July 27, 2014

Poppin's Book Nook ~ Pirate Fun and Geocaching

Poppin's Book Nook is looking for some Pirate booty this month! We have read a lot of great pirate books around here, so I was happy to stumble across a couple we hadn't read yet for this months adventure! The books we found are Pirate Pete and Pirate Pete's Giant Adventure (we read Pirate Pete's Talk Like a Pirate last Talk Like a Pirate Day)!

In each of these books Pirate Pete and his trusty parrot are headed to look for treasure (what else would a pirate be doing). In Pirate Pete he steals a treasure map and veers off course so many times that he gets caught! Pirate Pete's Giant Adventure picks up where the first book ends with Pete and his parrot out to sea in just a little row boat and no gold. This time he out wits a giant to help out the sea-fairies! My kids loved Pirate Pete's silliness!

I wanted to go on a treasure hunt like Pirate Pete did, but at the same time we have done that a couple different ways already (gross motor treasure hunt and sight word treasure hunt). So I decided we would go on a real treasure hunt! We would go geocaching! Geocaching is like real life treasure hunting except now we have a GPS instead of a hand drawn map, and the treasure you find isn't worth much money. The excitement of finding something that someone else has hid is even better then a backyard treasure hunt for kids! 

We started with a couple small, easy ones, and then we went on to find some larger ones where you actually get to take an item and leave an item. Obviously, these were the favorites of the kids. They kept cheering, "another geocache, another geocache!" The little one eve said he wants to geocache for his birthday (ummmm......we might be going a bit far with that one).

Geocaching is a fun family activity, and it can help advance kids map skills.  It can also help kids become more observant; you never know where a cache will hidden (in the post of street sign, under a rock, in a tree)! I do want to give you a few tips before you start:

1) Be aware that many caches will be in areas with long grass. Try to wear long pants and sneakers to prevent scratches.

2) Likewise, you may want to use bug spray to deter ticks and other pests. Be sure to check for them when you get home as well; we don't want any tick born diseases!

3) Check the weather before you go. Besides the obvious of avoiding bad weather, I would avoid going right after it rains or when it is extremely hot.

4) There can be a good amount of walking involved, take water bottles with you!

5) Be sure to carry a pen, so you can log that you have been there, and if you are taking your kids, make sure to take along some small family friendly things to leave in exchange for new "treasure."  Small plastic animals, army men, bouncy balls, or really any small toy works well.

Want to try it? You can head over to geocaching.com to find caches near you! You may be surprised how near they really are, and then you can enjoy your own local treasure hunts!

Poppins Book Nook Pirate Plunder Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month weare partnering with Jennifer Altman an Usborne consultant to bring one lucky entrant a chance to win a copy of either the Pirate's Handbook (recommended for 8 years old and up) or Pirate Stories for Little Children (recommended for ages under 8 years old)books. One of these books is sure to add to your pirate fun!

The winner will be randomly picked by Rafflecopter and will be notified by Enchanted Homeschooling Mom via email and posted here. Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside within the United States. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Prizes will be issued by Jennifer Altman who is an Usborne consultant. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/disclosures/}.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

Arrr! Check out the great Pirate books the other hosting blogs found this month:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Link up your Pirate Fun below, and join us next month when we explore what we want to be when we grow up!

July 24, 2014

Little House on the Prairie Party

As unbelievable as it seems, I now have a 7 year old! Last summer we read through the entire Little House series, and she loved it. I think she really identified with the young Laura when it came to orneriness. This year for her birthday, she really liked the idea of having a Little House on the Prairie Party (or as she calls it, a Mary and Laura party). 


I bought both of the girls bonnets to wear, but neither kept them on the whole party. They also chose dresses that were not authentic looking at all, but what can you do, they wore what they liked. I imagine Laura may have liked to wear something different too!

For her invites, I made up some cute cards with what looked like a pinwheel, quilt square on them. The pattern I used for the quilt square can be found at Stars and Stamps. She couldn't decide on a color, so we made everyone of them different!

There wouldn't have been a lot of decorations in Laura's time, so we chose to keep things simple. No balloons or streamers. We used a red check tablecloth, some fake sunflowers, and a few fake leeches (who doesn't remember that part of the series).  I was surprised at how well the leeches went over with the kids. Eli loved them and a few of us had leech cups by sandwiching them between 2 clear cups.

Just like in Laura's time the kids had to help with the meal. Their part was to make the butter! My girls had done it before (Kid-Made Butter), but it was an amazing transformation for some of the other kids and for my little sister.

Once we had butter we could eat! We tried to keep to foods mentioned in the books or that we knew they would have had around that time, so we had fried chicken, green beans, cornbread (with our home made butter), and watermelon. Beverage options included tea, lemonade, and water.

And instead of cake, Bria wanted pie! That fit and was easy to do a little ahead of time. Plus I could rope grandparents into bringing some too. So we had a nice selection of cherry, blackberry, peach, gooseberry, strawberry, and even a vinegar pie like Ma made in the books. I found the vinegar pie recipe at Money Saving Mom, and it wasn't my favorite, but if I changed the extract in it a little it could definitely be better!

We of course had gifts that we not traditional to the books, but I don't think she minded. She did get her very own copy of the first 5 books of the Little House series along with tons of toy horses. She was so excited about the horses!

After all the food and the gifts they headed outside to play Annie Over. Not mentioned in the book, but a game Bria loves playing that at least dates back to the early 1900's. If you aren't familiar with it, you have a group of players stand on each side of the house. One throws the ball over the house and yells "Annie Over!" If the ball is caught before it bounces twice the catching team tries to sneak around the house and tag as many of the other players as possible to increase their team. You keep playing until everyone is on one team. It wore them all out (the older players before the younger), but they had fun, and the audience had fun as well!

Before everyone headed home, we let them each choose a simple, Little House themed favor. They each had a little metal pail with an orange, a stick of old fashioned candy, and a shiny penny! I know Bria had to explain the favors to some of the guests! Then I was surprised when my nieces also wanted to take home a leech (I told you they went over well)!

I was also happy to send home my copy of Little House on the Prairie with one of them to read! Hopefully she enjoys it as much as my girls did!

July 22, 2014

Kid's Biology Resources at Mom's Library

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My Biology Features This Week! 

Our Adventure Story is Studying Birds and provides some great resources for you to conduct your own study!

Sunshine and Hurricanes created a Sea Creature Catching Net!

3 Boys and a Dog have a collection of books about Octopi!

Growing in God's Grace has great activities for Studying Skin!

Every Star is Different created an entire unit on the Immune System!

Gift of Curiosity came up with some great Books about the Five Senses!

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For more great features visit my fellow Librarians (Please follow them too!):

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