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.

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

 Loading InLinkz ...

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.

 

Don’t forget to enter the HUGE $500 giveaway!

5 Healthy Homemade Recipes

The older I get, the more I realize the importance of homemade healthy recipes. Making things from scratch allows me to control the ingredients and feed my family quality meals. Today I’m sharing 5 Homemade Healthy Recipes from last week’s Good Tips Tuesday link-up. I can’t wait to try these!

5 Homemade Healthy Recipes

Strawberry Milk Recipe (Never would’ve thought of this!)

Ranch Goldfish Crackers (My kids would love these!)

No-Fail Pie Crust (I’ll be giving this a test run before Thanksgiving!)

Pumpkin Spice Mix (Hello, fall.)

Taco Seasoning (I always make my own, but this is a different recipe than mine)

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

 Loading InLinkz ...

Christopher Columbus Activities for Kids

We’ve been studying Early Explorers at our house in the first few weeks of homeschool. During our Christopher Columbus Unit, we’ve looked at maps of Christopher Columbus’ accidental voyage to North America, made our own versions of the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria, and so much more! I’ve pulled together all of the best Christopher Columbus Activities for Kids–snacks, crafts, printables, and more– for inspiration and wanted to share them with you! This list would be perfect for your own Christopher Columbus unit or for Columbus Day Activities for Kids, which is in October.

Note: There is a fantastic giveaway at the bottom of this post! Don’t miss your chance to win!

30+ Christopher Columbus Activities for Kids

Columbus Crafts & Activities for Kids

Have your little one practice cutting skills while making a Columbus Day Collage from Crayon Freckles. Isn’t this one just adorable?

Christopher Columbus Collage

Make a Triple Sail Boat out of simple shapes, craft sticks, and cereal from Reel Mama.

Columbus Day Craft: Triple Sail Boat

Create a sensory experience with this Columbus Day Spice Painting. Kids will be sure to remember that Christopher Columbus was originally trying to find a western trade route to India and China with this activity!

Columbus Day Spice Painting

Make an adorable handprint keepsake with a Handprint Columbus Boat Craft from The View from the Pew.

Handprint Columbus Boat Craft

Give your kids an engineering challenge to design and build a boat that floats. This is a great STEM activity using recycle materials!

Engineer this: Build a boat that floats STEM challenge for kids

Recycle plastic fruit cups from your kids’ lunch box to make some boats to float in the water table. Originally a Thanksgiving & Mayflower Craft, this would still work for Columbus and other explorers.Mayflower craft made from recycled fruit cup

Dig in your recycle bin again and make Egg Carton Columbus Day Boats that really float!

Egg Carton Columbus Day Boats that really float

Still want more boat ideas? Here is a round-up of 18 Boat Crafts for Kids to Make gathered by Kids Activities Blog.18 Boat Crafts for Kids to Make

Columbus Snacks for Kids

Make a healthy Columbus Day Snack with lots of fruits and veggies.

Columbus Day Snack

Serve miniature Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria boats for a Columbus Day Muffin Tin Meal out of shrimp and cheese.

Muffin Tin Meal: Columbus Day Boats

Create a Columbus Day Bento Lunch with an educational twist that is sure to please your little ones!

Columbus Day Bento Lunch

Columbus Printables for Kids

Give your printer a workout and then laminate to your hearts content with these printable activities for Christopher Columbus.

3 Dinosaurs shares a Christopher Columbus Pack that has been updated to include 49 pages of fun! (Ages 2-8)

Christopher Columbus Printable Pack

Royal Baloo has another great Free Christopher Columbus Printable Pack that includes different activities and super cute graphics! (school-age)

Free Christopher Columbus Printable Pack from Royal Baloo

123Homeschool4Me has some super cute Columbus Day Coloring Sheets & Writing Prompts

Columbus Day Coloring Sheets & Writing Prompts

In All You Do has a set of Free Columbus Day Coloring Activities with over 32 coloring pages.

Free Columbus Day Coloring Activities

Columbus Books for Kids

*affiliate links
Don’t forget to pair these fun Christopher Columbus activities with a good book! Some of our favorites include:


Christopher Columbus (Step into Reading, Step 3, Grades 1-3)


You Wouldn’t Want to Sail With Christopher Columbus!: Uncharted Waters You’d Rather Not Cross


Who Was Christopher Columbus?


Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus


First Voyage to America: From the Log of the “Santa Maria” (Dover Children’s Classics)


My First Biography: Christopher Columbus


Columbus


Encounter (Voyager Books)

Subscribe today and receive blog updates and subscriber-only freebies sent straight to your inbox.

 

Kid Blogger Network Fall Round-ups

 Loading InLinkz ...

Mega Cash Giveaway!

Mega Cash Giveaway! 4 Cash Prizes of $500 given away. Enter from September 19, 2014 through October 15, 2014. What would you do with $500?

I’ve partnered up with some of the bloggers in the Kid Blogger Network to bring you another MEGA CASH Giveaway and a GIANT round-up of posts. Since this is a HUGE giveaway with lots of entries, the giveaway will run from September 19, 2014 to October 15th (4 weeks) to give you time to go through and enter.

Win one of FOUR $500 cash prizes directly in your paypal account! This giveaway is open internationally. You must be 18+ years old to enter. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please see detailed terms and conditions below the giveaway for more info.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apple Activities for Kids

Fall is the perfect time for apple crafts and activities with kids! Seems like every year we take a trip to the apple orchard, make homemade applesauce, and do some of our favorite fun apple activities for kids. Last week’s Good Tips Tuesday had quite a few fall activities for kids, including apples! We’ve rounded up some of the favorite apple activities for kids to feature this week.

Apple Activities for Kids

Apple Activities for Kids

9 Apple Recipes and Crafts | A Life in Balance

Apple Picking Math Felt Board | Munchkin and Bean

Apple Bet Match | Tiny Tots Adventure

Alphabet Learning with Apple Stamping | Growing Book By Book

Apple Stamping Craft | There’s Just One Mommy

Good Tips Tuesday

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

 Loading InLinkz ...