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✂️DIY Pipe Cleaners ♻️Paper Mache 🦃Turkey• Thanksgiving Inspired Craft•

Thanksgiving Holiday is a time to gather together and spend quality time with the family; and for us, making crafts allows us to be together while expressing creativity, advancing fine-motor skills, and most importantly, having fun! This ✂️DIY Pipe Cleaners ♻️Paper Mache 🦃Turkey craft is another fun Thanksgiving-Inspired activity children have enjoyed creating. 


What you will need:

  • ♻️recycled toilet paper roll,
  • recycled brown tissue paper for turkey's body (or you can use a different color),
  • mache paste for paper mache application (we are using this Mod Podge),
  • pipe cleaners to make turkey's tail,
  • recycled packing peanuts,
  • feathers,
  • paint (we are using these washable finger-paints),
  • googly eyes,
  • pom-poms,
  • a glue gun.

DSC_0049Using paper-mache technique, apply tissue paper to cover toilet paper roll.


"He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man's intelligence." - Dr. Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, p. 25.


The child is a worker and a producer. … The child's work belongs to another order and has a wholly different force from the work of the adult. The child’s work is done unconsciously, in abandonment to a mysterious spiritual energy, actively engaged in creation. It is indeed a creative work. Dr. Maria Montessori, 'The Secret of Childhood', Orient Longman Limited, 200.

DSC_0104Insert pipe-cleaners into the packing peanuts to make wings. 

DSC_0104  We used a glue gun to make pom-poms-mouth.  

DSC_0104  We also used a glue gun to attach pipe-cleaners to the roll.

DSC_0104Paint the packing peanuts with different colors.

DSC_0104Let the child explore his/her creativity!

DSC_0104While the paint was still wet, Adrian attached the matching color feathers. 
DSC_0104Our Thanksgiving Inspired🦃Turkey.

Whether you 🎉celebrate Thanksgiving 🦃holiday or not, the 🗓Month of November is a month of 🙏Gratitude, and I am wishing you a blessed, bountiful and a happy Holiday Season and a Happy 🦃Thanksgiving! There is always something to be thankful for! And it is not the happy people who are thankful, but rather thankful people who are happy. So, I am wishing you much happiness and many special family times this holiday season!

We did another Thanksgiving Craft also using paper mache technique: see here "🙏Thankful 🌳Tree🍂 • 🦃Thanksgiving Inspired ✂️Craft."

For more on holiday-inspired unit study, see here our activities round up "🦃Thanksgiving Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study."

DIY ☮️ Mindful ✨Glitter Calming Jar •Meditation 📿Tool for Kids•

Before we can be 🙏thankful, we need to be mindful. So, we made this DIY Mind✨Glitter Jar as a meditational tool to calm down, reflect, express gratitude and count blessings🙏.


A Mind /Calming Jar is a wonderful meditation tool to offer to a child who feels overwhelmed, upset or stressed. As an example of Focused Attention Meditation (object of focus): a child is encouraged to focus his/her attention on a single object like a breath, a mantra, visualization, part of the body, or an external object like a Mindful Jar. 


What you will need to make this Mindful/Calming Glitter Jar:

  • a  jar (baby food, mason-jar, or any other recycled glass jar),
  • glitter glue (we are using blue one - buy here),
  • extra loose glitter,
  • warm water to help dissolve the glue (you can also microwave the jar for 30-60 seconds, or keep heating it up until all the large clumps are dissolved); 
  • a glue gun,
  • an object to look at once the glitter settles (we are using a Dragon- Silhouette Jade pendant).

DSC_0027   To secure a pendant to the lid, we are using a glue-gun and double-sided tape. 

DSC_0027Adrian thought that a Dragon Jade pendant inside a Mindful Jar would be nice to observe once the glitter settles.

DSC_0027  The ratio is 1:1, depending on the size of your jar. 

DSC_0032Add about one tablespoon of glitter glue per one cup of warm water, (2 tbs to 2 cups, etc).

DSC_0032The bigger the jar, the more glue you would add. Also, if you desire a thicker consistency and longer "settling/calming down" time, increase the ratio by adding more glue. 

DSC_0043  We also added extra loose glitter for more sparkle effect.  

The sight of dancing glitter was mesmerizing indeed. Offer your child to imagine the glitter as wondering thoughts. When you shake the jar, imagine that it is your head full of swirling thoughts. As the glitter slowly settles, imagine your thoughts or unease or anxiety settle as well, calming you down.


The more glue you add, the thicker the density would be, slowing down the settling process since the glue makes the water thick and gooey. It a 1:1 ratio, it takes about five minutes for all the glitter to slowly and gently swirl around and settle - the perfect time for a child to reconnect, find the inner balance, gather thoughts and feel the gratitude.  


DSC_0062  Also, the warmer the water, the quicker the glitter will settle. 

Lastly, although we rarely use time-outs, I imagine this jar as a nice alternative to a time-out, encouraging a child to refocus without a sense of punishment: stop the behavior, shake the jar, focus on dancing glitter, reconnect with oneself.

Above all, I trust that this Mindful Glitter Jar will be a great meditational tool to quiet the mind, gather thoughts, find peace and inner balance while watching the glitter swirl around and around. 

We made similar jars for Valentines, see here ❤️Valentines ✨Glitter Sensory Bottle ~ Calming Jar.

For more on Peace education, read here "Montessori ☮️PEACE Shelfie (Grace &Courtesy, Gratitude, Pillars of a Peaceful Character)." 

For more on Thanksgiving-Inspired activities, see here "🦃Thanksgiving Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study." 

Lastly, the Dragon Jade pendant is from our China Continent Box - see here a detailed post "Montessori Cultural & Science Lesson (China 🇨🇳 Continent 📦 Box)." 

🙏Thankful 🌳Tree🍂 • 🦃Thanksgiving Inspired ✂️Craft•

As 🦃 Thanksgiving is approaching, we try to slow down, reflect, and be thankful for all the blessings we are so fortunate with. By instilling gratitude in my children, I hope to ensure that they will have all the tools necessary to meet every situation with a mindset of abundance, appreciation, and joy. Gratitude, a powerful mindset of "having enough," can bring the fullness of life, and we as parents and teachers can play a vital role in helping our children learn a lifelong appreciation for what we already have, rather than what we do not. So, today, I asked Adrian to self-reflect and think about which things make him happy and what he is thankful for. “Each day, each season, each cycle offers something of beauty. Let us notice and give thanks.” – Diane Mariechild. And to display Adrian's gratitude-reflections, we will be making a 🙏Thankful 🌳Tree🍂.

DSC_0050What you will need to make a🙏Thankful 🌳Tree🍂:

  • recycled paper-towel roll,
  • Mache paste for paper mache application (we are using this Mod Podge),
  • recycled brown tissue paper for the tree's trunk,
  • pipe-cleaners for brunches,
  • hole puncher,
  • besides Adrian's Thankful Hearts, to decorate our Thankful Tree, we are using wooden maple leaves, laminated dried leaves we have collected during nature walks and DIY play dough leaves children made. 

DSC_0050Cut the bottom of the paper-towel roll in strips, so that the tree will stand. 
DSC_0050Using paper mache technique, cover paper-roll with brown tissue paper to resemble the trunk. 
DSC_0050Once the ♻️roll is dry, make holes and insert double-twisted pipe-cleaners as branches. 
DSC_0050I laminated dried leaves to use as decorations in addition to Adrian's Thankful Hearts.


“Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega


Paper-clips work great instead of ornament hooks. See here "🍁Fall-Inspired Odd & Even" activity using these wooden maple leaves. 
DSC_0074-2Adrian is thankful for Julia, Mam, and Dad. His world is small yet but plentiful. 

DSC_0128Adrian decorated his Thankful Tree with DIY play dough leaves (see how he made them here). 

DSC_0026 The ends of pipe-cleaners can also be used to attach decorations to. 

DSC_0026Adrian is also thankful to himself for himself.

We also added felt leaves, acorns, and pine-cones as decorations.

“In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and all I have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” ~ Henri Nouwen

Happy 🦃Thanksgiving! I hope your Holidays are blessed, bountiful and joyful! 

We did another craft using paper mache here "✂️DIY Pipe Cleaners ♻️Paper Mache 🦃Turkey• Thanksgiving Inspired ✂️Craft."

For more on Thanksgiving-Inspired activities, see here "🦃Thanksgiving Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study." 

For more on Peace education, read here "Montessori ☮️PEACE Shelfie (Grace &Courtesy, Gratitude, Pillars of a Peaceful Character)."

🔢Math Simple ➕Addition and ➖Subtractions with LEGO

Recently, 👦🏼Adrian really got into LEGO building: he builds every day, and he would build the entire day (if I let him😉). So, we are LEGO ❤️️fanatics here! This Snow ❄️ Resort Kit (buy here) is actually the 1st LEGO Friends set 👦🏼Adrian built completely independently (without 👧🏻Julia's help and he loved the process!) Aside from allowing a child express creativity and ingenuity, there are so many things you can do with LEGO! 


Once Adrian was finished, to add a twist to a traditional LEGO building, I wrote down some equations and asked Adrian to reproduce them with LEGO pieces.


The  "worksheet" (download here) had several basic addition and subtraction equations on it. Adrian would have to build the equation on the board and solve it. 
DSC_0005-2For symbols, I used flat "bumpless" LEGO pieces and simply drew the sign on them with a Sharpie (permanent marker).
DSC_0005-2To provide a control of error, I made sure that each equation sing had the same color, adding a sensorial aspect to this activity. Also, Adrian can sensorily feel little bumps on the pieces while counting to self-correct, triggering tactile learning!

For our Math work: see here a 🎥 video- post "Beginning ➖ Subtraction (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥Lesson)." For Addition Math work, see here "Montessori Math Simple ➕ Addition using Marble-Counters" and here a 🎥 video-post "➕Addition Strip Board (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)." Also see here an extension to Montessori Strip Board: "➕Addition Strip Board Making 🔟’s (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)."

For Holiday posts, here  "🦃Thanksgiving 🌽Inspired DIY Simple ➖ Subtraction Math Lesson."

For more on LEGO, see:

  • here "Learning Fractions with LEGO"
  • here "Julia's Christmas Gift: LEGO Creator Expert Santa's Workshop"
  • here "LEGO Juniors Demolition Site Building Kit"
  • here "Dropper Writing Letter M with LEGO (Language 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum)"
  • here "LEGO - the Best Investment in a Toy"
  • here "Julia's 7th Birthday Gifts: LEGO Friends"

 Do your children like LEGO? Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

🦃Thanksgiving 🌽Inspired DIY Simple ➖ Subtraction Math Lesson

This Thanksgiving Inspired DIY lesson on Subtraction uses materials you probably have at home. (Please note that this lesson should be presented to a child who already understands the concept of numerals at least till ten and the concept of addition; see the links below.)

DSC_0055There are different ways you can explain the mathematical operation of "subtraction" to a child -  the process of taking away/removing objects from a collection: a 🦃 hen/turkey ate the kernels (thus the difference is less by what the turkey ate) or a child can use fine and gross motor control to punch out holes/kernels we are subtracting or to cut the subtrahend kernels. 

DSC_0055 Hands-on subtracting (taking away 6) by hole-punching 6 kernels. 

DSC_0043  The 1st number (from which we are subtracting from) is called a minuend, while the number being subtracted (2nd number) is called the subtrahendThe result is called the difference.
DSC_0055Subtracting/taking away can also be presented by cutting, thus resulting with less of something.
DSC_0055Once the equation is solved, a child would choose the correct difference/result of the subtraction from number stickers.

See here a 🎥 video- post "Beginning ➖ Subtraction (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥Lesson)." For Addition Math work, see here "Montessori Math Simple ➕ Addition using Marble-Counters" and here a 🎥 video-post "➕Addition Strip Board (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)." Also see here an extension to Montessori Strip Board: "➕Addition Strip Board Making 🔟’s (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)."

For more on themed unit studies, see here a summary post for the month of November "🦃Thanksgiving Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study" and here a summary post with all activities we have done during the month of🍂September and🎃October in a post "🍂Fall & 🎃Halloween Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study." Also here see what we did in 2016 "🦃Thanksgiving-inspired activities (2016). "