Walking Boston’s Freedom Trail

Walking Boston's Freedom Trail

One of the things I really love about homeschooling is the flexibility to travel and learn on the road. I have been traveling a lot with my kids this year and think that travel is such a great way for them to learn new things and also learn to appreciate history. I’m always amazed when I hear how many people hate history. I have always loved history, but when I was a child I was lucky enough to travel a lot and learn about history in an authentic and hands-on way – instead of only by fact memorization. I really think one of the reasons I love history so much is because of all the awesome travel experiences I had as a child.

So I am so thrilled that I am able to travel with my own kids and give them some of the same opportunities I had as a kid. My kids and I are in New York right now, staying with great friends who also homeschool. Last week, all of us – 7 kids, 2 moms, and 1 dad – took to the streets to walk Boston’s Freedom Trail. We were quite the sight and my husband made sure to call out to his “wives” several times {in jest, of course}.

Since all 4 of my kids are back to home schooling, and since the hubs and I had business meetings in Boston this fall, I decided it was the perfect time for us to study the American Revolution.  In preparation for our trip to Boston, we’ve been reading books, learning about the history of the period, and reading about influential revolutionary Americans. To really bring it all home and make the learning experience more authentic and memorial, we also headed to Boston for some experiential learning.

Walking Boston's Freedom Trail2

Walking Boston’s Freedom Trail

Boston’s Freedom Trail, if you’ve never heard of it, is a 2.5 mile walk around downtown Boston – marked by either red bricks in the sidewalks, or painted red lines. All you have to do is follow the red brick road for a hands-on and interactive tour of 16 famous Revolutionary War sights!
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Empowering Girls through Creative Play – #LEGOFriendsCGC

Empowering Girls through Creative Play #LEGOFriendsCGC #sponWe have been Lego fans for years.  I grew up with them myself and was excited when my kids took an interest in them as I have long thought that Legos are a fabulous way to encourage creativity and allow kids to express themselves in a positive manner. When LEGO® Friends came out in 2012, my daughters were instantly in love with them and have been begging for them ever since. If you’re not familiar with the new sets, “LEGO® Friends is a collection of building sets that blend the iconic LEGO construction experience with stories, settings and themes designed to meet children’s desire for creativity and a highly-detailed, character-based world.” They’re very popular with my two older girls and the little one is well on her way to being a big fan, too.

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Squirt Gun Art ~ Guest Post from create-play-homeschool, another Iowa Blog

Hi everyone! I’m Amy from create-play-homeschool. I’m so excited Michelle asked me to be here today!

I’m a lucky mom to four curtain climbers and a handy husband.

Create-Play-Homeschool

 We are avid diy’ers, gardeners, crafters, and interest led homeschoolers. We are currently in the process of renovating our 150 year old farmhouse. We also love to concoct science experiments and play in the dirt all day.

Today I want to share an art project with you. My son is sandwiched between his three sisters and things get pretty girly around here. Sometimes I have to think outside the box on ways to include some more boyish things into our life. Not to mention tame my curtain climbers! This idea for Squirt Gun Art project seems like the perfect way to occupy all 4 kiddos and keep them off the curtains for about 5 minutes. 😉

To make your own Squirt Gun Art, run and find those squirt guns!

squirt gun art

squirt gun art

For this project, you’re also going to need something to paint on. I grabbed artist canvases but you can use a white sheet, a piece of poster board, or whatever you can find.  You’ll also need pack of squirt guns (mine came from dollar tree), and some washable tempera paint – the runnier the better.

squirt gun art

Take the plug out of your squirt gun. You want about a half paint, half water consistency. If it’s too thick the paint won’t squirt through the gun.

Pour the paint directly into the hole on the top of the squirt gun. Put your water in them and shake them up. I test them and make sure they’re ready. My kids get mighty impatient if something doesn’t work right.

 

squirt gun art

You should be ready to go grab some kiddos! 

squirt gun art

squirt gun art
squirt gun art

Success! All three kids were running back and forth from the house for more water. 

squirt gun artThe finished projects!! Aren’t the fabulous??

I’m thinking a game of paintball only with squirt guns might be a fun activity to try with these guys too! 

It was great to be here – I hope you enjoy the Squirt Gun Art project! For more fun projects, head over to Create-Play-Homeschool!

Thanks for reading and thank you Michelle for having me!

Chalkboard Flower Pots with @LullabyPaints #sponsored

chalkboard flower pots A while back, Lullaby Paints sent me a chalkboard kit to try out!

DSC_0001The kit came with a large pouch of chalkboard paint, chalk, a tray, tape, and a brush. I was really excited to try out the Lullaby Paints because they are free of harmful VOCs, glycols, and other toxic chemicals. I knew it would be good paint for a project with my kiddos, but I had a hard time deciding what to do with it. I finally saw a picture of super cute chalkboard flower pots and realized I found my project!

Making your own chalkboard flower pots is really easy.

chalkboard flower pots

Gather supplies – this was easy for me since the kit came with just about everything I needed. I simply added little flower pots and flowers and we were ready to go.

chalkboard flower potsSince my kids were painting the pots, we tried to make the process as mess-free as possible, and used the blue tape to tape around the edge of the flower pot.

DSC_0063 DSC_0061 DSC_0044 chalkboard flower pots

The kids got busy painting! I enjoyed watching the concentrated looks on their faces. They can really get into a project and I enjoyed knowing that they weren’t breathing in any harmful chemicals as they painted.

lullaby chalkboard paint

chalkboard flower pots

After the kids covered the flower pots with Lullaby Paint, and we took off the tape, I had a bit of cleanup to do to make the pots a tad prettier. I just rolled the brush around the top to add a little more paint and smooth the lines.

lullaby paints chalkboard flower pots

I love the end result! Aren’t they cute!? The kids had a great time making these. I think they would also make great little herb pots for the kitchen too. I might be making some more… 

Lullaby Paints

Lullaby Paints are widely regarded as the safest paint in the industry and are “recognized by consumer advocacy groups and leading environmental organizations, used by hospitals and maternity facilities, lauded by magazines, designers and bloggers and, most of all, enjoyed by moms as pregnancy safe paints.” Conventional paints often contain chemicals such as Formaldehyde (carcinogen); Benzene (carcinogen); Trimethlybenzene (neurotoxicant); Toluene (neurotoxicant); and Xylene (neurotoxicant) –> Lullaby Paints have none of these! 

We try hard to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals at my house and using this paint is another piece of the puzzle. We’re getting ready to build our forever house and making it as safe as possible is a big goal of mine. I’m glad companies are jumping on board to make safer products. 

Lullaby’s paints come in a variety of colors, they send out free color chips, and ship their paint directly to your home! You can also get 3 pouches of paint for only $9.95 – perfect for sampling the paint or to try out a fun project with your kiddos.  Thank you, Lullaby Paints for sending me your VOC-free Chalkboard Paint to try out! We had a lot of fun making these Chalkboard Flower Pots.

Head over to Lullaby Paints and see what they have to offer!  Please connect with Lullaby Paints at their website, on facebook, twitter, and pinterest!