Edible Bird Nest Treats

As part of our spring celebration we made these edible bird nests. They are very simple to make, really just an adaptation of rice cereal squares with a few healthy, and not so healthy additions.

Edible Bird Nest Treats

1/4 c. butter (1/2 stick)
4 c. miniature marshmallows (I used one package)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. chocolate chips
5 c. crispy rice cereal
1 c. dry chow mein noodles
1/2 c. sesame seeds
1 package Cadbury Mini Eggs, or other egg shaped candy

Melt the butter, marshmallows, peanut butter and chocolate chips on low heat in a large saucepan, stirring occasionally.
While melting, measure cereal, dry noodles and seeds into a bowl. When first four ingredients are melted and combined, add cereal mix and mix well. Drop tennis or ping pong ball size mounds onto waxed paper. Allow your helpers to press down the middle to form a nest shape. When cool, fill with candy eggs.

Celebrate Spring, but not Easter

Don't get me wrong. We love celebrating the resurrection of our Risen Saviour, Jesus. This year we celebrated twice, first by hosting a Passover celebration using this Haggadah, and then on Resurrection Sunday, by going to church and sharing a special meal as a family.

However, when I was a young mom I heard a pastor talk about the pagan roots of the word Easter and it has forever spoiled me on wishing people a Happy Easter, or celebrating it in the traditional way (it is a little easier in Mexico where they say, Feliz dia de Pascua, or basically, Happy Passover).

While I would never judge you for how your family commemorates the Resurrection, we try to keep Sunday focused on observances directly related to Jesus and then have a separate celebration for all the fun spring related activities, such as egg dying, egg hunting and any other spring activities we decide to do. Although I realize you could tie these activities into the new life we have in Christ, for us, it is easier to just celebrate the seasons that God made as a separate event from major events in the life of Jesus. Once again, I am not judging you for how you celebrate.

Last year we hosted a moms and kids play day here, with an egg dying station, egg hunt, and a relaxing place to chat while the children played. This year, our schedule is a bit crazier, and I still wanted my children to have a celebration, so we picked a rare free afternoon and had our own little party.

The first thing I did was set up our learning shelf with a couple new spring related activities. I reshelved our ocean books and filled the basket with spring themed books and then I printed off some egg shapes.
With the egg shapes, I created two activities. One set, I cut out and wrote numerals to 6 and then put them in a basket with some small poultry objects for an engaging counting activity.

The other set with designs I placed in a basket with some nice, fresh markers and let the children decorate them and cut them out.

After a visit to the library, where I collected some more books about spring, we came home and did a couple more activities. First we dyed eggs, using a kit that I purchased at the dollar store. Using food coloring in water or vinegar water would work just as well and be even more economical.

Then we made these Bird Nest Treats and filled them with Cadbury Mini Eggs. That was the yummiest part of our day!

Want more spring celebration fun?  This site has amazing montessori based activities for preschoolers.


Turn off the Television and Get a Life

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time…"
Ephesians 5:15-16

I read this article today which suggested that television viewing may be linked to poverty. While I take all studies with a grain of salt, the idea that by turning off the t.v. you might gain some life skills which would make you a more valuable employee or business owner, or even that perhaps the morality or lack of it displayed in television might make you a less productive citizen have merit. 
While we certainly slump wearily in front of a show now and then (hence our Frozen party), we are very careful to keep it to a minimum. The most useful way we do that is by not subscribing to any cable service, and staying busy doing things that are much more interesting than vicariously living some television character's sordid life.


The less the tv is on, the more likely your children, and you, will find other ways to entertain yourself. Growing a garden, raising chickens or reading a book are all productive pursuits to replace after school television temptation, and in the evenings, sitting around a good meal, reading the Bible together and practicing worship guitar, keep us busy and happy until it is time to say goodnight.


On the weekends when there might be temptation to turn on the tube, we are busy working in our yard, or taking a field trip to a beach or trout pond. Life is full of moments where we make seemingly small decisions that have huge consequences for the future. 

When we cut off the stream of inanity that often flows unfiltered into our homes, we are creating one more opportunity for us and our children to be transformers of culture, instead of merely partakers.


Reading Comprehension With Winnie the Pooh

Reading comprehension could be taught with a tedious workbook and a list of questions to ask or multiple choice options, but my preference is to teach it with the use of narration. Narration is the art of telling back what you have heard. As Charlotte Mason stated, 
“As knowledge is not assimilated until it is reproduced, children should ‘tell back’ after a single reading or hearing . . . A single reading is insisted on, because children have naturally great power of attention; but this force is dissipated by the re-reading of passages” (Vol. 6, preface).

In this excellent post from Simply Charlotte Mason, the simplicity and fun of narration is explained, I for one am a big fan of keeping things simple and fun, while maximizing quality literature. 
Having slogged through a boring grammar workbook for most of the year, I decided that my younger children needed a break, so we started a narration series with Winnie the Pooh. 

I read a chapter and then I have the children tell me what I read about. The more details the better, and narration improves with practice. This quickly lets me know how much they understood and absorbed from the story.

After the oral retelling, they spend some time writing sentences or paragraphs about what we read and drawing a picture to illustrate. I rarely get complaints from such a fun assignment, and it is nice to get a break from all the workbooks.

Even my youngest son got excited about the story, gathering his Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore to act it out. Rather unfortunately,  in his quest for a realistic retelling of Eeyore's lost tale, he cut the tail off the poor, sad donkey. However, a few stitches can hopefully fix this and I do love seeing him enjoying and reliving a good story.