Maine: Lighthouses

Our final Maine book, and our second lighthouse one was a fun true story of one girl keeping the lighthouse lit through a terrible storm, and encouraging her sick mother and her two sisters while waiting for their Dad to return with more supplies.
<a href=””> Widgets</a>

After reading the story, I gave them a bit of specific direction on how to draw a lighthouse.  We carefully drew out our pictures, and since I had rushed out of the house that day we didn’t have the watercolors to make it look dark and stormy.  But, they did enjoy drawing and coloring the lighthouses.

The instructions came to draw it came from Art Projects for Kids Lighthouse lesson

I loved how varied their results were:
I found Superman’s especially interesting because he had a definite plan in mind for his lighthouse, and after a while I realized he was trying to make one like in the book for the pattern.

Science Sunday: Octopus Colors

Science Sunday

I just heard about a linky sponsored by Apologia Science, so I’m gonna link this up to Homeschool Science Show and Tell!

I had planned to share with you what we did with your suggestions for starfish (unfortunately they weren’t as intrigued with starfish as I am), but sadly I LOST MY CAMERA!  So that post will have to wait until I find it again.  Please be praying it pops back up sometime soon.

We read in our Swimming Creatures text that octopuses change color not just because of where they are, but also because of their mood.

This was fascinating to me, and demanded an art project.
First we painted the different colors octopuses have been seen to change.  Afterwards we painted our own idea of different emotions.

Simple, but to the point.

Did you ever have a science project lead to an art project?  My kids LOVED this!

Let’s see what others did this week (or in the past several weeks):

Over at Homegrown Learners they learned about Louis Pasteur, I’m linking to this partially because of the cool movie clip she found and partially because it was such a blast from the past to see this book series, which I had and LOVED growing up.

Spell Out Loud has a great post about the human heart.

Fit Kids Clubhouse had a great post about her son’s experiment with a lava lamp.  I really encourage you to take the time and read it, not skim, but read.  It’s a great testimony about taking the time to follow your child’s lead.

Little Wonder Days did a whole series of egg experiments.  This is part one.

Raising Lifelong Learners has a great post on making your own compass.

And finally here’s a fun suggestion of a series of books to read with your kiddos about different animals.

Science Sunday will be on a Saturday next week, and on Sunday I’ll be sharing the next country for Around the World in 12 Dishes: Sweden!  Anyone have a fun Swedish inspired craft they’d like to suggest?


Science Sunday button Science Sunday

Louisiana: Jean Laffitte

Jean Laffite is a real historical figure.  He was a pirate and probably a few other things that sailed mainly out of New Orleans until he got kicked out of there and then he moved to Galveston, where he founded the town.

This story is a cute tall tale about how he saved New Orleans when a whale got stuck in the Mississippi River.

supplies collage
Well after reading it I decided we’re going to make our own whales.

Here’s what you need: googly eyes, milk cartons, blue paper, glue, paint, and paint brush


Princess opted to paint hers, so she had the relatively simple job of just putting lots of blue paint all over it.

She really enjoyed doing it this way because we haven’t painted for a while, at least not with tempera paint.

The boys went with the “decoupage” option and glued and tore to their hearts content.

We all really enjoyed making our whales, and it was quite the project.  Now I need to scrounge up more milk cartons for any future projects I come up with.

I’m linking up to: A Mommy’s Adventures
Shibley Smiles

Indiana: A Place Called Freedom Widgets


This is one of those books that left us adults with almost as many questions as the kids.  It’s a story of a family of slaves who are set free.  They travel North to Indiana, as time passes the father goes back down several times to get more of their family, aunts, uncles, cousins, and eventually a town is founded there.


014It’s got an almost lyrical quality in the writing, and we all really enjoyed it.  The adults were left wondering did he go down and help them escape to freedom, or did he slowly buy their freedom?


Either way, it’s a good book.  In the end, they name the new town they’ve created “Freedom,” so of course we had to draw our own idea of FREEDOM.




We tried to mimic the illustration style of the book, which looked to me to be a fun combination of watercolors and colored pencil.  I wasn’t quite sure if it was watercolor pencils, it seemed slightly different.


This is Princess before spilling the entire cup of water on herself……  Sigh…..  She got to spend the rest of the time in a swim suit.



I love Superman’s expression in this picture.  The picture next to his is Batman’s illustration, he apparently had trains on his mind, or was remembering the scene in the book with trains.  The bottom right is Princess’, I think those are flowers, but aren’t they pretty?


Shibley Smiles

Rhode Island: Carousels

Rhode Island is famous for carousels, and I LOVE carousels, so I was eagerly looking forward to this idea.


I searched my library and found 10 books there about carousels, and thought I’d hit the jackpot.  Then I actually went there and all of them were checked out except for this one.


And luckily it’s a very cute story.  Not great, but cute.  It’s a story of how times change and how friendships change, but stay the same.  I loved the ending, and how the friends worked together.


Afterwards I decided to have the kids make their own carousel horses, and after a quick Google search I found this great site of carousel coloring pages.  I chose the gif one and shrunk them down to the size I wanted and printed them on cardstock.




I set them to happily coloring their menagerie of carousel creatures.  Here’s a few carousel facts:


1.  If all 4 feet are on the ground that means the animal does not go up and down.


2.  The horse with the most color and the most style is the lead horse.


3.  If the carousel has more than just horses on it, it’s called a menagerie.


017When they were done coloring we used q-tips dipped in water and smeared them for a lovely paint effect.


As you can see ours was a menagerie.  Including mythical creatures, which I am very proud to say my kids could properly name all of them.


Yes, I am a geek.


Once I can get them to sit still again.  I swear someone poured ants down their pants and they haven’t been able to sit still for longer than 10 minutes at a time….. So, once they’re sitting still again I will have them cut out the creatures and glue them to popsicle sticks for their very own carousel figure.

Something wet fell from the sky and it mocked me

No really it did.


See I’ve been waiting MONTHS to draw with watercolor pencils and leave the picture out in the rain.  I saw the idea somewhere (this is why I needed pinterest, because my Evernote had gotten way too full and loaded two months later), and knew I HAD to do it.



Well………  It rained and after we’d been running around like madmen for a couple of minutes because we could feel drops of rain every minute or so.  Yes, it’s that bad.


I remembered this craft, and I got out my watercolor pencils and some supposedly water-soluble markers, and we got to it.


AND THEN IT STOPPED RAINING!  Even feeling raindrops once a minute.


So, here’s what happens if you lay your pictures on the wet floor.  Not quite the cool droplet effect.


BIG SIGH, and the saddest part of all?  It didn’t even rain enough to make mud or really make any puddles.



Ten Timid Ghosts

Or maybe I could say it’s one of the other ghost books we’ve read recently.  But, that’s the one I remember the title for.



After reading it, I forced the kids to paint their hands white and get handprints, because I’d seen a ghost handprint on Pinterest and remembered my plans to do it.  That’s right forced them because they didn’t want to get their hands dirty.  So, Superman didn’t really have one.




Well, we decorated away once the paint was dry, and in Princess’ case this meant adding large amounts of glitter glue.


In the boys, it meant making their ghosts look scary…….


Yes very scary.




And then Batman remembered the ghost he’d cut out of paper a few months ago.  He fished it out of his drawer and taped it up with a scrapbooking sticker border he’d found amongst their crafting supplies.


This would be why I never get away with getting rid of anything.  Three months later they suddenly remember their desperately wanted item and will hunt it down.  Nothing is forgotten here.



I will die with my house filled to the brim with paper scraps, because my kids will remember this “treasured” story from 50 years ago.

Making Music: tin can drums


I mentioned earlier how I’ve been trying to incorporate music more into our day, and we’ve been using these tin can drums for a little bit now.

But just a can is boring, that’s no fun.


So, I gave them some acrylic paints and let them have at the cans.

Now we have pretty shiny cans, and they make music just as well.

Here’s how we’ve used them:

1.  for a beat
2  the different sized cans make different noises, so they can make some music
3.  trying how we hit the cans, different parts make different noises, and what they are hit with changes the sound
4.  tapping out sounds in words
5.  tapping out syllables
6.  building with001
Just a note: I have a clean edge can opener, so the edges of the cans will not cute them.  If you don’t have that, cover the edges with tape, and they’ll be protected in that way.

Bible Alive: Abraham part 1

This past week with the kids (I did this a few weeks ago in Sunday School) we talked about Abraham and how God promised him his descendants would be as numberless as the stars.
Then they got to color their picture with crayons and make glitter glue stars.  When it was all dried I painted over it with watercolor paint to make it look like night.

I thought I had gotten this idea from a post over at Our Country Road but can’t find it or anywhere else I might have gotten it.  My Genesis Pinterest board failed me……..  Oh well.  So, if you’ve seen a similar craft to this can you put the link in the comments?

I particularly like the individuality in each one.  Superman added an owl up in the tree.  Princess and Batman added Jesus.  But Batman was more interested in getting the the next thing so his Jesus is just an outline, and Princess drew in this big vague shape with lots and lots of color, mainly pink……..

If you’d like the picture they used to color, here’s my Abraham counting the stars coloring page.

And for those who are wondering, I need to resubmit my stories to the place I submitted it.  The first go round she said there’s interest but it needs polishing, particularly in the scanning of it.  I just need to sit down and resend it again.

Fairy house, or that’s what I was thinking

See, I don’t know why I get these wonderful ideas of what the projects will look like.  My kids so rarely listen to my ideas anyways……


Supplies: Large sturdy plastic containers (fabric softener, orange juice, liquid laundry detergent), acrylic paint, paint brushes, small toys, sharp knife and/or scissors, Sharpie markers (or something else to mark where to cut)



1.  Draw out where the holes you are going to cut in the side are going to be.  Then explain the idea again to your son who insists on drawing out elaborate battle scenes…….


2.  Cut the holes out.



3.  Have a very long discussion with your daughter on how it is supposed to be made.  “No Mommy it’s not supposed to be painted.”


Sigh, I’ve been told that because she’s so stubborn now that she won’t give in easily to peer pressure later…….


4.  If you’re a stubborn little girl who knows best, than you color the whole thing with Sharpie markers.  Otherwise you paint the outside in insanely bright colors.



4b.  Spend over an hour making 3 bendy dolls with a new pattern that you for some reason have to make even more complicated than it was, and then give up and just make a mess.




5.  Attempt to take pictures of the freshly painted homes, which are of course completely dry…………  Only to have the kids “help” with the photos.


Oh well, they love them.  They never made it to the backyard to make a fairy home like I was hoping, but they’re getting lots of playtime up in their rooms……