Trash or Treasure

Imagination and creativity starts early. What you see as trash can become your little one’s treasure.

We use these small bags of chips to toss in Eddie’s lunch when he has to be away for work.  The box was empty and well, who can ignore a box? Or a Not-a-box?

Be careful….those little ones are always watching. Or playing a really funny game of peek-a-boo.

I guess this means that I let my children play with trash? Giggle. Boxes such as these sit by the trash can until Caleb does his “trash check” throughout the day. It never fails that someone finds the boxes too hard to resist.

Look at that concentration…that focus…the wheels of that mind learning and engaging. It is a beautiful moment. So, yes,I let my children play with the trash. It is their treasure.

Sam just built the coolest house ever, right? How could I not capture it! Great job, Sam!

Say, “Cheese!”

There are days when I miss “old school photography”.  Loading the film, dropping it off to be developed and then the surprise to see which pictures actually turned out.  I was slow to embrace the digital photography shift. However, once I finally experienced being able to take hundreds of pictures…at no cost to develop…deleted as needed…sweetness.

There is nothing I love to photograph more than my children. My favorite are snapshots that catch them throughout the day. Pictures that let their character and personality come through. I much prefer to have those snapshots on my wall than any professional portrait.

Several days ago I was in the mood for a “formal” photo session. We had a brief break in the rain so I seized the opportunity. I think natural light provides the best photos so I didn’t want to miss this chance.  No matching outfits and not everyone was in an agreeable mood.

Nothing screams “keepin’ it real” like a banana for the baby. We, also, had to stay on the alert for bunnies who were in the area and popping up everywhere!

Professional? Not by anyone’s standards. Beautiful? Yes, they are. How I love my Tribe!

Planning, planning, and more planning!

In our history studies, we are currently learning about the 1800s.  I enjoy keeping us all on the same general time period but allowing everyone to work at their own level. It makes for great conversations.

I recently decided to have Lydia (9) and Hannah (7) working together. They work very well together and enjoy doing hands on learning such as lapbooks.

In past years, we have never studied the states or the presidents. While my older children haven’t had a direct study of states and presidents, their knowledge in these areas is quite sufficient. However, my younger ones would enjoy learning a bit more and I want to make it fun!

It seems as if the past year or two I have had the mindset of “check it off and move on”. Where is the joy of learning? Of sharing the excitement of things learned with children? Now is the perfect time to make a change! To encourage the joy and excitement of learning, I want to make the states and presidents study interesting and engaging; not just learning a list of facts.

I am still very much in the early planning stage. However, I have a few ideas in my mind:

*Lapbooks – Lydia and Hannah both love this way of learning and sharing what they know. I am going to have them create a presidents lapbook but haven’t quite fine tuned the details. Will they each make their own? Joint project?

*Memory Game – I’m going to have them each make a memory style game for the states. Lydia will do a states and capitals games while Hannah does a states and abbreviation games. They will create cards as we study the states. They love to create and they love card games. Perfect!

*Board Game – As we study the presidents and states, we may make a board game as well.  Creating trivia questions as we study and learn. Then we can invite the other children to join in for a fun family game time. I might have the older children create a game as well.

*State Diary – As we travel to each “state” they will make an entry in their travel diaries. Based on what they learn about the state, they could recount an adventure or sketch a beautiful landscape they see. Maybe they share of an encounter with the locals. Fun way to work on creative writing.

Again, I’m still in the planning stages and hopefully soon I’ll have some plans, links and pictures to share. Do you have any great states’ or presidents’ resources? I’d love for you to share them!

(Image courtesy of nirots at – United States Map Photo)