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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Painting Candle Holders, Odds and Ends

I got this really cool book off of Paper Back Swap, thank you Ms Laura for telling me about this site. It gives all kinds of cool ideas to do with your kids, besides standard textbook learning. This next week we will be starting magnets. They have some very simple activities, and I will be sharing them throughout the week. Today, though, I am sharing one for ecosystems, and make your own dirt. But first, I want to share these cute candle holders the kids made for my mom for Christmas gifts. I would have had them make more for relatives out of state, but they are a pain to ship, and not break. My kids love to paint, and we always have paint on hand, for the school year. I just bought the two glass holders at the Dollar Store, and told them they could pain whatever they wanted. Then we added colored glass stones, and a tea light candle. When lit, they were really beautiful. Simple, fun, and affordable.

Make Your Own Dirt:

You will need sedimentary rocks like sandstone, or other ,layered rocks of sediment. Place the sandstone in a plastic container, with a harder rock such as granite. Then have your children take turns shaking it. The sandstone will begin to break down, and become grains of soil. Note all rocks exposed to the elements do eventually break down to soil, but sandstone is faster because it is so soft. Did you know that the brownstone homes, in NYS were made from sandstone?

Simple Project To Study Ecosystems:

We all have trees of some kind or another. Trees have many characteristics, but also have a whole ecosystem of their own. Follow these steps to see how, and write down your observations. After you pick your tree, study the area surrounding the tree. Are there any squirrels or bird's nests? Are there any woodpecker holes in the bark? Look closely at the leaves, bark, and base of the tree? Are there any insects, or spiders. Are there any fallen leaves on the ground? Dig around the ground, and see if you can find earthworms. Worms eat dead leaves, so they are very often a part of the tree ecosystem. All the answers to the above questions, make an ecosystem, or things that depend on each other to survive. Obviously this would be done better in warmer months, than cooler months.


Mom Says said...

Your kids are very artistic,thanks to you.Parents are normally the kids' major influences. Your mom must be very happy to receive those colorful candle holders last Christmas.I think my daughter would enjoy it if we do the same thing here. Thanks for the idea!

betchai said...

those are very cool painting on the candle holders, Melissa. I remember when I was younger, having fun with paint was such a cool treat.

Melissa said...

Rochelle, and Betchai, I am not the most artistic person, but I do try to encourage it as much as I can. Some people are way more creative than me.

lauraedythe said...

How Cool! What fantastic paintings! Thanks for Sharing these & Blessings, Laura

Kristy said...

What neat project ideas Miss Melissa. I love the candle holders and the make your own dirt project. You always have the most interesting and fun things to do.

Melissa said...

Ms Laura, thank you.

Ms Kristy, I wonder how much effort it would take to make enough dirt to say make a garden? I don't think I am willing to find out.

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