Nature Walk Bag

One component of our homeschooling is nature walks. We get outside, enjoy fresh air, and learn about the world around us. We often have several things we need to carry with us for our nature walk time. Instead of packing and unpacking a bag every week, I set up a Nature Walk Bag with some of our important items we need most often. This simple act of organizing our nature walk materials has saved my sanity! We have everything read to grab and go.

Nature Walk Bag for little scientists on the go

What’s in our Nature Walk Bag?

Science Journal–we use this to write or draw things we saw on our nature walks. It may be making a list of the bugs we saw, sketching an interesting flower, or doing a bark rubbing, but we always try to journal about our time outside. The kids also record our science experiments in this journal. For example, the picture below shows the journal page from my Second Grader after Testing for Air Science Experiment.

science journal

Writing Utensils–I put a few pencils and colored pencils in a small pencil bag. I chose colored pencils so I wouldn’t have to worry about melting crayons if I left it in the van.

Binoculars–Part of the reason we have binoculars is because my oldest thinks he needs them for an exploring adventure, but we normally use the binoculars to look at birds or animals from a distance…of course, that depends on how quiet the kids can be before scaring them off.

Bug Catching Kit–My boys love bugs. It is easier to observe insects when you can catch them and get a closer look. We always release them into the wild so they can go about their business…unless the three year old stomps on them.

Magnifying Glasses–Once again, the boys turn into little explorers when they can “play the part” with a special tool. We use these to look at bugs, tree bark, flower parts, and the veins of a leaf.

magnifying glass

Kid Friendly Field Guide–By having a field guide in our bag, we can look up birds, plants, and more. Learning how to use a reference text like this to find information is a skill everyone should have.

We use and love the Fun With Nature Take-Along Guide. It is a compilation of 7 books: Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies; Frogs, Toads and Turtles; Snakes, Salamanders and Lizards; Rabbits, Squirrels and Chipmunks; Tracks, Scats and Signs; and Trees, Leaves and Bark.

We also use More Fun With Nature Take Along Guide. It is a compilation of five other Take-Along Guides. It includes: Berries, Nuts and Seeds; Birds, Nests and Eggs; Rocks, Fossils and Arrowheads; Seashells, Crabs and Sea Stars; and Wildflowers, Blooms and Blossoms.

Note: Depending on what we are studying, I choose one of these books. I don’t want to be carrying a heavy bag for long! And let’s face it…mommas end up carrying these sort of things most of the time.

Nature I-Spy Cards–I printed the Nature I-spy Cards from Nature Study Printables for Toddlers and Preschoolers written by friend Maureen over at Spell Outloud. I placed them on rings so they wouldn’t get lost. Little Brother likes these the most.

nature walk

 Need more Nature Study ideas?

Creative-Nature-Walks-3D-Covers-2

Creative Nature Walks has over 100 nature walk ideas that are easy to do! If I didn’t have this ebook and so many of Cindy’s wise words, I would seriously wander around with the kids looking at the same things every week. Cindy has some fantastic ideas packed in this resource. If you are new to nature walks or just need a fresh idea, this is for you. Cindy is my go-to person for Nature Study. She has a ton of nature study resources available!

Follow Sara @ Happy Brown House’s board Easy Science Activities on Pinterest.

5 Clever Fall Projects for Kids

I love a clever project–add fall and kids to the mix and I’m head-over-heels. Last week, we had some clever fall projects for kids linked up for Good Tips Tuesday and I’m anxious to share them with you. All of these ideas are quick and easy, so grab your kids and have some fun!

5 Clever Fall Projects for Kids

5 Clever Fall Projects for Kids

Fall Nature Scavenger Hunt | Creative Home Keeper
Candy Corn Gifts | Giggles Galore
Boo Your Neighbors Kit | Homespun Sprout
Sparkly Spider Webs | Cutting Tiny Bites
Pumpkin Fine Motor Activity | My Nearest and Dearest 

Good Tips Tuesday Linky Party

Good Tips Tuesday 1/6 | Golden Reflections Blog.

We want this to be a resource for you to find Good Tips for your life, home, kids and everything in between! So what kinds of posts are you able to link up now? Check out this awesome list!

  • Recipes & Cooking Tips
  • Homemaking Tips
  • Parenting Tips
  • Kids crafts & Activity Tips

Your hosts each week are:

Golden Reflections Blog

Simply Sherryl

A Bird And A Bean

Happy Brown House

Were you featured? Grab the button!

Happy Brown House

Now let’s get to today’s Good Tips Tuesday party!

  • Link up your recipe/cooking, homemaking, parenting, and kids craft/activity tips below (4 per person please)
  • Please link directly to your post, not to your main blog page. All links that do not follow this will be deleted.
  • Visit other posts in the party, comment, tweet, pin and let them know you came from GTTuesday!
  • We will feature 4 posts each week, picked via random.org. We will each be picking our favorite post from the week and pinning all of the featured posts and favorite posts to the GTTuesday Pinterest Board!

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog’s board Good Tips Tuesday #GTTuesday on Pinterest.

Disclosures:

  • By linking up and including a picture, you agree to allow Golden Reflections Blog, Simply Sherryl, A Bird And A Bean, & Happy Brown House to use your pictures and links in future featured post/photo collage like this one. Your photo may also be used for promotion on all social media outlets of all the before mentioned blogs with the corresponding link # given of your entry.
  • If you include your e-mail in the link up form below you will be added to a weekly e-mail reminder when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or given out, please see our privacy policy for details.

We can’t wait to see all the amazing posts you will be linking up this week!

Blessings,

Heather, Sherryl, Erin & Sara

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Viking Ship Craft for Kids

While learning about Vikings during our Viking Unit Study, the kids wanted to make a Viking boat. Using some common household materials and some recycled materials, we came up with a viking boat that has been played with over and over and extended their learning through small world play. I often find the kids, mainly Jonah, pretending Lego men are Erik the Red on a voyage or Leif Erickson on his way to North America.

Viking Ship Craft for Kids: how to make a Viking Boat using recycled household items.

To make the base of our viking boat, we recycled an orange juice carton. Using a box cutter, I cut the orange juice carton in half.

Make a viking boat out of a recycled orange juice carton

Using brown paint, the kids painted the orange juice carton half.

Make a viking boat from a recycled orange juice carton

While the paint was drying, Jonah was in charge of measuring lines with a ruler on a piece of cardstock and coloring the red stripes on the viking boat sail. (See how I snuck that math measurement skill in there?) When he was finished, I cut the paper in half and trimmed the sail to 7 inches tall and 5 1/2 inches wide. Using hot glue along the top and bottom edges, I reinforced the viking sail with barbeque skewers.

Making a red striped viking boat sail for a viking boat craft for kids.

Once the edges were reinforced, I used my scissors to poke a hole through the top and bottom in the center of the sail. I used a skinny, but sturdy cardboard tube that was recycled from a package of glow sticks. It was the perfect size for the mast.

Making a viking boat for kids with recycled materials

Using the skinny cardboard tube, I threaded the tube through both holes in the paper sail. Then, I hot glued the mast in the center of the boat.

viking ship craft for kids mast assembly

To make the oars, I used a single hole punch to punch three holes in each side of the boat.

How to make a viking ship for kids

Next, we threaded three barbeque skewers into the holes and used some brown craft foam hot glued to each end to form the paddle on the oar.

how to make a viking boat craft for kids

The craft foam was wrapped around both sides of the skewer and hot glued together.

viking ship craft for kids

To make the dragon head on the front of the viking boat, I folded a piece of brown craft foam in half and roughly cut a dragon profile. Using hot glue, I attached the dragon head to the front of the boat. The picture below shows the dragon head unfolded.

how to make a viking boat for kids

And that’s it! A Viking Boat Craft for Kids to pretend and engage in small world play.

Viking Ship Craft for Kids

Viking Ship Craft for Kids

Other Viking Activities for Kids

Enjoy a Viking Lunch during your Viking Unit Study and snuggle up with some Viking Books!

Read This Make That (Viking Snack Edition)

*Affiliate links are present

 Voyage with the Vikings (Imagination Station Series)Voyage with the Vikings (Imagination Station Series)

vikingViking (DK Eyewitness Books)

Leif the LuckLeif the Lucky

Are you following me on Pinterest? I like pretty things and fun kids activities.

Visit Sara @ Happy Brown House’s profile on Pinterest.

4 Fall Food Recipes

Fall is pretty much my favorite: just-right-weather, the colorful leaves, and the food. Definitely the food. I find it hard to resist cinnamon, apples, pumpkins, and soup. Last week’s Good Tips Tuesday had some great fall food recipes in the link-up. This week we’re featuring 4 Fall Food Recipes!

4 Fall Food Recipes

Caramel Apple Delight | Sunshine and Hurricanes

Creamy Spicy Pumpkin Soup | My Sweet Mission

15 Kid Friendly Autumn Recipes | Christian Montessori Network

Easy Caramel Apples | My Sweet Homeschool

Now, let’s get to this week’s party!

Good Tips Tuesday 1/6 | Golden Reflections Blog.

We want this to be a resource for you to find Good Tips for your life, home, kids and everything in between! So what kinds of posts are you able to link up now? Check out this awesome list!

  • Recipes & Cooking Tips
  • Homemaking Tips
  • Parenting Tips
  • Kids crafts & Activity Tips

Your hosts each week are:

Golden Reflections Blog

Simply Sherryl

A Bird And A Bean

Happy Brown House

Were you featured? Grab the button!

Happy Brown House

Now let’s get to today’s Good Tips Tuesday party!

  • Link up your recipe/cooking, homemaking, parenting, and kids craft/activity tips below (4 per person please)
  • Please link directly to your post, not to your main blog page. All links that do not follow this will be deleted.
  • Visit other posts in the party, comment, tweet, pin and let them know you came from GTTuesday!
  • We will feature 4 posts each week, picked via random.org. We will each be picking our favorite post from the week and pinning all of the featured posts and favorite posts to the GTTuesday Pinterest Board!

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog’s board Good Tips Tuesday #GTTuesday on Pinterest.

Disclosures:

  • By linking up and including a picture, you agree to allow Golden Reflections Blog, Simply Sherryl, A Bird And A Bean, & Happy Brown House to use your pictures and links in future featured post/photo collage like this one. Your photo may also be used for promotion on all social media outlets of all the before mentioned blogs with the corresponding link # given of your entry.
  • If you include your e-mail in the link up form below you will be added to a weekly e-mail reminder when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or given out, please see our privacy policy for details.

We can’t wait to see all the amazing posts you will be linking up this week!

Blessings,

Heather, Sherryl, Erin & Sara

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Pumpkin Activities & Recipes

Over on the Happy Brown House Facebook Page I asked the question, “Pumpkin or Apple?” Lots of people weighed in and the majority said, “PUMPKIN!” I have to admit, I’m a pumpkin-lovin’ girl myself and have been known to stock up on enough canned pumpkin to last me through the rest of the year. I guess that’s why  pumpkin posts jumped out at me from last week’s Good Tips Tuesday link-up. Want to see for yourself?
Pumpkin Activities and Recipes

Grain Free Pumpkin Bread |Little Bins for Little Hands

How To make Fall Play Dough | My Big Fat Happy Life

Skinny Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream | My Big Fat Happy Life

Pumpkin Dip & Ginger Crackers | Sunshine and Hurricanes

Scented Pumpkin Puffy Paint | The Chaos and the Clutter

Now, let’s get to this week’s party!

Good Tips Tuesday 1/6 | Golden Reflections Blog.

We want this to be a resource for you to find Good Tips for your life, home, kids and everything in between! So what kinds of posts are you able to link up now? Check out this awesome list!

  • Recipes & Cooking Tips
  • Homemaking Tips
  • Parenting Tips
  • Kids crafts & Activity Tips

Your hosts each week are:

Golden Reflections Blog

Simply Sherryl

A Bird And A Bean

Happy Brown House

Were you featured? Grab the button!

Happy Brown House

Now let’s get to today’s Good Tips Tuesday party!

  • Link up your recipe/cooking, homemaking, parenting, and kids craft/activity tips below (4 per person please)
  • Please link directly to your post, not to your main blog page. All links that do not follow this will be deleted.
  • Visit other posts in the party, comment, tweet, pin and let them know you came from GTTuesday!
  • We will feature 4 posts each week, picked via random.org. We will each be picking our favorite post from the week and pinning all of the featured posts and favorite posts to the GTTuesday Pinterest Board!

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog’s board Good Tips Tuesday #GTTuesday on Pinterest.

Disclosures:

  • By linking up and including a picture, you agree to allow Golden Reflections Blog, Simply Sherryl, A Bird And A Bean, & Happy Brown House to use your pictures and links in future featured post/photo collage like this one. Your photo may also be used for promotion on all social media outlets of all the before mentioned blogs with the corresponding link # given of your entry.
  • If you include your e-mail in the link up form below you will be added to a weekly e-mail reminder when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or given out, please see our privacy policy for details.

We can’t wait to see all the amazing posts you will be linking up this week!

Blessings,

Heather, Sherryl, Erin & Sara

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Raking Leaves Pretend Play

One of our favorite children’s books to read in Autumn is Fall Leaves Fall! It’s a colorful little book about two brothers enjoying leaves in the fall and all of their Autumn adventures–raking leaves, jumping in leaf piles, making leaf art, and more. As we were reading, Asher had some questions about what the characters were doing with the leaves. To help give Asher a better understanding of raking leaves, I set up a pretend play activity for him.

Raking Leaves Pretend Play and gross motor activity inspired by the book, Fall Leaves Fall by Zoe Hall.

Using a packet of fake leaves from the Dollar Tree and a kid’s toy rake, Asher (and the big kids) pretended to rake leaves in our living room. When the leaves were all raked into a pile, he counted to three and jumped onto the pile of leaves. While the sounds and smells of raking leaves were missing, Asher did get a chance to experience the gross motor movements involved in raking a pile of leaves.

Raking leaves is a good activity to help kids in motor planning and proprioception. While watching Asher rake, his movements looked awkward to me. We will continue this activity a few more times to practice and see if his movements become more fluid and less robotic.

Raking Leaves pretend play and gross motor activity

Raking Leaves Pretend Play Materials

We own and love the Toysmith Kid’s Metal Leaf Rake With Hardwood Handle. Since we love to add a book to most of our activities, we used Fall Leaves Fall! as our inspiration story.

A Book & a Big Idea

Want more Autumn and Thanksgiving activities inspired by kid’s books? A group of bloggers at iHomeschool Network are sharing their activities for their favorite Fall books today. Go see the rest of the great ideas at the Book & a Big Idea Blog Hop!

A Book & a Big Idea link-up from iHomeschool Network

Simple Science Experiment for Kids: Testing for Air

We love simple science experiments at our house! The kids love getting to study science concepts through hands-on activities best and are always excited when we have a fun science activity to try. We have been studying air in our science time and took a few minutes to talk about how air is always around us, but we can’t always see it.

Simple Science Experiment for Kids: Testing for Air with only 3 household materials and less than five minutes

Testing for Air

Since air is invisible, it can be a tricky science topic for kids. You can feel air around you when it is windy and you can see leaves move, but you still can’t see air by itself. In order to help the kids “see air” and realize that air is everywhere we did a quick science activity to test for air. Testing for air is a really simple science experiment for kids. With just a few household items, you could set up this experiment in less than five minutes.

You will need:

  • Bowl with water
  • empty drink can or an empty, clear plastic bottle

Directions:

Simple Science Experiment for Kids: Testing for Air. You only need 3 simple household materials  and five minutes.

Push the can or bottle into a bowl of water so it begins to fill up. Watch what happens to the water.

Simple Science Experiment for Kids: Testing for Air with 3 household materials and less than five minutes

You will see bubbles as the water pushes out air from inside the bottle. Most things that look empty are really full of air. So easy and your kids will be amazed!Simple Science Experiment for Kids: Testing for Air with 3 household materials and  less than five minutes

Our Testing for Air Video

I took a video of us performing the simple science experiment for the first time. You’ll notice that I didn’t give them the answer, but gave them thinking time and rephrased my question to help them. I want my kids to learn how to think and work it out. I knew they could get to the answer since we’ve been talking about the science concepts, but you’ll notice that they were talking so fast that other science terms came out. My point? Give the kids plenty of time to think and form their answer before you swoop in and tell them.

Want more air experiments for kids? Check out Science with Air!

Looking for more simple science experiments? Here are a few of our popular science posts:

Simple Science: Observing Worms
Simple Science: How to Make a Volcano
Simple Science: How to Make a Sundial

Follow Sara @ Happy Brown House’s board Easy Science Activities on Pinterest.

 

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