Closer and closer to Christmas…less and less days left in 2014. Another lively week for us, but, thankfully it looks like we are finally getting a break to just be before the year winds down completely.

So what did we do?

Day 16:

We were supposed to play games, and children did on their own. The adults in this house were in a whirlwind all day. But in the evening we managed to sit down and make some presents for kids’ teachers in co-op and activities. I was lucky to pick up last glass decorations in the craft store, so we filled them with good winter-y magic: some sparkly snowflakes, some “pearls” and bits of “Christmas tree”  needles.

so pretty and simple

so pretty and simple

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The Best Season of All 2014

Every year ever since my eldest was 3 or 4 years old I try to make December a bit more festive. Originally it was a couple of crafts a week and a book here and there, but over the years it evolved into a full blown calendar for every day in December. Last year children painted little envelopes where I put little activities suggestions. This year they asked me to surprise them, so I went for and origami calendar. Boy, was it a pain to fold them all, but the kids’ reaction was absolutely worth it.

Here’s what it looks like:

all the simple shapes

all the simple shapes

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September weeks 3 and 4

Summer moved on, and fall is slowly moving in. It was pretty hot in our parts these past two weeks (upper 80s yikes) , and only now it starts to cool down a little.

So what have we been up to?

Learning at home : We are moving along with our school nicely, however I realized once again that it is simply impossible to get everything done the way I planned it. I get carried away and forget that there is plenty of time for us. D. continues to work on his violin and makes a wonderful progress.

Best memories: I asked children to quietly do origami and they made it an art activity.

C.'s storm skies

C.’s stormy sea

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Read and make: Nightlife

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April 17 was International Bat Appreciation Day. I had big plans, but in the end had to improvise due to us being terribly snowed in and unable to go to the library.

We read a couple of books on nightlife that were at home:

I love the nightlife! by Tish Rabe (Cat in the Hat series), a very nice book for a preschooler, it introduces three nocturnal animals and their good sense of sight, hearing and smell. Favorite character and rhymes make it easy to remember.

[click on image for link to Alibris]

Second book we read   Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen (published in 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Newbery Honor 2011). This is truly wonderful book of poems on night critters. each poem is accompanied by a note on an animal. Illustrations in dark, soothing colors are absolutely gorgeous .

[click on image for link to Alibris]

We watched video about bats on National Geographic kids page, we looked up images of cute and scary looking bats. Kids aww-ed at baby fox bats and laughed at some pictures, such as this one:


We did a little art project too:

First we picked up a large sheet of paper and kids drew night time background, including tree branch and grass. Then we folded some origami leaves (using this tutorial) and a couple of bats (using this video). We are a bit origami challenged as you can tell 😀  We glued leaves and bats on the picture, added an origami fox. D. then drew a snail, a hedgehog and raccoon’s behind since all of the racoons wouldn’t fit and glued them on as well. Added some tissue paper grass for additional effect. Kids asked to frame this picture and this ikea frame purchased on sale ages ago came in handy.