The Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Garden Statue

When we went to an eye doctor appointment in Springfield, we stopped by the Botanical Gardens even though it was fall. I was interested in seeing what they have so we could make appropriate plans for returning. We saw a fun play sculpture that depicted the life cycle of a butterfly:

Life Cycle Sculpture

The kids liked it, too. :)

 

Felt Friday: Brown Bag Lunches

Felt Sack Lunch

I fell in love with these as soon as I saw them on Skip To My Lou. I even bought the pattern since it is sometimes easier not re-invent the wheel.

Felt Sack

I made the bags – which were so cute. I started happily sewing away on the lettuce, tomato, and the cheese when I realized that they were WAY to big to fit in the bag. That disappointed me, so I decided to create my own pieces. (I saved the already completed pieces for another project which I will share soon!) This is what we ended up with – and the bags are used for so much more than just this lunch. It is not unusual to find it completely loaded up with all kinds of felt food. ;)

Felt Sandwich

 

We have 2 pieces of bread, cheese, bologna, mustard squiggle, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. Aren’t they cute?

Pickles Up Close

I actually made these sitting in the dentist office during one of Mr. Bug’s visits. I had them cut out already, so I threw them in a small Ziploc bag along with scissors, needle and thread. The dental assistant thought I was a little strange, but I hate sitting around not doing anything.

Lunch Sack Chips

You gotta have some salt in your lunch bag, right?

Swiss Cake Roll

And sugar, too!  ;)

Our New Nature Study Table

When we created our new school room, I decided I really wanted to have the room to have a nature study table – a dedicated place for all the treasures that accumulate on nature walks if I’m not carefully observant. ;)

We had an open space under the window that was perfect for a nature area, so I built a bookcase to fit under the window. 

Front of the Nature Study Table/Bookcase

This is the view from the window – and we have added 4 various types of bird feeders, a bird bath, and are working on adding in inviting foliage for the birds and animals.  We had a downy woodpecker drinking out of our hummingbird feeder last summer. Then he made us all jump when he landed on the metal pieces in the window and preceded to walk all over the window while we were sitting there. So cool!

Nature Study Table View

The really fun thing about the table is that we can group things together and use our guides to identify them. 

Nature Study Trees

Nature Study Birds

Nature Study Table Geology

This has proven to be a valuable tool in our school. The kids like to study and look at the items over and over. When it is time to move on, I can switch out various items too. I keep a box that stores things that are interesting and not something we see every time we walk out the door…the turtle shell our dog dug up, the large feathers Mr. Bug found one day at work, the bird nest with the egg shells in it that blew out of our tree, the butterflies, etc. Each time we re-visit these items, we learn something new because we have changed and grown.

And isn’t that the point?

African Masks Art Project

2013 African Masks

We have enjoyed many projects from the Usborne Art Treasury, so I was a little surprised that this one was a bit harder for us to get into. I think it was the lack of ideas for the design. If you do this one, have the kids sketch out a few designs on paper before starting the cardboard.

Here are our supplies:

2013 African Masks 2

Everyone busy at work:

2013 African Masks 3

The completed projects:

2013 African Masks 6 Completed Projects

Nature Thursday: Bee On A Passion Flower

I’ve been going through the pictures I intended to post along the way in the last year – gulp! Yep – I’m way behind! Anyway, sitting in a cozy room with snow everywhere outside made me appreciate the memories of last summer. This bee sat on this flower for almost 24 hours. These particular bees LOVE the passion flower plant. It smells really good, but we tend to stay back a bit because it is a busy, buzzing place, and as you can tell, the bees are not always easily seen. That can be dangerous! ;)

Bee in Passion Flower

Felt Friday: American Girl Doll-size Food

American Girl Doll Felt Food

 I have shared photos/patterns of the felt food that I have been making for my girls before. I ran across these photos of the doll-size food I made to go with the 18″ American Girl dolls that my girls have and thought I would share them. It was a lot of fun!

Mini-dessert Tray

 

Fancy Felt Cake

We bought plaques from the craft section at Walmart and spray painted them silver to be platters – this daughter was always wanting to have tea parties with her doll. The platters dignified the food and made them look cool.

Cupcake