Madeleine’s science co-op class has been going through the days of creation; studying light and dark, sun and moon, plants and animals, etc. When they got to the animals, she was sent home with four caterpillars. Three formed chrysallises; when they emerged, they were Painted Lady Butterflies! How fun that the boys and I got to experience this with her. She named all three; Goldie and Eleanor were the first to emerge, while Maggie waited until the next day. She must have stared into this netting all day, watching them stretch their wings. SO MUCH FUN!

We put a container with honey water in it in the net; a paper towel hung out for the butterflies to eat. We also put leaves and such in to imitate their natural habitat. We were hoping they would lay eggs, but they never did. We read that they would only live about two days, but they ended up living about a week.


Quick and Easy Homemade Play-Dough

So we made play-dough this morning! We’ve made it before, but not in a while. This recipe is great, and only takes about ten minutes start to finish.                             

All the ingredients, ready to go!

Begin by placing all the ingredients in a pot or saucepan.

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 Tablespoon oil

1 cup cold water

Our smooth mixture

Whisk them together until the mixture is smooth. Turn the stove on medium and stir continuously with a spoon. After just a few minutes, the mixture will turn into a mashed-potato consistency. Continue stirring until it gets thicker.

Beginning to mix together

Once it gets thick enough, dump it out on the counter. I placed a piece of waxed paper down first, since we were going to add food coloring.

Plain play-dough

Add drops of food coloring to the dough. You can wear plastic gloves or simply use your hands to knead the dough. Be careful, it will stain your hands for the rest of the day (don’t ask me how I know!) And be careful, the dough will be warm still.

Making yellow play-dough

Our finished yellow play-dough! We also made pink, blue, green and turqoiuse (which was then mixed with blue, so we have a TON of blue!)

Our finished yellow product

Playing with our finished products! We had play-dough out all morning, and the kids loved it. We hadn’t played with it in so long, since we hadn’t had any, but we had a great time today.

Playing at the kitchen table. Note our upscale tools like plastic knives and empty thread bobbins!

School’s Out

This has been our first full week of summer. I know, I know, it’s only mid-April. But we have finished our school books for the year! We did start pretty early, the first of August, and we didn’t follow the public school as far as break, so we are finished. This has led me to the realization that This is going to be a loooong summer! My children are already going at it.

Besides finishing school, we also canceled out cable two weeks ago. Needless to say, my children are driving each other (and me!) crazy. My goal this summer (besides possibly moving) is to keep them involved in crafts, outdoor activities and trying to help them play by themselves. Any tips on teaching them to play imaginatively with their blocks, Legos and dolls?

Reading during summer

My kids love to read, so we will be hitting up the library constantly this summer, even more than we usually do.

My other goal this summer is to keep this blog updated as much as possible. I’ll be posting crafts that we do, crafts that I WISH we could do and travails from my husband’s job search.

The job search has been going on since November. It’s been a rough few months, especially recently as we are going to be on 60-days notice at our rental house pretty soon. We are fortunate that he currently has a job; we just want to move on. It’s like a balancing act while riding a merry-go-round, and we don’t know when the ride will be over.

But above all, I’ll just try to keep the blog fun and fresh.

Speech Therapy

Buster has been attending speech therapy at the local elementary school for two weeks now. Even though he is three, he qualifies for state therapy help through South Carolina. Most, if not all, states offer speech therapy through an Early Intervention type of program. The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities offers a state search to discover if your state offers any help. You could also simply call the Board of Education offices in your county to find out information for your area.

Buddy attended speech therapy in Florida from ages 2 1/2 to about 4 1/2. He had a problem where he just wouldn’t speak. He started to form words, but then kind of regressed to where he wouldn’t even try to speak. The therapy helped him a lot, and now he is rarely quiet.

Buster has a different problem that we didn’t notice at first. He talked all the time! It was hard to get him to stop talking. The problem was it was hard to understand. He didn’t put the endings on most words and he substituted different letters in weird places. We started the process the summer before he turned 3, and he had his first therapy appointment a few days after his birthday. He has now been 5 or 6 times and we have already seen improvement. The therapist told us his speech problem shouldn’t be noticeable by the 3rd grade (!) but I’m hoping it won’t take that long.

Fun School Fillers

Sometimes I get bogged down in trying to come up with things to fill in the gaps in school time. You know, when one child finishes their work, but you can’t start them on something else because you are in the middle of something with another child? I think this is more common with the very young children, as they can’t really read instructions on their own or do too much independent learning.

I recently hit up the Dollar Store and found a lot of cool school supplies. They don’t always have stuff, it’s really hit or miss; that day was a definite hit!

I found this set of magnetic alphabet letters. They had upper can lower case letters, as well as a picture that starts with each letter. I had ballerina put all the capital letters in order. (It looks like we are schooling at night, if you look at the window, but it was the middle of the morning…bad lighting, I guess!)

Buddy had to put both upper and lower case letters in order. They really enjoyed doing this activity.

It may be difficult to see in the next photo, but these are Bingo cards I printed up last year. I don’t remember where I got them. They have letters, numbers and shapes on them. The kids have all the corresponding cards in a bag, which they pull out one at a time. They then put a Unifix Cube on their square that matches.

They love this game, and it’s something they can play on their own. Buster gets really excited when one of his gets pulled, and he can put a cube on it.

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