Mar 13

Butterfly Life Cycle Poems & Coloring Page

by Hannah Holt »


Butterfly Life Cycle promo

Last year, my kids wanted to raise a wild caterpillar. We named him Greenie:


He’s that small sticky looking thing next to the apple leaf. We did lots of research, and we tried to make a good go of it. But it turns out we stink at raising caterpillars. R.I.P. Greenie.

Maybe sometime in the future we’ll order a premade kit and have better luck. For now, we’ll stick to the lesson we learned: wild things should be kept in the wild.

We did enjoy learning about butterflies, and I wrote a set of poems about the life cycle of butterflies. I’d like to dedicate them to Greenie (there’s a coloring page at the end!):


Monarch’s Nursery

With a leaf for a crib
and no nanny to beg,
so begins life
as a butterfly egg.


Dining Hall

 The sleepy little caterpillar loves to munch and munch,
laying on his underside for breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
Shedding skin that feels too thin, he eats leaves with a crunch.
The growing bigger caterpillar loves to munch and munch.


Dressing Chambers

 Pupa, pupa changing quick,
hanging underneath your stick.
First you’re green and then you’re brown,
trading kid-clothes for a gown.

 The Ballroom

 They twirl and glide, this dancing pair.
Then dip a curtsy in midair.
Waltzing wind, they flutter by…
I wish I were a butterfly.

And here’s a butterfly life cycle coloring page:

Butterfly Life Cycle Coloring

Here’s a pdf copy: Butterfly Life Cycle Coloring Page.

And here’s a color version with answers: Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle.

Jan 14

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Crafts

by Hannah Holt »

Comments Off on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Crafts

We were washing dishes the other night when my son said…

Him: There’s this song I really like, but I can’t remember all the words.

Me: What do you remember?

Him: Something about…deep in my heart…

Me: We Shall Overcome?

Him: Yes, that’s it. I love that song.

His singing reminded me Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is coming. We’ve done a few crafts this week to celebrate.

I Have A Dream Self Portraits

I have a dream

Each of the kids drew a self portrait. We cut out the portrait and put it on colored construction paper. Then we glued on cotton balls to make dream clouds.

It was a good chance to talk about Dr. King’s dreams and what dreams my own kids have.

The Q-tip People March on Washington

qtip people

I cut a bunch of Q-tips in half. By mixing small amounts of burnt sienna (brown) and ivory acrylic paint, the kids and I were able to make a variety of skin tones. We dipped their heads in paint for hair and applied eyes using toothpicks.

After the paint dried, we glued the Q-tips to a printout of the Lincoln Memorial. Here’s a blank copy of the Lincoln Memorial just in case you want to make your own march on Washington picture:

March on Washington PDF

March on Washington

(Note: Because of the fine motor skills required for this craft, I recommend it for ages seven and up.)

The best part about these crafts were the conversations I had with my kids. My five-year-old was surprised to learn some people used to not be able to eat at certain restaurants or sit on buses because of the color of their skin. We talked about how unfair that would be and how even today we can find ways to choose more kindness.

We shall overcome hate and hurt with a little more love. Thanks Dr. King!

Dec 19

Star Wars Birthday Party

by Hannah Holt »

one comment

My big-little-man turned eight this month. His current passion is Star Wars, and that’s convenient for me because Star Wars is everywhere.

I picked up this banner from my local party supply store for about $3, and we played pin the lightsaber on Darth Vadar:


We pinned lightsabers by printing off paper lightsabers from this post.

At first the kids were, like…

Kids: Hey, Darth Vadar already has a lightsaber!

Me: If you win, you get silly putty.

Kids: Ooooh, can I go first? No me! No me!

Cheap motivational prizes solve pretty much all potential birthday party problems.

I also made a Death Star Piñata:

death star pinjata

Really, who doesn’t want to take a whack at the Death Star?

The nice thing about the Death Star is it’s round.


Don’t tell Darth Vadar we built this Death Star around a pink balloon. The piñata paste was made by combining all-purpose flour and water at a 1:1 ratio (one cup water, one cup flour). I dipped newspaper strips in the paste and covered the balloon until I felt like it was strong enough to withstand a rebel attack.


I let it dry for a few days and the cut a hole for the prizes. Then I taped up the hole really well and painted over the entire thing with black and gray acrylic paint (see above).

For the pièce de résistance, I made a Millennium Falcon cake:

melennium falcon cake

I baked two cake rounds, chopped one of the circles up, gave the entire cake a drizzle glaze (regular frosting with extra milk added) of white over they entire cake, and marked it up with gray and black cake decorating gel (click to see a larger step-by-step photo process. I usually frost my cakes with wax paper liners underneath. Then I can remove the wax paper and any frosting drips.

millenium falcon cake inst

Nov 07

Layers of the Earth

by Hannah Holt »


The other day my five-year-old asked me, “What’s a continent?”

Me, “It’s a large land area on a tectonic plate.” (My husband likes to tease me for being incapable of simple explanations. I thought I was keeping it pretty simple, until…)

Him, “What’s a tectonic plate?”

Suddenly, I knew this explanation needed play-doh:

Layers of the earth playdoh1

Question: What is a tectonic plate?

Answer: Tectonic plates are pieces of the earth’s crust. The earth’s crust is one of three main layers of the earth, including the core, mantle, and crust.

The core is the center of the earth. It is made mostly of metal and is surrounded by a liquid-ish mantle:

core and mantle

The earth’s crust rests on the mantle:


The crust is where you find people, and continents, and, oceans and….


I tried keeping it simple. How I’d do?

Oct 29

Ginger-Spooks & Pumpkin Puppets

by Hannah Holt »


This week I had a hankering for gingerbread. It might be too early for Christmas music and gingerbread men, but it’s the perfect time for ginger-spooks!

ginger skeletons

Boo! I followed this recipe for ginger cookies, and frosted them monster-style with a simple glaze.

{Note: to pipe designs on the cookies, I filled a sandwich bag with frosting and snipped off one of the corners with scissors. No fancy cake decorating supplies needed!)

ginger skeletons2

They were frightfully good!

We also made paper bag pumpkin puppets. I always keep lunch bags around the house. They are cheap and have so many uses. I cut pumpkin faces and features from construction paper and showed the kids how to glue them to the bags.


pumpkin puppetpumpkin puppet1

Happy Halloween!

pumpkin puppet2