Thursday, February 14, 2013

DIY Kids Valentines: Whales & Sharks

We are all about sea creatures here.  We also like to make our own Valentines, it's sort of a tradition in our family.  The designs started with an idea, then a sketch...then a desire to have something you can take home (besides just the card).  Cards end up in the trash (or the woodstove) pretty quickly, so it's nice to have a keepsake that people can take and use.

These are nice because a kid of 5 or older can do it themselves.  And since it's felt, no need for fancy machines or finished edges.  The work goes pretty quickly if you cut all the felt first, then sew them up.  We spread this out over a few days, and incorporated it into our homeschooling.

 The front was made with scrapbook paper in a variety of ocean-y shades. After all the felt-creatures were sewn we had a family craft night to finish the cards.  We set out all the materials for card making---to make each other homemade Valentines---and to finish these.  The kids cut and pasted everything themselves, then we taped the creatures onto the cards.

THEN...we made our own cards.  Pop-up was the theme this year...

And what Valentines would be complete without a love-inspired meal?  We went simple this year by making heart shaped burgers.  Special does not have to mean expensive or complicated.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Homeschooling Fun: Building a Boobytrap

If you're anything like me, your knowledge of boobytraps consists of childhood memories of watching The Goonies and Indiana Jones. (if you're a little younger, maybe Home Alone is a better example)

Luke is particularly interested in booby traps, and likes to set them to catch all the potential robbers that might be entering our home. (it's less of a paranoia thing, and more of a creative hero thing)

I was surprised to see that a quick Amazon search for boobytraps (for kids) resulted in some disturbing returns. (everything from fake boobies to REAL bombs and such...yikes)

After some basic web searches we yielded some slightly more helpful (though not THAT much) images of what is called a simple Tiger Trap. (It's one small step up from the bucket of water on the door gag)

It's basically a simple pulley system, though ours is pretty crude...consisting of tape, a tape holder, a plastic container (filled with ants from the Ants in Your Pants game) and string.

One end of the string is taped to the ceiling, then to a container (open end facing away from the tape on the ceiling), then run the string through a tube that is hooked to the ceiling, and secure the string to the door in such a way that when the door is opened the string will detach and the weight of the container will pull itself down and dump it's contents on the the offending door-walker-inner.

Get it? Simple. Realistically it took us a few tries to get this done...all of them are on video of course. Our first try was a complete failure. Our second was successful. Our third was a failure again. This is a good thing, I promise. Kids need a little failure so that they learn that success for effort and hard work feels GREAT. Don't be afraid to let your kids fail! (how else will they learn?!) AND, don't step in to fix it...let them figure it out...that is after all THE POINT!

I think we've begun down a dangerous road of one-upmanship.

The last man standing wins...(insert evil laugh here)

Isn't homeschooling THE BEST?!?!

No plastic ants were harmed in the making of this boobytrap, but my hanging wall lantern (I'm sad to say) did not survive our crazy antics.

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