Family History Quiet Book: Mailman

Mail_page1 Mail_page2This was a really fun quiet page to do.  One of the ancestors was a mailwoman for a few years, so this was a pretty easy page to create for the occupations.  There are several people out there who have some amazing mail pages — but my printer was broken at the time, so rather than printing out and copying someone else’s pattern, I just made my own.  It turned out to be really fun.

To create the envelopes:

Cut out the pattern.  Sew the Velcro onto the appropriate parts.  Sew the Stamp and some “writing” onto the side that will be the front of the envelope. Then, sew the side seams of the envelope.

For the letters:

Sew a fun zig zag stitch (or if your machine does letters — or if you want to take the time to embroider letters) onto one side of the letters.  Then sew the other piece of felt together.

For the Mailbox:

Applique the post onto the page.  Sew the letters “Mail” onto the box part.  Sew the flag together, and attach it to the box with a button.  Then, applique the entire box onto the page (leaving an opening on the side toward the real mail box opening).  Next, sew two pieces of the felt together for the opening part.  At the top, sew a piece of ribbon to make a loop. Sew this onto the page at the bottom (so it can open and close).  Then, add the button to the top so it will stay closed.

Click here for the pattern I created.

Italy: Pasta patterns

sorting-pasta-7For this activity I colored several different types of pasta.  (Mix food coloring and vinegar, then put it into a plastic bag with the pasta and shake.  Then, let the pasta sit out to dry for at least 24 hours).

Then, we talked about patterns, and started to make some patterns with pasta.  I started out making a pattern and talking about it, and then each of the kids got a chance to add to the pattern.   Then, the activity progressorting-pasta-1sed and I let each of the kids make their own patterns.  Some needed a little bit of help at first, but    by the end they all understood what they were doing and how to make various patterns.sorting-pasta-2  sorting-pasta-3


Thankful List

IMG_5589It is tradition that every year, the first Monday of the month, our family makes a list of at least 100 things that we are grateful for, then we hang it up for the rest of the months to remind us of what we are thankful for.  There have been some interesting things on our lists, and I keep them in our scrapbook from year to year… but we love tradition and have had fun recognizing how many things we are blessed with!  Go here to download a copy of our blank list that you can print out and then fill out!  Being Grateful!

Candy corn on the cob

Marshmallow with candy cornOne of the most popular pins I have on Pinterest is to this picture.  Unfortunately, the link I had to it no longer works –  so if someone knows of a good link, please let us know so we can post!

Basically, you put a marshmallow in the middle and surround it with candy corn.  Cute, and fun idea for Thanksgiving.  Enjoy!

Homemade Presents: A fort kit for kids

two-fortsThis is an idea you can make for kids for Christmas.  This is a “do it yourself” fort that they can put together and play with for hours.  It is pretty easy to make, and allows a lot of creativity.  The best part is that it all comes apart and can be stored in a much smaller space.

fort-shellI found the best directions for the PVC pipe here.  Then, I went to a hardware store and they helped me measure and cut the pipe right there.  The most difficult (and expensive) part of the whole thing was finding the slip slide outlet elbow.  We found them in a sprinkler supply store as well as online.

I gave the kids directions for putting together the frame, but the first time it required some adult help.





I debated making a slip cover that would go over it, or just giving them blankets and sheets, and the blankets and sheets idea won because I remembered how much fun I had as a kid just putting blankets over the top of chairs and building a fort that way.  I thought it would be a more creative approach.  I also included string and a lot of clothes pins so they could clip it all on together for the fort.  Since we did two of them, they had fun putting them side by side to create a much larger fort while they were together for the holidays.

Italy: Play dough and pasta

play-dough-and-pasta-7One of the things preschoolers need is to develop their muscles in their hands.  This will help with the small motor skills they are quickly learning (writing).  One thing that was recommended to me (from one of my great friends who teaches preschool full time) was using play dough to help develop the muscles.  So, since we were studying Italy, I decided to add another element to the play dough and let the kids have another sensory experience.  I put pasta and play dough on the table and let them have a great time.  They enjoyed experimenting with the two elements, making patterns, hiding the pasta in the play dough, and using both to create shapes.   This was an activity they would enjoy doing over and over again.  I think I could have let them play with this for quite a while because they loved it so much.

play-dough-and-pasta-6   play-dough-and-pasta-3 play-dough-and-pasta-2 play-dough-and-pasta-1

Ghost, Witch and Bat — an easy to play Halloween game

This is a giant version of Rock, Paper, and Scissors:

Nobody is more or less powerful than any of the others.

The three types of groups are as follows:

Ghost:  Waves hands and says, “ooooo”
Witch:  Pretends to ride a broom
Bat:  Flaps wings

Ghosts stop witches from getting on brooms
Witches stop Bats from getting into the air
Bats distract Ghosts from scaring other people

Divide the group into two teams.  Each team must decide which they will be (much like Rock, paper, scissors)  When everyone says, “Ghost, Witch, Bat”  The people in the groups must strike a pose and shout the name of the chosen character.  The team that overpowers the second team tries to tag them before they can reach the goal line.  If someone is tagged by the overpowering team, they then become part of that team.

Play ends when one team completely engulfs the other.

Family History Quiet Book: Hospital Room

hospital_pageThis turned out to be one of my favorite pages.  This represents a grandmother who was a nurse.  So, I made a hospital bed so the kids could pretend being a nurse.

On the page I tried to use a variety of fabric so children could use different senses to touch and feel.





In back of the bed area is a pocket to hold medical supplies.  I included a syringe, a band-aid (with blood on it at the request of my three year old), and a stethoscope.



The bed has a hospital blanket that hooks open and closed (to keep the doll in the bed).  The pillow has a little bit of stuffing to make it softer, and the bed posts are shiny, metallic material.

hospital_ivWhat hospital room would be complete without an IV?  So, I included one here.  I put beads in the top, and just a piece of plastic going down. I put a magnet in the doll’s arm, and then another magnet inside the IV.  Kids can put the IV into the doll’s arm.



My favorite part of the page is the doll.  I used a pipe cleaner in the center of her so she can bend and move.  I added a heart, a hospital band, and at the request of my three year old, a belly button.  You will also notice that the hospital gown closes all the way in back.



For the doll pattern click here.

For the pieces to the rest of the page click here.