Archive for the ‘Seasonal Activities’ Category

Make Your Own Nest

Monday, March 21st, 2016

make-your-own-nest

When you are learning about birds in the spring, a fun activity you can do with your kids is to make your own nest. Your kids can “fly” around the yard as if they were birds, searching for materials from which to build their nest.

You want to start with a base, or a place to build your nest. You can grab one of those pottery dishes that go under a large potted plant. Or grab a tray from your kitchen. Or you can just build your nest on the ground or in a tree.

nest

Materials you can gather to make your own nest:

  • twigs and sticks
  • dead leaves
  • moss and lichen
  • wheat stalks
  • dead grass
  • bark from trees
  • dead weeds
  • fluff from flowers
  • wet mud

How to put together your nest:

You will want to mix some dirt and water to create your glue. Birds sometimes use spider webs or other sticky plants to keep their nest together instead of mud, but many birds use mud.

Start arranging your dry grass, leaves, pine needles, twigs and other debris into a nest shape. Use the mud to glue it all together. Make it nice and soft by adding moss and fluff to line the inside of the nest.

Now you can place some oval-shaped rocks into the nest to make it look like a bird laid eggs there.

More bird activities for a bird unit study:

I hope you enjoyed putting together your own nest. For more hands-on learning ideas, join the Unit Study Treasure Vault.

Tea Party in a Bag

Monday, January 4th, 2016

tea-party-in-a-bag

When my daughter was in the hospital for her spinal surgery last year, someone gave her a gift of a “Tea Party in a Bag.” I thought this idea was wonderful! The woman from my mom’s church placed some delicious tea party snacks and dishes into a cloth bag. Whenever my daughter wanted a tea party, all she would have to do is open the bag and set out the dishes and treats!

We did need to heat up some water for the tea, but that’s pretty easy to do. You will want to make sure to include an assortment of tea bags to choose from, if you are wanting to assemble your own “Tea Party in a Bag.”

The dishes can be toy dishes or real teacups and a teapot. Since I had real dishes, we used the toy dishes from the bag as decorations for the table. If you want to get real teapots and teacups, you can buy them in second hand shops or yard sales inexpensively.

tea-party-gifts

You might want to include a lace tablecloth or other table covering, but this is optional. You might also want to include pretty decorations, like the cloth flowers that were included in our package.

Make sure the tea party treats are in sealed containers or bags. That way if the girl wants to wait for a month or two before having the tea party, the treats will not be stale. Store-bought cookies, cakes, miniature pies, or nuts would all be appropriate for inclusion in your tea party bag.

tea-party

My daughter invited a friend over, and we had a fun time with our tea party. This was a blessing to me as a mom because I was so exhausted from having stayed up all night at the hospital for several days, and I loved having an easy activity that required nothing from me but the heating up of water. A great gift!

Boat Birthday Party

Monday, June 29th, 2015

boat-birthday

A boat birthday is perfect for the summer! What better excuse to spend some time on a nearby lake? Last weekend we celebrated my son’s birthday by giving him a boat birthday party. If you have friends who own a boat, it doesn’t have to cost you any money. If you don’t have friends who own a boat, you will need to save up to rent a motor boat. But it’s an experience that your family will never forget!

boat-party-invitation

How to Make a Boat Party Invitation

I made the boat invitations by using some origami paper and folding it into a boat. ThenĀ  I stabbed a wooden skewer in through the bottom of the boat, and I taped it in place. Then I printed out the information for the party, and I cut it out in a sail shape and stabbed the skewer through the sail. Finally, I added a tiny flag at the top, taping it in place.

lake-cupcakes

How to Make Lake Cupcakes

Bake some cupcakes and frost them with blue frosting. You will need to stir blue food coloring into white frosting. With a knife, make little waves on top of the blue frosting “water.” Super easy!

You will want to make cupcakes rather than cake if you are planning to eat it on the boat. Make sure to place the cupcakes into a container and put them on ice in a cooler so that they do not melt on a hot summer day in the boat.

boating

Enjoy a day of boating. Often the best gifts are experiences.

My daughter had never been on a boat, so it was super exciting for her. We borrowed a large innertube from a friend and attached it to the boat. The kids loved taking turns being pulled on the innertube by the boat!

boating-party

Okay, maybe the children weren’t the only ones enjoying the boat birthday party!

lake-12

Make Your Own Miniature Treehouse

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

miniature-treehouse

Making a miniature treehouse with your kids can be super fun, especially if you are reading Swiss Family Robinson as a read-aloud! Or it can be a fun open-ended toy for your children instead of an ordinary doll house. I’ve always been fascinated by treehouses, so this was a fun experience for my sister and I to make.

Supplies for Building a Miniature Tree House

You will want to gather some materials before you begin:

  • wooden base
  • brown stain or paint
  • real or fake branch
  • silk leaves
  • string
  • bits of wood
  • a drill
  • hot glue
  • wire cutter
  • scissors
  • pebbles
  • toilet paper tube
  • orange or red feather for fire
  • necklace chain
  • fake leather
  • lace

How to Make your Own Miniature Treehouse

miniature-treehouse-2Step 1: Start with the base. Get a wooden base at a craft supply store, or cut a base from a piece of wood. Stain the wood dark brown or paint it. Drill a hole in the back center, and insert the branch into the hole. Hot glue the branch in place, and hot glue the silk leaves into place.

Step 2: Decide how many levels you want in your treehouse. Stain or paint the wood after cutting it into the shape you want. I already had wood scraps, and I used what I already had. Hot glue the levels onto the tree. If you need a pole to keep the level up, you can hot glue a pole to the top and bottom, stabilizing the level.

Step 3: I made a bench swing on one level. I hot glued red fake leather to some wood and glued two pieces of wood together. We drilled four holes on the bottom of the bench swing, and I stuffed a chain necklace through the holes. You can use a wire cutter. Attach each chain to a branch of the tree.

miniature-treehouse-3Step 4: On the top level of the treehouse, I hot glued some walls on three sides. Then I made a hammock out of lace. I sewed two pieces of lace together and ironed down the edges to make it look more authentic. I sewed the string to the lace and hot glued it to the walls of the tree house.

Step 5: My sister made a rope ladder by drilling holes in the two sides of small pieces of wood and threading a string through them. We attached the rope ladder to the upper level of the treehouse.

Step 6: Hot glue small pieces of wood to the trunk of the tree, like steps leading up to the first level. Super easy!

Step 7: Make a picnic table by hot gluing pieces of wood together until you have a structure resembling a picnic table.

miniature-treehouse-4Step 8: Make a fireplace by opening a toilet paper roll with scissors. Put hot glue onto the open toilet paper roll and quickly dump lots of small pebbles on it. Lift up the toilet paper roll and see where you need to add pebbles. Hot glue any pebbles down.

Step 9: Get some twigs to use for logs and assemble them to look like a bonfire. Hot glue an orange or red feather to it for the flames.

You have now completed your miniature treehouse. Isn’t it cute?