by Alicia Bodine, Contributing Writer
You will need the following items for this craft:
Tired of tossing heaps of paper into the trash throughout the school year? Equally tired of telling your toddler over and over that scribbling in the older kid's workbooks is a no-no? Perhaps you need a greener and more practical way to do things. Enter the green-freak/veteran homeschool supermom. Yeah, that's me - go ahead and laugh until you try my solutions. They really work! Homemade reusable workbooks can save lots of time, paper, money, and frustration throughout the years.
Materials for Homemade Reusable Workbooks
To make reusable homeschool workbooks, you'll need a laminating machine and laminating sheets, workbooks and/or loose worksheets, a hole puncher (three-ring works best), and a three-ring binder. For the kids to use them, you'll also need some earth-friendly wipe-off markers.
Making Reusable Homeschool Workbooks
If you are starting with workbooks, tear the sheets out so that they are loose. For organization, you can create reusable workbooks that are in order by grade level and subject. Use an eco-friendly permanent marker to mark the outside of the binders. Laminate each sheet individually. If you do not have the patience to do this, many office stores actually offer this service for free or at a discount on a certain day each year. It's generally near the start of the school year. Otherwise, they do charge a fee. But if you have a good number of worksheets to laminate, the fee may be worth it. Once all the sheets are laminated, punch holes in them so that they will go neatly into the binders. Then, put them in the appropriate binders.
Benefits of Homemade Reusable Homeschool Workbooks
Wipe of worksheets are great for going back to correct errors. If a student needs more time with a certain concept, you do not need to keep purchasing workbooks. Just wipe off and practice over and over. Also, if you have more than one homeschool student, you will only need to purchase or print workbooks and worksheets once. They can passed down to each child as they reach those levels. Also, by creating a reusable workbook, you are saving all that paper from going into the landfills. The plastic lamination may not be earth-friendly. But it will create an item that can last years and years, which is better for the environment than throwing piles and piles of paper and workbooks into the trash.
What to Do When Kids Outgrow the Workbooks
When kids outgrow their workbooks, create more and pass on the other ones to your other kids. If you have no other kids, give them to a friend or relative. It also would be a good idea to sell them and raise money for your homeschool. You may also donate them to a child in need. Homeless shelters and other family centered outreach programs can always use learning materials for the kids. Try contacting your local Covenant House, Red Cross, or Salvation Army to find out where you can donate them. If none of those are in your area, try contacting United Way.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
With this fun craft, you don't need to worry if the kids eat the paint. You also don't need to be as concerned about harming the environment. Learn how the kids can create leaf prints using homemade milk paint and recycled materials. This eco-friendly craft can be done by even the smallest kids with parental assistance.
Before starting with the craft, have some nature fun with the kids and let them gather fallen leaves from around the yard. Instruct them to find leaves of various shapes, sizes, and textures. That will make the artwork more interesting.
Making the Milk Paint
The first part of the craft involves making the milk paint. Kids can easily help with this, depending upon age and ability. Simply mix powdered milk and water until there is a thick pasty texture. It should be about the consistency of yogurt or pudding. In one bowl, add blueberry juice until the color is the tone you desire. Do the same in the other bowl with the beet juice. The beet juice will create a reddish paint color and the blueberry juice will create a bluish-purple paint color. To darken the color, simply add more juice.
Painting With the Milk Paint Using Leaves
Once the paint is made, kids can each be given their own recycled paper to paint on. The coloring for the paint involves dyes that can stain clothing. Be sure the children have on play clothe or aprons. The kids can use soft leaves as paintbrushes by rolling up the leaf and dipping it into the paint.
Leaves can also be dipped into the paint and pressed onto the paper to make leaf print designs. Some kids also may choose to blend the two concepts together. Once the children are done, set the leaf prints and paintings aside to dry.
Some also may want to frame their works of art. Eco-friendly frames can be created with sticks adjoined by vines or fallen branches. These are sturdy, but easy enough for kids to make or help with. The frames can be hung by attaching and looping sturdy vine to the top. Even once the vine is dried, it can still make a great frame hanger.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
By Tania K. Cowling, Contributing Writer
Do you need some help explaining the game of football with your children? Try reading some of these books available at Amazon.com."
It's that time of year, and fans of an American favorite-football-watch games with fervor and passion. For many families, sports and time together are intertwined, and sharing in the excitement of the game is a beloved weekend tradition. Whether you are watching college or professional league games, there are decorations, activities, and food to be prepared in honor of football's weekend excitement. Try these general ideas to get the family into the spirit:-Make football pennants by cutting elongated triangles out of felt or paper. Decorate with your team's colors. Use all kinds of paint markers-some with texture and glitter.
-Invite the kids to make paper chains using your favorite team's colors.
-Cut a football shape into a potato or sponge, and decorate a plain green tablecloth with ball prints. Make sure you use fabric paints. You can also paint white lines on the cloth so it looks like a football field.
-Cook up your favorite chili; serve with the all-American hotdog and make some spicy popcorn by adding a small package of dry taco seasoning to your popped corn. You can even fold in some dry-roasted peanuts for an added crunch.
-Do some football player exercises. Jump and click heels together, run in place, and do jumping jacks.
Photo courtesy of Tania Cowling, all rights reserved.
Tania K. Cowling is a former teacher, a published book author and award winning freelance writer. She has published many articles online and in regional magazines across the country. Her writing niche is in parenting, early childhood education, lifestyle, crafting with kids, and health related articles.
Need a simple craft that kids can do quickly and possibly even make money from? My kids and I make earrings and sell them in our family craft shop. We also donate a portion of the proceeds to help homeless shelter animals.
All you need are glass beads, ear wire hooks, eye pins, jewelry pliers, and jewelry wire cutters.
The kids can simply slide the beads onto the eye pins and then cut off the excess from the pin, leaving enough room to bend over the bottom of the pin to secure the beads. If they cannot handle the wire cutter and pliers, you can do this part.
Then, use the jewelry pliers to pry away the eye hole of the pin. Slide the eye opening of the ear wire into that opening. Use the jewelry pliers to seal the eye pin closed around the ear wire. Do that for two matching earrings. That's it.
Now the kids can wear or sell their creations. They might even gift them.
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