Making Jupiter


Liquid starch
watered down acrylic paints in orange and red (and yellow...)
white paper cut in circles
pie plate

Step 1:
Pour enough starch in the pie plate to cover the bottom. Drop the paint in to the starch in a random pattern.

Step 2:
Add "wind" to swirl the colors

Step 3:
Gently place the paper circles into the painted starch and let sit about 30 seconds.
Place somewhere safe to dry (they can stick to the surface so make sure you move them every now and then as they dry to avoid that. Once dry you can place them under a heavy book to flatten out.)

And then you have...


( I did computer edit the background completely out on the pictures....but we glued the planets into black paper frames once they were dry and flat.)


Today I turn 30.

And no I am not crying.

I have spent the better part of the past 10 years, or more, feeling older than I was.

So, 30 fits me fine.

And did you know today is also National Cheesecake Day? My calendar- and my son- say so. He also says that it means we need to make a cheesecake today- for my birthday cake. Not sure if that will get done though.



Last night we went fishing. We had a pretty good catch- Paul and I caught 9 each, Rylan caught 8, Cale 5...Lakin was the official bait hander-outer and Cohen....well he played on the playground. But somewhere near when we getting ready to leave Rylan started dangling his pole in the rocky, shallow area. And pulled out this:

It was tiny- maybe 4 inches long. Quick too. But Paul caught it for them to look at before it ran for the water. For the next 45 minutes Rylan and Cale tried to catch another. They fed one quite a bit of bread and hotdogs, but he never clamped on enough to pull completely out of the water.


He hooked one. Really hooked it. At first we thought we were going to have to cut the line, since none of us were really willing to stick our fingers near the jaws of a snapping turtle, but after a little shaking the hook came loose and he fell off.

This one was a bit bigger. Maybe the size of my hand. I think they might have found a new pastime. It was so much more exciting than the time Cohen pulled out a bullfrog.


Aliens and Water

We started out by painting backgrounds- the alien planet and surrounding space....

While those were drying we made symmetrical aliens.... by cutting half an alien shape on the fold of a paper. This was frustrating to some and easy for others.

Then we decorated...

Using oil pastels, pom-poms, LOTS of googly eyes and other various craft items

Then the aliens went home to their planets. In our group of 11 we got many different types of aliens- from big blobs to small and intricate.

Then on to water experiments. Where they discussed displacement, buoyancy and density.

At least I think they did...I was busy with the toddlers finding random items throughout the house to float and sink and making puddles on the table.

The bulk of the experiment time was spent using clay and trying to form a boat that would float. Once they perfected their designs, they went in search of passengers. From little dinosaurs to teddy bear counters to Lego men....

See ya!


Astronomy Week 3

This week we started in on the planets. Starting with an introduction and an activity using different sized balls, marbles, etc to demonstrate the difference in size between the planets. There is a series of books by Seymour Simon on the solar system and most of the planets which are very good.

We started with Mercury and played around with making craters, since Mercury has many due to the fact that it has no atmosphere.

We started by mixing flour and water until a pretty soft consistency. Not runny, but not a dough either. Then to cut down on the stickiness I sprinkled flour on top of that. Then they gathered 3 different sized balls- a marble and a small and large bouncy ball.

They dropped them from down low, up high and from standing. They threw them from the various levels too. Rylan measured the width after each crater was made.

This one was the large ball, thrown as hard as possible. It was the widest if you counted the rings that appeared from the impact.

Today we talked about Venus. We didn't have an activity to go along with it, but we had a pretty good discussion about why it is so hot and the greenhouse effect.

Our art project this week, while not really part of our Astronomy unit, was space themed.This one was inspired by Deep Space Sparkle again, though I did change the procedure a bit.

Start by drawing a space shuttle. I did this step by step on the white board and helped Lakin draw his, at his request. Once you've got all the parts drawn, trace them in black oil pastel.Then color in the shuttle however you want.

Once the shuttles are done get out your red, orange and yellow paints. And paint the background one color and add the other colors to show the ignition flames coming from the bottom of the shuttle.





And we ended the day by watching online videos of the Discovery, Atlantis and Challenger launches.


Rocket and Space Collage

This week's art project came from Deep Space Sparkle. Since we are studying space, I chose a project that goes along with that theme. Step one was to create the rocket. We used cut up cereal boxes for the rocket body. One large rectangle and a triangle to form the body and various shapes for the window, boosters, wings, etc... Glue all pieces together and set them aside to dry.

Next is to make the background.

Start by drawing 4-5 planets in oil pastels on a piece of paper. Once the planets are filled in completely. Get out your black paint and paint any white space black. We used tempera paint cakes.

Once the black is dry, or dry enough, dab on 'star' with silver paint. We used acrylic silver and used the wrong end of the paint brush to dab them on.

By now your rocket should be dry, so set the background off to dry and get out more paints and brushes and paint your rocket. Again, we used tempera paint cakes.

Then all that's left is to glue the rocket onto the background...





Week 2....

In pictures.....

Music class with friends

In astronomy we talked about constellations...

And properties of the sun....

Then we painted it.

We went fishing and swimming with friends.

And made a rocket and space collage....which I will post in more depth about in a minute.



The First Week of School

We started school this past Monday. It went relatively well, considering they were up really late Sunday night watching fireworks. And we had to get up early on Tuesday to go blueberry picking. I've changed how we are doing a few things this year and I've added a few things to my schedule that always seem to be pushed aside. And now that the first week is done, I can tell a few more things I want/need to change for next week.

This year we are doing science 3 times a week and will be studying Earth Sciences. Starting with Astronomy. This week we covered the beginning/expansion of the Universe; galaxies and stars. Each day we read then do some sort of activity. The only one I got pictures of was our galaxy mobile.

Which turned out very pretty and is hanging from the playroom ceiling.

We are having a weekly music lesson- this is one of those pushed aside things. Starting with learning how to play the recorder. I am realistic and only really expect Cale and Rylan to learn how to play. I am hoping Cohen picks up as much as he can. And I am hoping to keep Lakin from blowing too loudly while I try to teach the others the notes. They practiced again today and Rylan and Cohen helped Lakin get his fingers right and he actually did quite well going from B to A.

We also relaxed a bit....or at least some of us did....

Another subject pushed aside? Art. So it is now written for every Friday in my planner. Today's lesson was symmetry. We discussed what it is, how to find it, what objects in their lives have symmetry. Then we drew butterflies....attempting to be symmetrical in the patterns on the wings...Some were better at that concept than others....

Cohen's butterfly

Rylan's butterfly

Cale's butterfly

Another big thing- swimming. We were up in Townsend at the pool twice this week....and the item that has been on my summer goal list for about 4 years now has been accomplished:

Rylan swimming.