Monday, April 30, 2012

Chilren's Artwork Solution

Oh my goodness!  We have a lot of artwork that pours out from the girls' least 5 new creations a day! 

I collect all of their artwork into a folder and later I choose the best pieces to save in plastic slips in a three ring binder.

...the rest...gets displayed on the bedroom door or recycled into cards of thanks, pictures to friends and family...and the recycling bin.

I just found a great way to brighten a day with all of the artwork that your child creates!!!!!!

 Color A Smile collects crayon drawings from school children.
Every month we distribute these drawings to Nursing Homes,
Meals on Wheels Programs, and Individuals all across the country.
Our goal is to make people smile!

Instructions to Young Artists
  • Choose cheerful, colorful themes. (Avoid "Get Well")
  • Do not put a date on any drawing.
  • Use crayon, marker, or colored pencil.
  • Do not use glitter, paint or paste.
  • Sign the front of the drawing with your first name and age.
  • Use one side of the paper only. (No fold over cards)
  • Use standard 8 1/2 X 11 letter size paper. 
  • Mail completed drawings to:
    Color A Smile
    P O Box 1516
    Morristown, NJ 07962-1516

Friday, April 27, 2012

SMMART Giveaway: 
Thomas the Train
Heber Valley Railroad

Heber Valley Railroad for Day Out With Thomas™. Day Out With Thomas offers an opportunity for children and their families to take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine™ and to meet Sir Topham Hatt™, the Controller of the Railway. The event will be this Memorial Day weekend, May 25-28. They are running a contest on the Heber Valley Railroad Facebook page May 1-14 to find the biggest Thomas the Tank Engine fan to be named the honorary conductor. This honorary conductor will be selected from video submissions on the Facebook page (an example of a video submission will be posted). The honorary conductor will be the first on board and will get to pull the train horn and say, “All aboard!”

Details for honorary conductor contest:
· May 1-14, post a video on Heber Valley Railroad’s Facebook page of your little conductor and why he or she is the biggest Thomas fan
· Get others to “like” your video submission
· One winner will be selected each week for a family four-pack of tickets to Day Out With Thomas
· One winner will be selected on May 15 to be named the honorary conductor and win a family four-pack of tickets to Day Out With Thomas
Every event has a Thomas & Friends Imagination Station with Thomas-themed activities, including stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on arts and crafts, and a Thomas storytelling and video viewing area.
Activities Include:
Giant hay bale maze
Miniature golf course (putt-putt)
Balloon tying clown
Musical entertainment by “The Pied Piper of Percussion”
Motor-car rides
Magic shows
“Imagination Station” play area
Temporary tattoos
Storytelling and video
Bubbles and sidewalk chalk
Friday and Saturday
Event Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Train Departures: 10:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (Train departs from the Depot every 45 minutes.)
Sunday and Monday
Event Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Train Departures: 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Train departs from the Depot every 45 minutes.)
Length of Train Ride: 25 minutes round trip
Ticket Price: $18 per person (All seats are General Admission. Ages 2+ require a ticket.)
To Purchase Tickets: Tickets are available through
For more information and to buy tickets, visit

Monday, April 23, 2012

SMMART Reading:
Journaling Summer Adventures

Last summer I asked my friends to help me brainstorm to find a few fun places we wanted to visit over the summer.  I put together a list of 13 fabulous fieldtrips for each Wednesday of summer vacation.  I e-mailed the list out to everyone in our neighborhood and invited all to attend. 

The summer fieldtrips were great fun and it was wonderful to have something planned in advance to look forward to.

This summer we have a new group of fabulous adventures planned for each week.  Start planning now to get the days that you want and so everyone can plan their summer.

I found this great illustration/handwriting paper online.  I thought I'd print off a page for each week and make a little Summer Adventure Journal to take these along in the car.  Have your child decorate the front cover!  On the way home, the kiddos can record their adventures and practice their spelling and penmanship!
Check out the template (she has various sizes of lines):

So, I was asked to share some of the fieldtrips to give you some ideas.  Keep in mind there is power in numbers, so you can often get a great deal if you book fieldtrips at certain places.  We had a fieldtrip each Wednesday.  It's fun to go as a group!  Here you go:

Utah Museum of Fine Arts (Free day), then trip to close by playground and bakery
Wild West Jordan Playground and popsicles
Ophir Historic mining town with old homes and town buildings you can tour
Benson Grist Mill Historic Mill and buildings (Childrens' Day)
Tooele Railroad Museum tour and mini-train rides on certain days
This is the Place Historic Park Fun kids crafts, trains, street performances
State Capitol Building Tour
Humanitarian Center/LDS Welfare Square tour.  Bring items to donate to charitable services or the DI
Cold Stone Creamery tour
Childrens' Museum Discovery Gateway
Miller Motor Sportspark tour
Stansbury Fire Station Talk with the firefighters, tour the facility and truck, safety games
LDS Church History Museum Children's Art Exhibit play area
Soelberg's Grocery Store tour
Tooele Transcript Bulletin (Local Newspaper) tour
Mountain West Medical Center Special guests share how to a cast is made, X-rays and teddy bear clinic
Go see baby animals on a farm
Tooele Jail
Tooele Water Treatment Facility
Hale Center Theatre

Monday, April 16, 2012

Got some extra eggs around after the Easter Holiday?  Try out these fun experiments...
First, observe "the egg".  The architecture of an egg is amazingly strong.

Here you see an electron microscopic view of the hen eggshell; three layers of calcium carbonate.( 

Is a boiled eggshell weaker than a fresh eggshell?  "When shell eggs are hard cooked, the protective coating is washed away, leaving bare the pores in the shell for bacteria to enter and contaminate it."  Does this leave the boiled eggshell structurally weaker? (

Try squeezing a fresh egg with your fist.  You'll have a hard time cracking it.  Try now with a boiled egg...does the boiled egg crack more easily?


You will need:
Tall glass
White vinegar
Raw egg

Let your child carefully place a whole raw egg (intact with the shell) into a tall glass. Have your child pour white vinegar to cover the egg in the glass. Let the egg sit 2 days ( shows a procedure that involves changing the vinegar and letting it sit for 7 days).

Observe the tiny bubbles that come off of the egg shell. After two days observe how the egg shell dissolves (rinse off the white egg shell residue) and the remaining egg membrane is soft and translucent.

"The bubbles are carbon dioxide gas. Vinegar is an acid called acetic acid - CH3COOH - and white vinegar from the grocery store is usually about 5% solution. Egg shells are made up of calcium carbonate. The vinegar reacts with the calcium carbonate by breaking the chemical into its calcium and carbonate parts (in simplest terms). The calcium part (free ions of calcium float around in the solution) while the carbonate part reacts to form the bubbles that you see. Some of the vinegar will also sneak through the egg's membrane (permeate the membrane) and cause the egg to get a little bigger. That's why the egg is even more delicate if you handle it. If you shake the egg, you can see the yolk sloshing around in the egg white. If the membrane breaks, the egg's insides will spill out into the vinegar. Yes, you've made a pickled egg." (

Enjoy these two activities with your child and think about this last eggsperiment if you dye Easter eggs with a dye kit that requires the use of vinegar.  

You have got to check out this fun bunch of research scientists at the U of Nottingham!  Look at all the fun you can have with a Cadbury Creme Egg...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sink or Float

Okay, quick...If you drop a boiled egg into a glass of water, will it sink or float?  Now, what if you drop a fresh egg into water?  Sink or float?  (Both fresh and boiled eggs will...sink!)

So, now have your child pour a few Tablespoons of salt into the water with the fresh egg in it (count the number of Tb).  The salt makes the water more dense than the egg...and voila!  Floating egg!

Now, how many Tb does it take to make a boiled egg float?

You will need:
Boiled egg
Glass bottle with narrow opening just smaller than the boiled egg
birthday candles
match or lighter

Place two birthday candles in the top of a boiled egg.  Light the candles and hold the bottle over the candles to heat up the air a little bit.  Now place the bottle on top of the candles.  The fire will burn out the oxygen from the bottle, creating a lower pressure area and a vacuum will form.  Up goes the egg, sucked up into the bottle!  (

Monday, April 9, 2012

Letter Cookies

I Love these letter cookies from Winco Grocery store... and I loathe them...

I happened into Winco Grocery Store (not in my neighborhood) and found these awesome cookies.  
Yes, of course, they are a great motivation for little letter learners to tell me the letter sounds. 
Yes, of course, they cause a whimsy and excitement in my little spellers to create and spell words for a nice chunk of time...cookie letters spread out on the little table and magically being molded into words. 
Yes, of course, they make for fabulous school treats tucked lovingly into my daughter's lunch bag. The message is written in permanent marker on a snack-size plastic bag and she gets to spell out the message of love or encouragement before she eats them.

But the problem is... they also taste really good...

I am tempted to make the 30 minute drive back to the store since our cookie stash is mysteriously low.

Monday, April 2, 2012

My daughter brought home a little book for reading practice, called Cascarones are Fun!  Since Easter is approaching, we thought this would be a perfect activity for our "formal" monthly art class.  Aprons on!
It seems that Marco Polo brought the first cascarones from Asia.  They were filled with powder or spices.  Now they are filled with confetti and small toys.  They are to be cracked open over someone's head.  Cascarones are fun for holidays and celebrations. 
First we tapped holes throught the eggshell on the bottom of the eggs.  Then we shook out the white and yolk into a bowl.  We rinsed the inside of the eggs and let them dry.  Fill the insides of the eggs with confetti.  Using a small paper wrapped into a funnel made the egg filling a lot easier.
Cut out small pieces of tissue paper that are large enough to cover the hole in the shell.  Brush a glue wash onto the perimeter of the shell hole and place the tissue paper on top.  Brush the tissue paper down with glue wash to keep the paper on the egg.  Let the hole-covered-eggs dry.
Make a Cascarone work-station by placing the dried eggs into an empty egg carton, place a brush in the lid and a small cup of gluewash beside carton.  Place any desired embellishments inside the carton lid.
We cut down the carton pockets to make a stand for our cascarones while they were being embellished.
Now, decorate your Cascarones with glitter and glue, tissue paper hearts, sequence and jewels.  You can even make your own Cascarones Character!
We are going to hide our Cascarones for our family Easter Hunt and then crack 'em open!


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