Thursday, July 29, 2010

Outdoor Exploration Station

It was a gorgeous day so we moved the exploration station outside.  Eva was able to examine all the neat things she collected on our hike yesterday, as well as a bird's nest her grammy found for her.
We worked on the concept of biggest to smallest using the five acorns Eva found.  She did a lot better with this than I expected!
We also made some leaf rubbings.  I ended up doing the rubbing and then Eva had to match the leaf to it's print.
There is nothing like enjoying nature out in the "wild".
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Take a Hike

Today we explored the woods near our house.  In preparation, Eva decorated a vest made from a paper bag.  But when it came time to wear it, there was no having it.
Oh, well.  We also packed a yummy snack- On-the-Go S'mores.  All the tastiness of s'mores with a lot less mess.  We combined one cup of graham cracker goldfish,
one cup of mini marshmallows,
and one cup of chocolate chips.
Stir them all together and then toss some in a container for your hike.
While exploring the woods I gave Eva a small bag to collect items for her exploration station.
I also wrapped a piece of masking tape around her wrist with the sticky side out so she could stick little bits of nature to it to make a bracelet.
We found lots of acorns,
and even a groundhog burrow.
Tomorrow we will add all of our newfound treasures to the exploration station.  Hiking is so much fun when you get to see the world through the eyes of a little one.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Camp Back-in-the-Yard

This week we will be upping our outdoorsy-ness.  My idea of roughing it is staying in a three star hotel but we won't be going any farther than our backyard, so I think we will survive!

Backyard Camp- we'll pitch a tent and snuggle up for some ghost stories, sing-a-longs and flashlight fun

Hike in the Woods- what will we discover when we hike our way through the woods in the park across the street?

Nature Collecting- we'll gather up bits of nature (all things that have already fallen, of course) to use for our exploration area and various crafts

Sensory/Exploration- the sand is gone and in it's place are some rocks and critters to examine, as well as pinecones and anything we find on our hike

Biggest to Smallest- we'll arrange pinecones, rocks and leaves in size order

Nature Bracelet- before heading out on our hike, we'll wrap a piece of masking tape around our wrist and see what bits of nature adhere to them

Bonfire- paper towel tubes and tissue paper will be transformed into a glowing fire for our camp

Hiking Gear- we'll make a vest out of a paper bag and binoculars out of toilet paper tubes for our hike

Nature Rubbings- we'll use some of the objects we collect to make rubbings and maybe we'll paint with them too

Paper Peek-a-Boo Tent- who will be sleeping in this fun little tent?

S'Mores- no camp experience is complete without this yummy treat so we'll try a few variations

Duck Tents Whistling Meet Mr. and Mrs. Green Kipper's Monster Monk Camps Out Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe (Reading Rainbow Books) Sheep Take a Hike Jump, Kangaroo, Jump! (Mathstart: Level 3 (Prebound)) Danny and the Dinosaur Go to Camp Froggy Goes to Camp Tacky Goes to Camp (Tacky the Penguin) 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Popsicle Painting

This craft isn't exactly beach related but it is definitely perfect for summer!  I froze some food colored water in our popsicle mold and then let Eva paint with it on paper out in the driveway.
She loved it!  Now if anyone has any tips for getting food coloring off our fingers, I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beach in a Bottle

With beach week nearing it's end it was time to pack up the sensory/exploration area.  In order to continuing enjoying all our cool beach finds, we made a beach in a bottle.  It has all the fun of the beach without the sand everywhere!  To start, I rinsed out a 2 liter pop bottle and Eva helped scoop the sand from her tub into it via a funnel.
Then we sorted the sea shells into two piles- big and little.  To take the sorting a step further, Eva then had to sort the small ones into two more categories- fit into the bottle and don't fit.
We added the sea weed and sea gull feather from our beach trip along with some rocks, pompoms and gems (you never know when you'll find treasures at the beach!).  I squirted some hot glue into the top and screwed it on tight.  Now Eva can roll the bottle around and rediscover all the great beach finds.
We also made a simple beach dessert.  I put a graham cracker in a baggie and let Eva go to town breaking it up into crumbs.
I scooped some vanilla pudding into a cup and poured the "sand" over it.  The beach never tasted so good!