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Cloth Dying- STEAM in History

This year, our family has been enjoying "Our Star Spangled Story," a living history style curriculum for early elementary kids.  Every day, Skimmer (age 7) asks to do history class and is disappointed when I tell him we only have a few lessons a week.  All three kids are remembering quite a bit of history.  We have a large US map on the wall of our kitchen classroom and have been working on geography a bit as we learn about each new place.

We're now in about the 1840's and did a chapter about the Industrial Revolution.  The book focused on cotton and the process of getting cotton from the plant to the fabric and contrasting the labor of working by hand vs the efficient mechanization of factories.  Since we live in a part of the country where cotton isn't grown, we watched a few Youtube videos.

Handpicking Cotton

The above 1948 documentary shows sharecroppers picking cotton and how important "King Cotton" is/was for the automobile industry.  There's …

100 Ways to Keep the Generations Happy this Holiday Season

It's November, which means that the season of sickness, holidays, and family gatherings.  After all the food has been cleared from the table, you still have hours of time to fill with your family.  You could answer invasive questions and endure awkward pauses, or you could get everyone laughing and moving with these 100 group activities.

As I put together this list, I purposefully chose games that would be challenging, but doable, for all ages, from kid to great-grandparents.  Most of the activities use normal household objects or easy to obtain things and many of them use the same types of things over and over.  Don't be afraid to spread the workload out among your guest and have others bring the elements for the games too.

I have assembled a list of 100 games and activities for all the fall and winter holidays, including Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years.  There are also over 30 ideas for general winter fun, suitable for classrooms, homeschoolers, snow days, …

Animal Learning Ideas for Kids

An InLinkz Link-up

I also highly recommend the amazing printables from Every Star is Different.  Her Montessori-inspired Vertebrates Bundle is designed for preschool and early elementary age kids and serves as both an introduction to the zoological classes and a complete theme unit for learning about animals.  This bundle includes math, literacy, and other subjects within the vertebrates category.  Get more details by clicking on the picture or the colored text.

You can also purchase the packets separately:

- Intro to Vertebrates

- Fish

- Reptiles

- Mammals

- Amphibians

- Birds

*Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids is an affiliate of Every Star is Different's printables program.  When you purchase this product, you help to support hers and my homeschool classrooms.*

Also, check out my Montessori-inspired 3-part cards for all the Safari Ltd Toobs of animals!  I have over 30 toobs covered with ocean and land animals (plus several inanimate objects).  Click the colored text or the picture to…

Printable Labels for Easy Homemade Food Gifts

The last few years, I've had months of Christmas posts (see them all here).  This year, I only have a few contributions; although, it's still several weeks until Thanksgiving so we'll see what happens when we get closer to Christmas.  I put together this post last year after Christmas and have been sitting on it to finally share with you today.

After putting together the Quick and Easy Food Gifts with Printables blog post a few years ago, I had to make another one this year!  The first article focused on store-bought foods to which you can easily add a printable (and sometimes punny) label.  Today's post is about easy homemade food gifts you can assemble for friends, families, and acquaintances.  As a bonus, all of them fit in a quart-size mason jar!

- Pumpkin Butter from Minimalist Baker in a Mason Jar with an Adorable Chalk Label from Lily and Val.  Great for new moms as pumpkin can help increase milk production, especially when paired with oatmeal.

- Nativity Story…

10 Ways to Use Indian Corn for Autumn Learning

Growing up, I remember being obsessed with Indian Corn!  I would look longingly at it and linger my fingers over the kernels.  I loved the colors, the texture, the season, and everything about them.  We never got to bring any home, which might be why I'm still obsessed with them as an adult.  We've done so many things with them over the years that I decided it was time to write a post about them.

1- Pick the Kernels off with Tweezers
Probably one of the most obvious activities with Indian Corn is to take the kernels off the ears.  Using tweezers to accomplish the task helps strengthen kids fingers for better handwriting.  The kernels can also be removed with fingers.  I've found that rubbing your thumb along them or rubbing two ears together can get them off quickly.

To enhance the learning, talk with your children about corn's place in history as food for animals and people.  You can tell them about how children used to de-kernel hundreds of cobs over the winter to he…

American Revolution Books and Videos for Kids

We have had the strangest few weeks.  I had intended to make a blog post for each unit in our history book, but that's just not happening (best laid plans, right?).  Between company, sickness, and general upheaval, we're barely managing to keep moving forward in our book.

The last few units have been focused on the lead up to the American Revolution, the war, and the building of a new government.  It's my least favorite US history time period.  I'm not sure why.  I've gathered up a few awesome books, though, by people who do love early American history and want kids to love it too.  Check them out by clicking the colored text below.

If You were a Kid in the American Revolution
American Revolution Card Game
Letters for Freedom: Revolutionary War
Eyewitness American Revolution
Guts and Glory: American Revolution
If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution
George Washington doll
Rush Revere book
Safari Ltd Revolutionary War toobs

I love that our time period includes Y…