I don’t know if my current state of affairs is temporary, but I suspect that it is not. My children, specifically my girls, (because my older boys don’t really rely on me for entertainment anymore,) are adjusting to life without a mommy who plans lots of exciting crafty activities. Homeschooling has become a bigger part of our days as more and more children need math lessons (amongst other things,) not to mention Beatrix, who demands them. She refuses to humor me when I explain that at age four you really don’t need formal math lessons. She wants her lessons and she wants them now and she’s not really concerned with my lack of time. If the rest of them are getting something, she better get hers too.
So as far as extra activities go, they need to be easy. I need to be able to find most supplies in my own home or at the grocery store (the only place I go outside of music lessons and baseball games for the most part) and I need detailed instructions, with pictures. It’s no wonder that my friend Annie’s magazine, Alphabet Glue, is the perfect match for me and my family. Annie takes simple projects, breaks them down into even simpler steps (with pictures!) but then explains the science behind it all, so you feel like you are accomplishing something far from simple and definitely educational. And then there are her booklists. I can sit in front of my computer for a few minutes, booklist in hand, and request a bunch of books relating to a particular theme. Then, I swing by the library, on the way to music lessons of course, and run in and grab the books from the front desk. The next day, I hand my kids a stack of books, and open up Alphabet Glue and show them the project we are going to do that will tie together all the reading we will also be doing. They love it. And I am super awesome crafty educational mom providing literature themed projects.
In the past two weeks we have done most of the projects in the latest issue of Alphabet Glue: Volume 12. Most recently we made waves in a bottle; or more accurately, waves in two old liquor bottles that Seth dug out of the woods. Beatrix and Larkspur claimed them, but it was Beatrix who truly fell in love, carrying around her little ocean in a vodka bottle like it was her baby. Sadly, Larkspur’s bottle was discovered by Silas who promptly dropped it on the tile kitchen floor where it made a gigantic oily green food colored mess. Jonny suggested that I mention that plastic bottles might be a better choice for these, especially since they beg to be shaken. I was trying to be “green,” using those old liquor bottles, but I think in this case he’s right. Plastic is probably best. If you’d like to make waves in a bottle with your own kids, Annie was kind enough to put together a little pdf for you that includes not only the wave in a bottle instructions, but an ocean themed booklist as well. You can download the wave in a bottle pdf here. Annie is also offering 20% off all issues of Alphabet Glue through next Thursday when you use the code “smallthings” at checkout.
p.s. In case you’re wondering what happened to Bea’s head: she fell off the bench at the kitchen table. Tile floors are bad for glass bottles and noggins.