Oct 09

Egg Carton Leis

by Hannah Holt »


We’ve been working too hard this past week. Sometimes it’s time to PARTY!

Here’s a craft that’s a party all by itself.

egg carton leis craft

We cut up a few empty egg cartons. I used a skewer to punch a hole in the middle of each “egg cup.” I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.


We painted the cups and let them dry. (You might need to re-hole some of the cups after painting.) Then we strung them on a shoestring.

painting egg cartonspaintingpainted egg cartonsstringing the egg carton necklace


If you wanted to make this a Halloween craft, you could paint the cartons orange and black:

egg carton leis craft2




Sep 11

Dry-erase Chore Chart

by Hannah Holt »


As you might have noticed, I’m on a dry-erase kick. But this is my easiest dry-erase project yet.

Did you know packaging tape works as a dry-erase surface? I didn’t until I tried it out the other day.

I simply printed out a chore chart for my kids and placed a piece of packaging tape over the areas they needed to check off:

chore chart

I made one for each of my boys. If they get all their chores checked off for the week, we have a special treat on Monday night.

We’ve been doing this for three weeks, and they are now in the “chore routine.” During the first couple of weeks, they forgot a chore once or twice. I let them do double chores the next day to make up for it. Hey, they wanted the treat and I want chores done. Win-win. So far this is working for us.

How do chores work at your house?

Jul 16

Clown Cups

by Hannah Holt »


It’s summer and my kids are obsessed with water play. And that’s just fine with me because it’s been HOT.

Here’s a simple water craft they can do inside (on rainy days) or outside (on days like today)…

clown cups5

You will need:

  • a paper cup
  • crayons (or markers)
  • scissors

What to do:

clown cups2

  1. Color a clown face on the paper cup and cut out the mouth (adults will probably need to help with this part).
  2. Hold the cup under running water.

clown cups3

That’s it. Easy-peasy and tons of fun.



Jul 03

How Do Plants Make Food

by Hannah Holt »


Last summer we regrew green onions and celery from stubs.It worked so well that the celery is now as tall as my two-year-old:


We wanted to see if we could do the same thing with lettuce. We put a Romain lettuce stub in a small bowl of water and waited…

Lettuce growth

It’s day 14 and we have some respectable looking lettuce leaves. Cool. Huh?

Along with this project we read The Magic School Bus Gets Planted. After reading the book, my five-year-old asked, “How do plants make food out of water and air?” Or…

How Question

I could have given him a one word answer (photosynthesis!). But he asked a thoughtful question and I thought it deserved an equally thoughtful answer.

First we talked about what is water made of?

Atoms: atoms are tiny, tiny building blocks. They are like the mini-legos of life. Atoms are so small you cannot see them with your eyes or even a magnifying glass. You need a special looking machine (an electron microscope) to see the biggest atoms. Some atoms like to hangout with other atoms:


And others prefer to keep to themselves:


When a group of atoms hang out together, it is called a molecule.

Water is made of molecules. Water molecules look like this:

water molecule

Air is also made of molecules. It is made of lots of different molecules, but the molecule that plants use is called carbon dioxide. It is a carbon atom with two oxygen atoms:

carbon dioxide molecule

Now let’s talk about food, like sugar. Yup, that’s right… some plants use sugar for energy. But they don’t eat it. They make it. Here is what one type of sugar looks like:

sucrose molecule

Let’s check if we have all the right building blocks. To make sugar we need carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Can we get all of those atoms from water and air?

YES! From water we get hydrogen and oxygen, and from air we get more oxygen and carbon. Here is how plants use air and water to make food:


The “big dance” that rearranges the atoms is called PHOTOSYNTHESIS. Photosynthesis means light (photo) and making-stuff (synthesis). Plants take water and air and use light to turn atoms into food. If you have the right building blocks and the right conditions, you can make almost anything.

Note: My seven-year-old liked this discussion, but it was a bit too much for my five-year-old. If this is too much detail for your tykes, here is the two sentence explanation:

Q: How do plants make food out of air and water?

A: Under the right conditions air and water can be turned into sugar (and other foods). The process of turning air and water into food for plants is called photosynthesis.

Extension activity: Playdoh Molecules

playdoh molecules

What you’ll need

  • Different colors of playdoh
  • Cut up straws

Form the playdoh into balls and connect them using bending straws bits. See if you can make all the different molecules in this posts.

Jun 12

DIY Father’s Day Shirt

by Hannah Holt »


Need a last minute Father’s Day gift? Try turning your child’s drawing into a t-shirt for Dad. Here’s how:

Fathers Day Shirt

What you’ll need:

  • a colored t-shirt (we found ours at a thrift shop)
  • a piece of cardboard
  • a washable marker (we used Crayola fine point)
  • a Clorox bleach pen

I put the cardboard between the layers of t-shirt and had my son draw a portrait of my husband on the shirt with a washable marker.

After he was finished, I took the bleach pen and copied over his drawing. I let it set for a few minutes. Then I washed out the bleach (quickly!) in cold water. Finally I ran the T-shirt through a washing machine cycle.

Father day Shirt instructions

The entire process (minus the wash cycle) took all of fifteen minutes. I think my husband will like his new personalized t-shirt. It’s way cooler than a tie.