Homeschool Wednesdays

I thought I would share some of the activities we have been up to recently in our homeschool coop. My daughter and  I recently read the book “Me on the Map” by Jane Sweeney. A very simple and sweet book that encourages the cartographer in everyone! A great introduction to the world and maps. Thus this lesson plan was created. First we read the book………..It was a hit! Next I gave the group a list that looked something like this

  •  A airport
  • A dump
  • A train track/station
  • A residential street
  • A CSA
  • A soccer field
  • A horse farm
  • A pond 
  • A hospital
  • A school
  • A church
and a bucket of toys. Their task was to create a village / town that included all the above. Once the town was created, they were given a large piece of paper and some markers to draw a map of the town. Once this was completed I pulled out this 24 piece “Our world floor puzzle” made by Barefoot books which they worked together to complete. Once completed with talked about the Countries and the Continents and looked for various sites that were pictured on the puzzle.
The next book was 

“My Granny Went to Market A Round-the-World Counting Rhyme” by Stella Blackstone
Next we began making a”Papier-mâché” globe.
What is “Papier-mâché” you ask?
It is French for “chewed up paper!”
We began layering a balloon with our newspaper scraps and using a simple flour water paste to adhere. Once this dried it was painted to look like a globe.
The last activity we did was play a round of “Great States Jr” 
Our group consists of 4-7 year olds. We are presently looking for a few more families to join us.  


Published in: on January 18, 2008 at 1:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Winter/Spring 2008 Schedule

Sunday Jan 13th   Create a Cardboard Village
 2-4pm $8
All ages (under 7 years must bring an adult)
Recycle gift wrap and holiday cards. Bring your old holiday cards wrapping
paper and small boxes (match boxes if you have any)
Sunday January 20th   A felt-made picnic
 2-4pm  $15
All ages (under 7 years must bring an adult)
We will create felt food (cookies, cake, sandwiches and more) Great for
the play kitchen, suprise doll picnics, swapping with friends.


Friday Feb 1st    Sand Mandalas  (co-sponsored by Hilltown families)

All ages (under 7 years must bring an adult)
4-6:30pm $12
Come and Celebrate the Tibetan New Year by creating Sand Mandalas and
hearing some Tibetan Folk Tales. We will also make a set of prayer flags.
Friday Feb 8th   Valentine card and Gift Making
10-6pm    $10 per family
All ages (under 7 years must bring an adult)
Sunday Feb 10th  Matryoska Madness   (co-sponsored by Hilltown families)
 10am-12:30pm pm $18 (per doll set made)
 All ages (under 7 years must bring an adult)
Spend an afternoon listening to 2 magical stories and making your own
Matryoska Dolls(these are the Russian Nesting dolls) (MUST REGISTER BY Jan
Friday Feb 29th Celebrate Girls! (co-sponsored by Hilltown families)
4-6:30pm   $12 per mother/daughter
All ages welcome
Celebrate Girls!…..Mothers and daughters bring your girls to a craft
celebration and special tea. We will learn Girls Day in Japan,  make a
Kokeshi Doll and participate in a Mother Daughter Community Ritual for
girls’ happiness and health. I encourage people to dress festively and
bring a festive snack. Tea will be provided.
Sunday March 23  Eggs Galore!
2-4pm $10
 All ages (under 7 years must bring an adult)
 Join us for a morning of Springtime fun. A story plus egg decoration, egg
dying, card making, paper garlands and more….wax, wooden, real
eggs….decoupage, stickers, batik, engraving
 All ages (under 7 years must bring an adult)
In order to register for these classes please call me at 413 625 2030 and
send a check to CAM PO Box 6, shelburne falls ma 01370.


Published in: on January 17, 2008 at 12:45 am  Leave a Comment  


Want to be part of the craft fair and do not know what to make here are some ideas…..


Everyone needs wrapping paper, cards, gift tags and boxes for the holidays! All you need to get started is newsprint, cardstock paper, used magazines, small boxes, paint, crayons, rubber stamps, and embellishments in holiday colors. Then gather the kids and let them go to town!

These can be decorated and embellished several ways:

Wet on Wet Watercolor
Wax Crayon Resist (First example; Second example)
Stamping using foam stamps or rubber stamps or even creating/carving your own

Try making sets. A set of 6 matching holiday cards and envelopes. Or make an embellished set that includes an envelope, card and wrapping paper. Take the opportunity to talk about patterns and repetition, technique and style.

Here are some links to inspire:

Creative ways to re-use old cards
Bird Beak Pop-up Card
Puzzle cards
Kids Craft Weekly Cards Issue

For a more advanced projects try making paper. Here are some links to get you started:

Make Your Own Paper, with Crafty Daisies and Mainly Zaz
Check out this Making Paper Tutorial
And this Making Paper Pictorial

Coasters : These can be made painting ceramic tiles. Cheap tiles can be purchased at home depot. I recommend sticking felt underneath them to protect furnature from being scratched. Another fun coater making method is decoupaging a tile with you favorite image. Remember to coat well with “modgepodge” to waterproof. Coasters can also be made with fabric, cardboard or cork……the opportunites endlesss. Try matching a coaster with a teapot cozy? or placemat?

Another open ended simple gift is making Photo Frames. Again try decoupage you can use old photos, newspaper /magazine clippings, used postage stamps, special finds from your nature walks, kids art etc

For a fun project try “Tomato Can Stilts” click here for a tutorial

Here are a few more ideas with tutorials for older children:

A crayon roll tutorial (for the older child) You could also try a pencil roll or marker roll, or a knitting needle/crochet hook roll, or a needle holder book.

Felted notebook covers

Please do not forget to let us know that you would like to be part of this kids craft show. For APPLICATIONS please email me at and I will email you all the pertinent info. Thanks.

Published in: on November 15, 2007 at 4:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pumpkins Pumpkins everywhere!


Pumpkins in the cornfields,
Gold among the brown,
Leaves of rust and scarlet
Trembling slowly down;
Birds that travel southward,
Lovely time to play;
Nothing is as pleasant
As an autumn day!
(Carmen Lagos Signes)

(Water colour activity: Sit children at their art table. Place a damp piece of watercolour paper in front of them. Tell this poem 3 times. Then place a small amount of red and some yellow water colour paint infront of them. Give them a paint brush. Retell the poem as they begin to work)

There are a plethera of books on Pumpkin some much better than others! Here are my two current favorites:

Pumpkins by Ken Robbins

Pumpkin Circle:The story of a Gardenby George Levenson

Here are a few links to fun Pumkin activities: (click on the words creatures, snakes, owls and celetrial below for activities)

Pumpkin Creatures: SnakesOwls and some celestial pumpkins! And here is an owl one.

and here is a recipes for “Autumn Spice Play Dough

1 cup water
1 T. oil
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Orange food coloring (2 parts yellow to 1 part red; paprika or carrot juice also make a
nice natural yellow dye)
Mix together over low heat. Knead when cool, adding more flour if needed.

Published in: on October 21, 2007 at 12:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Easter Activities

Mud Season………the favorite time of year for many of our little people. Here are some links to projects with an Easter theme

Chalkboard Easter Eggs

Egg Shaped Sidewalk Chalk

Colorful Easter Basket and more-Martha Stewart

Serge a Sweet Easter Bunny

Bunny Doll Pattern

Bunny Pattern (OUTLINE)

Needle Felted Bunny

Happy Crafting!

Published in: on March 27, 2007 at 2:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

What do we do on snow days?

Great paper templates here!

PS. Her book “The Toymaker” is great!

Published in: on March 20, 2007 at 12:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Craft Project:Making a Rain Stick Tutorial

Making a Rain Stick Tutorial

Published in: on March 16, 2007 at 12:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Clay and Papier Mache SnowPeople- Messy Kitchen Crafts!

Read all about it here……

A Kitchen Clay Craft

and Papier Mache Snowpeople Tutorial

Now go get dirty, and have fun!

Published in: on February 3, 2007 at 12:55 am  Comments (2)  

Pirate Books

Here are some for the 3-6 year olds …….

The Night Pirates
This one is my favorite! Rough tough little girl pirates!

Don’t Mention Pirates

Pirate Girl

Olives Pirate Party

Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC

How I Became a Pirate

Activities Books:

Pirate Things to Make And Do

The Great Pirate Activity Book

Published in: on February 2, 2007 at 3:59 am  Leave a Comment  

A few fun links for you!

My friend Pat Chair (named by my daughter zoe) emailed me this great link today. She and I share the same book buying obsession! Here it is… Make your very own Moleskine-like-notebook Good Stuff. Pat is also known as Pat Rudolph and you should really know her as she is a CAM board member!

I received in the mail today an adorable little sewing manual “Woodlands: small toys to sew, vol. 2” by Tersa Levy. Teresa a Rhode Island based artist also has a fun blog Sewing Stars

And have you seen the make-along-story over at wee wonderfuls.What a great school holiday activity. Here is th “make along” showing photos of the project.

Published in: on January 19, 2007 at 11:21 pm  Leave a Comment