Wednesday, April 30, 2014

T is for Toilet Paper Tube Crafts

Pretty much every house has them and there's a plethora of crafts online to be found for using them. Toilet paper tubes don't cost anything extra since you already have them so why not have some fun? You can apply these to many things you are studying, animals, cars or even as stamps for little ones.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

S is for Salt; How to Make Salt Crystals

I'm falling rather behind on finishing by the end of the month but we'll get there! There's LOTS of things you can do with salt including experiments and art projects. I want to share just one of them today. A few weeks ago my daughter and I started making salt crystals and it has been a lot of fun to watch the progression.

Our Jar and pencil after a couple weeks

Sunday, April 27, 2014

You Don't Want to Miss This...

BIG NEWS! If you don't get paid til May 1st you can STILL get the bundle! Woohoo! This is awesome news that I'm super excited to share with you. You still only have through the 28th to order but you can PAY IN MAY if you don't get paid til then! Click here to pay in May for a PDF version. Click HERE for Kindle version. 

Over the last couple of days I've mentioned the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. I want to tell you a little more about it today. There's only a few days left to get it so I want you to fully understand what an amazing deal this is.

What You Get

Awesome enough that you get ALL of those things for under $30. 

Here's a breakdown of the books

Phew! I've shared a few with you already, be on the look out for others coming up this week. Don't wait! Make sure to get it before it's gone!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

R is for Rainbow: 10 Crafts to

Kids love rainbows and even though it's not too often that we spot them in nature we see them often in stories and crafts. A faborite story for my children has been "What Makes a Rainbow?" Someone gave this as a gift several years ago and has been a hit with all of my children. I think that's because as you read it you make a ribbon rainbow and then the BIG popup rainbow at the end of the story. Grab your favorite rainbow book, read it with your children and then pick a craft or two from here to go along with it. Have fun!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Q is for Quiet

I don't know about you but I need some quiet time in the afternoon. Ever since I was pregnant with my second blessing I would take an afternoon nap. Now I find that I still need that down time in the afternoons. It's not possible every day but it's nice to have some days. Most of the time I find myself sending the older three upstairs to watch movies. While that's ok I've been thinking about getting something else for them to do for some quiet time that may be fun and educational at the same time instead of giving them more screen time that they don't really need.

For the Kiddos

1. Quiet time boxes
Wildflower Ramblings has had a brilliant idea to get Rubbermaid style boxes. One for each week day. Inside them she has included puzzles, books, math manipulatives and a bunch of other fun ideas.

Quiet Boxes for Little Ones from Wildflower Ramblings

2. Sponge Blocks 
To me, this is just genius! I'm sure you are well aware how noisy Lego's can be. Valerie at Inner Child Fun has made blocks out of sponges! Cut them to various shapes, store in a container and let your kids create while you get some much needed quiet time.

3. Coloring Books and Crayons
Not all kids like to color but if they do, it can give you a good chunk of time that they are occupied, happy and creating at the same time. Dollar Tree has lots of coloring and activity books. Take your kiddos and let them pick out their own quiet time book and a box of crayons.

For Mom

Now that you've got some quiet time to yourself it's time to figure out what you want to do with your time. Yes chores are always there but right now, they can wait. Enjoy some time for yourself even if it's only for a few minutes. It's important to take care of yourself, do things you enjoy and most importantly, spend time with Jesus in prayer and reading.

1. Crafts
I enjoy things like crochet, knitting, scrap booking and sewing. Find something you like to do and have fun! If you want to learn a craft ask a friend or check out You Tube (that's where I learned crochet!)

2. A favorite show
We don't have cable but we do have Netflix. Often I'll grab my knitting or crochet and put something on Netflix to watch while I enjoy my time. If you don't want to work on a project though there's plenty of shows to keep you occupied without that. My husband says I always have to be doing something so I guess he's right!

3. Books
I love to read so I've always got books around that I can pick up. If you don't have a shelf of unread books waiting for you I've got the perfect solution. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle! It's full of wonderful books that you can download to your Kindle or other table or read right on your computer. Take a look at this to learn more

How do you spend your quiet time and how do you go about finding quiet time? 

Note: This post includes affiliate links. They do not affect the cost for you, only blesses my family with a small portion. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

P is for Pennies: Being Creative on a Budget +

Many of us as homeschoolers live on a tight budget. It's a sacrifice we make for spending our days with our children. Well worth the trade off too, I might add! Today I have some tips for saving money on craft supplies and in other areas of your homeschool as well.

1. First I'd like to share a book with you called "Advanced Penny Pinching" by Tabitha Philen. This book is a guide to saving on your grocery bill which will, in turn free up money in other areas. In this book you'll find tips on stockpiling, storing your stockpile, saving without couponing and menu planning. You can get "Advanced Penny Pinching" as part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle! For under $30 you can have this book and over 70 others plus the 10 bonus items.

Click here to buy it now.

2. Dollar Tree
Dollar tree has a LOT of great craft supplies! Pool noodles, crayons, markers, craft foam, glue and even finger paint. You can also get less conventional craft items there like pebbles, fake flowers or whatever it is you may need. Careful though. It's easy to keep saying "It's only a dollar!" But all of those $1 items can add up.

3. Stock up
Like I mentioned from the Advanced Penny Pinching book that teaches stockpiling, back to school sales are a great way to accomplish this. You can get boxes of crayons for low prices as well as paper, glue and scissors. I love getting several boxes of pencils and crayons every summer for very low prices!

Pic credit

4. Improvise
You don't have to make a special trip to the store to come up with some fun craft ideas! Look through your craft stuff and think about how it can be used. Ribbon or yarn can be used to make letters, hang pictures or make a fun border. Rummage through, find something interesting and get creative!

5. Freebes
If a friend is getting rid of some things you think you may use for crafts go ahead and ask to have them. Save scraps of fabric from sewing projects for use later. Print fun pages online for masks or oother projects.

Dear Wife: Letters from a Help Meet Review

Today I went to share with you a wonderful book for wives. Misty Leask has compiled letters to wives in just about any stage of marriage and many internal battles we go through as women. I really enjoyed many of these because I can relate! 

These letters are written to lift us up and encourage us in our daily lives. This would be a great book to give to a fellow wife whom you know is struggling and could use some uplifting words coming her way. 

Dear Mom who feels:

These are just a few of the wonderful letters included in this book. It's easy to feel as though we are alone in our struggles but read this and know that you're not alone and that you can overcome these negative feelings with help from our heavenly father.

Misty includes plenty of scripture to lead the way to restoration and prayers at the end of each letter that make you connect with the Father and lead to His open arms.

To get your own copy of her book you can click here OR better yet you can get it as part of the wonderful homemaking bundle on sale this week! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

O is for Oven + Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

Finally getting back on track with my ABC's of homeschooling creatively. Today I want to share with you some tips about using your oven or cooking in general with your schooling.

1. Fun!
Kids love helping in the kitchen! Anytime I'm in there at least one of my children asks what I'm making and if they can help. We have many memories of flipping pancakes, baking cookies and lots of other yummy stuff together.

2. Educational
While you're cooking your kids can learn a lot of skills and practice ones they already know. For example you can practice adding fractions with measuring cups or dividing up chocolate chips between muffins or whatever you may think of at the moment.

 Science is taught because kids learn how foods interact and what they do when cooked. The other day my son and I made pancakes. He announced that they were flat and as soon as he did I realized I'd forgotten the baking powder so I told him that we needed to add that to fix the problem.

Children are also learning many practical life skills that they will use in the years to come. I tell them that they'll know how to cook for their family someday or even just for themselves when they are living on their own. Why not start them out now so they'll have those skills when they arrive at adulthood?

Uses With Homeschooling
1. Themes
Whatever theme you are learning about there are ways to incorporate cooking. We've made vegetable soup when learning about vegetables, apple pie for apples and cultural foods for each country we've studied this year.

2. Shaped Pancakes or Cookies
If you've learned about a certain letter you can make cookies, pancakes, jell-o or others fun foods to make that letter. We've used Jell-o for letter S and cookies for letter L and pancakes for our H. I'm not sure what it is but kids just get a big kick out of eating a letter S!

Warning: Your kitchen WILL be messier than when you do it yourself! BUT the trade off is well worth it for the memories you'll make with your kiddos!

What do you and your kids cook up in the kitchen? If you need some more ideas check out the news I have to share with you. 

Now for the news! Today starts the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale! For 6 days you can get over 70 ebooks, printables and audio files PLUS a bunch of bonuses for one awesome price. This set includes cooking, homeschooling, marriage and homemaking. Grab yours today! Click here for FAQ's

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Resurrection Day!

Today is the day that we as Christians, celebrate our Savior defeating the grave and showing the world that HE IS ALIVE! 
 I love this day every year because it is such a wonderful reminder of what He has done for us. 
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour,  for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.  The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man."
Luke 23:44-47

But thankfully, t didn't end there. Three days later, on the day that we celebrate Easter each year He rose from the grave to show the world that death had no hold on Him and that the Son of God is still quite alive.

"He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' "

Luke 24:6-7

I pray that you will have a blessed Easter and be sure to share God's resurrection with those around you who may be celebrating Easter because it's a tradition.
This morning at church we sang "Power of the Cross"   It's a very powerful song that I want to share with you this Easter. It's a great reminder of what our Savior has done for us. Listen, enjoy and have a blessed Easter! 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for (pool) Noodles

We had a pool as a kid for many years and t was a blast every summer! One favorite for kids are pool noodles. Until a few years ago I'd only thought of them for that purpose. I've since realized though that people are coming up with all kinds of fun crafts for them! I found a few that look like fun and have them to share with you today. These are a great way to get crafty or get your kids outside and enjoying the beautiful weather in the warmer months. You can even let your kids see what they come up with! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Marbles: 5 Activities for Preschoolers

When I first thought of marbles for today's post I had two main ideas in mind, marble painting and marble tracks. I also went scouring Pinterest for more fun activities for you and your kiddos to enjoy. These are geared toward preschool age but I'm sure many older children will love them too! 

1  Marble Painting
Place a piece of paper into a box or cake pan
Dip marbles into paint and place on paper
Let little ones roll the marble around and make fun designs! 

Picture from Teach Preschool

2.  Marble Scooping (Montessori Style Activity)
If you're not familiar with Montessori style schooling or activities that's OK. Your kids will have a lot of fun with this! Set up an area with a container of marbles and a small spoon or tongs and another container to transfer the marbles to. It could be a bowl, egg carton, small container, colored cups for sorting or whatever you have on hand. 

3. Marble Tracks
This is a family favorite and I'm sure many have fond memories of these. A few years ago my mom bought the  Hape Quadrilla Twist and Rail Set. It has been so much fun to build and play with! It comes with ideas because each of the colored blocks are cut differently so it can be sort of confusing when attempting to construct your own track. Once you get it figured out though it's hours of fun for kids and parents alike.
If you don't have the money for a big fancy set like this one it's easy to make your own. This would be a great family project to reuse some of the paper tubes and other miscellaneous stuff you have around the house and build your own marble run.

3. Games
Place a damp paper towel over a jar and use a rubber band to hold it in place. Takes turns placing one marble at a time on top of the paper towel. The one to rip the towel loses. See how many you can get to stay before they all fall to the bottom of the jar!

Or make your own bowling game and set up ten pencil top erasers. Use a marble to knock them down. Sounds like a fun idea to cure the "I'm bored" comments and can be done in a small area.

A lot of Chinese Checkers games use marbles as the game pieces. You can either make your own or grab one online or at the store.

4. Water Marbles (aka water pearls)
I've never used these but I've seen them in craft stores on occasion and they look like fun.These could be added to sensory bins or used for scooping and transferring activities.

5. Science Lessons
You can use marbles to teach a variety of science concepts. eHow has several great ideas for using marbles for science lessons on inertia, water displacement, viscosity and more.

Now it's time to go find some marbles and pick one of the activities above or find some of your own and have fun!

What other activities do you use marbles for? 

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Looms: 3 Craft Looms Your Kids Will Love

Today I want to share three great craft looms with you. These are great for teaching a variety of skills which I have listed with each of the looms. All of them are great for fostering creativity in your children and they are inexpensive which makes mom happy too.

1.Creativity For Kids Quick Knit Loom
I've never used one of these but they look like a lot of fun especially for kids like mine who don't have the patience for spending a few minutes each day to complete a knitting project and want to see results a bit faster. Loom Knitting Primer: A Beginner's Guide to Knitting on a Loom, with over 30 Fun Projects would be a great resource to grab for more ideas once you get the hang of knitting on the loom! 

Teaches: Reading and following directions, problem solving

 2.Rainbow Loom
This is a fairly new one but I'm quickly realizing they are quite popular. I've even made a few and they are quite fun! You basically use small rubber bands to make all kinds of designs and patterns for bracelets. You can find a wealth of information online or grab Totally Awesome Rubber Band Jewelry for new designs as well.

Teaches: Fine motor skills, colors, patterning, reading diagrams 

3.Potholder Loom Set
You may remember these from your childhood. They're still around and still quick and fun too. Not only potholders but bean bags, purses, and whatever other woven craft ideas your kiddos come up with can be made with these. We got several fun ideas from Potholders and Other Loopy Projects.

Teaches: Colors, Patterning, Weaving, Fine Motor Skills

Do your kids use any of these craft looms? Which ones are their favorites? 

Note: This post includes affiliate links. These do not change the price for you in any way only blesses my family with a small portion. 
Photo Credit: Garrett2 via Compfight cc
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