Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to Make a Leprechaun Trap

This post is a little late because I've been having some health issues that just haven't left me feeling up to blogging very much. But better late than never, right? This year, Avlyn and I made a leprechaun trap. There was a photo of something similar in Family Fun magazine, so I just winged it for our project. The idea is to create a trap that will entice a leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day eve. But we all know that leprechauns are tricky little buggers, so it's almost impossible to catch one. But you also need to understand that my daughter believes 100% that she will catch one eventually, and there's no telling her they're just a make-believe creature.

We started by cleaning out a bread crumbs container. Then she decorated a piece of green construction paper. I used hot glue to wrap and attach the piece of construction paper to the container. You could use regular glue, but it will take longer to dry.

Then she stuffed some gold tissue paper down inside to "trick" the leprechaun into thinking that the container was filled with gold, because we all know what leprechauns love - GOLD! After attaching the paper to the container, she added green and gold stick on gems and yellow flowers picked from our forsythia bush.

While she was busy doing that, I created a ladder for the leprechaun to use to climb up into our container for the fake gold. I just cut small tree branches to size and hot glued the pieces together. Then I added some yellow forsythia flowers. We then created a sign to attract the leprechaun by advertising our leprechaun gold.

It took her a while to find just the right spot in our home for the leprechaun trap. After she did, we added some baby gummi bears because we heard leprechauns have a sweet tooth. When we woke up the next morning, our trap was sans leprechaun but the gummi bears were gone and he had dropped some Skittles behind-----because you know they like to taste the rainbow ;)

I hope you like this craft and have fun making one of your own next St. Patrick's Day. Happy homeschooling.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Kindergarten Dinosaur Activities

There are a ton of dinosaur activities available for homeschooling but too much can be a little bit of overkill on the theme, so we just stuck with doing a couple of dinosaur activities. We started by reading lots and lots of books. Most libraries will have a large selection of dinosaur books, and that's where we found all sorts of stories. Some were fun stories like "Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime," while others were more educational books that described the dinosaurs, what they ate, and how they lived. Just visit your local library and see what they have available.

While reading, we talked about how some dinosaurs were plant eaters and some were meat eaters. We learned how to tell the difference between the two and played a little game called, "What Would They Eat?" where we went through the books and guessed what they may have eaten and why we thought that.

Then we talked about fossils and how paleontologists look for fossils and bones to help recreate dinosaurs and the environment that existed when they were alive. To reinforce this idea, I purchased a dinosaur egg from the dollar store. This is a rock like egg that comes with a brush and stick for breaking the rock away and finding the dinosaur bones that are buried inside. You then have to put your dinosaur together using the joints of the pieces. Unfortunately, our plastic eating dinosaur puppy (ironically named Bones,) ate our little dinosaur before we could take a picture of him all put together.

After being paleontologists for the day, we decided to create a brontosaurus from paper plates, an idea I got from the book Paper Plate Crafts.

Basically you fold a couple of paper plates in half, making sure the bottom is flat and rectangular. Next, staple the top together leaving the sides open for the head and tail. Then, using another paper plate, cut a long arch shape for the head and a long pointier shape for the tail. Staple these pieces to the inside of the plate on each end. Now color or paint it, and you have a brontosaurus. The original directions called for legs, but we could never get ours to really stand up on them, so we just left the bottom flat. And this is what we did when we spent 3 days on dinosaurs.