7.26.2010

Outer Space Week

We did this theme last summer, and it was one of my kids favorite! Here are some of the things we did last year, along with some new ideas too :)

At the beginning of the week we are going to make paper mache planets. I am really excited for this since I have never done it before. We will make them on Monday so they have a couple of days to dry before we paint them. Here is a link to directions if you are a newbie like me :) Paper Mache planets

Another craft is too get a paper plate and let the kids glue pasta and dried beans on it. Then once they have dried you cover the plate with aluminum foil and it looks like the moon with lots of craters.

Our week wouldn't be complete without a visit to the local Planetarium. Although its a little bit of a drive, its free unless you want to see the movies and the kids always have a great time there.

At one point in the week I will be making this for dessert...


You just make a chocolate cake and bake it in a glass bowl. Then you crush oreos in the frosting and add some whole ones to look like the craters.

If you have preschool age children and younger, this is a great week to learn about shapes too! I think we will make jello jigglers in the shapes of stars, crescents, circles etc to reinforce those shapes that are often seen in outer space.

The activity I am looking forward to the most is this...


You simply make a few different stamps out of potatoes and then stamp away! I got this idea from Family Fun. First you stamp in white paint and then you let it dry and stamp over it with the glow in the dark paint. We are going to make these for the kids and then they can wear them when we go to the planetarium later in the week.

We can't forget about the good old letter of the week? Any guesses? The Letter M! Click on the link to go to the direct page to print out the writing sheets.

Lastly we are going to make meteors to play with out of styrafoam balls. You just cover them with aluminum foil and then attach crepe paper as streamers. Then we can go outside and throw them around! Hope you all have a great week!!

7.25.2010

Modesty Family Home Evening

(Poster courtesty of The Friend)
I have been wanting to have a fhe on modesty for a little while now, and I figured in the middle of hot summer would be perfect. Even though my daughters are only 5 and 3, this is a subject that comes up quite a bit at our house. I know everyone is different and has different rules about this, so feel free to adjust this to your particular family. I tend to be on the strict side of modesty, but also believe in trying to teach the kids WHY we dress modestly and help them see how much better we feel when we do.

To start off the night we are going to do a fun activity. I am going to have the kids lay down on big pieces of butcher paper and I am going to trace them. After I have done that they will get markers, crayons, glitter glue and anything else they want to draw modest clothes on themselves and decorate them! After they are done decorating we are going to review this Modest Checklist from The Friend. I think this is a great resource! It reminds me of something we used in YW's to reinforce modesty. My favorite part is where it asks you to ask yourself if you would be comfortable in what you are wearing if you were with the Savior.

Then it is time for the treat! I did this for an activity in YW's and I think my girls are gonna love it! I am making sugar cookies using gingerbread girl cookie cutters. Then the girls get to decorate the cookies and make sure the girls are wearing modest outfits. Cute, right? :)

I feel like my girls already have a pretty good understanding of why we choose to dress modestly, but the older they get the more reminders they need. I hope you all have a wonderful upcoming week and don't forget to share any successes you are having with your family. I KNOW the counsel to have weekly FHE is inspired, and I would love to hear how it is blessing your family too! :)

7.20.2010

MY Passion

Photo courtesy of Cherry Tree Photography

Pretty self-explanatory, right? :)


A few years ago I remember feeling a little down on myself. I would look around at all the amazing women around me and couldn't help but feel a little bit inadequate. Not only were these women mothers, but they had hobbies, talents and passions that I didn't. They did wonderful work with charities, had their own businesses, mad athletic skills and more! The list could go on and on. I remember getting to a point where I wondered what my passions were, and feeling like I was "just" a mom.


Today I am grateful to be able to look at these beautiful faces and realize that, for me, being "just" a mom is just fine with me! I don't always have the time I want to develop new talents or hobbies, but I am passionate about my role as a wife and mother and am grateful to be able to use my talents in those capacities. I truly believe that life is full of seasons, and the season will come when I am better at juggling and can do more of those amazing things that many of you can ;)


But for now I take peace and contentment in MY passion...my family :)

7.19.2010

Pioneer/Cowboy and Cowgirl Week

This week the kids are super excited to be learning about mostly pioneers, and I'm throwing in some cowboy and cowgirl stuff too :) Check out my previous post if you are looking for a fun Family Home Evening idea to kick off the week.

For all of you locals, one thing we have done the last few years that we absolutely LOVE is to go check out all of the floats that will be in the big Days of '47 Parade this weekend. They have them stored at the Southtowne Expo Center, so today and tomorrow opening at 11 you can take the kids and see them all up close. It is a free event and gets you out of the heat for a few hours too! My kids loved it last year and I am excited to take them again.


It wouldn't really be pioneer week if you didn't talk about covered wagons, would it? :) We are going to learn all about the differnt ways pioneers traveled and make our own little covered wagons. I think we will simply cut off the bottom of cereal boxes and paint them brown. Then fold a piece of white paper over the top and cut out black circles for wheels.....VOILA! You're very own covered wagon :)


I am also excited for a fun idea I had, hopefully the kids will like it :) Later on in the week we are going on a Pioneer Trek (a walk around the neighborhood :) I am planning on doing this right before naptime. When we get home in the loft upstairs I will have hung stars I previously cut out from strings from the ceiling. Then we will pull out our blankets and "sleep under the stars" like the pioneers would have after a long day of walking.


I found about a bazillion fun cowboy ideas, but here are just a few we are going to be using. I ordered these super cute make your own cowboy hats from Oriental Trading, I know the kids will love designing their very own :)


An oldie but a goodie, the kids will be making vests out of paper bags and their own stick horses out of wrapping paper rolls and yarn. I also bought some plain white fabric and am going to let the kids design their own bandanas. Stay tuned for some very cute pictures to come :)


Lets not forget about the treats...right?? :) Now, this first idea is if your feeling a little ambitious. I made this for a YW Girls Camp activity a while back, and its not as much work as it looks....but its still kind of a lot of work :)

Adorable....isn't it?? :)

This second option is a lot simpler and if you have older children, it is a fantastic way to teach them the SAFE way to build their own fire.

Campfire Snack

Finally our letter of the week is the letter P, and here are the worksheets link if you want to do the same thing at your house. Letter P

I hope you will feel free to leave any fun activities you are doing with your children, I am always looking for more ways to enjoy the little darlings :) Have a great week and stay tuned to the blog this week....some fantastic new pics of the fam, more fun ideas, and maybe even a giveaway or two!!

7.16.2010

Pioneer Family Home Evening


I know its a little early, but I thought I would share this today in case anyone else wants to use it for this upcoming Monday :) It was pretty easy to decide to teach the kids about pioneers and the 24th of July for fhe. I have been looking forward to this family home evening for a while. I have a great love for early church history and I am excited to try and pass that love on to my children.


A few years ago while attending a family reunion for my husbands side, we were lucky enough to get a few wonderful stories of some of our ancestors and their journey to Utah. I am excited to share these stories with our children as we talk about the hardships the early pioneers faced so we could have our religous freedom and live in such a beautiful place. If you don't have stories from your own family, there are literally TONS of amazing accounts you could easily find online to share :)

I found an adorable activity online that was adapted from a 1994 Friend activity. It is a pioneer treasure hunt, and includes a free printable candy bar wrapper that you can use for your "treasure" at the end of the hunt. You simply print and cut out the pioneer fact cards and hide them in the corresponding places. The final clue will lead the children to the treasure! I am hoping to be able to find or possibly make some bonnets and aprons for the girls and a hat for Britton, they love to do anything that includes dressing up! :)


Here is the link for the activity, Pioneer Treasure Hunt. Thank you Chocolate on my Cranium for sharing such a fun activity. I am so grateful for talented, inspired people that are willing to share their ideas with the world. I hope all you fellow Utahns have a lovely 24th of July, stay tuned for some fun Pioneer/Cowboy and Cowgirl activities we will be doing all next week :)

7.11.2010

The Wise Man and the Foolish Man Family Home Evening

I know I am such a dork, but I LOVE it when I can find a great FHE that fits in with my theme for the week :) So this week we are learning and talking all about beaches, what could be any better than learning about Jesus' parable of the wise man and the foolish man? (Get it? Sand? Beach?:) I was thrilled with some of the things I found online, when I put it all together I am thinking its going to be a fantastic little family home evening.


We are going to start off by singing the fun song this whole thing is based on " The Wise Man built his house upon the rock." Then we are going to talk about when Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount, and the parable of the Wise Man and the Foolish Man. Here is a great link to a story from the friend that just summarizes it perfectly. It also includes clipart that I am planning on coloring and letting the kids use to act out while we sing the song. The Wise Man and the Foolish Man.


I got to thinking it would be fun to actually try it out and have a visual for the kids, build something on a rock and on sand, then pour water over it and see how it stands on the rock!! I love the internet, because about 5 minutes later I found this awesome site with an adorable activity all ready to go, just had to push print! I love how it has those cute tools that are either Heavenly Father's or Satans, and homes you can actually put on a rock and sand! Activity
I look forward to the opportunity to teach my children about the importance of basing our actions and our testimonies on a solid foundation, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Finally, I am a strong believer in a great snack for FHE!! I love this cake and couldn't wait to put it to use with beach week. I just thought it would be perfect for our family home evening.

All you do is bake any flavor cake in a round pan. Then you cut it into slices and layer it in a new sand bucket with pudding (YUMM!) Then you finish it off with crushed cookies for the sand and stick in a new shovel to scoop it out with. Thank you Family Fun for this great idea!!

I hope these may be useful to someone else as well! I have a very strong testimony about the power of being obedient to the counsel to hold regular family home evenings. Especially now, as we have not been very faithful in doing so! I miss the Spirit we had in our home, and the opportunity my husband and I had weekly to bear our testimonies to our children. I hope you will share some of your success stories as I continue to post some of my favorite FHE ideas, I think we all need to stay encouraged and motivated to do these things for our families :)

It's about time!!


Well we have officially been out of our house for over a month now....man, what a roller coaster!! Its not over yet, but I have decided to help my kids feel as normal as possible I need to get back to doing the kinds of things I love, which especially includes having weekly family home evenings with the kids and using a weekly theme to do some fun activities with the kiddos :) Oh, how I have missed it! I usually post all this stuff on my other blog, Fun at Home, but in an effort at simplifying I think I will post it right here :)


We spent the 4th of July weekend up at Bear Lake and had an amazing time! The only thing the kids were a little bummed about was that it was too cold to spend much time at the beach. I got a bunch of fun things to do there and we didn't get to do any of it! So I decided to use some of the ideas we did last year and have our theme this week be the "Beach!"


Our first craft is to decorate sun visors to wear when we go to the beach (the little artificial one in Herriman ;) I got a pack of 3 foam visors for a buck from the dollar store, along with a package of summer stickers and glitter glue.


Another thing that we did last year that the kids loved was to make a little "beach-in-a-jar". We were able to collect some tiny sea shells from the beach so we will put those, some sand, pebbles, grass (to simulate seaweed) into a jar and spray paint the lid gold. The kids LOVE shaking them up and seeing what they can find. I think I will also throw in some ocean life buttons to spice it up a little :)


A really fun treat idea that I found on Preschool Express is to make beach cups. You simply make vanilla pudding and use a little food coloring to turn it blue. Then you crush up Nilla wafers to look like sand and throw in some gummy fish and sharks. The kids LOVE it :)


I think these crafts will give us a great start to our Beach Week!! If you are so inclined I hope you will join us in doing some fun things with your kiddos this week. And also, if you're like me its always nice to throw a little education in with all the fun. I usually try to have a letter of the week that we focus on, and if nothing else I simply to to DLTK Kids and at least print out the writing sheet for that weeks letter. Then I know the girls are practicing their handwriting and becoming more familiar with the letter. Here is the direct link for this weeks letter....B!


I also like to have a family home evening every monday that I try to somehow fit into our theme for the week (sometimes its really a strech!:) I will post this weeks fhe in a seperate post so its easier to label, its gonna be a good one! Hope your all having a fantastic week!!