Halloween Crafts!

Have I mentioned that I love holidays? Because I really do.  Halloween is one of my favorites!  Who doesn’t love dressing up, being silly, and eating candy?  And there’s so many great craft ideas- it was hard to choose just a few!  I tried to pick some ideas that could work with a variety of ages, and I like crafts that have some real creativity built in.  Don’t be surprised if I post more Halloween crafts later. 🙂

Build a Monster Printables– For the younger ones, you can cut these out ahead of time and just let them glue away. For older ones, let them practice their cutting skills!

Masking Tape Mummies– This is especially great for the younger kiddos!  If you need an easy project for a Halloween party, you can buy people shapes at education-supply stores so that you don’t have to cut them all out yourself.

Pumpkin Rocks– These can be as simple or fancy as you like!  Plus, it’s a multi-day project.  Go for a nature walk to find the perfect rocks, paint them, let them dry, then use black paint or black sharpies to put faces on them.  These would look super cute on your front steps or by your front door on Halloween night!

Magnetic Jack-O-Lantern–  This is a great activity to make ahead of time, then pull out whenever you are making dinner or doing something else that requires a kiddo to be busy for a little bit.  Not really a craft for them so much as for you, but they’ll get to have fun being creative again and again! By the way, magnetic sheets are awesome!

I’m sure there’ll be more Halloween ideas soon!

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Roly Poly!

Around this time of year, I start seeing a lot of roly polys (also known as pill bugs or wood lice) in the mounds of dirt/mulch at the bases of trees by the bus stop.  I love the little guys, and it seems that I’ve passed on this love to my nanny kids.  Because of their interest, I’ve also learned some interesting things about them! Here’s a few:

1.  Roly polys aren’t bugs!  Tell that to kiddos and you’ll usually get a funny look and a “huh???” from them.  They’re actually terrestrial crustaceans, which means that are in the same family of animals as shrimp, but they only live on land.  They do breath using gills, though, and require a moist environment to breathe.  This is why you’ll see them most often in the morning, when the dew has left the ground damp.

2.  They don’t pee, and they eat their own poop. Kinda gross, I know, but it’s the facts of life! They eat their poop in order to “recycle” minerals that they need to survive.

3.  Sometimes they are bright blue.  If you see this, it means the poor thing is sick. 😦  It won’t get you sick, though, so why not pick it up and give it some encouraging words?  Feel better soon!

4.  They’re good for the earth! They eat decaying plants and animals, which is good for the environment.  Think of them as nature’s garbage disposal!

5.  Their blood isn’t red like ours- it’s blue! Weird, right?

If you want to have fun with roly polys, go for it!  But remember to be gentle and don’t play with them for too long.  I like taking out my Roly Poly Playground for them!  Just make sure to always put them back in the dirt when it’s time to stop playing!

Pinterest Science! <3

I resisted trying pinterest for a long time because I was afraid of getting addicted.  I don’t spend all my time on pinterest now, but it is a GREAT way to find new ideas and store all the neat stuff you’ve found.  And because I’m such a visual learner, it’s a dream come true for me!  All those pretty pictures…

As a school ager, I wasn’t a big fan of science. I don’t know why. I guess it just seemed too complicated.  But as a grown up, I’ve realized that you can’t escape science, especially if you’re curious like me!  It’s everywhere!  I’m trying to show my kiddos at work how science is like a guessing game, but better, because you get to play with it too!  Remember to keep science activities age-appropriate.  And remember that most of the science learned at this age will be through observation, not through big words that sound really boring.  Keep the activity going for as long (or as little) as interest continues. And ask questions!  “What do you think will happen when I do this?”  Sometimes it’s best if you answer first, to show that you’re not looking for a correct answer, just an honest one.

I’ll talk more about science again sometime, but for now, check out my science board on pinterest, which I will continue to add to!