All About Me Worksheet

To kick-off our “school year” we did these All About Me sheets.  My plan is for the girls to fillP1040758 them out each year so we have a great journal of how they have grown and changed year.   I saw a few different versions online but had Ed make our own.

Download All About Me worksheet

It was great to hear their answers and capture this moment in time.  We also went back and did some of our “I am Special” activities.

All About Me Worksheet

The best answer… Mia saying that when she grows up she’ll be a “ninja princess scientist.”

Helping Around the Yard

With spring here we’ve been out in the yard P1020290A Lot, including landscaping and planting new gardens in both the front and back yards.  In order to get the girls more involved when we are doing the yard work, we put them on weed duty.  We filled spray bottles with plain, cheap white vinegar and had the girls spray the yard.  It’s very eco-friendly and you don’t have to worry about little ones getting it on their hands or in their mouths (which tends to happen with little ones, at least with my kiddos).

If you don’t want them killing your other plants or smelling like a dyed Easter egg, then just put water in the bottles and let them water the plants.

This was a great way to have our girls pitch in.   They also helped pull weeds by hand, plant flowers, spread soil, and roll out sod.  As their dad said, “If you don’t like to work hard, you’re in the wrong family.”  And this really is the reason why we wanted the girls to help out.  For most big projects like this, it’s easier to just do it yourself.  But this is how you teach the value of hard work.  I was so proud when Mia said, “We’ll like our yard even more now since we had to work so hard for it.”  I’m a firm believer that if you want your kids to help around the house when they are older, then you need to allow them to help even when they are very young and enthusiastic.   I also think that working together allows you to build a stronger bond with your children.  When pulling weeds together Zoe and I had a chance to have a quiet talk together about some pretty deep things; it was just one of those special moments that can come from working side by side.

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Zoo Bingo

Last weekend we met up with my parents at the Phoenix Zoo.  We all had a blast!  Since the trip, the girls and I have played our zoo bingo game.  When the girls were younger, I made a simple bingo board of some Zoo Bingoof the animals at our zoo.  Since then I expanded the board to include 16 squares.

Click here for Zoo Bingo Boards

To play, I just print out an extra board that I cut into pieces and then draw the squares out of a bag so we know which ones to mark.  I also used a scrapbooking punch to make a bunch of bingo dots.

Of course, it’s great to make your own game special to your local zoo.  I used pictures from our zoo’s website as well as their Facebook page.

Shamrock Cutting & Pasting

Shamrock cover picOf course the shamrock is perfect for talking about the trinity (just ask St. Patrick) so I wanted to do an activity with the girls.  I couldn’t find one that I really like–many had just the words (which my girls can’t read yet) or I wasn’t fond of the pictures–so I had my husband design this one for us.  During the gluing (I had to do most of the cutting), we talked about what the words and pictures meant and how God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (a very hard concept for them) are separate but the same.

Here is the printable: Shamrock Activity

I printed the shamrock pieces on cardstock and then the inner images on regular paper so that it was sturdy but not too heavy.

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Rocks Rock

We’ve been doing a rock unit since Tucson has been hosting it’s annual Gem and Mineral show. The girls have also been super into rocks since their niece, who they love and look up to, is a rock hound. We sorted rocks, took fieldtrips to explore, played rock games, did rock crafts, and did rock science experiments.
Enjoying the rock exhibit at one of our local museums (Flandrau Planetarium actually)

Enjoying the rock exhibit at one of our local museums (Flandrau Planetarium actually)

Rock Sorting

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We spent a lot of time looking at rocks, describing them, feeling the different textures, sorting them.  Sometimes the girls grouped them by size or color.

Looking for rocks?  You can just use some colorful ones from your own yard.  You can also purchase rock kits or starter collections.  We had picked up a few special ones from rock shops in the past and then also enjoyed the ones from when we went gem sluicing.

Monster Rocks

Originally the plan was to make pet P1020256rocks but the girls had other plans.  First we painted the rocks then decorated them with all kinds of goodies–googly eyes, feathers, sequins, glitter glue, gems, pipe cleaners.  (We have a plastic bin where we keep all those fun things so that when doing a project like this we can just pull it and go to town).

This project was a big hit.  The girls loved their rocks so much they showed them off to their friends who came to play who insisted on making their own rocks.  So we started another round of monster rock making!

I spy

P1000784This is a great game to play with real rock collections to learn how colorful and diverse rocks can be.  We visited a few at some of our local museums to look at their collections.

 

 

Fieldtrips

Get ouP1020133tside and explore some rocks!  Check your local area to see where you can do some good exploring.  Living in the desert it seems that we have rocks everywhere.  We had a blast exploring a local cave (Colossal Cave for my Arizona friends).  Now for a moment of mommy bragging–the cave tour had lots of stairs, was dark, and required good listening for a long time.  I was worried since I was alone with the girls but they were awesome!

Gem Sluicing

P1020122Very similar to panning for gold, this is so much fun!  We were able to do this on our cave adventure.  But really you could do this at home–just use a screen or sifter and a running hose, stream, bin of water.  There are sluice bags you can purchase with gems, sand, and other rocks or you can make your own by hiding gems or your special rocks into sand and dirt.

Geodes

What’s a rock unit without cracking P1020251open geodes?  Check your local rock shop to find some.  Gift shops for science related attractions also tend to have them or you can order some online if need be.  My niece took me to my first real rock shop and I have to say it was quite an experience.  I had no idea how interesting they could be.

 

Rock Mosaics

P1020255We made these using air-dry clay (from Crayola purchased at Michaels) for our base.  Then the girls pressed small rocks into it to make a design.  Once the clay was dry we covered them in a sealant so that their creations could find a home outside.  Just be sure to cover the entire thing, top and bottom, in a heavy duty sealant.

 

Rock Hunt

P1020029Of course we went hunting for rocks outside, just to look at as well as some to use for our crafts.  We also hunted for rocks around our house.  The girls were surprised to see that rocks were used around the house from the granite in the countertops to their pencil tips.

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