Beach Time

The Creekside Learning family is on vacation this week. The beach was calling. We answered. 

“Hello, Ocean. I’m here.”

creekside learning

We will be back soon. I have lots of exciting new posts brewing. In the meantime, the Hands-On Science and Preschool: Learning Is Fun! boards are hopping over on Pinterest. Check them out, repin and follow to get more great learning ideas in your Pinterest feed.

Follow along on our travels on Instagram. Creekside Learning

Have a Reading Date With Your Child

Our current read-aloud book.  Two cups of something yummy to drink.  A comfy place to sit at a local coffee shop. And my favorite 8 year old.

 Because it’s noisy at our house. Because we get interrupted a lot when reading. Because he loves for me to read. Because we are at the suspenseful part of the last book in the Harry Potter series and he really wants to know what happens to the bad guy, Voldemort, in the end.  Because it’s a great way to have real, quality time with my kid.

The very next day, I find myself at the same coffee shop, only this time with my favorite 6 year old. She just so happens to have an unread library book in the car.  It is wonderful, uninterrupted time, just me and her.

 I think we will be making this a regular habit.  [smile]


Simple Father’s Day Gift That Shows Him The Love

From their hands to his, Happy Father’s Day.

I took photos of my kids’ hands and placed them in a frame for three pictures. So simple, but I love seeing their hands frozen in time this way, each holding a letter of their Daddy’s name.

For more Father’s Day Gift ideas, follow on Pinterest:
Follow Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning’s board Mothers & Fathers – Showing Them the Love on Pinterest.

Saying Goodbye

Leah, in happier days.

The Queen Bee recently turned six and so we got her a fish. Her very first pet, all to herself, hers and only hers. And about a month later, it died. Who knows why. She took very good care of it.  But it was a two dollar fish. So, you know, these things happen.

But she is six and she is grieving and sad and today, a significant part of our day was devoted to a fish funeral, fish gravesite decorating, informing friends and family of the fish’s death, and then….planning when and what kind her next fish will be.

All of this came from her and the boys and I did our best to just support the process for her. We all said a few kind words at the graveside service:  “Leah was a nice fish.”  “We will miss her.” “I liked seeing her swim in her bowl while I ate breakfast.”

And then we each found a special stone or leaf or flower (weed?) to place on the grave.  I helped her make a grave marker and we had another little ceremony for that.  “I don’t think I can smile today. I’m too sad.”, she said more than once. We offered extra hugs.

She watched anxiously for our across the street neighbor to emerge, wanting to tell her the news because she once babysat the fish while we were away overnight. This is meaningful to The Queen Bee, a bond has been formed between her and the neighbor because of mutual fish care.

We went to a play date and The QB’s friend made her the sweetest condolence card on the loss of her fish. Then on the way home, a huge storm rolled in with rain whipping around and trees bending and traffic backing up. The Queen Bee suddenly realized that her poor fish was out in the elements.

"Leah, Our Dear Fish."

“Hurry, Mommy, we have to get home and check on Leah!”  I reassured her that Leah was okay. Her older brother sweetly offered that fish like water so surely Leah is not minding the rain one bit. Spying lightening, I told her that as soon as the storm passed, she could go out and check. But by then, she had moved on.

She’s planning for her next fish. “A bigger one, so that it lives longer.” The fish bowl and it’s gravel and little plastic plant have been washed and dried and await the new resident. Life, as they say, goes on.

The Creekside dog pays her respects.


Flowers and Love, Kid Style

The Queen Bee recently turned six and one of the gifts I gave her was this set of upcycled bottles. I know some of you are giggling now, as you realize that I have just given beer bottles to my six year old to play with.  Yes, this is what happens when you spend too much time on Pinterest, I suppose.

But my daughter doesn’t know what beer is and she joyfully accepted this gift. And then she spread the love amongst our family by presenting everyone with flowers for their rooms. Even her brothers, the very same brothers that she spends a part of every day in conflict with, received flowers. And that, you see, is the whole idea.

I was inspired by this craft from The Colorful Living Project, but what made me make this for my daughter was a post I read by  Amy at Teach Mama.  Amy decided to show her young daughter a way to spread love amongst her siblings by giving her little vases decorated with ribbons and  some flowers to arrange. Please do go and read Amy’s post to find out how she planned this project to help her daughter step aside from bickering with her siblings and show them what a great little sister she is.  Oh, I knew, as soon as I saw Amy’s post, that this was an amazing antidote to, what often seems to me, an overwhelming amount of sibling squabbles in our house.

It was so simple to spray paint the bottles and tie a little ribbon around each one. She even, unknowingly, picked the paint color when I told her, in the craft store, that I needed paint for a project and what color did she like best?  I covered the cardboard caddy with scrapbooking paper.

The Queen Bee loves all things flowers and I knew she would be so happy to have her own set of little vases.  She is my child who is most likely to bring flowers she has picked into the house and ask for something to put them in.

I love that she gave her big brother, source of much of the sibling bickering in our house, not one, but two of the flower-filled vases.  Then she put one in her little brother’s room, one in Mommy and Daddy’s room, one in her room and one in the bathroom.

We can put the bottles back in the carrier when this set of flowers has wilted and the they will be ready to go for her next picking adventure.  Which got me to thinking…

This is a great way to show love to siblings and parents but what about neighbors? Or taking a dozen or so over to the nearest senior community and passing them out to some folks who could use a smile.  Or maybe for teachers. My kids are homeschooled but they have many teachers: music teachers, sports coaches and many more. Maybe one week we will bring a little vase of flowers to each of their activities and present it to their teachers.

For now, I am going to enjoy the little flower that my daughter lovingly placed on my bedside table, which is a really nice way to end the day.

Linking up with these great linky parties.