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The Bee Tree {FI♥AR}

"When Mary Ellen gets bored with her reading, Grandpa knows a hunt for a bee tree is just what she needs. Half the town joins the exciting chase, but it's not until everyone returns home that Mary Ellen makes a discovery of her own: Sometimes, even the sweetest of things must be worked for."
We began our adventure with a field trip to Tongue River Honey {local, family owned, and operated} the week they were in full honey production in September. 

It was neat to see how honey is extracted ~ it is a lot of hard work and they work fast to get it all done in such a short amount of time. They were nice to take so much time with us and were very detailed in their explanations. It was really neat!

I must admit I panicked when I saw the kids dipping their fingers in the big honey drum and then licking them! Then I found out they had permission! In fact, the owner showed us the fine art of finger dipping so that you don't drip the honey all over your shirt on the way to your mouth! (You dip your finger in and then as you pull it out, you roll your finger in a cirlce so that the honey stays in a ball on your finger ~ long enough to get it in your mouth!) 

Mali and Elli had two quarts to fill and they got to put the label on themselves. I was surprised to find out that the honey is only $2 a pound ~ so $6 for a quart if you get it directly from them. {Our local health food store marks it up 40%.} 

The owner, (who, by the way, homeschooled his kids!) took us out to see some hives. . . .

and let us try on a beekeeping helmet/veil. 

And then, he demonstrated how to remove a stinger ~ he grabbed a bee and stung himself! {I asked if it hurt, lol, and he said that yes, it hurt and that you never really get used to bee stings.} 

Here is a video of him removing the stinger:

We also watched Bee Tales from the Hive. Very cool!

"Activities incorporating drama, games, and art projects with observations and discussions educate young children about bees. They role-play bee dances, are introduced to bee metamorphosis, learn about bee predators and honey robbers, and discover how bees work together to protect the hive."
Very neat lesson book that we used for our Science lesson on bees.     

Left: Examining a flower to see the pollen.
Right: Drinking "nectar" like a bee ~ with a pretend {drinking straw} proboscis.
More activities from Buzzing a Hive. . . 

Left: Honey Tasting
Right: Honey Bees we made {learned about parts of a bee} &
Learning about how bees make wax {hang in chains} and discussing uses of bees wax.

Honey Bee Bag Book 

Instead of making the classroom project poster suggested in the book, we made a cute bag book in the shape of a hive,
using the printables {reduced on the copier} from the lesson book. 

Honey Bee Tree Game {I really wanted this Bee Hive Preschool activity from Plan Toys, but chose the game so that all the kids could use it ~ more practical, and I hadn't bought the kids a new game in a long time.} 

Mali in his pajama bottoms. :)  

Tot School for Bo

Honey Bee Transferring with Tongs

Edible Honey Peanut Butter Play-dough. 

FI♥AR Recipe: Baking Powder Biscuits ~n~ Honey with Hot Tea

Simple, but so good!

Co-op get together ~ 

Making Dipped Candles with Beeswax

Homemade Honey Lip Balm 

So easy! Honey, beeswax and coconut oil! 

Very good!

Observing a Bee

{Thanks for the idea, Susana!} 

Learning About Tessellations {repetition of a geometric shape that touches but does not overlap}

We watched a video on tessellations, that my friend Kim selected, and then made one! 

Hexagons in honeycomb are a tessellation.

I got the idea for a potato stamp activity from Sonlight Core A! {Week 14}
Perfect for making a honeycomb pattern! 

Fun row! And even though it was spread out over a month, the kids didn't seem to notice or mind.  

The Bee Tree is a Five in a Row selection from Volume 3 

Delightful Learning

Pretend Root Beer Floats {Tot School}

Tot School
 ~Boaz is 22 months old~ 

After making root beer floats for a literacy activity for our 50th day of school, I thought it would be fun to make pretend root beer floats with Bo. 

I used Inner Child Fun's tutorial for cloud dough, except that I used mineral oil (the main ingredient in baby oil) instead of baby oil so that I could then add vanilla extract to make vanilla scented cloud dough for the vanilla ice cream. For the root beer, I used cocoa powder to color the dough and added root beer extract for a creamy, dreamy root beer float sensory experience! 

If you do this, you will want to make real root beer floats, so have some 
real root beer and ice cream on hand if you do!

Bo's first "pretend." 

50's Fun {50th Day of School}

We cruised through our first 50 days of school, so we thought this would be a fun way to slow down a bit and celebrate! 

I saw this 50th day of school mini unit on The First Grade Parade last year (after we had already celebrated our 100th day of school) and knew I wanted to do it this year, but totally forgot about it until I was sewing a poodle skirt for Eliana for a 50's dance coming up. Perfect! 

Here's how we celebrated.

How to Make a Root Beer Float 

Both kids wrote or narrated directions in three parts and then made a root beer float following their own directions and then made a Do You Like Root Beer Floats graph. {Writing fulfills Sonlights LA 2 Week 10 expository writing Creative Expression assignment, "Time to Explain Yourself." Malachi's assignment was to write a brief explanation paragraph.}  

Rockin' Around the Records 

Measuring perimeter and area with Tootsie Rolls!

Fifties ABC Order

50's Compare and Contrast 

{we watched clips from family shows in the 50's to compare and contrast kids then and now}

Delicious Doubles

50th Day Math Book

Goodness Gracious ~ Greater or Less!

We also played a game called Roll a Record.

What Can You Do in 50 Seconds? 

How many bubbles, twists, bunny hops, hula hoops and more can you do in 50 seconds?! We had fun finding out and recording our results. 

Her first ever "bubble gum." 

We had burgers and fries and root beer floats for dinner and listened to a 50's music station on Pandora. We even jitterbugged in the living room. :) 

Here are a few photos at the dance. . . 

New friends we met at the Feast in MT.

My tired, little man with his hair slicked back with Pop. :) 

Good times. :) But, they do go by fast! 

Little Nino's Pizzeria {FI♥AR}

Sonlight is our main curriculum, but I am very excited to have the opportunity to get together with 3 other families to row one book a month this year. For our first book, we rowed Little Nino's Pizzeria. We met at my house for Art and Science and then went on a field trip to a local pizzeria to make our own pizza. 

The illustrations in the book are bright, lively, and colorful, and are reminiscent of Henri Matisse, so I chose the suggestion in the manual to do a study on Matisse for our art lesson. 

I read that Matisse liked to make his own colors by painting large sheets of paper and then using that for his cut out collages, so I had the kids start out by mixing paint to make their own colors for a collage. 

I talked a little about Matisse while the kids painted and showed them some of his artwork. 

They didn't quite get to the concept of painting the whole sheet of paper, but they had fun painting!  We were supposed to let them dry for making cut-out collages, but we ran out of time. 

Boaz (21 months) napped the whole time, so I had him paint when he woke up. 

And later, Malachi made a Matisse-like collage using the Art Activity Pack: Matisse


Our second activity was a Science lesson on Nutrition, put on by my friend, Amy. She read a book on nutrition (can't remember the name), and had each kid make a Nutrition Book outlining the Food Groups. 

They either colored or cut and pasted foods cut out from magazines. 

Then, my friend, Kim, did a Science lesson on yeast. (This is my reason for choosing this book - because of the "Dough" experiment in Sonlight Week 10! On our own, we read Science Activities Vol. 2 p. 42-43 and learned how yeast works.) 

We did the yeast in a balloon demonstration and watched the effects of the yeast producing carbon dioxide to blow up the balloon. 

Then, Kim led us in a yeast experiment on using different types of sugars/starches to see which encouraged yeast growth the best. 

We used sugar, corn syrup, and corn starch. And then the scientist in me suggested we throw in a control with just yeast and water. 

Then the jars were placed in a warm water bath and we waited for the yeast to grow!

Can you guess which worked the best? 

Then the kids (who really wanted to play by now!) got to go play while I got our snack ready. 


We didn't have a Social Studies lesson planned, so I decorated with a flag of Italy pennant. 

We made Italian Flag Fruit Pizzas. 

And had Italian Cream Sodas. 

During our second get-together, we went on a. . . 

Field Trip to Make Our Own Pizzas! 

After having the kids wash their hands, the owner had each child grab a handful of dough right out of the huge mixer. Then, they dropped it into a machine to flatten it and finally into the pizza pan to be pressed, trimmed, and rolled with a tool to make air holes. 

Then they got to add their choice of toppings to their pizza.  

And put it in the oven!

They were anxiously waiting on the other end to watch their pizza come out of the big oven and then have it sliced and put on a plate. (I got to make my own, too!)

I got a group pic of us all eating our pizza, but can't share it for privacy reasons. But, it was fun to see so many kids together eating pizza! 

We used Pizza Toppers for the toppings. They just wanted to decorate their pizza, so I had to coax them into the fractions lesson. :) 


For our study of homophones, I was just going to have them have them make up a sentence using the homophones need and knead, but we also got to review Hot Dots Laugh It Up! Vocabulary Homophone Cards

Little Nino's Pizzeria is a Five in a Row selection from Volume 3. 

Delightful Learning