Indiana: The Floating House

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You hear a lot about people going West in a Covered Wagon.  You don’t really hear as much about them going West other ways.  This book was a great example of another way.  This family floated West on a house boat.

 

“A house boat?” you say.  Yes, and there are dangers I didn’t think about connected with a house boat.

 

After reading this I decided it’d be fun to make our own house boat.  Two fun and easy ways to do this would have been using a milk carton or juice boxes.

 

I thought of this pretty much 10:00 the night before, and I don’t have 10 boxes saved to use right now.  I have a lot of egg cartons….. Not so useful for this.

 

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I used my Silhouette to cut out some boxes, if you don’t have something to cut them for you, here’s a template I found that will do that.

 

I then set them to coloring boxes with crayons to decorate their boats.

And then they colored a peg doll for their person in the boat.  Simple, fun, and sadly not waterproof.

 

I emphasized that several times.

 

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Isn’t he cute?

Tennessee: Banjo Granny

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You ever run into one of those books that is just a perfect bedtime book?  This is one of them.  It’s so sweet and soothing, and the kids all loved it.

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Banjo Granny is about a grandma who knows her little grandson loves bluegrass music so she gets her banjo and heads off to play him so bluegrass music.

 

This is beyond easy, so I don’t have a step by step.

Supplies: brown cardstock, popsicle stick, glue, markers, square or round punch (optional, I happened to have one which made cutting it out super easy)

 

Here ya go, punch out your square or circle, glue it on the popsicle stick.  When the glue is dry, or if you’re impatient go ahead right away and draw your lines on.

 

Now play with it.

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The photo shoot was going well until Superman’s Snakey (yes that is the toy’s name) attacked the poor Moosey (can you see a naming trend?).  Poor Moosey passed out in terror…

Tennessee: Davy Crockett

Okay, be honest, how many of you as soon as you read that got “Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier” stuck in your head?

Now, who has it stuck in their head?

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I found about 6 books at our library about him, and this was my favorite.  All of the others were more factual, but this one had humor, and Davy Crockett has humor in him I think.  And it’s a tall tale.  Who doesn’t like a tall tale?

 

I certainly do, they’re like American mythology.  Of course our modern mythology is comic books, but that’s a different subject.

After reading it we grabbed a peg doll, some pipe cleaners and made us our own Davy Crockett doll.

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Or that’s what it is in theory.  In reality……  The hats never quite fit right, and kept covering their heads.  Princess objected she wanted to make a girl, so she made Swamp Angel.  Then the boys decided they were making Captain America and proceeded to make pipe cleaner shields and add arms……….

 

Yeah………  So this did not go as planned.  I really want to make some coon skin hats, but it wasn’t going to happen on that day.  Concentration was NIL.

Great gift to give for a kid’s birthday party!

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All you need: paper mache dollhouse found at Hobby Lobby or most craft stores (I’m fairly sure I’ve also seen it at Michael’s), various scraps of scrapbook paper, popsicle sticks for added touches, peg dolls (I get mine at Casey’s Wood products), and a bottle of glue.

Here’s the price break down, more or less

house- between $2-5 depending on size you buy, that’s full price.  I time the sales and get it 50% off
peg dolls- if bought at Casey’s Wood Products $0.15-$0.30 per figure plus shipping, if bought at craft store, about $3-4 for 10 or so
scrapbook paper- 5 for a $1 on sale, otherwise 4 for a $1, or on hand
popsicle sticks- can be bought for a huge box for about $5 or small pack of 50 or so for a dollar at the dollar store, as could the paper
glue bottle- bought at back to school sales for $0.03, otherwise about a $1

Now you have an instant craft kit that is loads of fun, can provide hours of entertainment, first deocrating the house, then the dolls, and finally playing with your dolls.

For those without a Hobby Lobby, I just checked and it is available on Amazon: Paper Mache Box with Windows Small.

edited to add: link for houses and pricing

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Advent Days 7 and 8, I think

Sigh, I know where these fell, but I’m totally not remembering the exact day.

 

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We talked about the story of Jacob and how he tricked his brother and had to run away.  Then we talked about Jacob having his dream with the angels coming up and down.

 

Afterwards we created our own Jacob’s ladder.  I had planned to take another stab with the bubble dying, but I was not feeling up to it, and my second plan was missing parts.  So, regular old blue paper it was……

 

Since they didn’t know about my more ambitious plans they didn’t care one bit.

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Princess was quite proud of her creation, and so were all of the kids, but she was the only one who posed with hers.

 

 

 

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I love how everyone had a different interpretation.  Superman literally built a stairs out of popsicle sticks, and Batman had huge numbers of steps.  Princess wanted her angels to be pretty.

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Now on to the next day, acting out the story of Joseph with popsicle stick puppets, which was a huge hit.  Other than I had to sit through 3 renditions of it all, which got to be rather “creative,” yeah let’s say creative.

 

You can see a not really tutorial on how to make the puppet theater here.  You can find the printables for the Bible story and craft at part 1 of my Advent project.

 

Advent Calendar part 2

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We’ve completed the first few days of our Advent project.  The kids happily search through the Christmas tree to find the day’s activity and box.  It’s a bit of a challenge because some of the numbers are on there as words, and they don’t know all of their number words yet.  So, this has been great practice.

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Day 13- Solomon, God said Solomon’s wisdom would be greater than the sands on the shore.  Make “sand pudding.”  I don’t have any extras with this one because I have no movie or book in particular for it at this time.

 

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Day 14- Elijah, God kept his prophet safe even when all else seemed to be against him, and Elijah was able to show others the mighty wonders of God because of this.  Same for this one, for some reason there’s not a lot of movies about Elijah, which is a shame because he has some great stories.

 

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Day 15- Esther, God used Esther to keep His people safe so that His BIG Plan could go forward.  Make the princess pretty using markers and glitter and whatever else you have.  Watch the Veggietales: Duke and the Great Pie War.  If my kids had an amazing attention span and were older we could watch “One Night with the King.”  I highly recommend that movie if you have any interest in Old Testament history, or want to watch a true romantic movie.  It is wonderfully made.

 

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Day 16- Nehemiah, God used Nehemiah to bring His people back to Israel, so eventually His Promised One would be born where God promised.  Build a wall like Nehemiah did, try to keep others from knocking it down.  Again no movie, another sorely under represented figure in animation and books.

 

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Day 17- Zechariah and Elizabeth- play charades.  I also loved the idea from over at Fantastic Five of making edible peanut butter and HONEY play dough (get it because John ate honey), but since I’m making this for others as well I didn’t want to include something their kid might potentially be allergic to.

 

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Day 18- Mary and Joseph, got told Mary and Joseph beforehand about Jesus’ coming.  Create a song of praise like Mary did to God.  As a side note I opted to go with the traditional colors for the Nativity figures and just paint them solid.  Therefore Mary is blue for purity and mercy, Joseph is brown for humility.  Many thanks to Nicole from Tired, Need Sleep for helping me figure that out.

 

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Day 19- Journey to Bethlehem– play the game.  We’ll also read “Donkey’s Dream,” a very cute story that is beautifully illustrated about the donkey carrying Mary to Bethlehem.  He dreams he is carrying many different things that are all names for Jesus or come from Catholic imagery (this is my memory from reading it last year, it’s not one I’ve read zillions of times).

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Day 20-Shepherds, while reading the story eat your candy canes that look like shepherd’s crooks.  I painted the shepherd figures green for their traditional color, but couldn’t find what it is supposed to represent.  Any ideas people? Any Godly Play people know?  Maybe life or growing?  I’m planning to read Crippled Lamb, if I can find my copy.  I think it might technically be my Mom’s……..  So maybe at her house.

 

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Day 21-Magi, the magi are painted yellow to represent wisdom or preciousness (maybe, anybody know for sure?).  I included popsicle sticks to make a star and decorate it to hang on the tree.  I’m thinking of teaching the boys how to make this, because I’m a glutton for punishment.

 

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Day 22- Simeon and Anna, I love this part of the story and it is so rarely included when we teach it.  We tell about the shepherds and the magi, but we leave out these two simple people who waited their whole lives.  In that vein we will each have a cookie place in front of us and have to wait 5 minutes to show us how hard it is to wait like Simeon and Anna did.

 

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Day 23- Flight to Egypt, Dixie cups in a Pringles can.  I’ve made my kids eat a lot of Pringles recently.  The cups are to stack to make a pyramid.  How big of a pyramid can you make?

 

Here is part 1 of the Advent project

Here are the updated Advent printables (including a master list of what to do each day).

 

I meant to get this up before December 1, but I quite literally finished all of these on December 1, and I already had posts scheduled and I haven’t had time to sit down and write until now………  All right, I’m off to start school for the day.  We’ve already gotten our Advent acitivity for today done.  I quite literally got out of bed and they pounced on me saying, “We have to find the 5!”

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Bible Alive: Baby Moses

 

Earlier this year I studied Moses with my 2nd/3rd graders (there’s a ridiculously detailed post explaining the original project), and since we’ve started on our grand “Study the Bible in 2 Years” plan we’re going to be covering it again soon, so I’m trying out the lessons on my kids to start out.

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Well, the other day Batman was happily running a dungeon with Jeff on a computer game, so to make Superman and Princess happier I let them make our craft.  I got out some of the wooden babies from Casey’s Wood Products and an egg carton and let them have at it decorating their craft.

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Of course we tested if our baskets floated in water, which they did quite successfully.  This then led to the kids NEEDING to take a bath right then with their peg dolls.

 

That ended our Bible lesson until the next morning.

 

At which point we acted out the entire story using our peg dolls.  Princess quite happily shared the mommy and little girl she colored, I contributed some of the ones I colored, and Superman contributed the basket.

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Once there was a family who had a baby boy.  It was against the law to have a baby boy, and the soldiers were going to come and kill the baby.  So his mommy and daddy hid him for 3 months.  It’s very hard to hide a baby that long because babies cry and are noisy.

 

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Finally, they could hide the baby no longer, so they made a basket and covered it in tar (you could bring in this science experiment), and Miriam watched over him in the reeds.

 

 

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While the basket was floating in the reeds, Pharaoh’s daughter came down and found him there.  “A baby!,” she said, “I’ll name him Moses because I drew him out of the water.”

 

 

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Miriam came up to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Would you like me to find someone who can take care of him for you?” she asked.

“Yes,” said Pharaoh’s daughter, “and I will play her to do it.”

 

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Miriam brought her mother and Pharaoh’s daughter said, “I will pay you to take care of him, and when he is grown bring him back to me.”

 

 

 

One of the things I noticed when I was preparing for this lesson that I had never noticed before, Miriam was sitting right there watching over Moses.  Admittedly, she was hiding, but it’s not like the scene in “Prince of Egypt” where he’s just randomly floating down the Nile river.  He was being watched.

 

Have you ever suddenly noticed something in a story you’ve read many times?


North Carolina: Blackbeard’s Last Fight

 

We read this when we first studied North Carolina, and the kids were a little weirded out by it then because it’s a little scary, but they’re older now, and a bit more bloodthirsty, and besides our geography group skews heavily to the boy side of things, so anything with pirates is good.

 

When I read it 3 of the boys (including mine) were absolutely spell bound and kept creeping closer and closer to me, so they were almost on top by the time I was done reading it.

 

At first I didn’t have a great idea for a craft, and then as we did the protest signs for “Freedom on the Menu,” it came to me!  Blackbeard’s corpse sinking into the waters, yes that was our craft.

 

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They happily sat there pulling him up and down in the cup, and watching his body drown…..  Yes, they loved this craft.

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Afterwards Superman had a blast stacking cups and making pyramids.

North Carolina: Greensboro sit-ins

 

Freedom on the Menu is about the Greensboro sit-ins that happened during the 1960s.  It mainly focuses on a family and the daughter, who is about 7 or 8, and tells it from her point of view.

 

She talks about how unfair it is to not be allowed to sit at the counter on the swivel chairs and eat an ice cream sunday, and how proud she is of her brother and sister for participating in the protests.

 

This led to some great discussions in our group, what is fair, and what isn’t.  How can you protest something unfair without being violent or disrespectful.

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Afterwards we made protest signs with index cards and popsicle sticks.  I could tell they really got it when they started their own protests.

 

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Snow Doggy joined in too.

Linking up to: All Things Beautiful, Journey to Excellence 

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Connecticut: Nathan Hale

Pop quiz: What is Nathan Hale famous for saying?

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I’ll put the answer in the comments section after a few people have guessed.  I love to collect quotes, and this was one of the first ones I memorized.  Why?  No clue, it amuses me.  Much like Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech.  Melodramatic?  You bet!

So, Connecticut has for two of it’s state symbols a state hero and state heroine.  Since I’ve long admired Nathan Hale, and because I knew there was no chance of finding a book on the heroine I opted to read about him.  And I loved the book.  Seriously, great for this state.

 

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After reading the book and talking about their state heroine as well, we glued pictures of their statues onto a paper that summarized why they were heroes.

 

The pages were made by copying the material from the links above and putting a picture of the statue below to be cut out and glued on.  Super simple, but it conveys all the information without having to write a lot.  Since it’s not my creation really I’m not sharing it, but you can get the idea.

 

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So, I set them to making peg dolls of their chosen hero or heroine.  Not too surprisingly the choice split along gender lines.  All the girls chose to make Prudence (who they thought looked like a boy in her picture), and all the boys chose to make Nathan.

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Can you tell which one I made and which one is Superman’s?  Poor guy went through two different clothespins before I gave him a peg doll, and even then he wasn’t happy with how it turned out.

 

Oh, and I’ve decided I need to order these in bulk, I really love how they look as people.