Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gourd Bowling

I love the sight of miniature gourds as they begin to pile up at our local farm stands and always want to buy oodles of them. This year I finally broke down and bought a bunch so we have plenty for creating fun projects with. With Big Brother's inspiration we've already created some gourd pirates, but we also wanted to do something a little more active with our gourds. This led us to create Gourd Bowling. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gourd Pirates!!

This week we've been exploring some fall fun with miniature gourds. On the day we were picking up some at the farm stand Big Brother became inspired with his own project idea: GOURD PIRATES. He eagerly picked out his own gourds and actively began making a plan for when we got home. 

Big Brother listed out all the items that he needed and together we gathered the supplies he wanted: craft foam, permanent markers, sequins, scissors, tooth picks, googly eyes, and the hot glue gun. I was still having a hard time imagining his vision, but as he eagerly got to work he clearly had a plan. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

5 Books to Read Before You Go to the Apple Orchard

If you're like our family, and live in the right region, around this time of year you're probably headed to a local apple orchard to pick apples. For our family it's an annual tradition. We have two different orchards we love to visit each year and often try to go with our extended family one weekend day a year for picking.  

This past weekend was the perfect day to go: warm, sunny, plenty of delicious apples, and lots of family fun.

Before going we often try to read some apple books as part of our lead up to the trip. It's a great way to get excited about going and to learn about the trees, an apple life cycle, and the orchard. Here are our top five picks to read before (or after) an apple picking adventure.  

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Leaf Color Match Walk

Our Quick Pick and Project of the Week involved another nature walk. Nature walks have really been a great activity for us this fall as it involves all of us, being outside, and enjoying a place we're so lucky to live in. 
Leaf Color Match Walk

For this walk I wanted to link it to the approaching season and the leaves which are beginning to change.   

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fall Leaves Handprint Tree

It's been a while since we just posted a craft that's just for the fun of doing a craft. So, to get back to our "roots" (pun moderately intended) we're sharing our Fall Leaves Handprint Tree. 

We've been having fun exploring leaves this week as our leaves are just beginning to turn color. My hope is in a few more days we'll be close to really seeing that beautiful New England foliage. We love handprint art, and used the idea of a handprint tree in our Thankful Tree project in some of our Thanksgiving Posts previously. So while waiting for the leaves to turn, we created our own fall foliage tree. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Leaf Print Playdough

The leaves are just beginning to turn colors in our part of New England and as the weather continues to cool I'm sure we'll see more. But, while we're waiting we're exploring creating our own fall leaf creations.
Leaf Print Playdough 
This post contains affiliate links, thank you for your support.

One easy way we created fall leaves was by using pressing leaves into playdough. 

To begin with I made a batch of basic cooked playdough. I kept it white while I cooked the dough. I wanted three colors, so before kneading it I divided it into three pieces and added different colored food coloring to each piece. This did make the colors a little more muted than when I usually add it during the cooking process, but we were still able to have three colors. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tractor Sensory Bin

Little Brother has definitely been finding an interest in all things vehicle related, just like his Big Brother. But lately he's seemed really interested in tractors; whether it is the ones we read about, our toy tractors, or the ones we see out in the real world. To play off this interest, we created a tractor sensory bin.

Tractor Sensory Bin
For your convenience this post contains affiliate links. 

It's been a while since I set up a sensory bin, and as soon as I started Big Brother was eager to help. I didn't realize it had been quite a while since we had one to play with but his excitement (even though I was trying to connect this to his brother's interest) reminded me we need to get back into our bin and small world play. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Quick Pick & Project of the Week: Going for a Nature Collection Walk

Many of our Quick Picks and Projects involve an arts or crafts component, but sometimes a quick book extension can also be as easy as going for a walk. 

I've always enjoyed reading kids the book Hannah's Collections, and going for a nature walk is a fun and active extension. After the walk there are several different ways kids could use their collection too. 

Going For A Nature Collection Walk

The book  is about a little girl named Hannah who loves collecting things and has several collections  including popsicle sticks, stamps, barrettes, and more. The problem is now she needs to bring a collection to school, except she has so many collections how will she ever choose one? What's so engaging about the book are the illustrations which are a mix of collage with images of real items. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Grilled Kielbasa Dinner

Even though summer is officially "over" we still love to grill as much as we can. In fact, you'll probably find us grilling until there's at least an inch of snow on our deck. 

And although we still enjoy some of the basics, we also like to make some recipes that remind us more of fall. This grilled kielbasa dinner is perfect with all the yummy veggies coming from our fall CSA.