Send mail. It’s fun.
Let me introduce you to some easy origami. Since I have a hard time trying to fold straight, so if I say this is easy, it’s easy. Origami is a fun activity to do inside, teaching kids (and adults) patience, persistence, and following the directions.
2. A Doll
Step 1. Fold the left (or right, just pick a side) a third of the way into the paper.
Step 2. Turn the paper so your folded piece is at the bottom of the paper. Fold your right (or left, just pick a side) a third of the way into the paper. Turn the paper so the white diamond shape is at the top.
Step 3. Flip the paper over. Fold the bottom corner up.
Step 4. Flip the paper over and draw a face. You can fold the top corner or leave your person with a point.
3. Another Doll. This is the one I used to make for my babysitting chargers.
Step 1. Fold the paper corner to corner.
Step 2. Open up the paper. Fold the left corner to the middle. Fold the right corner to the middle.
Step 3. Fold the bottom corner up all the way until the fold is along where the corners met in the middle. It looks like a neat triangle.
Step 4. Fold the bottom again, nearly in half. Looks like a cool boat. It sadly doesn’t float.
Step 5. Flip the paper over. Those corners sticking out are the arms. Fold them in.
Step 6. Draw a face. Fold the corner back for a flat head. The flat head is suppose to be a boy, and the point is suppose to be a girl. I’m sure it doesn’t matter.
Fun with paper!
More ideas to come. As I finish grading essays and wrapping the school up. Stay safe! Stay sane!
First I suck at folding; so when I tell you it’s easy, believe me. Like I can’t do the crane that everyone does. “It’s so easy.” No, it’s not. “See, just fold here and here and here.” And they lift up this beautiful crane, and I lift up a colorful wad of paper, perfect for making baskets with the trash can.
It’s why I keep all the cranes kids make for me. Only in high school, the kids make them out of tiny candy wrappers. And I’m doubly-impressed. Also as high school teacher, you don’t get many gifts or pictures, so you really treasure the ones you do get.
When I was a cool teenage babysitter, this was always a fun craft. I would fold pieces for the kids, and we would make all sorts of stories and plays. As my chargers got older, I taught them how to fold the simple pieces…. until they learned to fold cranes and laugh when I would be at a loss as they tried to teach me.
My nemesis, folks, paper cranes.
Some easy one origami.
1. The dog. (a favorite among babysitting charges and Cub Scouts)
2. The cat. (Another favorite)
3. The whale.
4. The fox.
5. The elephant.
Here’s a site for them: https://www.origamiway.com/easy-origami.shtml
7. The house. I would fold this for a set piece, but I don’t remember if it was easy or not.
8. The prince.
9. The princess.
My original origami book that I had as a teenager is in deep storage. I cannot find a site for the prince and princess. For many days, I looked. I kept folding the paper in different ways until I figured it all out again.
So coming soon. Pictures and directions.
If you don’t have fancy paper, cut a square out of regular paper. I don’t recommend construction paper.
More to come. Good luck. Stay safe. Stay sane.
I have so many random crafts and science projects. Seriously, so many. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I have ones for soap.
We use soap in Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts. And now that I’m writing this, I can think of a couple more that will have to wait until I find the directions. Hopefully they aren’t in deep storage….
While I know many states are letting people out into the world, I know many more are not. It’s frustrating and chaotic. But I still have plenty of crafts to share because before you know it, the kids will be out for summer.
1. Water and Oil and Soap. This is a fun little experiment to show kids what water does to oils. My Girl Scouts loved this. Take a zip lock back fill a 1/3 with water. Add enough oil (canola or whatever) to make a layer. Show the kids how the water and oil don’t get along. Then add dish soap. Dawn works the best. Make sure the bag is sealed. Like really make sure. Then shake it up. The water, oil, and soap combine because the soap binds with the oil. It’s more complicated than that, but yeah.
2. Make soap. You could buy soap and melt it and make it. OR you can save all those slivers of soap you’ve been using to really wash your hands. Melt them. I prefer the double broiler to slow microwaving. Pore into molds or into paper cups. Let cool. Pop them out of molds.
2.a I once made soap with toys in them. Lots of fun.
3. Carve soap. This is a Cub Scout activity. Whittle or carve shapes out of soap. I made templates from pictures online like a bear, a whale, a shell, and various simple shapes. We do this in 3rd grade in Cub Scouts. But using a plastic knife, soft soap, and adult supervision, you could probably do it younger.
4. Bubbles! My favorite memory is entertaining the boys when they were little and blowing enough bubbles to fill a mall court yard. It was magical.
5, Homemade bubbles. I lost my recipe. So try these: 4 cups warm water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup blue Dawn dish soap. Mix. OR 2 cups warm water, 1/3 cup dish soap, and 1/4 cup corn syrup. Mix.
6. Bubble wands. Pipe cleaners bent into a closed shape attached to another pipe cleaner, dowel, or stick.
Stay safe! Stay sane! More to come!
I’ve been posting lots of crafts, but if you have kids like my boys, they need to move and run and jump and climb and punch. So much punching.
We are taking 3 walks a day. I feel like I’m preparing for being a dog owner.
And watching my kids, I can see how people come to the conclusion video games cause violence. Yes, I know the studies. But they do seem to be more violent when they play more. I feel like that’s really the result of frustration for a difficult game with the high energy combined with no moving.
Here’s some ways to go play with the kids.
1. Stick to the classics. Tag, which never goes out of style. You don’t have to move half the time. Nerf guns and squirt guns. Jump in there and show the kids who can really shoot. Hide and go seek. Play this one right, and you can snag a 5 minute nap. (What? I couldn’t find you; you’re such a good hider!)
2. Put Away Toys by Number. Give the kids a number and they put away that number of toys. I taught my 2 oldest my phone number that way. Or you can race to see who puts away that many toys. Tornado A still loves that game. My mom hates this game.
3. Find the…. When I lived in my own place, I used to hide a dinosaur decorated with glitter and a few flower stickers (because I can). First kid to find it got a piece of candy. I hid an axolotl recently. Unfortunately the boys haven’t found it. Like it’s been over 2 weeks. I’m disappointed.
4. Flash light tag. Tag in the dark. It person has to turn the light on you to tag you. My brothers were pros at this.
5. The Smell Game. Blindfold the child and have them smell spices or various kitchen stuff and have them identify it. Born out of desperation to entertain two little girls. I made them close their eyes and then grabbed jars from their mother’s spice cabinet and had them guess the spice by the smell. I have babysitting chargers all grown up who remember this one.
Good luck! More to come. Stay safe! Stay sane!
Why write a blog and not tell stories? That was the whole point of this…..
Me: I can help you.
Tornado E: You can’t.
Me: I teach freshman English.
Tornado E: But you don’t teach GATE freshman English.
Me: I can help you.
Tornado E: No, you can’t.
Me: You’re working on English. I’m an English teacher.
Tornado E: Well, you don’t know MLA.
Me: Kid, do you even know what my degree is in?
Me: Tornado S, you’re in trouble!
Tornado S: I didn’t do it.
Me: No kidding. I’ve heard from two teachers now. You haven’t done any work for 2 weeks. You’ve just sat in front of the computer doing nothing for TWO WEEKS.
Tornado S: I did science.
Me: Try again. The last teacher that emailed me was your science teacher.
My Mom: Fae, you need to go to the grocery store. I forgot to ask you for sour cream.
Me: You sent me yesterday.
My Mom: You’re the only one who can go.
Me: And the day before that. And the day before that.
I am the red shirt of my family.
My mom has been making masks.
My mom: Fae, I sold your mask.
Me: You sold my mask? The one you made me last week?
My mom: One of my friends wanted a green one. It’s not like you’ve worn it.
Tornado A: Hi, Mama! I’m up!
Me: It’s…. 6…. why…?
Doze because I don’t have to commute anymore….
Tornado A: I checked my assignments! I didn’t have any! So I did 3 math exercises and 3 English assignments! So I’m done!
Me: It’s…. 6:30….. Dude, your teacher hasn’t posted anything. I haven’t posted anything!
Tornado A: But I checked!
Tornado A: MAMA! I’m done! With all my assignments!
Me: It’s only been twenty minutes!!!
My grandma: I need to get milk and eggs and a cake mix.
Me: Why won’t you let me go for you?
My grandma: I’m not frail.
Me: You’re in. the. vulnerable. group.
My grandma: I’ll be fine.
Me: I have charts and articles. I’ll bore you with research.
My grandma: Fine. If it makes you feel better, go.
Me: Are you done with homework?
Tornado E: …. Yes….
Tornado E: (nods and smiles)
Tornado E: ….Maybe…..
Me: Do you work.
Tornado E: (sighs, grumbles, goes to his desk) mumbles something
Me: Are you done with your work?
Tornado E: I’m watching something first (on his phone).
Me: Is it for school?
Tornado E: ….Yes…..
Tornado E’s phone: *%$!@
Me: Your phone tells me that’s a lie. Do your work.
Me: Did you read?
Tornado S: YES!
Me: Was it game stats online?
Tornado S: Yes!
Me: Go read an actual book.
Tornado S: But-
Tornado S: I don’t see why I can’t read online.
Me: Are you reading game stats?
Tornado S: I was researching.
Me: Game stats?
Tornado S: What does it matter? Reading is reading. It’s all the same.
Me: Can you make connections? Predictions? Analyze theme, plot, characters?
Tornado: I’ll get a book. (mumbles something about teachers and mothers.)
My mom: Fae, I need green onions.
Me: I’ll put it on the list. I’m going now.
My mom: Do you have your mask?
My mom: Let me see.
Me: Why does my face mask smell of peanuts?
When you wear a face mask, no one can see you mouth cuss words. Even when you wear a face mask, people can still hear you cuss though.
I told you that I had more.
I meant to post this on Monday, which means I had to get it together on Sunday, but I was buried in school work. This emergency remote teaching is so hard and time consuming. Then I spent most of my weekend with a body that was like screw-this-you-need-to-nap. I hate it when my body betrays me.
But crafts! And bookmarks!
1. Craft foam and foam stickers. I don’t like these much because they are too thick. Try regular stickers.
2. Duct tape and cardboard. I mean the cool, fun duct tape. But sure, you can use the silver kind. I bet with some stickers it would look cool.
3. Ribbon with a few beads. Knot both sides of the beads to keep the beads from sliding. I made some sophisticated ones with clamps and charms.
4. Popsicle sticks. Paint them. Use markers. Make them look like minions. Use duct tape.
5. Collage. Take a piece of card stock or cardboard and just glue on cool pictures and words.
6. Black out poetry. Cut out a page of a horrible book or an article. Circle a few words for poetry, black out the rest. Cover with clear packaging tape or contact paper.
7. Ribbon breads or friendship bracelets.
8. If you have random piles of fabric or scrapbook paper, let your kid roam through that to make cool bookmarks.
Good luck! Stay safe! Stay sane!
How many of you are getting bored with eating the same old thing? How many of your kids are getting bored eating the same thing? How many of you are bored with making the same thing?
Some of us don’t have the time, energy, or know-how to make gourmet meals right now. Here are a few ideas on using canned crescent rolls. All kid approved. It’s also a great way to start with some light cooking. Let the kiddos help. I find they are more likely to eat something that they made themselves.
At least, that’s what I tell myself.
Open up your rolls, spread them out, and add the ingredients. Roll them up and bake them like the directions say.
1. Spread cream cheese and sprinkle your favorite seasoning. I prefer garlic. To add extra flavor, brush melted butter and add a sprinkle of seasoning.
2. Half a stick of string cheese. To add extra flavor, brush on melted butter and sprinkle dried garlic or Parmesan cheese.
3. Half a stick of string cheese and few pepperoni slices. To add extra flavor, brush butter and sprinkle garlic, Italian seasoning, or Parmesan cheese. Add tomato sauce as a dip.
4. A few chocolate chips. I went a little crazy and made and added chocolate shavings.
5. Nutella. Chocolate shavings on those too.
6. Butter cinnamon and brown sugar.
7. A friend recommended ham and cheddar. Her son loves them, so she makes them and freezes them two in a bag.
Somethings we haven’t tried, but I want to. Cheddar. A slice of turkey or ham and cheese. A slice of apple. Jelly.
Good luck. Stay safe. Stay sane.