How cool does look? Kids do challenges and master skills to earn badges. You can access this part of it for free, or for a subscription (that can cover multiple kids) you can access courses on learning how to do the different challenges. I can’t wait to show this to the Scout Kid, and someday to the Feral Kid and their sister. What will we start with? Baker? Archer? Graphic Designer? I know Scout Kid will have some opinions once I show him the options. Our life just got way more fun.

Download the app┬áhere and let me know if you sign your kids up so we can follow each other’s progress!


Advent Activities 2015: December 4th, Snowman Pancakes

Today’s activity was kind of spontaneous. It wasn’t on the list, but I woke up this morning and felt like pancakes, so I figured if I was going to spend the energy making them, I might as well make it the day’s activity. So, voila, snowman pancakes!

In other news, I am the best at pancakes (this is not bragging, it is just fact) and so can you be if you follow my recipe. I added apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to these, and then made the snowman faces with raisins and dried cranberries and drifted powdered sugar over top as snow, but usually I make them with blueberries and they’re also amazing.

Food and Wine’s Buttermilk Pancakes
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (can substitute buckwheat flour for 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

1. Place a large frying pan on the burner and preheat to medium-low (I set mine specifically 3/4 of the way between medium and low.) In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. If you are adding fruit, stir it into the dry ingredients.
2. Measure 2 cups of buttermilk in a 4-cup graduated measuring cup, then whisk in the eggs, vanilla, and melted butter.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until flour is just moistened.
4. Generously butter the pan (this is key, do not skip it) and pour in pancakes using a 1/4 cup measure. When bubbles show through the middle of the pancakes, flip and cook 1-2 minutes on the other side. Best served right off the griddle with butter and maple syrup.

Homeschooling: Science: Cloud Types

Trying to get back into the swing of doing regular homeschooling activities now that the school year is started again. We do have a few regular things: weekly piano lessons with my sister + practices, weekly art lessons with my mama, daily Bible reading/memorization, reading, and practice counting (I’ll post about our hundreds chart another time,) and we enjoy those, but Scout Kid really gets most excited about the special activities I plan.

So for this activity, we first spent some time learning about clouds. We read our Field Guide to Weather and watched a few videos on Youtube about weather and clouds, which kind of went in the extreme storm direction instead of the fluffy cloud direction, but hey, guided by his interest and all…

I needed some time to get cotton balls, so we did the rest of the activity a week later; in the intervening time we kept our eyes open for cloud types as we drove or played outside. Scout Kid is a big fan of the cumulonimbus.

Once my cotton balls arrived, we painted a poster (Scout Kid added a moon and some stars up top there) and decorated it with all the 10 main types of clouds (there are a lot more subspecies and special types.) Scout Kid added the rain to the nimbostratus and cumulonimbus clouds, and I labelled everything. There’s lots more to learn, so we’re excited to keep talking about it– clouds are more interesting than I was previously aware.


Music: Shakers and Rhythm

Today we explored rhythm in music. Here’s what we did, for about 45 minutes:
-Listened to Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints while we coloured and decorated our paper plates. Drummed on our plates along with Proof, listening for the loud and soft parts.
-Filled our plates with rice and beans (one of each) and stapled them shut.
-Had a dance party to Coast, Frantik (WWMT), and Happy from Despicable Me 2. Shook our shakers, twirled (“Look, woom turning!”) and ran around.
-Listened to Paul Simon’s Gumboots, and watched a video of gumboot dancers, since earlier Scout Kid had been drumming on his rubber boots. While we did this, Scout Kid also practiced cutting on the streamers with his little scissors.

Houselove: Brick Walkway

After digging a moat around the house in order to waterproof the basement, our yard is basically just a mudpit right now. But someday we’ll grade and seed it and when that happens we will once again need walkways that aren’t made of muddy two-by-fours. This is nice and visually impactful and a big step up from patio stones. And I often see free brick offered on Kijiji…

Toddler Tuesdays: Alphabet Memory

Another craft! I discovered that Scout Kid was getting pretty dece at his iPhone memory game, so I figured I should harness that power for good. This is a simple memory game that helps him learn to match uppercase and lowercase letters. I could theoretically expand it to include the whole alphabet, but for now it’s just vowels.

You Will Need:
An empty cereal box
Printer and paper

1. Using a drinking glass, make 10 circles on the cereal box and cut them out.
2. Create a Microsoft Word document using half a page for each letter. Make each uppercase-lowercase pair the same colour (I is green, A is red, etc.). Print.
3. Using the same drinking glass, cut out each letter. Glue onto the coloured side of the cereal box.
4. Play memory. With a dinosaur, if desired. Ta-da! (Or, as I selfishly taught Scout Kid to say because it’s cuter, ‘Ha-da’!)

Toddler Tuesdays: Printable Fire Engine

Every day at about 10 o’clock I play with Paul for a bit. Today I asked him if he wanted to play literally every toy in his room and he said no to all of them. So I asked if he wanted to do a craft. I’m not sure he even knows what a craft is (I’m so not a crafty person) but he got all excited about it anyways. He’s a big fan of fire engines, so I found this printable colour-your-own fire engine. He was pretty thrilled about it, except that I wouldn’t let him use the Xacto knife…