How I Use YouTube Playlists in our Homeschool

Friday night I cracked open my laptop and my teacher’s manual for the next school year. With my feet propped up, I started planning. I know…so nerdy of me to plan on a Friday night. However, I was setting up my YouTube playlists and I was just so excited to get started! When I shared on my personal Facebook page what I had done on my Friday night, I got several questions about YouTube playlists and how I use them in our Homeschool. Instead of typing the same thing over and over, I thought I’d share it here on the blog. Chances are, someone else will find this helpful, too!

Why Use YouTube Playlists?

YouTube is so much more than goofy people doing goofy things. While there is plenty of that available on YouTube, there is also a large group of really great videos just begging to be used in the classroom!

  • Using a playlist keeps out some of the junk. Seriously. I tried to search for a video with my son and I was disappointed at some of the results that popped up. I NEVER watch videos with the kids without previewing them first. A playlist is an easy way to bookmark good videos.
  • YouTube videos are a great way to give young children a visual frame of reference for a variety of topics. If they’ve never seen a team of sled dogs racing across the snow, there’s a video available at your fingertips. In educational terms, we call this building schema. It’s a quick and easy way to introduce them to things visually.
  • YouTube videos are a way to take a field trip….virtually! We can’t hop onto a plane and visit all the places we are learning about, but we can find video and go there in our minds.
  • Technology is just plain fun. Kids love it and it captures their attention. Enough said.

How to make a YouTube Playlist for Homeschool or your classroom. Perfect for unit studies!

 

How to Make a YouTube Playlist:

It’s super simple! A blog post about using YouTube wouldn’t be complete without an actual YouTube video, so I made one for you to walk you through the steps and help you build your own!

My YouTube Playlists:

Want to see my playlists in action? I have several YouTube Playlists for My Father’s World homeschool curriculum.

As always, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Tell me: Have you ever made a YouTube playlist?

Simple Science: How to Make a Volcano with Kids

While we were studying rocks and volcanoes during one of our homeschool units, we made a simple volcano using household items. Making a volcano with kids is an easy and fun science activity. Little ones are fascinated by the fizzy “lava” and can’t wait to do the activity again.

How to Make a Volcano with Kids

Materials

  • small disposable paper cup
  • playdough
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • food coloring

There are lots of ways you can make a volcano, but I have found it easiest to have something you can place the baking soda in. I cut the small disposable paper cup in half, about 2 inches from the bottom.

Cut the cup

Next Jonah used some old playdough that was starting to dry out to make a base for the volcano. He placed the bottom part of the cup on top of the playdough blob.

build the volcano1

He used more playdough to build up around the base and make it look more like a volcano.

build the volcano2

Once the volcano is ready, take it outside. Pour a little baking soda into the top of the volcano.

baking soda

Pour vinegar in a cup.

pour vinegar

Add a drop or two of red food coloring.

red food coloring

Pour the red vinegar into the top of the volcano and watch what happens!

volcano explosion

Jonah loved this! He has worked with baking soda and vinegar before, but he didn’t remember how the two react to each other. He was excited because he was allowed to do all the steps by himself and took ownership of his learning. He wanted to see the fizzing volcano more than once, which led to an afternoon of giggles.

 Volcano Books to Read


Volcanoes! (National Geographic Readers)


The Magic School Bus Blows Its Top: A Book About Volcanoes


Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens


Volcanoes For Kids: Fun Facts And Pictures Of Volcanoes

Want more Simple Science Activity Ideas? Follow my Easy Science Activities Pinterest Board!

Want more fizzy fun? Visit Teaching Mama for 5 Baking Soda Experiments.

Mommy & Me: Pretty Paper Factory

We love Eric Carle books. Alot. They are the books that we return to over and over and over again.

One of the things that make Eric Carle books so unique are the way he makes his illustrations. They are made from paper that he has painted and added texture to himself. (You can see more about his process by watching this video.) Once he paints his tissue paper, he uses it to create collages. (You can see more about his process by watching this video.) I think his process is fascinating.

Or, maybe I’m drawn to his creation process because it is attainable for even the youngest of artists…

Jonah and I had some fun during the “Plague of 2012″. I mean, there are only so many movies a kid can watch when he is sick and it’s raining outside, right?!?! As we were painting with watercolors, I took a white crayon and made a pattern on some paper when he wasn’t looking. When he painted over the white crayon, he thought it was magic.

“Mommy, look! How did it do that?!?!?!”

I explained how, this time showing him the process. He painted over it again just as bright-eyed as before.

“Mommy, can we make more?”

And so it began…The Pretty Paper Factory.

The only problem with the Pretty Paper Factory is that eventually, papers are drying on every flat surface. And then, once they are dry, I have a stack of treasures that Jonah won’t part with.

My solution: The Collage Box

Yes, I really cut up his watercolor pages into 4 smaller rectangles. I asked permission first.

To read about the Collage Box, you’ll have to visit Totally Tots. I’m sharing about The Collage Box over there today!

Want some other Pretty Paper Factory ideas? I’ll be back with more! Subscribe so you don’t miss them!

Mommy & Me: Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Snow is a precious commodity around our region. We get snow, just not very often. Nor does it stay around very long once it finally snows. So, we often have to make our own. Enter…Coffee Filter Snowflakes.

Coffe Filter Snowflake

Jonah still needs LOTS of practice with scissors. LOTS. He keeps wanting to rotate his hand like a contortionist to try to cut paper. The only way I know to help him is to provide plenty of opportunities to let him practice and continue to guide his hands in the right direction. Literally. There is still lots of hand-over-hand help from me in this area. The problem with doing something that can be frustrating for a preschooler (or any age, really) is that when it isn’t fun or purposeful, they don’t want to do it. So, I masked the sometimes frustrating task of cutting with making Coffee Filter Snowflakes. Instant interest from Jonah. Mommy Score!

Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Materials Needed:

  • Coffee Filters
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Fold the coffee filter in half several times. (Remember the more you fold, the thicker the layers to cut through. I found that Jonah had a hard time with it folded in sixths.)
  2. Cut designs on the foldsPreschool Cutting Practice: Coffee Filter Snowflakes
  3. Unfold! Jonah loved the anticipation of this step, and couldn’t wait to see the designs!
  4. Display somewhere that makes you happy. We made a bunch and taped them to our large picture window in our kitchen.Taping Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Coincidentally, letting Jonah use the tape himself was also a fine-motor skill hidden in disguise. Jonah thinks tape is fun, so he is super motivated to use it. Little does he know I was giving his little hand muscles a workout! Sneaky Mommy! We had so much fun with this activity that we actually extended snowflake cutting over a few days. Jonah kept asking to make more. That is a success in my book!

We also read lots of books about snow. Here are a few of our favorites:

Snow by Manya Stojic


Snip…Snip…Snow! by Nancy Poydar


S Is for Snowman by Kathy-jo Wargin

If you’d like to see more of our snow book “picks” you can check out our list!

We’d love to see your Coffee Filter Snowflakes! Let us know if you make some~send us the link or post them to our Happy Brown House Facebook page. Happy cutting!

Boutique Baby Series: No-Sew Pacifier Clip Tutorial {Guest Post}

Note from Sara: My friend Jenny from The Southern Institute is here today to share a tutorial with you while I snuggle up with my newest little guy. Let’s give her a warm welcome to the Happy Brown House!
Hello, everyone! It’s so good to be here today as a guest… my first time at Happy Brown House!  Sara asked if I would share a project with you and I thought this was the perfect thing.  This pacifier clip requires no sewing and it takes about 15 minutes!  It’s perfect for baby showers.

What you’ll need:
  • 1/2 inch velcro
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • grosgrain ribbon (about 12 inches)
  • one mitten clip (they come in packs of two)
Step One: Cut a piece of velcro to match the width of your ribbon.
Step Two: Apply hot glue to the edge of one end of the ribbon and fold over about 1/2 inch.  Press firmly to adhere.  This creates a “hem” of sorts.
Step Three: Take the velcro (both sides stuck together) and glue one side to the edge of the “hem”.  Place hot glue on the second side and fold the ribbon over about 1 1/2 inches.  Press firmly.
This is the side that will be attached to the pacifier.
Step Four: On the other end of the ribbon, place hot glue along the edge and fold over 1/4 inch, just as you did the first side.  Feed the ribbon up through the back side of the mitten clip.  Place hot glue along the edge, fold over, and press firmly to secure the mitten clip to the ribbon.
You now have a completed No-Sew Pacifier Clip!
Your friends will be so impressed!

Disclaimer: Please, use common sense and DO NOT leave your baby unattended with a pacifier clip attached to them.

Boutique Baby Series: Wipes Case

http://happybrownhouse.com

Boutique Wipes Case Tutorial

Materials:

Directions:

1. Lay wipes case on top of fabric. Cut fabric larger than wipes case. {Optional Step~For a truly custom wipes case, monogram on the top fabric piece.}

measure

2. Lay batting on the wipes case. Using a marker, trace around the case. Use spray adhesive to attach it to the top. While this step isn’t completely necessary, my Huggies brand wipes case had an opening tab on the top that needed to be covered up(see above photo). If yours doesn’t have this, by all means skip this step!

batting

3. Using hot glue, attach the fabric. Go slowly, working on small sections at a time. I didn’t go all the way to the edge, but don’t worry, we’ll cover it up! Once all the fabric is attached, use your scissors to trim the excess fabric.

4. Beginning at the back, attach the cording with hot glue. Once again, work slowly on small sections at a time. When you get to your beginning point, glue your cording down BEFORE trimming (it will unravel if you don’t…just trust me on this!) To prevent it from unraveling from frequent use, seal the ends with Fray Check.

trim

5. Voila!

Boutique Wipes Case

Boutique Baby Series: Ribbon Tag Blanket Tutorial

You can buy Ribbon Tag Blankets in the store, but I figure, why buy one when I can make it with things I already have in my craft stash? Seriously, I already had all of the materials. So for me, this project was FREE~my favorite kind of project!

Ribbon Tag Blanket

Materials:

  • 12×12″ square of Minky fabric (can also use fleece, flannel, or other soft fabric)
  • 12×12″ square of Satin fabric
  • Various ribbon strips cut approximately 2-3″ long
  • thread
  • sewing machine

Directions:

1.) Cut your fabric. I like to use a 12×12″ square for a “lovey” or snuggle blanket. (Optional: If you have an embroidery machine, this would be the best time to stitch the monogram.)

2.) Cut your ribbon. I don’t measure exactly, just make sure you have atleast 2-3″ inch pieces.

3.) Fold ribbon pieces in half to form a loop. Leaving a small amount hanging over the edge, pin the ribbon around the edges of the main fabric. The loop should be facing the inside of the square. (By leaving a little hanging over the edge, we will be sewing over the ribbon at two different points to ensure they stay inside the blanket.)

4.) Tack down the ribbon loops with your sewing machine.


5.) Place the other fabric pieces right-sides-together. If you are using Minky and Satin as I did, pin very well! The minky and satin will slide around as you sew. Also, minky has lots of stretch to it. If you don’t pin well, it will be very wonky!


6.) Leaving a 3 inch opening, sew around the edges. (Leaving an opening is important!)
7.) Clip corners.


8.) Turn the fabric right side out. Push out the corners.
9.) Pin the hole shut and topstitch around the edges.


10.) Admire your work. Give to a little one to snuggle.

Ribbon Tage Blanket 2

Asher is still too young to appreciate the soothing powers of a tag blanket, but isn’t he cute?