Showing posts from June, 2014

Artists Weekend by the Lake; How To Make Your Own Paint

I was so glad to see my boys finally doing some art this weekend!   We didn't have much planned and since it was so nice and sunny out we decided to just hang out down on our patio and swim.  I brought out some art supplies and the boys painted a little bit both days. On Saturday we made sweetened condensed milk paint (something Alec has been asking me to do with him for a while).  We opened a jar of condensed milk and divided it into three bowls.  We then added food coloring to each bowl until we had a color we liked. He painted a pink river dolphin playing in the river on a sunny day. Sweetened Condensed Milk Paint Alec's finished masterpiece We made Karo corn syrup paints. We mixed up clear corn syrup with some of our liquid watercolor paints to make a few vibrant colors. I then printed off some stained glass coloring pages from The Benson Street webpage and Alec sat down to happily work on coloring in a beautiful butterfly.  Pretty soon he was jo

Cousins, Cousins, Cousins: Building Family Bonds

My boys spent their Friday with their cousins-- lots of them! We started out the morning with a drive to the Rhode Island shoreline to watch my sister's two boys.  We ended up spending the whole day and the five boys had so much fun together. We walked to a nearby park, looked at the fountains, ducks, flowers, and worms. We went to the library (which was three whole floors!) and my boys were so excited to find out that their library has the same summer reading program theme as our library.  They looked at books, played on the furniture and then we walked back to my sister's.  They played with Legos, watched some new shows and learned how to play Call of Duty (I know this is quite violent and probably not at all age appropriate for my boys but they loved it and I thought.... hmm... time to start learning about wars!).  Once my sister arrived home we took all the boys to a local playground and they ran, played, jumped and got all their energy out.  We saw spiders, bugs, birds, ne

Weekly Wrap Up: The Week We Played with the Slip and Slide

I have some favorite photos from our week that I was just dying to share on the blog:  not that they are the best photos in the world or anything but because they remind me of all the times we're learning when we're really just having fun hanging out.  When we stopped at the library Wednesday night to see the animal presentation we picked up the next three books in the Secret Zoo series and Alec just hasn't been able to put his book down.  He read the whole time we walked around the grocery store to do our shopping! Ian was bored the other day and wanted to play with some of his trucks so we mixed up some sparkling cloud dough (8 cups flour, 1 cup baby oil, and lots of glitter) and he sat playing with his trucks for at least an hour.  His obsession is ongoing! He has finished 1/2 of his coloring book already and we're desperately trying to find some construction truck books that he has not yet read.  I typically count the making of the dough as science and

Learning About Local Wildlife at our Summer Reading Kickoff Party

The boys were anxious for this year's summer reading kickoff party since they had so much fun at last year's kick off event.  We knew  the same company was coming with animals again this year but this year we found out he was teaching us about animals found in our community and surrounding areas. We got to learn about new animals this time around though and the boys learned a lot about local animals.  We saw tree frogs, talked about the life cycle of a frog, toads vs. frogs, peeper frogs, and camouflage.  We learned about flying squirrels and I had no idea that they were more prevalent than gray squirrels in our area but they're nocturnal so we don't see them as often.  We talked about their skin flap, their flat tails and their coloring.  He brought his skunk "double stuff" with him.  We got see their claws and teeth up close and Alec was thrilled to FINALLY be called on to explain why their eyes are not large like a flying squirrels.  Alec w

Read, Read, Read! Summer Reading with my Boys

We had a lazy day around here since all the boys stayed up late last night.  I asked them all to do a bit of reading today for school.   I had no idea how just how much reading we would do though! In trying to keep our summer learning as fun as possible I also try to keep reading fun.  A few ways I manage to keep our summer reading fun is to: Allow the boys to choose all our books Pick books on topics that they are highly interested in Read aloud together Use picture books; even with my older boys! Read books about summer topics- vacation, the beach, ice cream, etc. Have a day or two where they only have to read; no math, no science, nothing but just reading fun. Allow them to watch movies about the books we're reading.  (Today we watched Harry Potter the Prisoner of Azkaban)  Alec was just a few chapters away from finishing up From Texas With Love and while he sat and read that I had Evan re-read three of his old books. I picked a level A, B and C for him, hoping he'd remembe

Rewarding Hard Work Using 6 Flags Read to Succeed Program

My boys love amusement parks and so we participate in Six Flag's Read to Succeed program.  This was our second year completing the required hours of reading and in doing so the boys (and me as their teacher) all earn free passes for a day to Six Flags! We use our passes as a fun rewards for a year of hard work. Today was the first day to redeem and since the weather forecast was looking so favorable we decided to go.  My husband took the day off and we had a wonderful family fun day at the park. There weren't that many people there and we had little to no lines for any of the rides, we ate tons of junk food, and met a few characters. We re-rode favorite rides from last year and checked out a few new ones. We watched a magic show (where my husband got called onto stage), went on two last rides, picked out some souvenirs and headed home to watch Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief (since we finished our book on CD today).  These two love Catworman's Whip