Category Archives: seasons

Fall Bucket/Tree List

Just a quick post to show you our fall bucket list this year. I thought it would be fun to have our list on the wall so I could see all our activities. I like the idea of randomly pulling out a popsicle stick but I am too much of a planner to leave our day up to chance. 🙂

And when we complete an activity- my daughter can take the leaf off the tree and place it in a bucket! Just imagine all the teacher-ish questions I can ask her..”We just took three leaves down. How many leaves are left?” or “Are the number of leaves that are still on the tree greater or less than the number of leaves in the bucket?” and then there are all the science applications of why real leaves change color and fall… oh the educational opportunities excite my soul!

We can see our bucket list leaves falling just like the real leaves outside! And when fall is over-we can reuse the tree for our winter/spring//summer bucket lists. I just love this!!

Our tree is in our craft/school room

Happy Teaching!

Fall Bucket List

It’s time for fall! YAY! I love everything about this time of year and wanted to make sure we accomplished everything fun fall related- so we created a Spooky Pail List! I am excited to share our ideas!!

Yellow and Orange popsicle sticks in a festive Halloween pail

Just like our summer bucket list, I color coded our activities. I decided to keep it simple- completing our summer list got to be a bit of a chore- and while we didn’t complete it we still managed to do about 100 activities! It was WAY too intense. This is what I came up with- and yes, I only used fall colored popsicle sticks which I purchased at the Dollar Tree (that store is my one true weakness).

Yellow Popsicle Sticks (food and treat ideas)
fall cookies
pumpkin pie milkshakewe had this last year and it was SO good- even my husband who hates pumpkiny food liked it!
bake pies
caramel apples

other Yellow ideas that we MIGHT do:
homemade chili
homemade bread bowls
caramel apple cider
plus 50 more fall treat ideasthey look SO good!

Orange Popsicle sticks (activities)
nature walk/ hike
corn maze
pumpkin patch
hay ride
football game
apple orchard
city’s annual pumpkin walk
play in a leaf pile- and take pictures
“boo” our neighbors (so if you happen to be my neighbor and you are reading this- kindly disregard what I just wrote)
leaf art
decorate a pumpkin
scary movie
13 Days of Halloween countdown
Mummy on the Move

other Orange ideas that we might do:
spider ring hair
sprouting pumpkin seeds inside a pumpkin

We are going to be adding Brown Popsicle sticks to our container in November- these will be our Thanksgiving related activities.
Here are some ideas:
thankful rolls
thanksgiving countdown activity for kids- looks super cute!
little turkey cookies
yarn ball thankful turkey

Hope you all have a wonderful fall! Happy Teaching!

Summer Apothecary Jars and Mantle

Here is our latest summer themed apothecary jars and mantle and can I just say I LOVE these colors!

The sea shells in the apothecary jars were found at Ross for around $5- I bought two bags of shells but could easily have used just one. And FYI- they are scented. I think they are intended for bathroom decor but I couldn’t resist using them on our mantle!

The “Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses” sign and pennant flag were created with the wonderful help of my mother in law who is super crafty.

And the big “T” was found at the Wood Connection in Salt Lake for just a couple bucks.

Gotta run….time to play with my daughter… Happy Teaching!

Summer Bucket List: Vinegar Fun

We are still going strong on our summer bucket list and have had a blast (literally!) playing with vinegar and baking soda! Here are some of the fun science projects we have done and links to the creative minds behind them.

Exploding Bags

Both my daughter and I loved this activity! It was fun to watch regular plastic bags expand and pop. We could of done this activity 20 more times but unfortunately we ran out of plastic baggies. I highly, highly recommend doing this with your kids!!! Visit All Things Beautiful for a great step by step tutorial for this amazing activity.

Fizzy Painting

If your child loves art and science- this is a must-do activity for you! It was fun to create and mix colors and watching the baking soda and vinegar reaction. Check out the tutorial on We Made That.

Expand a Balloon

I love it when I have just as much fun doing kid projects as my little girl! I was both amused and amazed watching balloons expand with the power of vinegar and baking soda. Visit Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas to see how to make this happen!

Summer Bucket List: Melting Crayons, Painting with Water, and Bathtub Paints

We have had fun completing some of our Summer Bucket List activities. I thought I would share a few of our favorites so far!

Melting Crayons:

Play Create Explore posted a fabulous art project using crayons and a candle warmer. You should check out her site- she has some great ideas!

Painting with Water:

This is a wonderful and EASY way to keep your little ones busy for a few minutes (maybe longer if your child loves painting!). Using water and a paintbrush, your child can paint away on the sidewalk and magically watch their artwork evaporate!

Bathtub Paints:

When I saw this idea on pinterest from Having Fun at Home, I was in love with the bright colors…. and the idea of making a mess in a small contained area that can easily be washed clean. It’s super easy to create (food coloring and shaving cream) and my daughter loved it!  I have read some comments online that the food dye can stain grout- we don’t have a tiled tub so that wasn’t an issue for us. It did make the bathwater black… so be prepared to give your child a second bath!

Hope you all are having a great summer! Happy teaching and playing! 🙂

Mud Pie Kitchen

I have seen a lot of FUN mud pie kitchens on Pinterest and thought we would try our hand at one! My daughter had a blast playing in the mud and ended up creating our own Mud Pie Restaurant. My favorite entrees: chicken noodle mud soup and dirt covered strawberries. This is an EASY summer activity that will provide lots of fun, imaginative play for your little ones!

Materials:
Dishes We used play dishes, because we have a lot of them that unfortunately don’t get used inside. But they are getting plenty of use outside!
Mud
Bucket of Water
Aprons not shown in this picture, but we used them on other occasions and they helped keep my daughter’s clothes nice and clean! And it added to the whole kitchen thing 🙂

Hope you all are having a fun summer! Happy Teaching!

Summer Bucket List

I have a MILLION plans for my family this summer (thank you Pinterest!) Instead of doing the old plan-the-days-in-advance method, I thought I would try my hand at making a more spontaneous and fun bucket list. And for the record- I hate that these summer to do lists are called bucket lists- I don’t plan on kicking the bucket this fall! Geez! But my ideas of “popsicle pail list” or “random jar of fun” just don’t have the same ring. So I’m callin’ this a bucket list! 🙂

Here is a pic of our summertime popsicle pail (see, it just sounds WEIRD). Notice that there are no cute summertime stickers on the pails- and for one good reason: I will be reusing these for every season. I am bound and determined to cross off some of my pinterest to do lists!!

As you can see from the pic, there are three pails. One pail for our fun activities, one pail for the completed activities, and a third pail to hold extra popsicle sticks and a fine point sharpie. Because I am continuously adding to our list. I think I add about 5 new ideas a day! Which is the primary reason why we have already started picking popsicle sticks. At last count I had a total of 125 things to do this summer!

All of our popsicle sticks are sorted into colored categories. The yellow sticks are things we can do outside in the sun, the blue sticks are summer time treats, the orange sticks are science projects, the red sticks are art projects, the purple sticks are learning activities, the green sticks are places we can go near our home, and the brown sticks are places we can go in Salt Lake (and beyond). This has provided to be SUPER useful already- when my daughter wanted to do something artsy she grabbed a red stick and voila! she had a summertime art project. And I was able to cross of an activity from my Pinterest list! Yay!

When an activity is completed, I have been writing the date on the back of the popsicle stick. That way if I decide to do a journal, I will know the exact dates we did stuff. And when some of the more easy and accessible activities are finished, I write the date and stick it back into the pail of things to do.

I thought I would include the activities we have in our summer bucket list. Of course the list can be easily adapted to meet your family’s needs. And I should mention that the pails are from the dollar section at Target, and the popsicle sticks are from the Dollar Tree. I just love a good bargain!

125 Things To Do This Summer


YELLOW (things to do outside in the sun)
1. bubbles
2. catch a butterfly
3. sandbox
4. paperbag scavenger hunt
5. water pinatas
6. water games
7. hopscotch
8. run in the sprinklers
9. make an obstacle course
10. pull weeds (not everything has to be fun, right? 🙂
11. sidewalk chalk paint
12. mud pie kitchen
13. hunt for predators with water guns
14. sidewalk chalk
15. ride your bike
16. wash cars, scooters, and bikes
17. plant flowers
18. play hide and seek
19. have a race
20. roller skate
21. play red light/ green light
22. play tag
23. plant a garden- even if its just herbs
24. kiddie pool in backyard

BLUE (summertime treats) I have a bunch of dinner recipes that I want to try that I will be adding to our monthly meal schedule (hopefully!).  I wanted to make the summer bucket list fun for my daughter, and pulling out a popsicle stick that said “grilled chicken fajitas” wouldn’t do much for her.
25. smoothies
26. campfire cones
27. cupcakes in ice cream cones
28. make sugar cookies and decorate
29. food paint
30. dip a banana in chocolate and freeze
31. take a picnic somewhere
32. muddy buddies
33. mini personal pizzas for lunch
34. candlelight dinner
35. make homemade taffy
36. indoor smores
37. homemade snow cones
38. frozen grapes
39. ice cream in a bag
40. make popsicles
41. use candy melts to make suckers
42. frozen jr mints
43. gelato
44. fruit kabobs

46. kool-aid ice cubes and 7-up
47. crabby sandwich for lunch
48. frozen fruit bars

ORANGE (science projects)

49. make bird feeders
50. freeze things and dig them out
51. oily fireworks
52. fossil cookies
53. static electricity
54. volcano in a mug
55. m&ms in hot water
56. glow in the dark party
57. weather cloud in a cup
58. blowing up balloons
59. ice sculptures
60. sidewalk egg frying w/aluminum foil
61. floating eggs in salt water

RED (art projects)

66. glitter toes
67. make a treasure map and go on a hunt
68. marshmallow and tooth pick sculptures
69. make slime
70. make a paper mache bowl

72. paint cement with water

74. fingerpaint
75. fingerpaint with pudding
76. self portrait
77. silhouette pictures

PURPLE (learning activities)
80. use a calculator
81. write digits 0-9
82. puppet show
83. sound sorts
84. write name
85. letter bingo
86. write and illustrate a story
87. follow direction cards
88. etiquette factory
89. Dora letter sound flashcards
90. number bingo

GREEN (hometown activities)
91. bowling
92. bounce house
93. aquatic center/ swimming pool
94. dinosaur park
95. splash pad
96. children’s museum
97. playground
98. duck pond
99. city museum
100. train museum
101. nature trail
102. nickelcade
103. Hill Air Force base airplane museum
104. nature center

BROWN (Salt Lake and beyond activities)
105. Symphony
106. Natural History Museum
107. Red Butte Gardens
108. Zoo
109. Kennecott Copper Mine
110. City Creek shopping center
111.State Capital Building
112. baseball game
113. planetarium
114. temple square
115. liberty park
116. aviary
117. childrens theater
118. Park City
119. aquarium
120. Church History Museum
121. Gateway
122. This is the Place State Park
123. ride the bus
124. fireworks
125. fair

I know there are TONS more ideas (Thanksgiving Pointe, Yellowstone, Dinosaur National Monument, hiking, Antelope Island, etc….) And there is NO pressure on accomplishing every single thing on my list. OK, maybe a little pressure- I mean, being able to cross off my entire list would be amazing!
I hope this list inspires you to make some fun memories with your families this summer.

Happy Teaching!

Our Fall Apothecary Jars

I love this time of year! I decorated my apothecary jars with some fun fall items- this is a wonderful way to display all those autumn treasures you and your child find on walks! I have to be honest… my items were all found at craft stores… BUT  I love the thought of a happy mother/daughter harvest nature walk versus walking up and down the aisle with a screaming child at Michaels! 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Candy Corn (13 Days of Halloween Ideas)

I decided to do a fun Halloween countdown with my daughter (read more about it HERE). While we aren’t starting quite yet, I wanted to compile all my ideas by October 18th so I am ready to go. Each day has it’s own Halloween theme. Enjoy!

Our thirteenth (and last!)  theme for our 13 day countdown is candy corn. Here are some of the fun ideas I have found (sorted by category). And while I will only have time to do two or three of these ideas, I wanted to include everything I found that was noteworthy. There are SO many fun candy corn ideas!! Many of these were found on Pinterest (i just LOVE this site!) and some I have found through google searches.

Service Project (Same concept as 12 days of Christmas…but with a Halloween twist!)
  • Make one of the MANY candy corn treat ideas to share with a neighbor/friend
  • Take a friend to a corn maze
  • Help neighbors with their gardens
Literature
Julius’s Candy Corn Good, simple book about candy corn. Can easily integrate counting ideas with this book. (Check out Primary School@ Suite 101 for a post about using this book to teach math) 
Learning Time Fun
Candy Corn Wonderland (I have a feeling this would be a great site to visit if you like candy corn! Ha!) shares some ideas for using these candies to help teach math.

First School has a page dedicated to candy corn ideas… the handwriting pages are always helpful!

Mrs. Freshwater’s Class has a cute candy corn numbers download. Darling!

Creative and Curious Kids shared some great math activities centered around candy corn. I love her ideas with estimation, addition and subtraction, sorting, and patterns. (OK, I love ALL the ideas.)

The Activity Idea Place has some great ideas for preschoolers centered around candy corns. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the site- the ideas are fantastic!

Treats & Eats
Food Family Finds posted this very sweet idea of candy corn marshmallow pops. So cute!

Taste and Tell shared a recipe for candy corn fudge… it sounds delicious!

How yummy do these candy corn sugar cookies look? Great idea from Kathie Cooks.

Kitchen Daily posted her recipe for candy corn jello. Step aside green jello, you have some competition.

Parents shared this healthy vegetable snack in a healthy candy corn display.

The Curvy Carrot posted this fun way to frost cupcakes.

I Heart Cuppycakes shared her candy corn cupcake recipe.

Sharon Bower’s posted this recipe for candy corn pizza on the Oprah site.

Serious Eats posted this recipe to make homemade candy corn- I had no idea this was even a possibility!

I love this candy corn pudding idea from Paper Jewels. It looks delicious!

Our Best Bites (amazing site!!) has a recipe and step-by-step directions for these delectable candy corn cupcakes.

Just looking at these homemade butterfingers with candy corn from In Katrina’s Kitchen is making me hungry. Mmmmmm……

I love this candy corn cheesecake from Wilton. You do need a checkerboard cake pan (must put this on my wish list!)

I LOVE this idea for Rice Krispies candy corn treats from Lick the Bowl Good. Man, I am officially starving and will need to take a snack break!

Arts & Crafts
Better Homes and Gardens shared this fun idea of making a candy corn garland- would be a fun craft for kids!

Visit the Teacher Wife to learn how to make a darling candy corn art project.

How cute are these candy corn treat holders from Skip to My Lou? Her site has a great tutorial to make these!

Better Homes and Gardens shared this fun way to paint your pumpkins to look like candy corns. Simple, but I love it!

DLTK has a printable candy corn man art project- I think it would be fun to use this idea, but without the template (it would make for more original art!)

Games
Make some of these fabulous candy corn cones (image and tutorial found at Zakka Life) using old orange soccer cones. Have your kiddos run around the cones or come up with simple relays to add some gross motor activities to the Halloween season! Love it! (Also check out her cute knit candy corns– perfect for a play kitchen!)
Fingerplays and Songs 
I was left to my own creative juices to come up with this fingerplay about candy corn. 

Candy Corn
Candy corn looks like this (put fingers together like a triangle)
and is very good to eat, (rub your tummy)
I like to taste it right away (pretend to eat)
It’s my very favorite treat! (put hand on heart)

Misc
An entire book dedicated to Candy Corn poems from James Stevenson. Wow.

Happy Haunting!

Pumpkin Candy Corn Popcorn Balls

I recently learned that you can use candy corn (and a little butter) to make popcorn balls (Thanks Shirley).

I also saw this recipe for pumpkin shaped popcorn balls from Bee in our Bonnet (spotted this one on Pinterest!) that are super cute.

So I thought… what the heck? Why not combine them into one glorious treat? And so I did! And they are SCRUMPTIOUS! And besides the taste- the ingredients for this recipe will appease all you budget minded people out there!

Ingredients:

marshmallows and butter not pictured….

1 9 oz. bag of candy corn (bought at the dollar store)
1 bag of microwavable popcorn (we didn’t have any popcorn kernels- or we would have gone the homemade route!)
Butter (about 4 tablespoons)
Handful of mini marshmallows
Tootsie Rolls (bought at the dollar store)
1 Green Apple Airhead Candy

Directions:
Make the popcorn. Place popcorn in bowl and toss in a handful of candy corn.

Over medium heat, melt butter and the rest of the candy corn. Stir constantly!

Pour the hot (I have to add that adjective because I kept burning myself!) melted candy corn over popcorn.

It was at this point when I realized I needed a little more STICKINESS. So I ran back to the stove and melted a handful of marshmallows with 2 tablespoons butter. I quickly then poured that mixture on top of the popcorn/candy corn. (It might be easier to just melt the marshmallows and candy corn together at the beginning … but I am not a chef and I don’t know if that would completely mess up the entire recipe!)

Carefully (because of the heat) form popcorn into balls.

My hands were getting burnt at this stage so there are no pictures…

Form several leaves from the Airhead Candy (I threw mine into the microwave for 5 seconds to soften it).

Place candy leaves and unwrapped tootsie rolls on top of your popcorn balls to complete your pumpkin look!

Can you spot that large chewy candy corn inside the popcorn ball? Biting into those pieces gave it an extra sweet taste!

Some of the popcorn balls got a “spray tan” with orange food color mist. It was a nice touch, but not necessary!

These were simple, fast, and purely delicious.
Enjoy!

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