Counting to 100

mason jar 100s collection

We are counting to 100 with objects found around the house.

100 crayons

Here’s our mason jar 100’s collection.

jars of 100 things

More information on how we made this collection and various ways to help your child learn how to count 100 can be found on Kiwi Crate DIY.

100 sticks

More hands-on math ideas on Pinterest.

Learning With Legos: Building an Iroquois Longhouse

Firefly, my 8 year old, is studying early American history this year, with the Joy Hakim series, A History of US. One of the fun projects he’s completed is an Iroquois Longhouse with Legos.

I thought it was important to emphasize that not all Native Americans lived in tipis when studying this time period.  Iroquois and some other tribes lived in houses such as this one, along with many other families. This would be the equivalent of all the families on your block living in one house to keep warm throughout the winter and share resources.

I gave Firefly a printed picture of a longhouse and he set to work.

The Creek Dad assisted with construction of the roof. Here’s a look at the interior:

Linking up with Lego Fun Friday over at Frugal Fun For Boys. Stop by and see what other fun learning is happening with Legos.

For more ideas about what we are learning for early American history, follow our Pinterest boards:
Hands-On History
Early American History
Learning With American Girl

Lego BrickFair Is Worth the Wait

We had a great time at the Lego BrickFair today in Virginia. There was some chatter on Twitter about the long lines to get in, which I hope will translate into a larger venue next year for this spectacular show.  If you go tomorrow, or in the coming years, get there on the early or late side if you want to avoid the lines, but do go.  It was well worth it.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Here are some of our favorites.

The interactive building area was a big hit with kids. And some grown-ups, too. They could build and race their wheeled creations on the tracks or use the many tables provided to make things with what appeared to be thousands of bricks.

BrickFair runs through Sunday, August 5th, 2012, at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia. It is a yearly event in this area. Go to for more information.

I received four free tickets from BrickFair but was not required to write about it.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

BrickFair Virginia Lego Fan Festival with Ticket Give-Away

Show of hands:  who has a Lego fan, or two or three, in their house? We love Legos in our house and use them frequently when learning about science, history, math and more.

So I was excited to learn about the BrickFair Lego Fan Festival of 2012, a Lego extravaganza featuring  creations of all sizes, a stay-and-play area for kids to build with thousands of Lego bricks, and more than 1,000 exhibitors, including model train displays.  All in all, over 100,000 square feet of awesome brick creations and activities.

BrickFair 2012 takes place on August 4th and 5th at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia.  Admission is $10 per person (ages 3 and under are free; no strollers please).  For more information, visit the BrickFair website.

And guess what?  I have four free tickets to give away.  That’s a $40 value.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on THIS POST here on THIS BLOG using the word BrickFair in your comment.  Also, leave me a way to contact you if you win. Last day to enter is Wednesday, July 18th.

Photos courtesy of BrickFair.
Disclosure: I received 8 free tickets (4 for myself, and 4 to give away) from BrickFair in exchange for posting about BrickFair on my blog. 

This contest is now closed. 

Summer Love Books Exchange: Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping

Pie tin campfire to go with the book, Amelia Bedlelia goes camping, by Peggy Parish.

This year, our summer reading has included the Summer Love Books Exchange, which paired us up with another blogging mom and her kids.  They sent us a book and some activities to go along with it, and we sent them a book and activities in return.  Cool, huh?  It’s coordinated by the fine folks at The Educator’s Spin On It.

It was so much fun to get a box in the mail with a new book and some fun craft supplies. Even greater, was that it was from Jill at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom. Have you seen her blog? Take a look at her extensive list of free printables to use in your homeschooling adventures.

We were thrilled to find that Jill had chosen a book with an outdoor theme especially for us.  And we love the silly, mixed-up, always confused Amelia Bedelia character.  In Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping, of course Amelia misunderstands everything Mr. and Mrs. Rogers  tell her, from pitching the tent into the bushes to catching a fish by jumping in the water and grabbing it.

Here are some of the activities Jill created for us to go along with the book.

We built a campfire and made some roasted marshmallows on sticks. This was really a hit with the Creek Kids.  They have continued to play many elaborate camping games with this little campfire set-up.  Here’s how we did it, per Jill’s instructions:

We cut a brown paper bag into strips, then crumbled them up to make the logs for the fire. We cut out a flame shape from a piece of red construction paper, leaving a base to tape it into the pie tin that served as our fire ring.  A smaller flame cut out of orange construction paper attached to the red.

My daughter making the campfire project.

The sticks for roasting the marshmallows were real. We folded a white piece of paper in half longways, then in half again and rolled it around a stick.  Ta-da! Marshmallows ready for roasting.

Making the marshmallows: Fold paper, roll it around a stick.

Marshmallows are ready to roast!

Jill also made each of my kids a little book to write their own story of a camping adventure with Amelia Bedelia. We all loved this creative exercise. The kids colored the tents at the top of the paper, then dictated their story to me. I wrote it into the little books, they added some finishing touches and then we all read the stories together.

My daughter, writing her own camping story, Amelia Bedelia style.

Here’s an exerpt from the one my daughter wrote:

We roasted marshmallows.  Amelia Bedelia said, “Ok, I will roast marshmallows.”  Amelia Bedelia threw the marshmallows into the fire.  I said, “No!  Stop!”  I showed her how to put the marshmallow on a stick.  Then she threw the stick and the marshmallow into the fire.  I showed her how to hold the stick.

All of the supplies for our fun activities with Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping.

Here are some more fun activities that Jill created to go with this story:

  • Pretend you are camping with Amelia Bedelia. You tell her it’s time to pitch the tent and she throws it into the creek. Go outside and help poor Amelia Bedelia create a shelter using branches, trees, flowers or anything you find outside. Then use Legos to create an exact model of your structure.
  • Use little rubber sticky hands (see photo above) for this next activity. While cooking marshmallows, Amelia Bedelia needs to clean her sticky hands. She accidentally mistakes a marshmallow for a bar of soap. This makes her hands even stickier. She wipes her sticky hands all over your clothes, the trees and flowers.  Use your sticky hands on everything around you.
  • Find a little dog toy that can get wet (pictured above).  Pretend Amelia Bedelia has learned that you like to eat hot dogs while you are camping. She goes to her car to get the hot dogs and returns with her “hot dog”.  Take the dog swimming in the bath tub to cool off.

Thank you, Jill and the Enchanted Kids for such a fun book and a great summer reading project.  To see what we sent to Jill and her kids, click here.

The Educators' Spin On It

Check out many more terrific childrens books with accompanying projects at The Educator’s Spin On It.

Linking up this post with some of the blogtastic parties you see here.

 Please welcome our new sponsor…

If you are looking for a Language Arts program, check out what the amazing Julie Bogart and her colleagues at Brave Writer have to offer. I am in the process of reviewing this curriculum now and I am absolutely blown away. I’ll post about it soon. In the mean time, check out their site.