Friday, 23 September 2016

Fall Leaves Experiment

This week's Unit Study Roundup is on Fall or Autumn.  We did an experiment on leaves today.  We decided to see what colours are in leaves.   There are three pigments that colour leaves, Chlorophyll - which is green, Carotenoid - which is yellow, orange, and brown, and finally Anthocyanin which is red.

We took leaves from two trees and a hedge and we tore them up into small pieces.  We did each type of leaf separately to avoid cross contamination.   I put three glass jars on my table, along with the leaves, rubbing alcohol, and a coffee filter.

Each type of leaf went into a separate glass jar and then DD poured the rubbing alcohol into the jar to cover the leaves.  She did not like the smell of it!

We covered the jars and left the leaves to soak. According to the experiment method that I had we needed to leave the leaves soaking in the rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol for about an hour.

We waited... and we waited... and we waited... and we played... and we played... and we waited some more.

The next step of the experiment involved cutting up a coffee filter into strips and then dipping the coffee filter into the leaf and isopropyl alcohol mixture and waiting some more.  The idea is that the coffee filter is supposed to take on the colour of the mixture and as the alcohol evaporates, the colour will travel up the coffee filter.  I needed to use bigger jars for this and therefore had to pour one of the mixtures into a new jar!

We need to wait for another hour or possibly and hour and a half because the isopropyl alcohol has to travel up the filter and evaporate and we should see a pigment on the filter.

After nearly two hours of waiting, we still saw no pigment in the filter.  I did some searching around and fount another method of this experiment which uses energy and the alcohol.  I went and got one more leaf off of the tree.  We ripped it into small pieces and then poured the rubbing alcohol on it.  We mashed the leaf pieces into the rubbing alcohol with a spoon.  Then we put the lid on the jar and put the jar into a little tub of water that had been boiled in the kettle. The energy is the heat from the hot water. 

After nearly an hour of soaking and a water change, here is how dark the rubbing alcohol is: 

We let it soak for another hour and then we put in the coffee filter strips.  I decided to try leaving the jar in hot water to see if that helped to speed up the process.

This photo was taken about an hour or two after putting the strips in - you can see that there is some colour in the strips now.  The first round of this experiment left me with wet white coffee filter strips.

This photo was taken the next day, and it is the pigment we managed to extract from the maple leaf.

Hop on along to the other blogs in this Unit Study Roundup and see what contributions the other bloggers have made to this :-) 

{Free Printable} I Spy: Fall from Playdough and Popsicles

Fall Books for Kids from Look! We're Learning!

Celebrate Fall in Nature like Snoopy from FrogMom

Board Books about Fall from The Jenny Evolution

Fall Leaves Experiment from Tales of Education At Home

Color by Letter/Sight Word Pages from Mrs. Karle's Sight and Sound Reading

High Frequency Word Harvest from Adventures of Adam

Friday, 16 September 2016

Gruesome Nibbles

This week's theme for Unit Study Roundup is Halloween.  I thought that it would be nice to put together a collection of recipes that you could use for your party. 

I did a search and found some nice recipes that I would like to try from All Reciples 

Here is a fun take on Devilled Eggs.  It's called Halloween Eye of Newt.

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 pinch celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 drops green food coloring, or as needed
  • 1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
  1. Place all of the eggs into a large pot so they can rest on the bottom in a single layer. Fill with just enough cold water to cover the eggs. Bring to a boil, then cover, remove from the heat and let stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse under cold water or add some ice to the water and let the eggs cool completely. Peel and slice in half lengthwise.
  1. Remove the yolks from the eggs and place them in a bowl. Mix in the relish, mayonnaise, celery salt, mustard, and food coloring. Spoon this filling into the egg whites and place them on a serving tray. Round the top of the filling using the spoon. Place an olive slice on each yolk to create the center of the eye. Dab a tiny bit of mayonnaise in the center of the olive as a finishing touch.  This will be ready in about 25 minutes!

This looks like a good dip and it looks nice and simple too, provided you can find canned pumpkin:

Easy Pumpkin Dip

  • 3/4 cup low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin

  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Beat cream cheese, brown sugar, and canned pumpkin together with an electric mixer on medium speed in a bowl until light and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add maple syrup and cinnamon and beat until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Bloody Fingers


  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered milk
  • 2 cups honey

  • 1 (15 ounce) package pretzel rods

  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, or as needed
  • 1/4 cup plum jam, or as needed

  1. Mix peanut butter, powdered milk, and honey together in a bowl until mixture resembles a soft dough. This will be the 'flesh' of the fingers.
  1. Mold enough dough around each pretzel rod, making sure to cover the ends. The pretzels will be the 'bones' of the fingers.
  1. Use the tip of a teaspoon the make marks on the 'flesh' similar to knuckles.
  1. Push 1 sliced almond onto 1 end of each 'finger' to resemble a finger nail.
  1. Place jam in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in microwave until softened, 20 to 30 seconds. Dip the end opposite the 'finger nail' into the jam for the 'blood'.

Dragon Eggs

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 tea bags

  • Filling:

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup salsa


  1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain hot water and fill saucepan with cold water; allow eggs to sit until cooled, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain water. Gently tap or roll eggs on the counter so the shell is cracked but still intact.
  1. Return eggs to saucepan and pour in enough water to cover eggs; add soy sauce, molasses, salt, and tea bags. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until eggs have absorbed color, about 30 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and leave eggs in water to cool to room temperature.
  1. Peel eggs and trim bottom of each egg so it will stand upright. Cut each egg lengthwise and scoop yolks into a bowl. Mix mayonnaise, red bell pepper, salt, and pepper into egg yolks until evenly combined.
  1. Spoon yolk mixture back into egg whites; smooth filling to be level with egg white. Put each egg back together.
  1. Pour salsa onto a plate and assemble eggs upright into the salsa.

Here are the other posts in the Roundup:

Spooky Footprint Haunted House Craft from Play Dough & Popsicles

Halloween number game from Adventures of Adam

Halloween Tree | A Fall Nature Craft for Kids from FrogMom

Halloween Movies Not Scary from iGameMom

Monster Learning Activities for Halloween from Books and Giggles

Halloween Board Books from The Jenny Evolution

Halloween Read and Play from My Storytime Corner

Free Tarantula and Spider Do-a-Dot Printables (Montessori-Inspired Instant Downloads) from Living Montessori Now

Halloween Preschool Printables from Living life and learning

Gross and Jiggly Halloween Jello Worms: A STEM Activity for Kids from Schooling a Monkey

Gruesome Nibbles from Tales of Education at Home

Halloween Phonics Worksheet -Color by Letter from Mrs. Karle's Sight and Sound Reading

Pumpkin fairy house from The Usual Mayhem

Halloween Chemistry Ideas from Planet Smarty Pants

Friday, 9 September 2016

Harvest Theme Word Search

This week's Unit Study Roundup topic is a choice of three topics, Apples, Pumpkins, and Harvest. I decided to do another word search with Harvest themed words because we like those in our household. Here is this week's offering for you.  I hope that you and your child(ren) enjoy this word search.  I have included the copyright information in the footer both where I made the puzzle and found the image that I used.  Have fun!

The words you need to find are:

SUKKOTH (Jewish festival of tents)

Here are the other blogs in this roundup:

Corn Kernal Fall Tree Craft from Play Dough & Popsicles

Kids in the Kitchen: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from Crafty Mama in ME

Learning About Pumpkins {Free Printables Round Up} from Faith and Good Works

Books about Pumpkins for Kids from CraftCreateCalm

Pumpkin Recipes for Kids from FrogMom

Apple Tree Counting Mat from Look! We’re Learning!

Harvest Theme Word Search from Tales of Education at Home

Board Books About Apples and Pumpkins for Toddlers from The Jenny Evolution

Pumpkin Science Activities from iGameMom

Apple Read and Play from My Storytime Corner

Pumpkin Preschool Printables from Living life and learning

Pumpkin Patch Alphabet Match from Schooling a Monkey

Apple Sight Word Game from Books and Giggles

Challenge Math - Apple Theme from Planet Smarty Pants

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Nature Study

Yesterday I decided that we were going to try and sketch some flowers that I see on a regular basis.  They are very pretty.  I went to a local store and bought two sketchbooks and off we went to the local playground and we sat down.

This is the flower we were using as our inspiration for drawing:

Hedge Bindweed

Here are our two sketches side by side:

Here is a second sketch that DD drew:

And then she drew a picture of me sketching the flower - I'm not sure how I feel about her calling me a nerd though!

We need to paint or colour our sketches :-)

Friday, 19 August 2016

Camping Word Search

This week's theme for the Unit Study Roundup is Camping. Here is another word printable search item from Tales of Education at Home.

I went to Puzzle Maker and typed in my word list for camping.
I went to this site for a clip art image of a tent.

The word list is below:


To download the word search and the solutions, please go here. You can get it on my Google drive.

Enjoy! :-)

Please take a look at the other blog posts for this unit study roundup:

Exciting Roundup of Yummy Campfire Recipes from Crafty Mama in ME

Books about Camping for Kids from Look! We're Learning!

Camping Activities for Kids from iGameMom

Best Camping Gear for Families from Bambini Travel

Create a Camping Scene with Shape Exploration from Play Dough & Popsicles

Camping Packing List from FrogMom

Fun Camping Ideas that Boost STEM Skills from Schooling a Monkey

Camping Word Search from Tales of Education at Home

Camping Preschool Printables from Living Life and Learning

Camping - How and Why it's Great for Homeschool from School Outdoors!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Not Back to School Picnic

'Tis the season - Back to School season -  that is!  This week's Unit Study Roundup theme is Back to School.  In some areas schools have resumed for the academic year, but where I live, they don't resume until the about the first of September. 

We don't take a summer break from formal lessons because we do things very differently.  Where we live, as home educators or homeschoolers, we do not have to follow the school timetable.  This means that we follow our own schedule and timetable.

We have activities that happen during 'term time' meaning when schools are in session and we follow the school term structure for those.

In September, some home educators like to have 'Not Back To School Picnics'.  This is a celebration of not having to go back to school.  We like any excuse for a picnic in the park. :-) 

These picnics take place all around country and are organised by various local groups.  

If we have a local one to go to in September, I might be able to post photos from it.

For those of you who have started back to your formal lessons, happy schooling!  For those of you who have not started back yet, happy summer holidays!

Here are the other blogs in this week's Unit Study Roundup:

Back to School Teacher Gift {Free Printable Bag Topper} from Crafty Mama in ME

The Best {Back To School} Books For Kids from Play Dough & Popsicles

Back to School Interview for Kids from CraftCreateCalm

Free Kissing Hand Songs, Poems, & Videos to Ease Separation Anxiety from Living Montessori Now

How to Help Kids Back to School from iGameMom

Middle School Student Organizers for Tweens from Look! We're Learning!

Back to School Party Ideas from Schooling a Monkey

Not Back to School Picnic from Tales of Education at Home

Back to School Hand Washing Water Play from Play & Learn Every Day

52 Preschool Themes (& FREE 2016-2017 Preschool Theme Calendar!) from Preschool Powol Packets

Homeschooling? Have a Not Back to School Day from Adventures in Mommydom

Books for Kids About Starting Middle School from Planet Smarty Pants

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

We Are Famous (sort of)

We were involved in a film shoot last week.  M played a school child being picked up from school at the end of the day and I played her mom.  She had to come to me and give me a slip of paper (a little note from the school) and then we were interacting with each other on camera.

I asked her how her day was and she told me it was 'Awesome' and then we had to slowly walk out of the playground.  We had to do the same thing over and over again.  We also needed to do it the same way each and every time.

We were filmed doing this scene 18 times.  14 of those times the camera was in the playground and the other four times the camera was outside of the schoolyard gate.

14 times we had to do the scene without making noise.  We had to mouth our lines to each other.  This was to make sure that the main characters could be heard as they walked through the school playground.  On the takes that we were allowed to speak (when the camera was outside of the gate), we had a hard time actually speaking because we were so trained NOT to speak.  It was a fun time.

The film is called Harry and Grace and is a modern day take on Hansel and Gretel.  It explores the father's culpability in what happens to the children. The director of this film is a 13 year old girl who is also home educated.   Here is a 30 second preview of the film - it is the opening scene:

Harry & Grace - opening shot from Holly Jacobson on Vimeo.