Boredom Buster | Scientific Journal

I hate those words "I am bored."  They are like nails on a chalkboard!  Every summer I try to come up with lots of creative ways to avoid those dreaded words escaping my children's lips.  One of the things we do each summer is tune-in to and watch for animals.  It is the coolest thing to watch monkeys, lions, elephants, hippos, and giraffes in their natural habitat.  We have to wait until summer because the "watering holes" don't get busy until 9pm our time.  I have been a fan of this site for years and I love watching it grow in popularity because they keep adding more live cameras and features.  Check out what we saw the other night:
Zebras!  There is this new feature where you can take a snapshot of the live animals you are seeing.  There miiiiiiight be times I am watching without the kids so this comes in handy.  Anywho.

This summer, I decided to make this part of our "summer learning" plan.
(yes, I am one of those Moms who make their kids do school work on their time-off)
This is in our "science" portion.  I created this worksheet for my kids to record their findings:
I think you can click on it to enlarge and print for yourself if you'd like.
If there is a big enough interest, I can put a PDF version on my website.

We don't just sit and watch all day.  We use this worksheet for investigating clouds, nature walks, experiments we find on the internet, bugs, and anything else scienc-ie.

Now go getcher science on, People!

Ducktape Pinwheel Bow :: Tutorial

My daughter is starting her next volleyball season and I wanted to make a hair bow for her and her teammates.  Normally, I would just buy a bunch of bows from the fabulous Bliss Baby Designs but she's on a maternity leave and I couldn't ask her to make them for me on such short notice.  I headed to Michael's to gather ideas and supplies, searched the internet for some inspiration and came up with a Ducktape Pinwheel Bow:

I always love finding easy projects and thought I'd share a step-by-step tutorial so you can make your own hair bows.  This seriously only took about 5-10 minutes per bow(depending on how many interruptions you get!)  I made 9 of them for her teammates and can't wait to see them on the girls!  Okay, let's get to the tutorial.

1 roll of Ducktape (1.88 x 10 yards)
1 roll white satin ribbon (4" x 10 yards)
glue gun/sticks
optional: jewelry wire (26 gauge)
optional: hairclips

  • I made 10 bows with the roll of Ducktape and ribbon and have plenty leftover for more!
  • The jewelry wire I had on hand and isn't necessary but, helps with assembly.
  • You can substitute the satin ribbon with any kind of fabric or ribbon.  I choose the 4" wide satin white because of cost and I could fit two strips of tape.
You will need to measure out approximately 27" of the ribbon and the tape.

I rolled out the ribbon first and then applied the tape to the very edge of the ribbon.  Be sure you stick the tape to the back of the ribbon (aka, the non-shiny side).

Plug in your hot glue gun so its ready to go when you need it!

Once you have stuck the tape on, you can see how there is plenty of space to add another strip of tape to the other side.

After you have stuck down the tape and smoothed it out, grab your scissors.  Cut along the inside edge to get your strip for the bow.

No need to worry about the ribbon frays because the tape will keep it from shredding.

Repeat this step for the remainder ribbon if you are making more than one hair bow.

Trim the edge of your strip at angles or diagonal (your preference here).  I did angles because I like the look!

Fold the ribbon like so (see photo)

Pinch the folds together to start forming your bow.  This takes a little work to shape the pleats of the bow to your liking.  You'll get it, just work with it a bit.

STEP 5 (optional):
I had some jewelry wire laying around so I used it to secure the pinch.  Totally not necessary but, it is helpful so you can use both hands to wrap the ribbon for the next step.

Cut a strip of ribbon approximately 7" and tie a knot in the center.

PS, I wish I would have gotten a larger ribbon with a pattern for this center part but, I ran out of time.  The other option is you could make a 7" strip of the tape/ribbon combo like in Step 1 to use for the center.

(Front view of ribbon on bow)
Place a dot of your hot glue on the front center of the bow and place the knot of ribbon on top.  Flip the bow over.

Using another dot of glue, criss-cross the ribbon over the back of the bow and secure with glue.  Let it dry.

Place the hair clip on the back side of the bow and secure with hot glue.

I criss-crossed the ribbon over the underside of the clip and secured with more hot glue.

Trim the extra length of ribbon and your done!

Doesn't that look adorable?  Let me know if you try creating your own Ducktape Pinwheel Bow.

Oh yes, I forgot to include the hair clips in the supply photo so here they are (also found at Michaels!)

New Years Mobile

I woke up this morning to my Jellybean asking to create a craft with me... I adore this girl, she speaks my love language. We retreated to her room to dig through her new craft supplies and craft idea book. We came across a sun & star mobile and decided this would be a fun craft! As we were gathering our supplies, she comes up with this brilliant idea to make it a New Years mobile. This was such a fun and easy craft, I wanted to share it with you. I will do my best to include the step-by-step so you can create this project if you'd like.  This craft is so flexible!  You could spell out Happy New Year or shapes or do a countdown like we did.

New Years Mobile
  • heavy paper (construction or scrapbook)
  • string (ribbon, twine, yarn)
  • wire clothes hanger
  • cardboard paper towel roll (we used a wrapping paper roll cut in half)
  • marker/pencil
  • glue
  • glitter
  • hole punch
  • scissors
STEPS:1. Draw numbers/shapes/letters onto paper and cut them out.

2. Use glue and glitter to decorate your cutouts. Let them dry completely.
TIP: use a deep box to sprinkle your glitter on your shapes, it will save you some clean-up time after the crafting is done!
3. While waiting for your cutouts to dry, pick up the cardboard roll and cut down the center of the tube.
4. Punch holes on one side of the tube. This is where you will hang the cutouts so you will need to count how many holes you need.

5. Feel free to decorate the tube!  We added a touch of glitter but you can paint it or let your little one color it with markers.

6. Cut your string.  Feel free to make them all the same length or add various lengths to give it a more whimsical feel.
7. Knot each piece of string so that the knot is larger than the hole punch.  Pull each piece of string through a hole in the roll.  The knot should keep it in place.
8. Slide the roll onto your wire hanger and twist it around until your holes are at the bottom.
9. Punch holes into the top of your shape (numbers, letters, etc) and thread the string through the hole.  Tie another knot.
10.  Hang your mobile in a breezy place to watch it dance.
 I hope you enjoy this craft.  Feel free to share it with your friends.  Happy New Year!