Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Seashell Necklaces

My oldest daughter could not go on vacation with us this summer because she was with a friend on a mission trip in Philadelphia. We wanted to give her something special so she knew how much she was missed. We looked in various shops and at certain items... but we wanted to give her something with more meaning.

So I told the girls to find special seashells just for Dee and when we got home we would make her something special out of them before she came home. Each shell was lovingly picked by her sisters and my husband then carefully drilled a hole in each one for us so we could make her a special seashell necklace.
We added a few jump rings and charms and laid out the design the way we liked it.
I used hemp cord and added a clasp to the end of the necklace. I learned how to do the clasp while we were away on vacation and went to a bead shop. It is very simple to do.
Then we created the necklace... and this was the end result:

I hope Dee remembers how much we love her each time she looks at it. It's a beautiful chunky necklace and I can't wait to make one for myself.

Keira wanted to keep on going so she laid out various designs with the shells she found. She worked hard on her first one and it came out beautiful!

It is an awesome way for her to remember our trip together this summer and such a fun activity for children to do.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Tree Frog!

Our sweet tadpole so very quickly grew his back legs - it was amazing! We googled and worked to identify the type of frog he is and we are pretty sure that he is an American Green Tree Frog - the girls wanted to keep him SO badly but I explained to them how he deserves freedom and a good life so we let him go at a wetlands preserve right before we left for vacation.
It was so fun raising him from a tadpole - especially not knowing what type of frog he would turn out to be! This was an experience that, even as an adult, I learned so much from.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dinosaur State Park

This past week we went to the Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, CT

"Dinosaur State Park officially opened in 1968, two years after 2,000 dinosaur tracts were accidentally uncovered during excavation for a new state building. Five hundred of the tracks are now enclosed within the Exhibit Center's geodesic dome.The remaining 1,500 are buried for preservation. A model of Dilophosaurus, the dinosaur considered to be the likely source of the tracks named Eubrontes, is the highlight of the Jurassic mural and exhibit."

The girls were very excited to go - Brianna was a little worried that there would be "real dinosaurs there" but we assured her that there wouldn't be.

This was as real as they got ;)

The trip was a great learning experience. The girls learned all about dinosaurs and fossils.

They were also able to mine for gems and minerals. It was good timing as we are just leading into Gems & Minerals week in our Little Acorn Learning July guide.

They were given an identification sheet so they could tell which minerals and rocks they scored.
They were able to see some cool bones..

And real, live, gigantic hissing cockroaches... ewwwww These cockroaches have not changed in 200 million years - they are considered 'living fossils' and have everything they need to get by just the way they are. It makes sense why many people believe if the world was to end - cockroaches would survive ;)

Dinosaur Fingerplay
*start with five fingers putting one away for each verse...

Five enormous dinosaurs
Letting out a roar--
One went away, and
Then there were four.

Four enormous dinosaurs
Crashing down a tree--
One went away, and
Then there were three.

Three enormous dinosaurs
Eating tiger stew--
One went away, and
Then there were two.

Two enormous dinosaurs
Trying to run--
One ran away, and then there was one.

One enormous dinosaur,
Afraid to be a hero--
He went away, and
Then there was zero.

((this moment)) : teaching in pajamas

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bubble Making Wands

Welcome Carter and Cooper to our little school!! On their first day with us, we made our very own bubble wands and homemade bubble solution.

First we used beautiful beads, shells and wire to decorate a dowel made especially for bubble blowing ;)....

Then very skillfully we created the loop for the end of our bubble wand and wrapped everything very tight and covered it up with tape at the bottom.

PERFECT and so very simple! Our bubble solution is just 1/2 water and 1/2 dish soap. Each child was given a container of their own soap to use.

Outside we went to try them out... WOW so fun!

A bubble so airy
May carry a fairy.
Float, float, pretty bubble!
Float gently away.

Blow, blow, blow, you shining bubbles,

Float, float, float, you fairy things,

Filling all the air with rain-bows,

Floating on your sunbeam wings.

Look, look, see the lovely colors,

Up, up, in the air they go.

In the shining cage we blow.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finding Balance

Balance (metaphysics): a desirable point between two or more opposite forces
Finding that place of ying and yang... Where both feet stand firm, move together... remain grounded...
Is challenging.

“Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”

So we get up, move again... one foot in front of the other - until it feels right. Not too fast and not too slow.


In harmony. Each move reminding us that we are part of a whole. Not alone.

“The hungry world cannot be fed until and unless the growth of its resources and the growth of its population come into balance. Each man and woman-and each nation --must make decisions of conscience and policy in the face of this great problem.”

Together. In unity... peace... with love.

“The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.”
~Albert Einstein


Monday, July 12, 2010

Leaf Boats Tossing, Dipping...

Pretty, tiny little fairies,
Each no bigger than your thumb,
(Hold up thumbs.)

Dance about so light and airy
(Fingers and thumbs imitate the dancing of the fairies.)
When sweet summer nights have come.

In the moonlight skipping, tripping,
Floating on its silver beams,
(Lift hands and make motion of floating down in a slanting direction)

Or on leaf-boats tossing, dipping,
(Hands held out flat for leaf-boats and brought down an imaginary stream tossing and dipping as they float)
Sailing down the darkling streams.

Should we steal up close to see them
(Creep forward a step or two on tiptoe. Lean forward and look intently.)

They would vanish; that we know.
(Hands, which have been held in front with fingers raised up, brought back suddenly and made to vanish behind the small speakers)

But we're sure that they must be there
(First finger lifted and shaken earnestly in emphasis)
For the fairy books say so.

The children are so creative. I helped put these together but the designs were mostly their own. They even used certain leaves for the sails and others for the base of the boat.

Imagine! Little engineers, architects, sailors and artists in the making. Who will these little beings become? What will inspire them to help change our world?

The best part was later when the children blew the boats to see which one would make it to the finish line first! Give it a try and let me know what you come up with!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Our Tadpole Has Legs!

Well our tadpole woke up this morning with a real set of legs! How AMAZING mother nature is. The girls and daycare children are simply fascinated.

Activities like this really instill a true love of the natural world and an appreciation for it's magic in young children (and parents too!). Just being able to witness such a beautiful transformation fills us all with gratitude here at Little Acorn.

We'll update with more photos as our little guy grows up.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Welcome Joseph!!!

Today we were so happy to welcome Joseph to our little school. He had so much fun playing with all of the children and exploring Little Acorn Learning. We showed him our vegetable garden where he picked a fresh green bean to eat.

He made beautiful patterns and enjoyed our art supplies and toys.

He was the first to notice a beautiful butterfly enjoying our butterfly bush. We took time to watch it from all angles.

He is an amazing chef and small business owner - he quickly turned our playstands and kitchen into a full service restaurant :)

Best of all he made great new friends - we are so excited to have him join us. (We also made BEAUTIFUL leaf boats which we will share in our next post.)