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As I have worn the hat of Summer School Teacher for 2 of my grandchildren this summer, I tried to do a lot of hands-on learning with them to keep things interesting! I am a big believer in whole language and integral learning. Today I am going to share a theme that was very instructional, easy to find resources for and something that my grandkids really enjoyed! Here are the parts to the lessons about Plants and Chlorophyll.
The Science Part:
This could also be called the Science, Reading and Vocabulary part. The kids had to learn vocabulary words such as Chlorophyll and Photosynthesis. We kept it pretty basic because my grandson just finished 1st grade. But they learned that almost all plants have chlorophyll and that is the chemical that gives them their green color. They learned that chlorophyll is necessary to help plants obtain energy from light. There are many online resources that will help you make this lesson as in-depth as you would like. Here is a great video that teaches photosynthesis.
The reading workbook that I was using for my grandson happened to have a selection about plants that tied in with our science lesson.
One related activity that we did was have my grandchildren help plant cantaloupe in our garden and watch them grow. As the little green sprouts came up, they knew that the sun was necessary to help them grow, as well as the water and the soil.
We also took them on a fun field trip! (It was mostly for fun, but we got some learning in there as well!) We went up to a creek area in the mountains.
We went swimming and hiking and my husband pointed out the different varieties of plant-life in the area. There were trees like the Arizona Sycamore, Cedar Trees and Cottonwood. I had my grandchildren collect leaves of all different varieties to bring home for the next part of our lesson.
Art added to the Science!
One way of studying leaves and chlorophyll is to remove the chlorophyll from the leaf. When plants stop producing chlorophyll, the green color also leaves (pun not intended) and the leaf's other pigments show, such as the red, orange and yellows seen in the Fall. There are chemical and heat methods that will remove all of the chlorophyll from a leaf and show the color it will be in the Fall. We did not use one of those methods. But, we did remove some chlorophyll from our leaves by pounding them with a hammer onto cotton fabric.
We didn't pound our leaves until the next day after our trip to the creek. Some of them were a little wilted, some had actually dried out! It was interesting to see which leaves would give off chlorophyll and which ones wouldn't. Obviously, the dry leaves didn't and we talked about why that was. Also, the green shades varied from one type of leaf to another. The pounding of leaves was loud and fun!
In my stash, I found the perfect fabric to back these leaf prints to make them into placemats. I cut them out a little larger than the white fabric so that we could make a border of the fabric on the front of the placemat, framing the leaf prints.
Sewing a simple straight stitch all around the border was a great way to begin to teach my grandchildren sewing. Even my 7 year old grandson did some of the stitching on the machine, but it made him nervous so he only did one side. My almost 9 year old granddaughter, on the other hand, loved sewing and completed 3 of the 4 placemats. (I began by demonstrating on a couple of the sides the way to hold and guide the fabric.)
The placemats came out pretty sweet, and when my granddaughter describes them to people, she tells them that they made them with chlorophyll! So, I am really happy that she can remember to say and use that word!
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We have 2 of our grandchildren with us for a large part of this summer. They are ages 7 and 9. Besides having the fun of being together with them when usually we are far apart, I am their Summer School Teacher and activity coordinator. We have a bit of a schedule that they've been very good about sticking with. The schedule includes school in the morning, swimming lessons, playing board games, cooking and crafts! There isn't a lot to go and do because of the pandemic and trying extra hard to keep them healthy. One of the skills that we are going to work on at home together while I have this captive audience is sewing.
I know that many of you have been struggling with entertaining children since school was cancelled months ago. I thought that I would share with you some ideas, aside from the basic decorative bed pillow, that you can make together with your kids. A couple of them only require scraps, so you won't even have to buy fabric or go to a store. But, if you do need fabric, here are some places to order it online:
Now, check out these tutorials to teach some sewing skills!
All of these projects will definitely require adult supervision and help, but they are projects that you can definitely enjoy together and use afterwards! I love that about them! Let me know if you give any of them a try!
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This project began when Lindsey sent me a video of her daughter and herself baking banana bread together. My SIL was doing the filming and he asked my granddaughter if she was wearing an apron. She replied, "Yes, I'm wearing Mommy's apron." I knew right then that I wanted to make an apron for her and the rest of my granddaughters. Maybe some of my grandsons, too. A couple of them enjoy cooking as well. But, so far I've only made them for the granddaughters, so that is why my post is directed to little girls.
I began by scanning Pinterest for patterns for kids, but nothing stuck out to me. Then, I looked at one of my aprons that my DIL Jessica had made me for Christmas a few years ago. Mine is made from about a yard of fabric on each side (it is totally reversible), it has a pocket on each side and it is super cute! I figured that I could use that as my starting point and just reduce the size for my grandchildren. They came out adorable if I say so myself. I have three of them finished with just 2 to go for my older girls. Those may take a little more than 1/4 yard fats if I want them to be able to wear them for any amount of time. So, for now I'm going to show you how I've done the 1/4 fat aprons. Click on the photos for instructions:
With right sides together, stitch the straps. I used one of each fabric for the waist straps. For the neck strap, I chose one of the fabrics, or I used both, one on each side. Sometimes, if your 1/4 yard was on the skimpy side, you may have to piece together the strips to make the straps. I only had to do this once, but it is doable.
Your apron square is going to be worn on the diagonal, or like a diamond shape. Before you attach the straps and pockets, decide how you want it to lay. For example, do you want the stripes to be slanted to the left or to the right. Then, pin on the straps. The waist straps should be attacked about an inch and one half form the waist corners. Baste them in place.
Press the apron flat, make sure that you press the opening to the inside, matching the seam. Then, top stitch all of the way around the apron. Fold the top flap forward and sew on a button to the front and the back to hold it in place. Sometimes I take a couple of blind stitches near the neck to hold it down even better. Iron it all very well to give crisp edges.
These aprons are very quick and easy to make and a good project to be doing while in quarantine! Fat quarters aren't as easy to find now because everyone has also been making masks, which is a great thing to be doing. Luckily, my niece was getting rid of some fabric during a move that was passed on to me! So, I have plenty of fabric to do both and the prints are so cute. Thanks Laura! My granddaughters are going to love these! (I hope)
Let me know if anyone gives this project a try. Oh, and here are the buttons for the pocket patterns. You can adjust the sizes to how big of small you wan them to be.
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When I was a young mother, I would work so hard to do everything during the holidays to help my family feel the true meaning of Christmas. I wanted them to know why we celebrated and I also wanted them to feel the magic of the season. We watched every Christmas special, we drove around and looked at lights, we did acts of service for others, we sang carols, we read about the birth of the Savior, we went and saw Santa, we put up the tree and decorated it, we got gifts for each other and had fun secrets. I baked and made candy and decorated the house like crazy. I loved it! My kids loved it! But, now that my children are all adults, it has been quite a transition to not being the one that everyone looks to to make Christmas special. I have grandchildren and their families have their own traditions that they are creating and plus other grandparents to be involved with. This year, I had decide to take a look at what really puts me in the Christmas Spirit and to concentrate on those things. Here is what I have realized about myself:
It took me a while to come up with what I could make this year. But, as you know, I have been loving the buffalo plaid decor this year and I actually had purchased a Christmas Tree from Walmart for my table. I decided that I needed more of them and wouldn't it be great to use a cinnamon stick as the trunk and a wood slice as the base. I thought how great to give a little tree with my plates of goodies! So, I whipped some up and here is how I did it:
Coordinating plaid flannel fabric
* I used the tree that I already had as a guide to make a pattern. But, I also made smaller ones and then cut out two pieces for each tree. Then, with right sides together, stitch around each tree, leaving the bottom open a few inches in the center.
* Trim the seams and points of the branches and then flip the tree right-side out.
* Stuff Fiber fill into the corners at the top of the tree. Wrap a cinnamon stick with fiber fill around the top portion and push it up through the opening at the bottom. Then, fill around it with more fiber fill, especially shoving it into the corners.
* When it is nicely stuffed, stitch the bottom closed with a whip stitich across and going around the trunk.
Tip: When choosing a cinnamon stick, try to get one with a nice round end so that it will fit neatly in a whole the size you have a drill bit for.
* Drill a hole through your wood slice and glue the cinnamon stick in it for your tree to stand.
What gets you into the Christmas Spirit? I would love to hear from you!
For more great ideas for DIY gifts, check out this post, a Zero Waste Gift Guide!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!