Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pumpkin Time!

Well, as I predicted, our work from the week will leak into our weekend a bit. We went out to lunch today, Maggie and me, just to get out of the house, and the break was nice, even if a few things didn't get done.  And tomorrow, we've been given the opportunity to see the play, Oliviatown, that we missed last week because Mags was sick, so I'm sure even more work will move into the weekend, but that just means another post for you!

Onto other things ... have I mentioned how much I love Fall?  I know, I know, I have.  Well, there's even more reason with today's cute 'Pumpkin Lollipops' and 'Candy Pumpkins' we made!  Check them out and make some of your own!  They're super easy for small hands and taste delicious!  Here are those photos and more:

Mags had the bright idea to put a real acorn cap on top of the felt acorn we made yesterday to go with our pom-pom squirrel, so we did!  What a great addition!  Good thinking, Mags!
 Showing off her Adam and Eve finger puppets, in their 'Garden of Eden' ...
 Ready to make our 'Pumpkin Lollipops,' we counted out 7 orange Lifesavers, 1 green, and one Popsicle stick, which we placed on a foil-covered pan.
 We then laid two of the orange Lifesavers on the end of the stick, surrounded by the other five in the shape of a circle, and added one half of the green Lifesaver to the very top as the stem.  (Make sure all of your candies are touching so that they will melt well together.)
We also made a few little 'Candy Pumpkins' in addition to our lollipop.
 A 'Candy Pumpkin' uses one orange Lifesaver and a piece (about a fourth) of one green Lifesaver, positioned like below.
Now, they're ready for a 250-degree oven!  Bake for 8-12 minutes, until melted, watching closely so they keep their shape.
 Our 'Candy Pumpkins!'
 And our 'Pumpkin Lollipop!'  
 After they've been removed from the oven, leave them on the foil until cool.  Once cool, carefully peel off the foil and enjoy!  (This could be done with red Lifesavers as well, to simulate apples!)
 Later, we made some 'Pumpkin Pie Play Dough!'  To make, combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a saucepan until well mixed.  Once mixed, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 cup water, and food coloring (I used 7 drops of red and about 18-19 drops of yellow) to your dry mix and whisk until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until your dough forms a ball, about 4 minutes.
 Once formed, place your dough ball onto the counter to cool.  Once cool, knead it until smooth, less than a minute, and set aside.
 Next, we made 'stems' for our pumpkin dough, using fusilli pasta, added to a Ziploc bag with 5 drops of green food coloring and a teaspoon of water.  Seal and shake. 
 Once the pasta is completely green, put the pieces onto a paper towel for about 10 minutes to dry.  
 Here, our dough is cooling and our pasta 'stems' are drying.
 Finally, roll your dough into little balls and insert your dry, green pasta pieces in the top to make little pumpkins, all ready to play with!
 Lots of fun for little hands!
 Here, Mags is showing off her one big pumpkin!  :)
 Later, for our Raptors study, we made a vulture with our hand prints (using black paint) as the wings.
Here he is!

While I'm on that, here are two interesting facts about raptors you might not know:
1.  The peregrine falcon, the fastest hawk in the world, can fly up to speeds of 200 miles per hour!
2.  Most raptors use the same nests year after year, for as many as 20 years!  They make one and keep coming back to it every time they're ready to lay more eggs.  The same nest just keeps getting renovated!

Today, we:
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We completed our calendar activities, putting today's date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what day of the week it is, what season, and what kind of weather we're having.
Bible Study:
1.  Today's daily devotion out of our God and Me book was about helping younger siblings, so we skipped it and instead read the 'Adam and Eve' story out of our The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Children's Stories, pages 14-17, about how Eve was created by God as a companion to Adam to help take care of God's garden of Eden together.
2.  We colored and made the Adam and Eve finger puppets and Eden scene as seen at, to act out the story we had just read.
Universal Children's Week:
1.  We read Children Around the World by Donata Montanari.
Great Books Week:
1.  We read Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.
2.  We read The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf.
3.  We read The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.
4.  We read Anatole by Eve Titus.
5.  We read The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss.
National Newspaper Week:
1.  We read The Furry News: How to Make a Newspaper by Loreen Leedy.
Squirrel Awareness Month:
1.  We read Squirrels by Emilie U. Lepthien.
2.  We read Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Melanie Watt.
3.  We read Delicious! by Helen Cooper.
4.  We read One More Acorn by Don Freeman.
5.  We read the 'Tummy Rumble' story out of our High Five magazine, November 2010, pages 27-30.
6.  For today's journal entry, I asked her, 'What do you like best about squirrels?'  She answered, 'When they eat nuts with their lips open.'  (Funny girl!)
Raptor Month (Hawks, Falcons, and Vultures):
1.  We read The Wonder of Hawks by Rita Ritchie and Sumner Matteson.
2.  We read Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City by Janet Schulman.
3.  We read Falcons Nest on Skyscrapers by Priscilla Belz Jenkins.
4.  We read Predators: Vultures by Jinny Johnson.
5.  We read Vulture View by April Pulley Sayre.
6.  We made the vulture hand print craft as seen at
1.  We read Perfect Pumpkins by Jeff Bauer.
2.  We sang the 'Autumn' song out of our Ladybug magazine, October 2011, pages 8-9.
3.  We read the 'Look Up!' poem out of our Ladybug magazine, October 2011, page 13.
4.  We read the 'Pumpkin Seeds' poem out of our Ladybug magazine, October 2011, pages 14-15.
5.  We read the 'Mop Family: Autumn Fun' cartoon out of our Ladybug magazine, October 2011, pages 32-33.
6.  We made the pumpkin lollipops and candy pumpkins as seen at and
7.  We made the pumpkin pie play dough recipe as seen at
Letter Ee Review:
1.  We completed page 6 of our Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Alphabet Learning Workbook, which required her to practice writing both uppercase E and lowercase e, to write an e to complete a word, and to find her way through a maze by following the Ee’s.
Math Concepts (Number Recognition):
1.  I quizzed her again on our 'Numbers 1-100' poster by calling out specific numbers and having her identify the same.

Tomorrow, after our field trip to see Oliviatown, we've got lots planned, including the study of Owls (with more fun food!), the making of Fall leaves from newspaper, and the construction of pipe cleaner squirrels!  (That is, if we can get it all done.  If not, look for the same projects over the weekend.) See you then!

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