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Thursday, September 3, 2015

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Awesome Owl Rolls & Box Tops for Education!

Owls are always a favorite topic here, and my kids were beyond delighted when they saw that we were having owl rolls for lunch!  As an added bonus, we made them with our Box Tops for Education biscuits!!



These adorable owls were super easy to make!  After I made the first set, the kids saw them and wanted to help make another set.  We had tons of fun putting them together...and eating them!

To make your own little owls, you will need four ingredients:

* PillsburyTM Grands!TM Flaky Layers Biscuits
* ham
* carrots
* mini chocolate chips

To put your owl rolls together, follow these six steps:

1- Cook the biscuits according to the package directions.  Ours only took 14 minutes!



2- Cut the biscuits in half.  Leave the bottom half alone.



3- Use the top half to cut out wings and eyes.  I cut the wings with a knife and used a 1/2 Tablespoon measuring spoon to cut the eyes by pressing the spoon into the roll until it cut the roll.


4-  Use a glass cup to cut a circle out of the ham.  Use about 1/4 of the ring around the edge for feathers.  Cut a few feathers in the ham.


5-  Assemble your owl!  Place the ham on top of the bottom roll.  Add the eyes, feathers, and wings.  Cut a beak from a carrot and press mini chocolate chips into the eyes for pupils!


6-  Serve up your delicious little owls for lunch or a snack!!



Aren't they adorable!  They would work great with a fall theme, an owl theme, a bird theme, or just for fun!



I was even more excited than normal to make these little owls because we used our Walmart Bonus Box Tops Pillsbury Biscuits!



Only Walmart has specially marked bonus box tops where each box top counts as five normal box tops!  Look for the "5 Box Tops" label to find participating products, including these biscuits, Totino'sTM Pizza Roll Snacks, Betty CrockerTM Specialty Potatoes, FiberOneTM Chewy Bars, CheeriosTM, and many, many more!  Learn more about the Box Tops for Education program at Walmart HERE!

Then remember to send the box tops to school with your kiddos, or your friends' kiddos, so the school can cash them in for money to buy supplies and equipment!  As a former teacher, I love any program that puts more money in the hands of educators.  I feel like anything that helps our public schools out helps our communities!  And, as I mentioned in my last post for Box Tops for Education, a lot of homeschoolers work with schools that are also part of the Box Tops program!

Are you new to Box Tops for Education, or have you used the program before?  I'd love to know!  And if you make our little owls, I'd love to see a picture!!



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.



I may share at any of these parties!



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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

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Tree Leaf Collection with {FREE} Leaf Identification Cards!

One of my favorite things do when we talk about trees, leaves, or collections is to make a leaf collection with my kids and/or students!



Trees and leaves are generally easy to get to and easy to create into a leaf collection.  Plus, kids love creating their own collection and sharing it with anyone who will listen!

Here's the easy How To:

1- Collect your leaves!  What a fun field trip!  



We had a couple works of art created during our collection too!



As you collect, remember to collect the whole leaf...a compound leaf is made up of several smaller "leaflets." You want to make sure you're grabbing a whole leaf, and not just one leaflet!  See this diagram on a walnut leaf:



2- Identify your leaves!  This is easiest to do as you're collecting.  You can label the leaves in baggies, make a list on paper, or find another way of remembering the name of each leaf.  Identifying it as you collect it is easier because the tree shape, flowers, and bark can help you figure out what it is.  I'm also including a {FREE} set of leaf identification cards at the bottom of this post, but there are only ten cards and a lot more than ten trees in the world!



3- Secure your leaves to a piece of paper.  If you want to the collection to last for years, use acid-free paper and packing tape to secure the leaf to the paper.  My favorite is acid-free cardstock (there's an affiliate link at the bottom of this post).  You can hole punch the pages and put them in a binder or slide each page into a sheet protector for extra safety!  Smaller collections can also be made on index cards!

4- Add label details!  Older children can add lots of details like the common name, scientific name, date, and location the leaf was collected.  Younger children may be happy with just a name and date. Use your best judgement to decide what's most appropriate for your kiddos!




That's it!  Your very own Leaf Collection is done!  You can always add to it, but it is wonderful to have even just a few leaves to share.  The collection is even more exciting if you learn a few fun facts about the trees in it!  Super easy, but so much fun and educational value!

And, as I mentioned above, I'm sharing a set of {FREE} Leaf Identification Cards today!  I tried to include ten fairly common trees in the United States.  You can use the cards in a scavenger hunt (how many of the trees are on your block?), memory games, matching games, coloring activities, and much more!  I'd love to see how you use them--feel free to send me an email or stop by our Facebook page!


Click HERE to get a {FREE} set of Leaf Identification Cards!!

This year I'm joining a fantastic team of bloggers to share activities that are appropriate for 2nd graders!  Once a week, this team will bring you fun, interactive, hands-on activities and printables that are perfect for this age group!  Mine will also all be easy to adapt for kiddos from PreK - 3rd grade, since those are the ages I work with!  This week the team is bringing you loads of "Leaf" ideas!  Check them out:

Tree Leaf Collection with {FREE} Leaf ID Cards from Preschool Powol Packets
  Leaves Math: Even and Odd for Second Grade from Look! We're Learning
  Place Value Leaves: Read and Write from Rainy Day Mum
  Fall Themed Math Bump Games from School Time Snippets
  Subtracting with Ten-Frames: Leaf Theme from Life Over C's
  Sensory (or acrostic) poems from Planet Smarty Pants
  Autumn Leaves Mini-Reports from Still Playing School
  Owl Leaf Art from Crafty Kids at Home
  Colorful Leaves Fall Craft for "MY LEAF BOOK" from Sallie Borrink Learning
  Fall Leaf Fine Motor Craft from Sugar Aunts



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Cheerio Bird Feeders & Box Tops for Education!

All ages (preschoolers, toddlers, and older kids) love making these Cheerio Bird Feeders!  What makes them even better is how they can help your local schools too!



These bird feeders are super easy to make too!  All you need are CheeriosTM and pipe cleaners!  I considered using string, but decided to use the pipe cleaners instead so our 2-year old could participate.  And it worked out great!  She was able to manipulate them while my preschoolers and older kids focused on their designs.



To make your own Cheerio Bird Feeder, simply string Cheerios onto the pipe cleaner.  Leave a little extra room at each end of the pipe cleaner so you can twist together two or more.  For our youngest, I twisted one end of the pipe cleaner around a Cheerio so the other Cheerios did not all fall off.  Once you have strung two or more pipe cleaners with Cheerios, twist the ends together to make your own design.  Just make sure the Cheerios don't fall off!




Your children can create any design they want!



Our kiddos also wanted to make Cheerio bracelets!



Then take your bird feeder outside and hang it somewhere where you can watch for birds or other animals!


We might have been dressed like pirates when we made our Cheerio Bird Feeders!




Are you wondering how this fun little Cheerio Bird Feeder can help your local school?  It's easy!  See the Box Tops for Education label across the front of the Cheerios box?


The box top label at the top of the box represents 10 cents for your school--you just clip it and send it to school with your kiddos!  And the labels that say "5 box tops" like those Cheerio boxes above--they count as 5 box tops for your school!  (The Bonus Box Tops are only at Walmart.)  It's such a simple way to give back to your community.  And if you're homeschooling, you can still use the box tops!  A lot of homeschoolers are part of umbrella schools that use the Box Tops program.  We worked with one of these schools last year, and they used the Box Tops for Education money for scholarships!  If you're not affiliated with any of these schools, you can always put the clipped box tops in a zip lock baggie and give them to one of your neighborhood friends to take to school.  As a former teacher, I can tell you that every teacher I have ever known spends their own money to help their schools and students.  Any extra money you can help bring in to the school only blesses the school and community you live in!

And, it's a great way to make shopping more fun!  My kids had a blast hunting through Walmart for their favorite box top cereals in the cereal row, and kept acting like they'd won a prize whenever they found the "5 box tops" on a cereal we like!  They also love granola bars!



But the box tops program isn't just in the cereal row!  We also found box tops labels when we got taco supplies, tortillas, other snacks, and more!



You can even find box tops labels in the yogurt, zip-lock baggies, and toilet paper sections!  Here are the Box Top foods we picked up on our last trip to Walmart:




Be sure to come back tomorrow to see another fun way we used our box top goodies!!

Are you a box tops collector?  Do you send them with your own kids, or someone else's?  And have you ever made a Cheerio Bird Feeder?  I'd love to see a picture of it!!




This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.




I may share at any of these parties!



Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!





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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

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Wild Things Scented Monster Play Dough!

Wild Things Scented Monster Play Dough is a fun sensory, fine motor, and creative experience!



Plus, it's the perfect way to use your slightly older play dough...you know the one: the batch where the colors are all starting to mix together a bit!

We made our Wild Things Scented Monster Play Dough to go with one of my all-time favorite books (and the theme for this month's Virtual Book Club!): Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak:


Amazon Affiliate Link:




I have loved this book since I was about six, and I introduced it to my kiddos several years ago.  It has now become a household favorite!  We decided to make scented monster play dough "wild things," and I cannot tell you how fun it was to watch everyone's little monsters and wild things come alive!

All my children, from two to eight years old, were super excited when they saw the supplies displayed in the middle of the table:



They quickly got to work creating their own little monster wild things!  It always amazes me how children know exactly what to do with the supplies for an open ended craft activity!



To set up your own Wild Things Scented Monster Play Dough activity, you will need these

Simple Supplies:

* play dough (used dough with the colors a little mixed works great!)
* essential oils (for scenting the play dough...optional!)
* eyes (monsters need to see!)
* other "wild thing" accessories (We used feathers, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, yarn, and toothy smiles)

Accessory Notes:

1- To make the toothy smiles, I just drew on a piece of egg carton and cut out a flap so the kids could insert the toothy smile into their play dough better:


2- We used feathers from CraftProjectIdeas.com.  I cut the feathers, pipe cleaners, and yarn to about three inches long.


Easy How To:

1- If you're scenting your play dough, add a couple drops of essential oil to the play dough and knead it in.  Brain research is showing that smells are tied to memories, so using sensory activities that include smell can actually help form memories!

2- Arrange all the supplies so that your kiddos can reach them easily.  I love these round trays, but you can just set them all in the middle of the table too!



3- Let your children get busy creating!






They will let you know when they are done!  I love how different each wild thing monster turned out, and yet I think they are all still super adorable!  Some of them even stand up!!







I am sharing this activity as a host for September's Virtual Book Club for kids!  I really hope you join with us each month in this easy way to celebrate and enjoy literacy with your little ones!  Each month the hosts will bring you more than a dozen activities related to one amazing book.  This month, the book is Where the Wild Things Are!


You can read more about the Virtual Book Club here, and join in the fun on the Virtual Book Club Facebook Page here!  Also, be sure to check out all the Where the Wild Things Are themed activities this month:


Name Crown Craft by The Pleasantest Thing (name activities)

Where the Wild Things Are Counting Game by Mom Inspired Life (counting activities)

Wild Things Scented Monster Play Dough! by The Preschool Powol Packets  (sensory activities)

Where the Wilds Things Are Sand Tray from Study at Home Mama (sensory activities)

Where the Wild Things Are Treats by I Can Teach My Child (cooking)

Where the Wild Things Are Monster Glyphs by Inspiration Laboratories (science activities)

Where the wild things are - Mapping our Backyard Habitats by Rainy Day Mum (science activities)


Where the Wild Things Are Color Tree Game by The Educators' Spin On It (color activities)

Where the Wild Things Are Action Word Rumpus by Growing Book by Book (movement activity)

Where the Wild Things Are Gross Motor by 3 Dinosaurs (movement activity)

Make a Wild Thing Shape Craft by Still Playing School (shape activities)

Sailboat Tangrams by Mama Miss (shape activities)


Have you shared Where the Wild Things Are with your kiddos?  Do they love it?  Have you done any activities with it?  I'd love to hear from you!!



Amazon Affiliate Links:




Disclosure: CraftProjectIdeas.com provided the feathers to us.  No other compensation was provided and all ideas and opinions are 100% mine!  I only recommend products I love!
  



I may share at any of these parties!



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