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Soap Shaving Bookmarks Craft and Our New Book!

Today we are incredibly excited to share this Soap Shavings Bookmark craft with you!  Not only is this craft fun and creative, it signifies our latest project:  Our latest book!  Today we are jumping with joy to share the collaborative book, "Pop! Squirt! Splash! Hands-on Activities for Kids Using Soap, Water, and Bubbles".  Together with 11 other bloggers, we are shaing creative sensory, learning, crafty, and fun activities for kids (and the whole family) using soap, water, and bubbles.  This book is a masterpiece of creativity with gorgeous photography and amazingly simple and fun ideas.  And we're not just saying that becasue we helped to author this book.  This is a book that you need to check out!


From the book, "Pop! Squirt! Splash!":


Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles


Kids can get creative in their crafting using soap and a few materials from around the house.  We made these soap shaving bookmarks and had a blast creating!

Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles

This post contains affiliate links.

To make Soap Shaving Bookmarks:

You'll need a few materials:
Bars of soap in several colors
vegetable peeler
Two sheets of Wax Paper
Iron
Dish Towel
Hole Punch
Ribbon
Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles

This soap craft is as beautiful as it is simple.  Kids will love to use a vegetable peeler on bars of soap to create soap shavings.  To make the bookmarks, lay a sheet of wax paper out on a hard surface like a cookie sheet or cutting board.  

Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles

Show your child how to grasp a bar of soap and using hand-over-hand guidance, help your child to slowly peel shavings from the bar of soap.  Encourage them to peel away from their body for safety. 
Peel long strips of soap and small shavings, mixing the colors of the different bars of soap on the wax paper.  Managing the vegetable peeler and the soap is a great way to encourage bilateral hand coordination (the use of two hands together in a coordinated manner).  

Children need bilateral hand coordination for functional skills like cutting with scissors, handwriting,  tying shoes, and managing clothing fasteners.  An activity like using a vegetable peeler on a soft bar of soap is a great way to work on using tow hands together effectively with a non-dominant assisting hand and a dominant hand with fluid and controlled motions.  

Arrange the soap peelings on the wax paper and place the second piece of wax paper on top.  Carefully move the wax paper to an ironing board.  Place a dishtowel over the wax paper and using an iron heated to medium, slowly press down.  The soap will slightly melt and flatten under the heat.  Check often to see if the wax paper is adhering.  You can remove the dish towel and carefully heat the edges of the wax paper.  Cut the wax paper into rectangular book marks.  Punch a hole near the top of the book marks using the hole puncher.  Tie a piece of ribbon in the hole.  This bookmark will smell great and would make a lovely gift!

Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles

*Note: This craft should be done under close supervision of an adult.  Be careful with the use of a vegetable peeler with small children.  For younger children, provide hand-over-hand assistance with the vegetable peeler.  Adults may want to complete the peeling portion of this soap craft.  Adults or responsible older children should manage the iron.  As always, use judgement when it comes to completing this and any activity with your kids.

Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles

Alternate activities:
Vary the scents and colors of your bookmarks with various soaps.
Add a personal message or quote to the bookmarks.
Add flower petals or scraps of paper to the soap shavings before ironing.
Arrange the soap shavings in a mosaic or mandala pattern.





Get your copy of Pop! Squirt! Splash! today.



Buy the ebook version here for $    or by clicking the "buy now" button below. 

AND you can get a special $2 Launch Discount on the ebook for the next two weeks by using the code LAUNCH2OFF.


Buy Now 

Buy the Kindle version HERE for $8.99
Buy the Printed version HERE for $$17.50

Each activity is simple and made up of easy to prepare activities that have been child-tested.  You'll find alternate activities for each idea and ways to extend the play.  This book is authored by some of the most creative bloggers out there and will be a hit in your house!



There are so many learning opportunities to be had with just soap, water, or bubbles.  It doesn't have to cost a lot to be a learning idea.

Check out our You Tube video where you can see the book in action!

 We are including this post as part of our month-long Learning with Free Materials series where we provide 31 days of learning using free or almost free materials in homeschooling or school-based extension learning like homework.  This post is part of the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips as we blog along with other bloggers with learning at home tips and tools.

You can see more water, soap, and bubbles ideas from our co-authors:
Soap Foam Dough from And Next Comes L
Soap Shaving Bookmark from Sugar Aunts
Water Play: Sorting Land & Water Animals from Still Playing School
Floating Soap Boats from Fireflies & Mudpies
Gross Motor Color Mixing from House of Burke
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Healthy Back-to-School Snack Ideas

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This post is brought to you by Bolthouse Farms Kids™ and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

With four kids, mornings are a blur.  We're rushing to get everyone fed, dressed, brushed, polished, and out the door without forgetting anything (or anyone!).  Inevitably there are forgotten homework sheets, a rush to find the baby doll that MUST go with us as we drive to preschool, a dash to find money needed for school, lost shoes, coats put on inside out...There are a lot of points that can derail the morning's schedule and cause the whole family to be late for each place they are going.  There are a few things that you can do to make the morning less of a blur.  We like to be prepared by talking through our morning schedule and using our back-to-school morning routine story stones.  It helps to plan ahead when kids are involved and back-to-school routines require so many parts.  Preparing the backpack and lunch the night before is key in a large family (or any family that needs to be out the door by a certain time.)  One thing that helps us with the morning rush is packaging up the backpack and all needed items the night before and packing a healthy lunch before going to bed.  Pop the lunch boxes into the fridge for the night and they are grab and go in the morning.


Healthy lunch ideas to avoid the back-to-school morning rush.


Healthy Lunch Ideas that are Grab and Go:

Easy lunch ideas and healthy snacks are a must for this busy mama. If you're following us on Instagram, you know that I love to serve my kids healthy options that include real fruits and veggies.
The snacks from Bolthouse Farms Kids™  are perfect for overcoming the rush of busy mornings while maintaining healthy foods without preservatives.


Healthy lunch ideas to avoid the back-to-school morning rush.

We received a package from Bolthouse Farms Kids™ in the mail recently, and when we pulled out the goodies, the kids were immediately oohing and aaaahing over this happy mail.

These healthy foods were a huge hit with all four of the kids.  I love that the Bolthouse Farms Kids™ items contain no added preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors and my kids love all of the fun flavors.
Bolthouse Farms Kids™ is a refrigerated line of real fruit and vegetable snacks for kids. My kids are huge smoothie fans, so the individual serving "kid-size” bottles are perfect for them.  We packed a few up and took them with us on our 6 hour road trip to the beach.  The 6 oz bottles contain 1 ½ servings of fruit and no dairy and no added preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors.  These smoothies are perfect for on-the-go like a road trip with a bunch of excited kids.  The individual serving of "kid-sized" bottles are great for on-the-go occasions.  My kids loved the "Strawberry Meets Banana" flavor and can't wait to try the " Peach Meets Mango" smoothie.  At 80-90 calories per bottle, they are full of flavor and easy to pack into lunches.

We decided the smoothies are perfect for car rides like our road trip or for the inevitable "Oops. We-missed-the-bus-and-still-need-breakfast-so-eat-this-in-the-car".

(It happens.  Often.)


Healthy lunch ideas to avoid the back-to-school morning rush.

I love to pack my kids full of veggies.  I'm lucky in that my kids usually love their vegetables, so when they saw the Veggie Snackers, they were pretty excited.  These convenient individual sized bags are perfectly sized to fit into princess and super hero lunchboxes. The two available varieties, "Carrot Meets Ranch" and "Carrot Meets Chili Lime", have a super fun individual sized bag that you pull to unleash tremendous flavor with all-natural seasoning and just a pinch of salt.  These were a big hit with my kids. And me!  The package of baby carrots are only 25 calories and a perfect way to shake your way to snack time!


Healthy lunch ideas to avoid the back-to-school morning rush.


Fruit tubes are always a hit with my kids, but typically they are so loaded with sugar that I don't buy them for my kids. The Fruit tubes from Bolthouse Farms Kids™ have no added sugar or preservatives and are just 30-40 calories.  The real fruit purees are a treat for lunch.  Even my one year old loved these!  We tried the "Mango Meets Banana & Pineapple" version, and can't wait to try "Strawberry Meets Banana" and "Blueberry Meets Raspberry".  How good would these be served frozen on a hot summer day?


Healthy lunch ideas to avoid the back-to-school morning rush.

More easy to pack lunch ideas that will make the morning rush a breeze:
peach
apple
grapes
banana
bottled water (Grab and go!)
string cheese
homemade trail mix
celery sticks
snap peas
avacado
kiwi
strawberries
blueberries
raspberries
grape tomatoes
orange slices
cucumber slices




The best news is that you can try all of these healthy snacks and treats from Bolthouse Farms Kids™, too!

Find them in the Produce Section at your local Giant Eagle.  AND, join in on the fun of the Bolthouse Farms Kids™ Snack Mob.  The Bolthouse Farms Kids™ Snack Mob trucks are coming to Pittsburgh this fall and helping kids go back to school in a healthy way!

Throughout six weeks in August and early September, the Snack Mob team will be stopping by select Giant Eagle stores and many community events throughout the region – sharing FREE samples of Bolthouse Farms Kids™ products with kids and parents. You can find the full list of events and contest rules here.  You can always find them in the produce department at Giant Eagle.

Some of the events where you can see the Snack Mob truck are:
Sunday evenings throughout August: Citiparks Cinema in the Park Movie Nights (time: dusk)
August 2: Snack Mob kickoff event at Settlers Ridge Market District (10am-2pm)
August 15: "Kindergarten … here I come!” at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (9am-10am)
August 30: First Responders Day at Kennywood Park (10:30am)
September 19: Junior Great Race at Point State Park (8am)

Follow along with us as we welcome Bolthouse Farms Kids™ to the neighborhood!

You can also enter to win in the #SnackMob #Contest, and have a Snack Mob truck crash your next party.  Win a visit from the Snack Mob by tweeting @BolthouseFarms for a chance to get the #SnackMob truck to deliver Bolthouse Farms Kids™  products for free at your next party.  Use the hashtags #SnackMob and #Contest in your tweet and include the date and type of event (e.g., soccer tournament, block party, etc.) in your entry.  Contest ends September 19, 2015 at 11:59 pm. You must be 18 years old to enter. Maximum of 100 people per event.

Stop by and visit Bolthouse Farms Kids™  on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Back to School Morning Routine Story Stones

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 These Back-to-school story stones are sure to help with the ease of getting back into routines of Fall and School.  Whether your child is going to Kindergarten for the first time, or returning to school this Fall (or returning to routines of homeschool!), these story stones will help with getting kids used to the steps needed in morning routines.  What are story stones?  Usually, they are stones with pictures painted on them to use in imaginative play.  We made story stones to depict the morning routine for preparation and ordering of tasks for back-to-school.


Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.


How to make Back-to-School routines easier:


This post contains affiliate links.

Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.

The morning rush and kids do not go together well.  Getting kids up, dressed,  brushed, polished, and out of the house without forgetting important items can be more than slightly difficult.   Add in more than one child and a routine that gets old after the first week, and you have kids that need prodding with each step.  Use these story stones to help kids understand, process, and order the steps of a morning routine.

We've used rocks in learning and play before, like in word building and sensory play so this was a fun way for us to play and learn about the coming routine's of Back-to-School.

Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.

We started with a bunch of white river rocks and a permanent marker.  Figure out the important tasks that your child must do each morning.  These can be jobs that they do on their own, or initiate with prompting.  We decided that the important steps of our morning are getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, brushing hair, putting on shoes, coat, lunch/backpack, and going to the bus stop.  You can add any other important steps in your morning, like making the bed, feeding pets, packing a lunch, etc.  

Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.

Use the permanent marker to draw a representation of the tasks onto the river rocks.

Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.


Using acrylic paints, fill in the outlines of the shapes. You will need a fine point paint brush for the small painting, or you can snip the bristles of a regular paint brush to stay in the lines.

Let the paint dry.  

Before the start of school, use the back to school story stones with your child to talk about the routines.  You can place the stones in order, move around the order, and talk about each step.  Invite your child to use the story stones in imaginative play by pretending to go through the morning's routine. 

Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.

Hopefully this idea will help with the hectic mornings before school and Fall's routines! 



Kids will love to create this Easy Shapes School Bus craft in preparation for Back-to-School, too.

We are posting this idea as part of our month-long Learning with Free Materials series where we provide 31 days of learning using free or almost free materials in homeschooling or school-based extension learning like homework.  This post is part of the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips as we blog along with other bloggers with learning at home tips and tools.

Looking for more Back-to-School ideas?

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Base Tens Operations with Paper Clips

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In first grade math, base ten is a big part of learning the basics of adding.  Kids need to understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones.  This is a basis of more complex math problems.  So what is a base ten?  Base 10 refers to the position of a number.  There is a ones place value, a tens place value, and a one hundreds place value in a three digit number like 236.  Each number is 10 times the value to the right of it.  A ten is thought of as a bundle of ones.  Using base ten concepts, kids can decipher that a two digit number is made up of one or more tens and single numbers.  We made these base tenmanipulatives using paper clips for comparing, adding, and counting.  


Use paper clips to add, subtract, and discuss math concepts like base ten and adding two and three digit numbers.  This is great for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade math  with kids.

Base Ten Activities for Kids:

This post contains affiliate links.
We used the paper clips to first, count out ten.  We attached the ten paper clips to create a tens value.  We then built more and counted by ten.  Using the strand of tens paper clips, we were able to build 7 strands of tens. (Then we ran out of paper clips!)

  • Using strands of tens, sort them into piles.  You might have three strands of tens in one pile and 4 strands of tens in the other pile.  Ask your child to figure out which is more.
  • Compose numbers using strands of the ten paper clips and ones.  Write down numbers (You can even use our homemade worksheets to write out numbers.)  Then help your child build the numbers using the strands of tens and the individual paper clips.
  • Subtract multiples of 10 using the paper clips. Write out the problems and discuss the methods and reasoning.
  • Add multiples of 10 using the paper clips.  Write out the problems and discus methods and reasoning.
  • Tell your child a two digit number and ask them to mentally find 10 more or 10 less than the number.  Use the paper clips to figure out the answer if needed. 
  • Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number, using the paper clips as a model.  Draw out pictures of the problem.  Write out the problem. 
  • Use the paper clips to add two-digit numbers, adding strands together and ones together.
  • Discuss how to use the paperclips to compose a ten.  See how we recently practiced composing numbers.
How many ways can you think of to use paper clips in math with base ten activities?  

Try more of our math activities:




We are posting this idea as part of our month-long Learning with Free Materials series where we provide 31 days of learning using free or almost free materials in homeschooling or school-based extension learning like homework.  This post is part of the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips as we blog along with other bloggers with learning at home tips and tools.







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Baking Soda Paints

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The amazement of watching a child's face light up when science and discovery happens is like watching a light turn on.  This baking soda and vinegar paint experiment is a creative and sensory way to explore science through painting.  My kids had so much fun explroing the chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar with our bright and bold homemade paints. We ended up with vivid paintings and had a great time creating.

Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.


Baking Soda and Vinegar Paints

This post contains affiliate links.  This post is part of our Learning with Free Materials series where we are sharing learning ideas for homeschoolers and school-extension activities using items that are free or mostly free (i.e. CHEAP or you already have in the home), and is part of the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips as we blog along with other bloggers with learning at home tips and tools.

You'll need just three ingredients to make these paints:
baking soda
Vinegar
Washable
Poster Paint (This is my favorite brand of paint!)


You'll also need:
Mini Muffin Tin (any containers will work, but you'll want all of the paints near each other and enough compartments so that you can see the different shades made by slightly adjusting the amount of paint you add. 
Paper 
Water 
Paint Brushes


Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.


To make the Baking Soda Paints:

First, mix together baking soda and water to create a thick paste.  You want it to be stir-able and moist.  Scoop the paste into the sections of the muffin tin with a spoon.  Add drops, globs, and dabs of different colored poster paint.  Adjust the amounts in the different sections so that you get a nice variety of shades.  Stir the paint into the paste.

Next, pour off any excess water from the tops of the paste.  You want a nice, thick paste to remain.  Allow the muffin tin paints to sit overnight.  This will create a hard, tub of dried paint, almost like watercolors.  

Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.

The next day, pour vinegar into cups.  Use paint brushes to dab vinegar into the dried paints.  Watch the science reaction happen as you paint!

Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.

Adding more vinegar to the tubs of paint will give you a brighter hue as you paint.  You can get even more vivid colors by swiping chunks of moistened baking soda across the page.  And, what a textured piece of art this will be!

Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.

What is especially neat about these paints are that if you work quickly enough, you can see the bubbly reaction right on your art work.  Simply swipe the paint brush into the vinegar and then into the baking soda paints.  Quickly paint and your bubbles will dry onto the paper.

Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.

Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.

How gorgeous is this work of art?


Looking for more baking soda experiments?  These are a few of our favorites:





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