Jan Brett’s The Easter Egg

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Jan Brett writes some of the cutest stories, and this book is no different.  Hoppy is excited to make his first ever Easter egg to show the Easter bunny and he asks all of the different bunnies how they make theirs.  He has all sorts of wonderful ideas and then he sees a robin’s egg that has fallen out of its nest.

 

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I had grand plans I was going to make suncatcher eggs.  It was going to be so cute.  We got out the paper and started tearing.  I went to the closet to get out the contact paper and it wasn’t there.  But there was wax paper.

 

So I traced an egg on the wax paper gave them a glue stick and let them have at it.  My intention was to iron it closed and tape it up.

 

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Well, they had a different plan.  They each wanted to make two and they didn’t want to fold it over.  So, they happily made eggs, cut them out and we taped them up to our windows.  Well some of them.  The others disappeared upstairs into their rooms.

 

 

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Louisiana: Jean Laffitte

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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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: Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy

Did you know these cute dolls were first made in Indiana?  I didn’t either until I started looking up facts on the state.

That of course requires reading one of their stories.  This particular one is the story of how they found their friend who had been stolen and rescue her from pirates.  Very saccharine sweet.

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My kids didn’t quite think this was a requirement, they wanted to get to the craft project.

 

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Not that you can tell from Princess’ sour face.  She was not in a good mood that day.

 

I found a paper doll template on Kidley, I think it was one of the first blogs I discovered, and sadly it’s not writing anymore.

Then I turned them loose with a box of crayons, colored pencils, scissors, glue, and a box of scrapbook paper.  Their only instruction was to make a boy doll and a girl doll, an unpopular instruction with everyone.

 

And here’s what I got:

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I love the look on the boy’s face in the top picture, that really is his personality.  My kids never gave me a chance to get a picture of them with their pictures.  I love the variety, from the all colored to the some colored some paper.  All of them were unique.

 

The bottom right corner is one of my boys’ pictures.  I’d guess Superman from the one guy being all blue.


Shibley Smiles

Louisiana: Johnette Downing books

For whatever reason my library has about 10 books by this author for Louisiana.  They all have great voice and flair to them.  They also have a very distinctive illustration style.  It’s a variation of collage artwork, a sort of cut work that is very appealing, and lends itself easily to art projects.

We used two of her books for art projects: “Down in the Bayou,” and “Chef Creole,” both were different projects.
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Forgive the quality of the pictures, I forgot my camera at home, and we did this at a friend’s house.

For “Chef Creole” I gave them a bin of various pre-cut out shapes I made using various hole punches I have.  If you don’t have hole punches, just go crazy before hand randomly cutting out things.
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This was a big hit and I’m looking forward to trying it again with just my kids and letting them use the punches with A LOT of supervision (mainly because I don’t want them dropped on toes, OUCH!).

Project 2 was using “Down in Louisiana,” it’s a fun counting book, and I made a small booklet with about 5 pages and gave them a stack of pictures for the animals in it from clip art images.

Their instructions were to draw the background with markers and then glue on the pictures.

This wasn’t as popular, they just wanted to cut and glue.
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Either way I highly recommend these books, especially for the early elementary/preschool set.  They were wildly popular with all of the kids, and mine haven’t let me return these to the library yet.

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Louisiana: Mardi Gras

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“Mardi Gras” is a great book about the holiday and how it is celebrate particularly in New Orleans.

 

It approaches this holiday at a kid level and gives a fair amount of background.  I loved how well it covered how New Orleans celebrates it and I learned all sorts of things.  It made me want to go to New Orleans to see Mardi Gras, and then the other mom who was with me burst my bubble.  Apparently it’s a higher crime rate then and most locals just stay off the streets as much as possible.

 

I guess I always picture it sort of like this:

Well, after reading the book we made our own Mardi Gras masks in the traditional colors of purple, green, and yellow.

 

I found these great masks at First Palette and printed them off on cardstock.

Then I turned them loose to make it.

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All we need to add now is a ribbon to tie it on.  I also want to applaud myself for not making it too over the top in effort and overthinking it.

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At the time of picture taking Princess didn’t have hers done, but she’s since gotten it done.

 

Oh, and in case you’re wondering the boys masks are superhero masks.

Science Sunday: Hermit Crabs

Science Sunday

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I’ve had this pinned to my Swimming Creatures pinterest board for a very long time and have been rather eager to give it a try for a while.  We finally reached crustaceans, so it was time to get started!

 

Supplies: red paint, construction paper and scrapbook paper, glue, scissors

 

First we read our science book about hermit crabs and talked about what made them unique and different.  We also watched the Dinosaur Train episode and Cat in the Hat episodes with hermit crabs (which my kids reminded me of after reading it).

 

Then we read “A House for A Hermit Crab” by Eric Carle, and compared the hermit crab in the story to what real hermit crabs do.  Real hermit crabs do actually get sea anemones to help protect them from predators and will move the sea anemone from their old shell to their new one.

 

After reading both of these I painted their hands, and made a handprint for the body of the crab, and then we cut a roughly shell shape from a piece of white construction paper.  They drew a swirly shape onto their paper for the shape of the shell.

 

Here was their assignment:  Glue on things that live in the ocean that a hermit crab might have on their sea shell, or be in the sea near them.

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Princess had lots of barnacles and such added to hers.  Superman had a sea anemone, a shark swimming by, and another fish.  There was also some coral nearby.  Batman had a sea anemone (with a very accurate description of the symbiotic relationship), a manta ray, and some rocks because the hermit crab in the book had rocks.

 

All in all, I’d say they both absorbed the book, and the scientific knowledge.  Now, I seriously considering a whole mini-unit about the book……..  It’s just so much fun.

 

There were several weather themed posts linked up this week, so I had to highlight such a nice little theme already built in.

Next Generation Homeschooler has a great week long unit on weather for preschoolers.

Little Wonder Days continued the weather theme with a Simple Anemometer.

Learning Ideas k-8 has a cute wind sock to make.  Does anyone else remember making these as a kid?  She also has a whole bunch of weather posts on her site, but I didn’t want to show you every single one.

 

It’s fun when we can do an art project (which they’d been begging me to do, because you know we never do those) and have it work well with science.

 

Hopefully I have not messed up my linky thing and put in the wrong date or start time again (fingers crossed).

Vermont: Nora’s Ark

I was badly burned by a “Noah’s Ark” retelling a year or so ago, it was horribly written and didn’t work for us at all.  So it was with a great deal of trepidation that I checked this book out.

 

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This is a well written and illustrated story.  It takes place during the 1920s during a flood in Vermont.  The actual story may not be true, but similar incidents happened.  Nora’s house was the one house in the area high enough to be out of the flood waters.  By the end of the story Nora had cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, and people in their house.

 

It’s a great lesson on what is truly important, and what isn’t.  As she says in the story, “The rest is just gravy.”

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After reading the story I challenged them to fit as many things in their house as they could.  They had to have at least two of each different item Nora had in her house.  So, at least two cows, two horses, two chickens, two men, and two women.

 

 

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Not too surprisingly they fit a lot of chickens in.  But, that’s just what happened in the story, she had over 100 chickens in her house.

Inside they had to write what they would save from their house if it flooded.

 

Can I just say it made me smile to have the kids all say they’d save their Bibles.

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Here’s the printable for anyone able to find a copy of Nora’s Ark.