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Watercolor Line Art

September 15, 2014

My son and I did this Watercolor Line Art activity over the summer; it was a great way to share some one-on-one time while having fun exploring a fun paint medium and a way to sneak in some math concepts.  
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To set this activity up, I gathered watercolor paints, black crayon, watercolor paper, and a ruler.

Simply use the ruler to draw lines-- parallel lines, diagonal lines, vertical lines, horizontal lines, perpendicular lines, short lines, long lines, etc. etc.-- all over the paper.  We just drew lines wherever we chose, but this activity would also be neat with specific tasks, i.e. draw a line 5 inches, draw a vertical line,... and see what design you come up with!
 Use a black crayon that is fairly "waxy" to create a watercolor resist.  Also, encourage your student to push a little bit harder than normal while drawing the lines so that they are darker.
 Once your design is finished, start adding watercolor paint.
 Thus, this simple art/ math project creates a beautiful and creative piece of art!

©2011-2013 School Time Snippets. All rights reserved. You are free to link back to my website but all text, photos, and other content may not be reproduced without the written consent of the author.


Pom Pom Apple Tree Painting

September 12, 2014

Believe it or not, but our very first pom pom painting was our Oh, the Places You'll Go Balloon Craft!  Yes, my son is seven and I made him do it.  I'm pretty sure he thought the whole process was a bit silly at first, but he warmed up to the idea.  Fast forward a week and we brought out the pom poms and paints again!
apple fine motor

This time each kiddo (7, 3, 1) made his/her own Pom Pom Apple Tree Painting.  Johnny Appleseed was mentioned in my son's history readings and our science exploration activity was to learn about the parts of an apple tree.  Well, we did the activity a bit differently {I tend to do things like that!} so that I could also do this with my 3 and 1 year old, too.

I made a Do A Dot tree printable and afterwards we used our hole punch to add our apples.  I felt the printable helped my 3 year old daughter stay on task in creating her own tree, but this printable could also be used to make a Fall tree by using additional paint colors.
apple tree fine motor
To make your own pom pom apple tree painting and work on those fine motor skills, you'll need:
paper {and/or our tree printable}
green paint
brown paint
pom poms
hole punch
red paper
As you may have noticed in the materials list, we aren't just using pom poms!  For the tree trunk, your little one will practice grasping a q-tip to fill in the trunk of the tree.  Move onto the leaves by grabbing a pom pom, with your fingers or with the clothespin, and dot green paint in the circles to create your tree.  Next, add some paper-punched apples!  We started with our small hole punch, but the older ones preferred having extra large apples on their apple tree, so we used a 1'' circle hole punch.
apple fine motor
Love when we can combine all the kiddos together for a fun and simple project!
Pencil Control for Early Learners from Powerful Mothering
Map Activity: Practicing Drawing Lines from Little Bins For Little Hands
Five Little Pumpkins Fine Motor Activity from Still Playing School

©2011-2013 School Time Snippets. All rights reserved. You are free to link back to my website but all text, photos, and other content may not be reproduced without the written consent of the author.


Printable Thank You Letter

September 08, 2014

My son turned SEVEN last month {holy moly!!} and ever since he was three we have taken the time to write and/or draw some sort of note to those that have sent a gift (or two) to show how much we appreciate the thought and new toy.

It has also been a way to practice handwriting, too!

In my search to find a thank you letter that would fit your standard bill-like envelopes, I came up empty handed so I decided to create our own letter.  And here it is!

I love that it is colorful and versatile enough to use for any gift-giving occasion.  Hoping you may be able to use this too, I've made it available for you to print!  Just click on the picture below!
{p.s. please no sharing the direct link the PDF file; direct people to this blog page instead! Thank you!).

And thanks to My Cute Graphics for making the banner clip art available for free!  Their website is full of cute clip art!
And if you would like the printable without lines inside the bubbles, click HERE.  I couldn't decide which one I liked best, but the lines seemed to help my son's writing stay level ; ) 
 ©2011-2013 School Time Snippets. All rights reserved. You are free to link back to my website but all text, photos, and other content may not be reproduced without the written consent of the author.


Bring a Story to Life: Under Drake's Flag Audio Drama CD Set {Review}

September 07, 2014

We have had a few experiences with audio CDs in our homeschool, but never one as real, captivating, and engaging as Under Drake's Flag by Heirloom Audio Productions.
Under Drake's Flag audio CD is an audio adaptation of the book by G.A. Henty.  Although I have never personally read any of G.A. Henty's work {that I am aware of}, I was still interested in reviewing this audio CD.  That being said, I am not sure how much of the book was adapted to fit in this exciting audio CD set.

While searching for information about G.A. Henty, I found it interesting that while he wrote alike others of his time by infusing character traits in his writings he also added a unique historical spin.  G.A. Henty's adventures each take place during some period of human history.

Under Drake's Flag is an adventure set on the high seas.  Young Ned Hawkshaw embarks on a journey with the famous, Sir Famous Drake; he fends off sharks, faces fierce battles, and meets the Spanish Inquisition.  The story is full of courage, determination, and faith all while having you sit at the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next!

In this two hour Active Listening Audio Drama you'll experience the adventure for yourself; I would bet it is unlike any other audio cd you have listened to!  The audio CD set retails for $29.95 plus shipping and includes the two hour audio CD, study guide, and copy of Sir Francis Drake's prayer.  We also had the opportunity to download a much more detailed study guide in pdf format.  It is suggested for ages 6+.

Active Listening Audio Drama is a faster paced audio drama that seems to take story-telling and sound effects to a whole new level.  I was very impressed with the quality of the story and the old English accents! However, as I have briefly mentioned before that audio CDs- music and/or story- sometimes present a challenge to my ears, so not everything was audible for me to understand what was being said because of the accents and my basic laptop speakers.
I had hoped to be able to enjoy this story while driving on the road, but was unfortunately met with a broken CD player!  I think it would have captivated my buckled in passengers and let their imaginations play off the story instead of the viewing the simple everyday car-ride scenery.  We ended up playing the audio CD on my laptop during lunch time.  My 7, 3, and 1 year old sat and listened, but it was my 7 year old who enjoyed it the most.  He affectionately called it, "The Pirate Story."

We used this opportunity to just sit and listen to the story, but as I mentioned above, the audio CD set comes with an abridged version study guide in the CD pamphlet, but also a much more detailed and complete study guide can be downloaded for free.  The study guide is to enhance your child's understanding of what is happening in the story and the principles it teaches.  The study guide of the CD contains three parts for every audio "chapter":
  • Listening Well: comprehension questions relating to the story.
  • Thinking Further: questions that provoke and speculate about what is going on in the story.
  • Defining Words: vocabulary words to listen and find meanings for to aid in understanding of the story.
At the end of the study guide are three very brief Bible Studies about Godly Character, True Manhood, and Confessing Christ.  The pdf study guide also includes a book list of more books to look into about Sir Francis Drake.

The audio drama definitely sparked a real desire to get a copy of this book to read for myself, but also to incorporate G.A Henty's literature in our homeschool down the road!  Hopefully our CD player in the car will be fixed at some point; I'd love to enjoy this story on the road.  Many other Crew Members had the opportunity to listen to this "swashbuckling" adventure, too; read what they had to say!
Under Drake's Flag Reviews
Crew Disclaimer
 ©2011-2013 School Time Snippets. All rights reserved. You are free to link back to my website but all text, photos, and other content may not be reproduced without the written consent of the author.


Preschool Themes

September 02, 2014

We have taken a rather long break from any sort of tray/ activity set-up with Little Sis since we finished Tot School.  A lot of it was because I was trying to sort out what worked and what didn't, and how to be intentional with her without doing too much.  She is currently 3 1/2 and still so young, but we are transitioning from Tot School to Preschool.  However, I use the term "preschool" pretty loosely.   Actually, I don't think it will be too different from Tot School-- it's simply more of a name change.  I will continue to follow her lead and my intention during this next year of learning for her is more, "Purposeful Play"-- which I feel is what we have been doing all along, or at least trying to do.
We will read books, sing songs, and play outside.

We will discover numbers and letters with lots of hands-on, playful activities.

We will craft and explore and move.

We will Purposefully Play in our Preschool!

With that said, I've broken down our Preschool year into weekly themes with a focus on math and literacy skills, sensory play, crafts, and extra fun.  Our weekly themes are subject to change, however, here are the themes I will be organizing and gathering materials for over the next few months.  Some months I plan on incorporating a Before Five in a Row title as our weekly theme using the manual and activities I come up with as a guide.

As long as I remember to keep it simple and have fun, I think a lot of learning will be taking place!

5 Senses
Nursery Rhymes
Carnival/ Circus

Corduroy (B4FIAR)

Family/ All About Me
My Big Green Pocketbook (B4FIAR)

Angus Lost (B4FIAR)

Snowy Day (B4FIAR)

Luau/ Hawaiian
Love/ Kindness
Outer Space

Dr. Seuss

Color Wheel
Bunnies/ Easter
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear {B4FIAR}

Gardening {Flowers & Vegetables}
The Hungry Caterpillar/ Butterflies

To help me not go overboard in all my planning, I've made myself a planning sheet.  I am *hoping* this helps me to keep things simple!  During Tot School I found myself continually adding more activities to Little Sis's shelves and it just got to be a bit overwhelming.  So I set up this preschool planning sheet to focus on one "subject" a day; that day may have 1-3 activities planned.  Obviously carrying them out will depend on her interest and the mood of the day ; ) Ha!  But overall, I am thinking this sort of layout will be easier for me to maintain and keep focused.
Preschool Planning Sheet
Here's a general topical explanation of what each "subject" may work on:
Math Skills: Counting, Number Recognition, 1:1 Correspondence
Literacy: Letter and Letter Sound Recogntion, Name Recognition
Sensory Play: Something to touch and explore with one or all of the five senses
Extra Fun: Science Activity, Fine Motor Activity, Field Trip, etc!

I'll share a more in-depth weekly breakdown of our Playful Preschool Plans in an upcoming post!  Stay tuned-- hope you follow along our preschool journey with us!
 ©2011-2013 School Time Snippets. All rights reserved. You are free to link back to my website but all text, photos, and other content may not be reproduced without the written consent of the author.


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