Great Wall of China


Little known fact: It’s made of play dough.
NO really.

And, it’s guarded by little play dough men.

Or, we learned about China, and how they built the Great Wall to keep out the invading hordes, and how better to get it through their thick little skulls (they need to be thick to protect them from their head wounds, I could almost make that a whole category, did you know I almost went to the ER again a few days ago).
And then we learned about the Terra Cotta army, and all of the great detail put into it.  Right now, at 12:42 am I’m not remembering the name of the crazy emperor who decided to build that (though that is an improvement on burying your servants with you), so you’ll just have to wonder.

I think I might go to bed.  See, I have one kid at home right now, and she’s a night owl too (staying up until 10:30 or so), and so I’m staying up way later than I usually would……..

Ha ha ha ha ha, clearing out the drafts page and saw this one in there.  I don’t even know why I almost went to the ER at the end of April.  Shows how common or often it’s been.

Dragons, dragons, dragons

I saw this on a blog, and I’m sorry but I didn’t clip it to remember where.  I know I followed a link from Crafty Crow.

Supplies: egg carton, construction paper, paint, yarn, hole punch


1.  Sorry, this picture is from a later step, but this lets you see what you need.  Cut your egg carton off  with 4 of the egg holes.  Also cut off 2 of the segments to make the eyes.
Now cut apart the top and bottom of the carton.  This lets you use it as a puppet.


2.  Paint your egg cartons.  Of course this requires insanely large amounts of paint and colors.
If you’re trying for an Asian inspired dragon then use lots and lots of bright colors!


3.  From the construction paper cut out and glue on flames, or whatever cool shape you want.


4.  Glue on the eyes.  I used markers to draw eyes in the middle.  I think the boys did more paint.

Hmmm, I have no clue how Superman got the injury on his chin.

005  5.  Punch a hole about an inch in on both sides on the top and bottom.
Cut a piece of string about six inches long, and feed it through both holes.  Then tie it off.  This will let your kids use it as a puppet when it’s all dried off.


6.  Cut a piece of tissue paper in half, and then glue it around the top of this.  This step is rather tricky and is a “Mommy step,” unless your kids are much older and more careful than mine.

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Then have an awesome dragon flight.

Asian studies, but in reality China



Here we go, my library had a lot of books, I’ve got most of the ones we read recorded here, and pretty much only included the ones they actually enjoyed.  Lon Po Po is the only one they were lukewarm on, but I wanted to make sure to include the Chinese Red Riding Hood because it amuses me to see “our fairy tales” in different cultures.


And here’s the nonfiction books, I just noticed that half of these are about pandas.  That’s really kind of funny.  Here ya go::


All right, now I have everything saved, so I can safely return these to the library and not get anymore fines……  Not that I was getting fines, oh wait I was getting a lot of fines, or was about to.


I had been wanting to wait and put this up until we were all done with the lapbook, but since I”m putting continents on indefinite hold, I might as well let you know the great books we found, and the activities we did.  Who knows, it may spark an idea for someone else.




We learned how tea is made, and figured out it is best made in hot water.








We went to the Asian market and learned about making noodles.






And, I almost forgot (because it’s not tagged Asia).  We learned about making explosives in honor of China inventing gun powder.  And, I learned not to approach the homemade rocket for a long time after it’s supposed to of exploded.  Ouch……..




And, I apparently still need to write a post about this, so I’ll do that later today, hopefully.  Or maybe not because I’m supposed to be helping pack a friend’s house.



Other ideas that we didn’t do, or they didn’t work out:  making paper, making a kite (I had found an excellent tutorial, but it just so did not work for us).  Maybe later when I’m not feeling vaguely sick I’ll look up all the links I had found to share with you.


Now, head on over to Jule this week at Just Playin’ Around to see other geography and history posts.


There, I finally got this out of my drafts to be finished……..

Science Sunday: How is tea made?


As you may recall Batman asked a few weeks ago how tea is made, but at the time I wanted to blow something up.  That and I wanted to look it up to make sure I would be able to explain it well.  I was thinking it was something to do with diffusion.
I found this site, it’s a PDF with an experiment, that does a good job explaining it all, but it wasn’t really making tea, but it gave me a general concept to work around.
And by the way, when I googled tea diffusion I came up with all sorts of things that weren’t even remotely close to what I wanted, but were a bunch of high school chemistry stuff.  We’re so not there.
001Supplies needed: water (boiling hot, room temperature, and ice water), tea bags, clear cups to be able to see the change or measuring cups.  And excuse the messy counter.
First we all predicted which would make tea fastest, general co census (didn’t know that was two words) is the cold water according to their predictions.  I think Princess might have said hot.  I was doing this super quick before leaving to get last minute things for the wedding yesterday, so I didn’t really follow “scientific procedure,” more of we had fun and got it done, and then they drank very sweet tea.
Then the kids had lots of fun stirring around the different teas and putting their fingers in.  I did figure out if we do this again to always make sure to use the same teas in every one of them.  The two colder ones were chocolate chai, and it looked darker faster because they were a darker tea than the mint tea I used in the hot water.

The kids also noticed it became tea faster as they moved the tea bags.  They also discovered they didn’t like it when they broke open the tea bags and dropped the tea leaves all over their tea.

Afterwards they had lots of fun drinking their different teas with two lumps of sugar (special treat of extra sugar).

Scientific mumbo jumbo: Because the molecules in warm water move faster the tea forms faster in the hot water.  I also learned that tea is not made through diffusion, but through osmosis because the water is moving through the tea bag, not the tea moving out into the water.  Interesting, no?

Now, it’s your turn, what have you done this week?

What did we read this week? Oh, that’s right


I learned something this week.  I can only check out 45 books from the library at a time, they gave me special dispensation to have out 56 just this once, because they might be behind on checking in books.  But, this was said very grudgingly, so all of the books I’m talking about were taken back to the library as soon as they were read, so the librarian wouldn’t glare at me again. 


So, our books went all over, China, North Carolina, and I think Montana.


You know, now that I look at it, I don’t think we actually read that Tiger book, I think it’s another.  Oh well, the tiger book was good, so I’ll have to search it out.


Wee and the Wright Brothers– this was a clever take on the Wright brothers building their plane.  We really enjoyed reading about it, and I didn’t know that they were travelling between their home in Ohio (I think, already returned the book, so I can’t double check) and North Carolina.


Blackbeard’s Last Fight– I would not really recommend this for preschoolers.  The syntax and amount of words are a little long for their interest level, and at the end Blackbeard is beheaded and his body thrown in the water.  My kids then obsessed about his body being eaten by sharks.  Lesson learned, stick to more cartoony pirate books.


The Adventures of Miss Pace– very cute book about a teacher who goes to a dude ranch for the summer to find two of her students have followed her.  It felt to me like this was set more up North, but I have no solid reasoning for it.  The kids really thought this was funny, and the twin boys who kept showing up kept cracking them up.


Animagical Colors– Cute riddle book with colors, and the riddles were not patently obvious, so that was enjoyable.  So many of these books you look at it and know before you read the words what it is.  I think a few of them were a bit of a stretch, but it was fun to read.


The Story of Chopsticks and The Story of Noodles–  These are two books in a series of books about how different things in China were invented, and we really enjoyed the interactions of the three boys.  And, later this week you’ll get to see a funny post about our art project or food project……


Tiger– that’s the link to the actual Tiger book we read (though I think we have checked the other one out, I checked out about 5 of them).  Honestly I don’t know how much they liked this and how much was their just wanting me to keep reading so they could keep drawing and putting stickers everywhere.  I thought it was a bit simple, but they would have loved it a year ago, and it would have been perfect then, hence why I checked it out.   I know we’d read others from this series before and loved them.


Now for more of these great book recommendations, and maybe ones written a little less tongue in cheek, go over to Natalie’s blog over at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.   Which, I’ll probably actually link up to tonight, I’m off to a MOPS conference tomorrow, I get to learn how to be a better Creative Activities director.  I’m guessing it’ll be full of important tips like don’t eat the glue.  Seriously, I’m guessing it’ll be a blast, but since I’m leading the discussion, I better have some clue what I’m doing.