Nature Scavenger Hunt

For some reason I am partial to nature walks and scavenger hunts. So, I saw this idea on Pinterest from the Creative Homemaker and created my own to share with you. Basically, you do the following to create a  fun, educational activity: download the Nature Scavenger Hunt, glue or tape it to a grocery bag, attach a pencil, and download the  optional checklist.  Next, go find a green space, nature trail or park to explore. Last, but certainly not least, have fun!

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There are two sheets to download: one for your bag as pictured above and the other as a master checklist. I have included some scavenger items for your daughter just to take a picture since you do not want to be tromping through the woods tearing up plants and carting off things that belong in nature.

 

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This can be made into a competition to see who can collect the most items, giving one point for each item found. You can also award extra points for the biggest leaf and/or the smallest leaf. In addition to “competition collecting’, you can also play Nature Bingo and just go after certain items if you are short on time. If your son is inclined to just rush to get something done, then you keep the bag and call out one or two items from the checklist that you are looking for to prolong the game. Here are the documents to download: Nature Scavenger Hunt pictures  and Nature Scavenger Hunt Checklist

Being Overwhelmed

It seems that summer should be the time to relax and enjoy a slower paced life. I don’t have to teach, I don’t have to get up as early as during the school year, yet I find myself in this state of busyness. I feel like…

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a hamster on a wheel going nowhere fast. (notice the hair!) Can you relate?

I found that I need to make myself accountable to people to have fun. Doesn’t that sound crazy?! Well, I realized that if don’t initiate doing something with a friend it isn’t going to happen. Everyone else is just as busy as me and instead of waiting for someone to call me, I decided I would reach out to them instead. (Guess which one is me?)

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I have two friends who like to go walking and it is a great time to get caught up on life and have fun while we exercise at the same time. I love doing this, because as lame as it sounds, it also holds me accountable for getting my exercise in too. I have found that time flies when I am exercising, and talking and sharing, as opposed to me just walking by myself. When walking solo, I find I am constantly checking my watch and going shorter distances than when I am doing this with a friend.

I also have a dear friend whose husband owns a bike shop. I can get her to ride bikes with me, which is the only sport that I have invested money in and do regularly. Again, I like to bike with someone rather than go by myself. Can you tell I am an extrovert and love being with people? You’d never guess. lol

This isn’t my bike, but I loved the picture. My bike is more of a thin-tired, get- there, faster kind of bike. I love speeding along and feeling the breeze whip through my hair. I haven’t mastered the art of a leisure bike ride at this point, but give me another 15 years or so, and I maybe I will. 🙂

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Lastly, I am trying to find some spare moments just to meet up with friends to grab a tea or a smoothie and just check in with each other. I try to keep it just an hour so that we can touch base. This doesn’t happen often, but it is a treat when I can do it. After all, I need encouragement the same as everyone else. It looks like in this photo too many sweets have been eaten, but it looks like a picture of contentment.

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So, I am encouraging you to take the step of slowing down and reaching out to a friend (or two) to be encouraged and provide encouragement. Take time to these summer days; they are slipping away all too quickly. Take pictures to remember so when school starts and you are back in the thick of things you will remember those great time and plan more.  I realize you may not have much free time to be able to get out of the house, but you can call a friend or send a card if you can’t. I had many days where I just needed to call a friend to hear an adult voice of reason. You can also trade childcare with a friend so that you can each have some time to relax and refuel. Better still, meet at a park and let the kids play while you chat.

I appreciate all your family’s schooling and well-being. You are awesome! Enjoy your day.

~Lisa

Independence Day Quotes for Copywork

Happy Independence Day! I have created a copywork page for your student on this momentous occasion, the commemoration of our independence from England. Many men gave of their lives and fortunes in order for us to celebrate the amazing freedoms that we enjoy as citizens of the United States. I am forever grateful to live in such a wonderful country. May you and your family enjoy the holiday and I hope you take a little time to talk about just why we celebrate this day. if you are interested in printing off the page for copywork click on this link:  Independence Day Quotes Founding Fathers

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Coloring for a Purpose

Some children just love to color! If you have a child like that, chances are you can’t possibly showcase all of the coloring pages that your artist has colored. I bet you even wonder how you could share those works with others. I would like to introduce to you a website called Follow The Good King. You sign up for a subscription and every week you will receive a coloring sheet through your email. The cool thing is that there is a purpose for these coloring pages.

After your daughter or son colors them, you mail them back to a P.O. box and they are then sent on to a featured individual that has been selected by The Good King to receive these colorful masterpieces as encouragement. You see, when you receive your coloring sheet, you also receive a short bio on the person who needs a bit of cheering up. You can also nominate an individual to receive other children’s coloring pages.  This is also a terrific way of incorporating language arts because each mission has you write a short note to the recipient. 🙂

Here is an excerpt of the first mission and the coloring page. Do not color this one, but rather go to the website listed below for the current mission. Each mission is a week in length, so if you are not able to complete it, that is fine, just go on to the next one. The important thing to remember is that each mission is only for that current week and you cannot go back to a different mission and choose to send it to that person at a later date.

Mission 1:

Ryan is pretty much a rockstar. He mentors young guys, recently finished his college degree, just married the woman of his dreams, and encourages people all over the world through his blog…all this while unable to move his arms and legs. I won’t sugarcoat it…life is TOUGH for Ryan. But he is strong. VERY strong.

Ryan is teaching us about perseverance. He’s teaching us about hope. He’s teaching us that, no matter what our circumstances are, we can do GREAT good because we follow The Good King. So let’s thank Ryan for his example and encourage him to keep on keeping on.

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If you are interested in this amazing idea, go to Follow the Good King

Quiet Games to Play

Sometimes your child needs a quiet game to play. Doctor’s visits, long car rides, church, or down time after schoolwork is finished are perfect times to play these games.

Have you heard of Tangoes? These are tangrams that are all in a compact travel case. “What are tangrams?” you ask. They are seven geometric shapes that you can make all different sorts of designs with them. (You can see the shapes below in the picture.)

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There are a variety of sets, but I chose to purchase the Tangoes Animals. There are 48 different animals to create and 4 different levels. The pictures of the bird (#1) and fish (#2) are the starter level.

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Two great features with the game are that it is a one person game, so no fussing is taking place among the kids, and all of the pieces are magnetic, so they won’t get lost! The picture below is showing you both the front (blue) and the back pieces that are magnetic.

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Another really fun game is called Find It!  As you can see, there are small colored beads in a tube and there are objects that you need to find among the beads. There is a pad with all of  the items for the finder to mark. This game can be played as a one-player game or with other players. There are several different themed tubes including Veggie Tales, Wizard of Oz, dinosaurs, farm, and wildlife.  If you look closely at the picture you can find some of the items yourself!

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Here is the pad with all of the items to find. The items are also listed on the top lid of the tube in case you no longer have the pad. Your children will enjoy playing, but I think you will too! One of the great things is that all of the pieces are contained within the tube and are designed to NOT come out of the cylinder. No losing pieces, no mess!

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Other fun games/items to play with are:

Barrel of Monkeys

Tic-tac-toe

Matchbox cars

Small Lego sets

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