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🎩Leprechaun 🍀Land DIY 🌀Hydro Gels 💚Colored Rice 🙌🏻 Sensory Bin

Happy ☘️St. Patrick's Day! Did any of your perfect traps work? Since children did not wish to catch a leprechaun, we decided to create a sensory Leprechaun Land. 


In preparing our 🎩 Leprechaun ☘️Land, we decided to use 🌀hydrogels~ 💦water-beads, since we have had the most amazing sensorial experience with them! ( At times, I'm not sure 🙈whom am I setting up these bins for? 👧🏻👦🏼or 🙋🏼?)

DSC_0012Hydrogels can be costly though, so I bought ⚪️clear  hydrogels in bulk ~ 1 lb makes 12 gallons😱for only $10~ and then added food coloring! And, the amazing thing is that once colored, the hydrogels do not stain hands or transfer color! For example, we placed DIY blue hydrogels in water, and the water remained clear while hydrogels remained vivid blue!


Inspired by the 💚Green book, we are also making shades of GREEN with this DIY rice! Just add a little bit vinegar (we are using a bulb baster for that) and desired food coloring to your dry rice (separate each color in an individual plastic ziplock bag) - mix well, air dry and it is ready to use! 

DSC_0012Most coloring we used (such as green, seafoam, and turquoise)  are from this liquid dye set for soap. We also used a neon green (with a pointy cap) from this food coloring pack, and last one: kiwi green was from this liquid soap set.

DSC_0027Did you know that 🇮🇪 Ireland's nickname is 💚 'Emerald Isle’ because of its verdant landscapes and lush 🌱 grass? Also, the color 💚green holds a deeper religious meaning of Catholicism. Green stands for fighting for independence and freedom from 🇬🇧England and to be able to exercise free religious choice. Gold, on the other hand, as seen on the 🇮🇪Irish flag, represents Protestant ruling under the 🇬🇧British Empire, and white stands for hope.

DSC_0027Did you know that the original color associated with St. Patrick was not green, but blue! Patrick is shown wearing blue vestments in several artworks. It was not until later that the green color became associated with Ireland due to the beautiful green countryside and the above mentioned religious content. 

DSC_0097-3We ended up mixing our DIY blue and green hydrogels to create a pond for a frog to sit on a four-leafed clover. We also use these tree, which I inserted into styrofoam packing rectangles. I thereafter covered everything with our rainbow green rice.

DSC_0093About 🎩Leprechauns: According to legend, the leprechaun is a tiny elf, found only in Ireland. Most leprechauns are shoemakers to the Fairies, who pay them gold for their work. The leprechauns, or “little people,” store their gold in pots and often bury one “at the end of the rainbow.” Since leprechauns love more than anything to play tricks, this may just be another one. The gold at the end of the rainbow has not been discovered yet! But if you find a leprechaun and pick him up, he must tell you where his gold is hidden. That is leprechaun law. So look for leprechauns in Ireland near clear springs of water, or close to large rock formations, or at the end of a rainbow. Listen for the sound of tiny hammers tapping, or elfin pipes piping, as soft voices to sing a fairy song. And maybe, just maybe, you will find the leprechauns’ pot of gold!

DSC_0100We also experimented with setting up a pond in a shallow dish.

DSC_0100Which set up do you like better?

DSC_0025 copyAnd, by the way, a Leprechaun ended up visiting us for a quick bite after all. Children were super 😜 excited to see that he ate all the nuts we left out for him and drank some of his favorite ❤️️dandelion 🍵tea ... though spilling most of the tea ...He also left gold dusted 👣 footprints all over and two gold coins. We did not catch him on camera though 😬 leprechauns are quick, shrewd and camera-shy❌📸.  Have you been 🍀 lucky catching a Leprechaun?

See here our entire unit round-up in a post ☘️St. Patrick's Day Inspired Unit Study.

☘️Shamrock ✂️DIY ♻️Recycled 🍡Popsicle Puzzle Skip Counting by 🔟

Today, we are making St. Patrick's Day-inspired DIY  ☘️Shamrock puzzle with a 🔟math twist. 

DSC_0071What you will need:

  • recycled 🍡ice pop/popsicle sticks (or buy wooden craft sticks here),
  • a shamrock cutout (we are using this glittered one),
  • a green Sharpie,
  • a craft knife,
  • and a glue gun

DSC_0064Arrange craft sticks straight next to each other & place a Shamrock cutout on top.

DSC_0064Glue the Shamrock cutout to the sticks with a glue gun.

DSC_0064Once dried, carefully cut along the craft sticks' edges.DSC_0064

Prime the area where you will be writing numbers with a clear nail polish to prevent the writings from bleeding (running and spreading).

DSC_0071Write numbers zero through one hundred, skip counting by tens.
DSC_0071Offer your child to practice math skills and skip count by tens.
DSC_0071Also, mix up the craft sticks and offer your child to assemble them as a puzzle.

For more on St. Patrick's hands-on fun activities for your child, see here ☘️St. Patrick's Day Kids Activities.

🐦Birds 🌳Forest Habitat DIY ♻️Recycled 🚽Toilet Paper Craft with 🔢Math Twist

We are longing for Spring, so today, we are upcycling by making a DIY Bird forest habitat craft with recycled toilet and towel paper rolls. As a base, we are using a white iPad packing insert. 

DSC_0026We are also using marbles, stones, moss and other finds we have collected during our nature walks.

DSC_0031Use the exactor knife to cut the holes out.

To make our forest, we painted some trees with white poster paint to resemble birch trees. To make other types of deciduous trees, Adrian mixed the red and green washable finger paints to make the color brown. (He loved mixing colors ~ we ended up mixing many more others! Hooray to sensorial color exploration!)DSC_0039For our forest habitat, we are using backyard birds including a woodpecker, indigo bunting, red cardinal,  warbler, and a blue jay.DSC_0039 To finish the birch trees, I used a black Sharpie and then applied another coat of white paint to some parts.
DSC_0039Many birds migrate as the weather changes to access a greater variety of food and have an ideal habitat for nesting, but many backyard birds stay around all year long. They are often known as resident birds.DSC_0052We also talked about spring and birds' Nesting Cycle. More than 700 bird species breed in North America, and the variations in their behaviors are fascinatingly complex. Different species find mates, build nests, lay eggs, and raise their young chicks in incredibly different ways. Did you know that throughout the year, most birds use day length to tell what season it is? When the number of hours of daylight exceeds a certain critical level, physiological changes are triggered in birds which prepare them to breed. (Read more here.)DSC_0045  In forests, tree holes are created either by woodpeckers or more slowly as trees age and begin to decay. Birds like owls, songbirds, and parrots make homes in the holes of trees because they offer safe environments for sleeping, reproduction and raising young chicks.DSC_0035We commonly see red cardinals, blue jays, and woodpeckers in our backyard. We barely see Yellow Wabler though. Actually, Prothonotary Warbler, unlike other warblers, makes its nest in tree holes within the southern swamplands. This is probably because the normal warbler nesting spot of dense bushes is scarce.

DSC_0052Also, add a math twist and offer your child to add or subtract birds as they fly in or out the tree holes.
DSC_0052We also referred to these bird cards to discover the diversity of birds across North America.

For more on birds, see here our 🐦Bird Unit Study 📚Books and Materials.

🎂Dr. Seuss ♻️Recycled Craft Skip Counting by 🔟s

Happy 🎂Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Theodor Seuss Geisel, born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, MA, was an American author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, book publisher, and artist, best known for authoring more than 60 children's books under the pen name Doctor Seuss. Did you know that Dr. Seuss is the ninth-best-selling fiction author of all time (estimated 500 million copies sold)? (Read more here.)

Dr. Seuss could plant more meaning into a few short verses than most writers can manage to embed in an entire novel!

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!”

So, today, we are thinking left and right and, inspired by The Cat in the Hat book, we are skip counting with this🍡DIY ♻️recycled Math 🎩Hat. 

DSC_0032How to make this skip counting DIY 🎩

  • paint six recycled popsicle sticks with this red tempera paint, which dries in 90 seconds and paints perfectly vivid over the wood,
  • *TIP: apply a thin coat of clear nail polish to the ends of unfinished popsicle sticks to prime the part where you will be writing numbers (otherwise, the numbers will "bleed" ~ color will spread),
  • write with a black Sharpie numbers one till one hundred, skip counting by fives (on the left, I wrote skip counting by 10s and on the right by 5s). Modification: with smaller children, just write numbers one through ten.
  • finally, top the🎩Hat with a hundred square!

DSC_0037I then offered Adrian to match number tiles from Montessori Hundred Board to the numbers on popsicle sticks. (For a detailed lesson on Hundred Board, read here Montessori 💯Hundred Board at 3 Yo). 
DSC_0037“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” And indeed, at first, Adrian thought this was too complicated, but step by step, he assembled the 🎩hat and was able to skip count by 5s till one hundred!

DIY Thing 1 & Thing 2 🙌🏻Handprint♻️Craft with a 🔢Math Twist

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Dr. Suess.

We also made handprints Thing 1 (Julia) and Thing 2 (Adrian) craft while incorporating math and skip counting by 10s. 

DSC_0020What you will need:

DSC_0020Roll strips of blue paper over the pencil to give hair a "curl."
DSC_0020Each hair strand represents 10, offering to practice skip counting by ten till one hundred.

DSC_0020I glued a red pom-pom to the top of the roll to support the handprint. 

DSC_0005Meet Thing 1 and Thing 2!

DSC_0005Julia's handprint was bigger, so I glued a popsicle stick to the back.
DSC_0005Julia also got a pink bow made out of a pom-pom and pink construction paper.
DSC_0005This craft will remain a keepsake to remember how big their hands were at 8 and 4 yo.
DSC_0005Lastly, offer your child to skip count using golden beads ten-bars.

How do you celebrate Dr. Seuss's Birthday?

DSC_0001See here books & puzzles we are loving on March 2nd 🎉Dr. Seuss's 🎂Birthday 📚.

🌈Rainbow Alphabet 🔡Lower to 🔠Upper Case Matching

To continue with our rainbow theme, I made this DIY Alphabet matching activity. First, I drew a rainbow using these pastels. Then I laminated the rainbow painting since the pastels do transfer to hands. 

DSC_0093I wrote with this Sharpie upper and lower case alphabet on these dot sticker sheets. 

I then arranged twenty-six of these self-adhesive magnets on the rainbow to represent the upper case letters, securing them to the rainbow by removing the backs.
DSC_0093To make sure that the upper and lower case magnets attack, stick the upper case dot sticker to the "face" of the magnet already secured to the rainbow.

DSC_0093With lower case letter magnets you will NOT be removing the backs, but rather placing a lower case letter sticker ON the back, which is white and will remain on the magnet. This will ensure that lower and upper case magnets will attack.
DSC_0100Offer your child to match the loose lower case magnets to the upper case magnets already adhered to the rainbow.
DSC_0100This language matching activity is also a great fine motor and hand-eye coordination exercise.

DSC_0100  In the process, the child also practices color recognition and rainbow color sequencing since the upper and lower case of the same letter will have matching colors.
DSC_0100Once the child completes the activity, offer to "run" on the rainbow singing the ABC song. 
DSC_0100Magnets are great since this assures you will not have tiny dot letters all around the house!.

For more on rainbows, see here our ☘️St Patrick's Day Kids Activities.

For some hands-on fun science experiments on "walking water" and capillary action, see links below:

DSC_0067See here 💛💙❤️Primary Colors, 💦Water & Paper Capillary Action ⌛️Timelapse ⚗️ Kids Science Experiment (🌈 Rainbow Walking Water).


IMG_0549Also, see here 🖌Markers ☕Coffee Filters 🌈Rainbow Walking 💦Water ⌛️Timelapse Kids ⚗️Science Capillary Action.