Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's Winter

The arctic blast blew through Georgia and brought with it freezing temperatures.  We were beginning our winter unit, and it couldn't have come at a better time...helping us experience winter in its pure form.  70 degree weather makes it hard to discuss winter. :)

So here are all things winter!


Our first night of below freezing temperatures, we set buckets of water outside to freeze overnight.  I placed a few toys in the water that they would have to "dig" out the next day.  Old Crow and I reviewed the freezing point.  When we noticed that the water had not completely frozen,  Dad reminded us that 32 degrees is the freezing point for pure water.  Impurities in the water can keep it from freezing unless at a lower temperature.  We made an educated guess that our water had some impurities.

They enjoyed feeling the ice and digging for their toys.

This also gave us the opportunity to discuss the states of matter.  We felt the ice and talked about how it was a solid.  We left the container of ice on our counter and watched it melt and turn to liquid.  After it had completely melted, we boiled it on the stove and watched the steam rise...creating our gas.
Solid, liquid, gas...all from one fun experience.

Crazy Horse and I read from an ABeka Kindergarten Science book about the different seasons.  He enjoyed playing a file folder game where he sorted various pictures and placed them in the correct season.

Sensory Activities

Our first attempt at making snow was a lot of fun for the kids...but extremely messy for me.  We made Sparkling Snow by mixing:
2 16 oz containers of corn starch
1 can shaving cream
White sparkling glitter, flakes, or confetti


Our next attempt at snow was much more life-like and MUCH cleaner!!!  We used Insta-Snow that I ordered from Amazon.  You can read more about our fun with Insta Snow here at my previous blog post.

We also made white slime from our trusty recipe that I first used back when we made green slime during our Grinch Unit.  Crazy Horse begs to make slime about every two weeks...that boy loves it!!!  
Directions for slime taken from Grinch Unit:

You mix 1 teaspoon of Borax powder with 1 cup of water.  Mix and set aside.  In a separate bowl mix a whole bottle of Elmer's glue (4 oz.) with 1/2 cup of water.  Add food coloring choice to the glue mixture (dont' add any to make white).  Mix well.  Then combine the glue mixture with Borax powder mixture.  Almost immediately the liquid will begin to form solids...perfect science lesson!  The more you knead and squeeze the more it will turn firm.  Pour out excess water and continue to squeeze!

Reading and Literature

Old Crow is currently reading Stone Fox and it is the perfect addition to our winter unit.  We enjoyed researching dog sled races to give us background knowledge for the book.  More to come on this soon! :)

We created a book basket with all of winter themed books.  We collected winter books from our house and checked out some from the library.  This basket was available so the kids could pull them to read at anytime.


We created our own snowmen art by making a white puffy paint.  We mixed equal parts glue and shaving cream.

I found that the younger two needed help in creating their snowmen.  So I created the 3 circles and then had them move the paint around until they were filled.  This gave them a template of sorts.

Once the paint dried, we pulled out our art materials and they had free reign to create their snowman.

Extra Fun

They loved pulling out the game, Don't Break the Ice, and it is a perfect addition to any winter unit.

Memphis Belle and I also enjoyed creating her snowman for her preschool class.  They sent home the snowman cutout from poster board and then each child could decorate it.  We had a lot of fun with this one.  It was her idea to cover it in the sparkly flakes that we had leftover from our sparkling snow activity. :)

Stay Warm,

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Qwirkle Fun

One of the boys received the game Qwirkle for their birthday, and it has recently become their favorite game.  They repeatedly said, "This is so much fun" and "This is the best game ever!"  They can validate the fun factor, and I think it is not too shabby as an educational game either.  It requires them to mentally strategize and offers practice in grouping by color or shape.


Along with the traditional game play, the tiles can be used for a variety of math skills.  Memphis Belle enjoyed sorting them by shape and color.

They can also be used for:
*Grouping by like attribute
*Comparison of groups
*Building Patterns
*Addition and Subtraction practice

Merry Qwirkling!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Instant Snow

For the past couple of weeks, we have been playing and creating with "winter."  Here in the South we don't get much of a winter (the arctic blast we had last week was a shocker) so the kids have enjoyed experimenting with "snowmen" and ice.  :)

Today we created snow, and it was definitely the highlight of our winter unit.  I bought a jar of Insta Snow from Amazon when I was online looking for another winter related activity.  It had great reviews so I thought I would give it a shot.

This one little can provided us with so much fun!!  A small scoop of powder and a little water...then snow began forming before our eyes.  It was even cool to the touch.  A perfect sensory activity!  It didn't take long for the kids to get their toys involved. Memphis Belle's ballerina danced in the snow and the boys acted out an avalanche with helicopter rescue. :)

It was super-easy to clean up (not at all like the sparkling snow we made earlier with corn starch...more on that later).  We can store it in a sealed container for several weeks, and tonight we are putting it in the freezer so we can have more life-like snow in the morning.

For the Classical Conversationers out there, this activity provided us with a great example of the states of matter.  We watched the liquid turn to a solid and compared the two different stages.  It also gave us the chance to practice our liquid equivalents. :)

Happy "Snow" Day,

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

CC For All Ages

I want to throw this out there:  Classical Conversations is made for all ages!
My three year old daughter is in love with the timeline songs and cards.  One day I found her in the living room with the cd playing as she flipped through our timeline cards. 

Then later she set it all up in a different area and began teaching her baby!  She is such a mini-me.

It is amazing how she is absorbing all of the information we are learning.  She hears it in the car, and she listens to us in the house.  I love to hear her sing about "Age of Ancient Empires" and "Minoans and Mycenaeans."  She randomly uses words like conjugation, 3000 BC, timeline, and 8 parts of speech.  :)  She may not know what any of that means...but one day she will be ready to learn about it and she'll already have that vocabulary in her smart, little brain.  

Along with her and the boys, I am also learning tons!  Years ago I never saw the value of knowing a history timeline or specific dates in history.  I loved hearing about history but I couldn't recall facts and dates.  Now with CC, I am learning all of those things!  It's beautiful to see how our timeline ties into our Bible studies and how our Bible studies relate to our history readings.  Everything is connected!

It all "reflects and relates back to the Creator and Sustainer of all things."  


 Diagram and quote taken from: Classical Christian Education Made Approachable