consistency. You don't want it to stick to your fingers when you play with it. But you also don't want it too greasy and fall apart (which will happen if you add too much liquid starch). Then you add the color and mix!

It can get stringy and stretch!
You can roll it into a ball or...
you can stretch it out like spaghetti!! 
And you can mix the colors to make new colors!
Or make marbled colors!

You can keep the slime in an air tight container and play with it again and again, or make new colors and mix with the old colors. This is something we always have on hand :)

Family Command Center

I (and my house) am a work in progress and I am always open to change and growth. If you stay the same, you can never become better. And as good as you think you are, no one is perfect. That would be boring ;) So with that said, I am admitting that I am always changing things in and around my house to find the best way things work for my family. And I have found that what works now, probably won't work forever...

When we first moved into our new house back in November, I set up this area for cubbies, shoe boxes, brain work and chore charts. It worked fine at first, but I'm not a fan of "fine." I began brainstorming about where the ideal "home base" would be for our mail, calendar, chore charts and other family things could go. I thought about the unfinished mudroom and the entryway of our house, but I felt as though I needed everything to be in a more central location where we could see all of it everyday/all the time. Because let's be honest, out of sight, out of mind. So that's when I turned to the kitchen. I tried imagining everything in various places, but with TONS of cabinet storage (trust me, I am not complaining), there is limited wall space. Then my mind decided on the fridge. Duh, right? It makes the most sense anyway. It's magnetic and has a lot of surface space to work with, and it's pretty :) 

I began with a blank slate. I cleared everything off the side of the fridge and began mapping out where everything could go. I was working with a few things that HAD to be there and some things that could come and go. Once I got everything where I wanted it, I began tweaking. And tweaking. And then I tweaked it all again. Some stuff got moved to the left side and some to the right. Mostly the kids stuff is on the left because they see that side without even trying, and the right side is more of the adult side. This is how it all looks…for now ;)

1. This is our Summer Schedule :) I got the idea here and the kids love checking it every morning to see what we will be up to that day. 

2. Our mail slot is a place for me to put all of Super Dad's mail so I can't be accused of losing anything important ;)

3. Even in the world we live in today with e-calenders and iPhones, I still have to have a hard copy calendar! Looking at my month like this helps me keep things straight in my head. 

1. These are on the right side of the fridge as well. I get these little magnetic note pads in the dollar bin at Target. I use them to jot down quick notes, make a grocery list or write an "I love you" and leave them in the kid's lunch boxes :)

2. I saw this idea way back when, and knew I had to make one. Busy has used it a few times on her own. She decides to do all of them in order, and loves the E. I will walk in and find her doing jumping jacks or sit ups or yoga :) But to be honest, she is really good about not getting bored in the first place. 

3. The kid's chore charts are here now instead of in their cubbies. I love them here with everything else!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

An African Savannah

I have a confession. I was the kid who loved when the science teacher assigned the dreaded diorama. While other kids (and parents) were moaning at the thought of painstaking planning of a box of a detailed habitats or solar systems or (gasp!) miniature models, I was jumping for joy on the inside while making a plan in my head complete with a checklist to take with me to Hobby Lobby or Michaels. So when Busy grabbed an empty cardboard box this afternoon and asked if I would help her make a model of what her friend called "a sunny savannah," I shot back to my childhood and jumped for joy…on the outside this time ;) 

What You Need:
  • white paper and construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • crayons or markers or paint
  • a cardboard box
  • miniature animals 
What To Do:
  1. Google images of an "African Savannah" and talk about what you find. We talked about different ways the watering hole was used (drinking, wading, what may live there). We also talked about the various animals that live in the savannah. She even compared the pictures to The Lion King movie.
  2. Draw pictures of what you find in your search. We drew a picture of a long tree, a watering hole, a mud hole, the hot sun, and rocks. Then color and cut out all of your pictures. 
  3. Glue your pictures in the box. Busy tried to get the box to look as much like the pictures as she could :)
  4. Set up the animals to complete your diorama and let your imagination run wild!! 
We had so much fun together creating this African Savannah! And this particular box folds up to close so she can move it to her room or the table or take it to her Nana's and Baba's ;) I foresee many of these in our future.

A zebra taking a sip from the watering hole.

A Rhino taking a dip in the mud hole.

A pair of giraffes snacking on the high leaves of her "long tree."