Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Look Up!

 First of all I have to just give a big shout out and thank you to the lovely ladies of seventhsouth.com for featuring my blog this last week on their site! {For my readers, you have to check out their website if you haven't already! It is filled with the greatest ideas and amazing advice for mamas! You'll love it!}  
I also have to just say how excited I am to get to do this guest post for them about the latest summer unit I did with my little man! (This post will be featured on their website this week!)

The unit my son and I did this last week is one that will always have a special place in my heart. We call it "Lift Up Thine Eyes" and it is all about the sky! So often we forget what an incredibly beautiful and miraculous world we live in. How often do we stop to get lost in the clouds or appreciate the beauty of the night sky? This unit offers us a chance each summer to pause, put down our phones, set other distractions aside and just simply look up.  As we do so, time seems to stand still as we reflect on the breathtaking wonder of God's creations. 

If you're new to my blog, check out my original "Lift Up Thine Eyes" post for details and lots of fun ideas for this unit, including great family home evening ideas!!

Here's just a little look at what we did this year:

Cotton-ball Cloud Pictures

Beckam had fun pasting cotton balls onto blue paper to make puffy clouds! That afternoon we were driving in the car and he suddenly gasped and goes "Mommy!! Look! Clouds!!!!!" He was so excited to see clouds in the sky, just like the ones he had made at home :)

We also took time to cloud gaze several times this week to see how many clouds we could find. 

Outer Space Learning Activities

I love the website ateachingmommy.com. It has free printable learning activities for just about every theme and topic you can think of. It even has toddler versions (Tot Packs) of each of their units that are geared toward young ones. They had great space themed activities that we did:

Sorting Stars by Size

Planet and Constellation Pictures by Number

Planet Matching

Print off the above activities and many more at ateachingmommy.com!

 Painted Sun Catchers

We painted sun-shaped "sun catchers."  They sell these in the craft section at Walmart for .53 cents FYI!

Library Books

 Here are some books we got from our library. Most of them have a lot of text (and really cool facts) so older kids would love them! We mostly just enjoyed the pictures in them and learned about some cool concepts. Beckam learned what a space shuttle,  planet,  constellation, earth, telescope, astronaut and shooting star are! 

Check out more book ideas HERE!  

Homemade Telescopes

We made a telescope just by decorating a paper towel tube. A super easy craft that provides hours of entertainment!

Sticker Night Skies

Beckam made his own starry night with star, planet, space ship and alien stickers. (I also got these stickers in the craft section at Walmart.) 

Sleep Out Under the Stars

Our plans to actually go camping were thwarted by wildfires in the State Park where we wanted to go, so my husband set up a tent in our son's room and did an indoor camping trip with him ;)  We didn't get to do much star gazing but he had so much fun!

Night Sky Book

I printed off free coloring pages of a sun, stars, planets, a rocket ship, etc. and let my son make his very own night sky book! 

Challenger Space Center

We took a field trip to the Challenger Space Center here in AZ.  To be honest, I was a little disappointed. The website made it sound like it was a museum totally geared towards kids, and, well, I wouldn't even call it a museum. It was more like administrative offices and classrooms with plaques and pictures in the hallways and some "exhibits" here and there. We did see a few cool things that interested my son though.

He loved the astronaut, or "space robot" as he called it ;)

One of the cool things we saw was a real tire from a Challenger space shuttle. It was neat to think this tire has actually been in outer space!


Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Catch a Falling Star, by Paul Vance

Swinging on a Star, Jimmy Van Heusen

I am a Like a Star,  LDS Children Songbook

Here are a few other ideas: 

Get instructions on how to make your own HERE!

Get the recipe HERE!

Instructions HERE!

 Check out my previous post for even more fun and F.H.E ideas!

And don't forget . . .
to look up! =)


Monday, July 14, 2014

It's a Bug Eat Bug World Out there!

My son and I just finished off our Bug Unit! It was SUCH a success- he LOVED IT! I added some new fun things this year so to check out my original Bug Unit post "All God's Critters" with lots of other fun ideas, click HERE!

Here's what our bug week consisted of this year: 

A Visit to Butterfly Wonderland

They just built the largest butterfly atrium in the United States right by us in Scottsdale, AZ!!  It was the perfect field trip for our bug week! They had a cool 3D movie at the beginning of our tour and then we got to go into a beautiful conservatory to see hundreds and hundreds of butterflies fly all around us! They also had live honey bees, spiders, ants, and scorpions to look at. My son was in heaven!!

"The Emerging Butterfly Gallery" had hundreds of cocoons! We learned all about how caterpillars become butterflies. 
It was such a great visual experience for my son to actually see how the process works:

Inside the Conservatory:

And the nice warm and humid conservatory was the perfect place for a good, long newborn nap :)

P.S. Arizona friends: They don't allow strollers in the conservatory so plan accordingly! I was so glad I had my baby carrier with me. 

Tissue Paper Butterflies

We made butterflies out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners. This craft is super simple and easy!

Name Caterpillar

We practiced spelling my son's name by making a caterpillar. 

Painted Paper Plate Lady Bug

Bugs for Lunch!

Spider sandwiches, "Ants on a Log" (celery, cream cheese and raisins), Lady Bug crackers and "Fuzzy Caterpillars" (Cheeto Puffs).

For instructions and a closer look at how to have "bugs" for lunch, click HERE!

My mom did her annual bug lunch with some of my nieces and nephews that live close by her. So fun!

B is for Bug:  Bug Workbook

I found a bunch of free bug worksheets for my son's age level online and printed them off to make a "Bug Workbook" for him. Below are a few links to some of the pages I found. We did bug matching, sorting, counting, etc. and we practiced sounding out and identifying bugs that start with the letter B (bee, beetle, butterfly, etc.)! 

Songs About Bugs

 Once I Caught a Bug Alive
(Sing to the same tune as 12345 Once I Caught a Fish Alive. We used the same exact lyrics, but just swapped the word Bug for Fish.)

The Itsy Bitsy Spider 
(Other Verses:  The Big Hairy Spider, The Little Yellow Lady Bug)

The Ants Go Marching

High Hopes (Rubbertree Plant)

The Ugly Bug Ball!
(If you haven't heard this song, its adorable and a must for bug week! Just youtube it! It was originally written for the movie Summer Magic by Disney.)

Verse 1: Once a lonely caterpillar sat and cried
To a sympathetic beetle by his side
I've got nobody to hug
I'm such an ug-i-ly bug

Then a spider and a dragonfly replied
If you're serious and want to win a bride
Come along with us, to the glorious annual ugly bug ball

Come on let's crawl (gotta crawl, gotta crawl)
To the ugly bug ball (to the ball, to the ball)
And a happy time we'll have there, 
one and all at the ugly bug ball!

A Bug Hunt

Since I don't deal with real bugs and because its so dang hot where we live, I did an indoor bug hunt using plastic bugs. Beckam LOVED it!!! He has to take his plastic bugs EVERYWHERE with him now, even to bed! (Lucky me!)  
I just hid plastic bugs around the house and then let him run around and try to find them. He'd "catch" them in his net and then put them all in his bug box. I found the net and bug box in Target's dollar section. Target for the win!

When we were all done we examined his bugs with a magnifying glass.

Be a Hungry Caterpillar!

We did our Hungry Caterpillar activity again this year. As I read the story Beckam got to try a piece of each of the foods that the caterpillar eats in the story. 

When he was all "stuffed" we rolled him up into his cocoon (towel). 

 Then, he broke free and became a butterfly!

I just had to post a few pics of my cute nieces and nephews doing the Hungry Caterpillar this last week at my mom's house. They make cute bugs! :

For a closer look and instructions on how we do our Hungry Caterpillar activity click HERE!

A Bug's Life 

And of course we had to have a popcorn movie night and watch A Bug's Life! 

Bug Books 

We got some fun bug books from the library too. There are soooo many out there but here were a few of our favorites: 

Thanks for stopping by! :)