All Natural Easter Egg Dyeing

March 24, 2010 by  

dying

This is a great way to dye your Easter eggs this year (by the way, Easter is in 18 days!) for whatever reason matters the most to you: it’s a fun science experiment, you stay away from commercial dyes, it is cheap AND its just something new and different!

All Natural Easter Egg Dyeing

Colors

1. To make a beautiful light blue dyed Easter egg, simply take 3/4 of a head of red cabbage, chop it and put it in a large pot. Add 2 T. of white vinegar, add the eggs and fill pot with water.

2. To make a green, add 2 cups of spinach (or a box of frozen spinach) to a pot. Add 2 T. of white vinegar, add the eggs and fill pot with water.

3. To make a red (and a hot pink for some of the eggs!), add 3 cups of cranberry juice and 3 chopped beets in a pot. Add 2 T. of white vinegar, add the eggs and fill pot with water.

4. To make a yellow, add 2 teaspoons of turmeric to your pot. Add 2 T. of white vinegar, add the eggs and fill pot with water.

5. I forgot to do this one BUT you can use chili powder (just like I used the turmeric above) to make a fun red/orange color.

Dyeing

1. Bring your mixture to a boil then reduce heat so it is simmering for 30 minutes. Don’t let it boil too long or the eggs will crack!

2. Let the eggs sit in the mixture for a couple of hours.  Be sure to stir them around a few times so the color soaks in on all sides of the egg.

Note: In this pictures it looks like I combined mixtures. I did not. I was just trying out a weird color. So please boil and simmer all of your mixtures SEPERATE.

Check out our beautiful eggs! Don’t they look so rustic and natural? This was a lot of fun to do. The girls loved guessing what colors the vegetables or spices would turn the eggs and then waiting to see if they were right!

Another fun part of this “experiment” was that every single egg turned out a different shade (we did use brown and white eggs) and I just think they are beautiful.

But what to do with the veggies? Throw them in the compost pile! Your garden will be extra happy this year.

Special Spot in Nature

September 25, 2009 by  

Find your spot in nature.
Help your kids find their special spot.
Make sure you spend time there daily if you can.
Fall is the perfect time to read outside, draw outside, and relax outside.

This was my place for quite awhile:

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Abby loves to be under trees:
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What is yours? I would love to see a picture!

Make sure your children know they can think, create, and relax in nature.

Have family drawing time out in nature, eat your family meals outside together, or just read books outside together!

Harvesting

September 23, 2009 by  

My first harvesting experience I can remember was getting permission from the librarian to climb the huge apple tree in front of the library to collect apples for pies, applesauce and juice.

Fall is the perfect time to do this with all of the city fall harvest and festivals, farms and barnyards opening their doors to customers, farmer’s markets, etc. It is always important to take the time to teach and explain to your children the source of their food.

Grape Harvesting in Our Backyard
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Apple, Peach, Pear, Plum, Cantaloupe, Eggplant Harvesting at Our Neighborhood Farm
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Here are some great resources:

Kids Farm is a website following the Harvesting on a farm in Colorado. Your kids can click on different produce to see where it comes from!

Local Harvest is a great place to point you in the right direction

Teaching Old-Fashioned Values in a Modern World

September 21, 2009 by  

 

Teaching Old-Fashioned Values in a Modern World

from the publication Parents

There’s no doubt that children are becoming more disrespectful at a young age. And the reason is, well duh: With smart mouthed cartoon characters, obnoxious reality shows, and constant cell phone interruptions, it’s crystal clear that society has become ruder and it’s rubbing off on families. Some moms and dads are settling for behavior that’s barely acceptable rather than holding their kids to the higher standards they grew up with. For instance, parents are happy if their kid simply doesn’t roll his eyes when he meets someone new rather than expecting him/her to greet the person nicely.
Given all the outside influences, it may seem practically impossible to instill good, old fashioned values in a young child. While the wagging finger or scare tactics your parents may have used probably won’t work, these modern approaches from leading experts will. Try them and your kids will get noticed – for their good manners.The Old Fashioned Rule:
{ 1 } Don’t interrupt adults in the middle of a conversation.
You’re trying to talk to a friend and your kid screams over and over again: “Mommy Mommy Mommy MOMMY!” Is there anything more exasperating? Young kids not only have little impulse control and patience, but they also translate your inattention as “Mommy is being taken away from me; I need to get her back.”
TEACH IT TODAY:
We inadvertently feed the problem by telling our children to say ‘excuse me’ as if that’s the magic word. “They say excuse me and we go ahead and answer them. Well, that’s still interruption.” A better way: Explain what’s expected up front: “I’m talking to Mrs. Jones right now. I’m going to be talking for a few minutes, and I don’t want to be interrupted.” If your child is waiting quietly, stop to tell him/her how much you appreciate it and that you’re almost done. If he/she’s not, hold up a finger as a signal to wait. If he/she keeps on, no matter how hard it is to tolerate – don’t give in or she’ll learn that badgering eventually does work to get your attention. Most importantly, hold up your end of the bargain and in a few minutes tend to her needs: “Now it’s your turn.  Thank you for waiting.”
{ 2 } Say “Thank you” without being prodded.
Your kids probably get a lot of gifts and treats. Why can’t they learn to say thank you automatically? “When parents remind their kids in front of a person who gave the gift, the acknowledgement seems so insincere.
TEACH IT TODAY:
Reword your reminders. Instead of asking your kid to say thank you, say, “It’s the right time to show how much you appreciate your gift.” Then kids aren’t repeating your words. They get used to giving the acknowledgement on their own.
Also get your child in the habit of helping you write thank-you notes. Toddlers can draw a picture, preschoolers may be able to print their name or the first letter of it. How much they can do isn’t important.  The point is to re-enforce that it’s polite to thank someone for a gift.
{ 3 } Greet Adults with “Hello” and a proper name.
When most kids do say something to welcome an adult, they look at the ground and mumble or ignore.
TEACH IT TODAY:
Role-play it at home. Pretend you’re Aunt Sally or your child’s teacher and have him practice saying hello to you. Encourage him to smile or wave and clearly and pleasantly greet the person. If he’s reluctant to look up, challenge him to find the color of her eyes. Once he feels comfortable with the process around the house, chances are he’ll try it out in public. But it’ll work better if you let it be his idea rather than yours.

{ 4 } Hold the door.
Many kids barge through a door, barely noticing the person who opened it or worse still, whether it’s going to slam in someone’s face. They don’t automatically think that they should get the door; you have to explain to them that it’s the kind thing to do.
TEACH IT TODAY:
Practice at every opportunity. Once introduced to the concept, young kids love to hold doors because they feel like big strong helpers doing a very important job. Start at home: “Mommy’s carrying a lot of groceries. Who can hold the door for me?” At the store or at school, where doors may be heavy for a young child to hold on their own, ask them to help you: “Here comes Mrs. Roberts and Brian. Let’s hold the door for them because that’s the polite thing to do.” Begin very low-key and then one day – because you’re not requiring it or demanding it – you’ll be amazed to hear your child say, “Mommy, I can do it myself.”

{ 5 } If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. (My personal favorite!)
Young kids learn from watching TV today that it’s okay – even sometimes funny – when people say rude things to each other. Add that to the fact that a young child’s sense of empathy isn’t fully developed, and it’s a recipe for a humiliating situation.
TEACH IT TODAY:
First, resist watching inappropriate TV shows – or, at least discuss the problem behavior with your child. For instance say, “Do you think that was mean of Simon to talk to the singer like that?” Then let your child know what she says has the power to hurt the feelings of another kid or adult. See whether she can recall an example of a time when her feelings were hurt so that you can be sure she grasps the concept. It’s also worth making up scenarios and asking her whether the person in the story said a good or bad thing. The more concrete you can make it for her, the better she’ll understand it.

{ 6 } Give up your seat.
It usually doesn’t cross a young kid’s mind that giving up a seat to an older person on the train or at a party is the polite thing to do. The chances he’ll actually do it are even slimmer.
TEACH IT TODAY:
Lead by example. The next time you’re riding a crowded bus or train, ask your child to sit with you. Say: “Would you come sit here on my lap so this nice man can have a seat? I think he would really appreciate it.” The more often children see you do it, the more liable they are to come up with the idea themselves.

Interesting Fact:
Lose the Excuses!
“He didn’t have his nap today”….”She’s just hungry”…..”He doesn’t usually act like this….”
It’s incredibly tempting to make excuses for your child when he behaves rudely in public. “When you do this, children get the message that they don’t have to answer for their behavior because their parents have done it for them. Instead, apologize for the inappropriate behavior. That sends the message, “I did something wrong, and Mommy and Daddy have to say they’re sorry about it to others.”

 

Thank you to the magazine Parents for this fantastic article and for Laurie who typed it all up (since it was not available online through Parents) and allowing me to post it here!

 

 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Activity

September 18, 2009 by  

utahsnaturalkids11I wanted to think of another activity to reuse plastic bottles before sending the rest to the recycling center. Making them into bowling pins is a simple craft/game that does not take a lot of work and materials, but will teach your children to have fun with reusing materials.

You simply fill up your cleaned plastic bottles with tap water and then add any sort of substance that would easily color the water. Beet juice, carrot juice, cayenne powder, curry powder, dandelion root powder, cream of tartar or tempura paint would work fantastically to color the water.

I glued the top to each bottle but still was not feeling comfortable with knocking big bottles full of colored water over in my house so decided this will be an outside bowling activity.

You can also make some fun  I Spy Bottles with your kids to reuse plastic bottles.

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