Tag Archives: fall

Easy DIY Halloween Decorations Part One: Pumpkin Bowl

I love to make DIY Halloween Decorations, and this year I was actually prepared and got some made ahead of time, and I will be sharing my favorites with you!

DIY Halloween decorations

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 

It might be September, but Halloween is just around the corner. Every year I decide that I will be ahead of the game and make some decorations for the house.

Except, life happens, and I don’t get them done.

Until this year!

I set aside some time to look over my Pinterest board for the DIY Halloween decorations that I have saved over the years. Bean and I tested our favorites and I will share them over the next few weeks.

I do my best to use or re-use items that I have on hand in my craft stash. However, even with a trip to the store, most of these items are budget friendly. If I do have to run out, I always try the Dollar Store first. I can usually knock out most of my list there.

EASY DIY HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS PART ONE: PUMPKIN BOWL

This one is super easy, and a fun one for kids. It’s fun to see that thin tissue paper can turn into a pumpkin!

DIY Halloween decorations

SUPPLIES NEEDED

Balloons

Orange tissue paper

Mod Podge

Black Construction Paper

Paintbrush

Small bowl, or plastic container

 

HOW TO MAKE IT

First, tear up the tissue paper into small pieces. You will need quite a bit, so put on some fun spooky music while you work.

I didn’t have any orange tissue handy, but I did have leftover crepe streamers. It worked perfectly for this project!

Next, blow up your balloon, but keep it small, about three inches in diameter.

A small plastic container is helpful to hold the balloon while you work.

Grab your Mod Podge and use the paintbrush to put a layer on the surface of the balloon. You will want to cover about half of the balloon to make your bowl shape.

Then start putting a layer of tissue over the Mod Podge. Do not worry about pieces overlapping or looking messy, it does not have to be perfect.

 

DIY Halloween decorations

Next, cover the tissue paper layer with Mod Podge and add another layer of tissue.

Repeat that step a few times, you will want 3 or 4 layers to help make your bowl a bit sturdier.

DIY Halloween decorations

Once you make your layers, put one last coat of Modge Podge all over the tissue paper. It will look really messy, but just wait until it dries!

DIY Halloween decorations

Set the pumpkin aside and wait for it to dry. It was hard to wait, but we left ours overnight to be sure that it had enough time.

DIY Halloween decoration

Grab your scissors and black construction paper and cut out some jack o’ lantern eyes, a nose, and a mouth.

Use the Mod Podge to attach them to your pumpkin. Make sure you take the balloon out of the container and flip it over so that your face is not upside down.

The final step is the fun part.

Pop the balloon!!

Now you have a cute little pumpkin bowl. I did not mind the jagged edges of the paper, but you can also use scissors and carefully trim it up a little bit.

DIY Halloween decorations

We made a few so that we could put candy in some, and candles (LED ones for safety of course!) in the others.

Be sure to keep checking back for the next few DIY Halloween decorations posts – next up will be cardboard tube candles!

XO, Melissa

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P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

 

 

 

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Top 10 Books For Fall

 

books for fall

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 

Everyone in our household loves to read.

When the seasons change, I make a point to stock our classroom (and living room) with new books for us to read together.

Choosing books for fall is one of my favorite things to do.

My goal is to find books for fall that talk about the beautiful changes in nature, and to also find some spooky tales!


Top 10 books for fall that should be in your collection.


AWESOME AUTUMN BY BRUCE GOLDSTONE

books for fall

The gorgeous photos, paired with short text, tells about what happens when fall arrives.

It is perfect for traditional and homeschool classrooms!

SPOOKY OLD TREE BY STAN AND JAN BERENSTAIN

books for fall

Ages 4-8

Three bears bravely explore a spooky old tree.

The story contains simple rhyming text and reinforces the concept of into, up, through, over, down, and out.

This was a favorite for both of my kiddos.

It isn’t TOO scary, but it shows how one can overcome fears and conquer things that seem especially frightening.

LEAF MAN BY LOIS ELHERT

books for fall

Ages 4-7

This book tells the story of Leaf Man, who blew away with the wind.

It has beautiful illustrations using collages made from the rainbow of real fall leaves. It

is a wonderful book to read and celebrate the change of seasons, and even contains a leaf guide!

It is the perfect choice for nature lovers!

A nature hike and leaf hunt would be a fun way to reinforce the material.

THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO WAS NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING BY LINDA D WILLIAMS

books for fall

Ages 3-7

One night while walking in the woods, the normally fearless old lady becomes scared.

Read along and find out how she gets braver and solves her problem.

The text repeats and is rhythmic, which makes it fun for kids to chant along.

ROALD DAHL’S BOOK OF GHOST STORIES

books for fall

This one might be better for older kids.

It is a fantastic selection of Roald Dahl’s most favorite spooky stories.

It would make for awesome campfire reading and is sure to deliver great shivers.

SHAKE DEM HALLOWEEN BONES BY W. NIKOLA LISA

books for fall

Ages 4-7

This book has really fun rhyming hip-hop text and familiar fairy tale characters.

If you read this one out loud, don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing and dancing along with the rhythm of the words.

LITTLE CRITTER: THE FALL FESTIVAL BY MERCER MAYER

books for fall

Ages 4-8

Little Critter books have always been loved in our home.

This one covers all the wonderful things that make up the season of fall.

It is a good one for kids who are learning to read.

THE HALLOWEEN TREE BY RAY BRADBURY

books for fall

Ages 8 and up

Eight boys go on an adventure into the past led by a mysterious character.

This book is a wonderful way to learn the history and customs of Halloween.

ROOM ON A BROOM BY JULIA DONALDSON

books for fall

Ages 3-7

This is a story of a witch and a cat flying about.

The troublesome wind makes the witch lose some important items.

During their rescue, they encounter helpful friends that want a ride on her broom for their help.

Things get quite full, and a dragon enters the picture. It is a fun problem-solving tale!

GOOSEBUMPS BOOKS BY R.L. STINE

books for fall

In our house, these books are pretty much read all year round, as Miss Bean is a HUGE Goosebumps fan.

They are great chapter books to read together, and there are all sorts of spooky situations.

The Blob That Ate Everything is one of our favorites.

I hope this list helps you find some fun books for fall. Do you have a favorite? Be sure to share in the comments!

xo, Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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Lessons and Activities for November

lessons and activities november pin graphic

November has arrived, and that means it is time for some new books, experiments, lessons and activities in our homeschool classroom!

In addition to our regular work, we will focus on being thankful, and the history of Thanksgiving, which I will be incorporating into our lessons and activities throughout the month.

I found a great resource on the Scholastic website. It has a ton of information on The First Thanksgiving, so we will definitely be using that as a resource this month.

LANGUAGE AND READING

We are continuing to use our sight word list from our word hunt last month. They have been helping Bean learn some key words that she is seeing more often now that she is reading.

We’ve also been working on identifying long and short vowel sounds. I have a little game I found at the dollar store to help her with that.

I also selected some books that fit well with the Thanksgiving season:

Being Thankful by Mercer Mayer

The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose

The Story of the Pilgrims by Katharine Ross

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola

Please and Thank You Book by Richard Scarry

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston

Pete the Cat by Kimberly and James Dean

SCIENCE

Another fun part of Thanksgiving is the food, so I have picked out a few food experiments for our science lessons.

Bendy Bones

When you make turkey, set aside some bones for this fun experiment (chicken bones would work too, you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving turkey time for this one).

First, make sure to clean and scrape any meat off of the bones.

Then, make some observations and discuss your findings. Are the bones strong? Do they bend? What color are they? How long are they?

Next, fill a container large enough to submerge the bones, with vinegar.

Place the bones in the vinegar and let them sit for four days. If it gets smelly, cover the container with a little plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band.

After four days, remove the bones from the vinegar. Observe and discuss again.

Because of the acidic vinegar, the bone should bend because the calcium has been broken down.

You can even try other acids, like lemon juice or soda.

Re-Grow Food

lessons and activities green onion experiment image

Find a fun recipe that calls for green onions, and when you use them, leave about 3 inches of the root .

Place your trimmings standing up in a glass container.

Fill the glass with water, leaving an inch or two above the water.

Find a sunny window, and set the glass nearby.

Change the water every other day, and in a few days, green shoots should begin to appear.

Once you have some growth, trim and use in another meal. Leave your roots in the jar, you should be able to get a few cycles of re-growth. See how many you can get!

Bouncy Rubber Egg

lessons and activities bouncy egg experiment image

Grab a glass jar, an egg, and white vinegar.

Place the egg carefully in the jar, and add enough vinegar to cover the egg.  Let it sit for 24 hours.

Once that time period has passed, carefully remove the egg from the jar, and dump out the vinegar. Replace egg and cover again with vinegar. The wait is a little longer this time around, let it sit for 2 days.

Remove your egg from the jar, and observe. What does it feel like? Does it look different? What happened to the shell? What do you see?

Now is the fun part! See if it will bounce! Gently bounce it from a short distance- it is still fragile and could break.

Because an eggshell is made of calcium carbonate, the acid in the vinegar reacts and produces carbon dioxide. The egg membrane may absorb some of the vinegar, which will make the egg larger.

CRAFTS

lessons and activities art supplies image

I found a few fun activities on Pinterest:

Paper Bag TeePees

Paper Bag Turkeys

T.P. Roll Totem Poles

Herb and Spice Play Dough

Handprint Turkey

You can also find these on my Arts and Crafts board. Follow me for easy access!

I hope you found these November lessons and activities helpful. I would love to hear about what is happening in your homeschool classroom too, tell me about it in the comments and be sure to link your blog so that I can visit!

 

Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. 🙂

 

 

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Try These Fun Fall Lessons and Activities

fun fall lessons pinterest graphic

The weather has started to cool off and I can wear my hoodies again. The leaves are beginning to change, and it is perfect campfire weather. The arrival of fall also means that it is time to change things up a bit in our homeschool classroom. So I’ve put together a list of some fun fall lessons and activities.

fall lessons fall leaves graphic

The past couple months we learned about plants, and explored nature. We took a field trip to build our own STEM kit. We also discovered a workbook that Miss Bean loves. It has a little bit of each subject, and has kept her attention quite well. It has especially helped her take off with her reading. I’ve noticed that she has started to catch more word blends while sounding things out, and she has become so confident in her own abilities! So, as long as she requests it, we are going to keep completing those pages.

However, we need some hands-on fall lessons and activities to round out our homeschool plan.

Reading and Writing

My last blog post was a list of 10 Fall books to read, so I have already completed our book list. Because we have some apple activities, I’m also going to add Johnny Appleseed to the list.

I came across this word hunt, and it looked like so much fun, I had to create our own. I ended up making two versions. One with some of the sight words that we are working on, and another with some spooky words.

If you’d like to play along, you can click on the pictures to download and print your own.

SIGHT WORD HUNT FLASHCARDS

printable sight word flashcards for word huntSPOOKY WORD HUNT FLASHCARDS
printable spooky words flashcard for word hunt

 

Science and Math

pumpkins and apples fall lessons graphic

The leaves are changing, and apples and pumpkins are abundant.

I found this great state by state guide to fall colors and we’ll discuss why leaves change colors.

I printed out this fun fall leaf hunt activity, which will call for visits to a few parks to find our leaves. We will grab a few extra for art projects, and also to learn how leaves breathe.

After we stock up on some apples we are going to put our STEM kit to use.  We are going to try to keep an apple from browning, and make apple volcanoes.

For Math, we are going to work on the concept of greater than and less than by using candy corn.

Also, this free printable Oh Nuts! game looks like the perfect way to work on addition, time and money.

Of course, I can’t forget using pumpkins this time of year.

I plan on doing a few experiments that I found on this site.

And finally, once we clean out our pumpkins for carving, I am going to set aside some seeds. When I clean and bake them, I am going to fill a few different containers and have Miss Bean guess how many seeds are in each one.

Arts and Crafts

I think this is always the super fun part. I found some great projects using leaves and fall colors, and even one for our toilet paper rolls!

Autumn Handprint Tree

Q-Tip Fall Tree

Leaf Rubbings

Autumn Leaf Suncatchers

Wax Paper and Crayon Fall Leaves

Autumn Ballerina

T.P. Roll Monsters

Our fall break just ended, so we start on our new lessons Monday. If you have any fun fall lessons or activities planned, I would love to hear about them in the comments. Happy Fall!

 

Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. 🙂

 

 

 

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Welcome Fall With These Three Easy Acorn Crafts

acornDisclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. 🙂

My favorite time of year has arrived!

What a better way to welcome the arrival of fall, than with a few easy acorn crafts.

This past weekend, Miss Bean and I had some fun and used up our acorn stash to make a few.

Would you like to make some too?

The first step is to collect your acorns!

Put on those walking shoes, grab a bag, find a park and gather a bunch of acorns.

It doesn’t matter if the tops aren’t intact because you can glue them back on.

acorn

Before you begin your crafts, you will want to clean and cook the acorns.

First, rinse and brush them off in the sink.

acorn

Next, spread them out onto a towel, and set them in the sun for about an hour to dry.

acorn

Once they feel pretty dry, put them in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and a half.

This will get rid of any bugs that might have made the acorns their home.

acorn

While the acorns are cooling off, gather up some craft supplies.


HERE ARE 3 EASY CRAFTS THAT YOU CAN MAKE WITH AN ACORN


Glitter

Modge Podge

Acrylic Paint

Paintbrushes

Felt

Scissors

Black Sharpie

Craft Glue

Acorns

acorn

Once the acorns have cooled, it’s time to craft!

Here are the three fall acorn creations we made.

PUMPKIN ACORNS

To make these, you will need acorns without the tops attached, orange acrylic paint, a paintbrush and a sharpie.

We made this one first so that the paint could dry while we made our other acorn crafts.

First, grab your paintbrush and paint the acorn orange.

acorn

Next, set them aside so that the paint can dry.

Once the paint is dry, draw pumpkin faces with a black sharpie on your painted acorns.

acornThat’s it!

We loved how SUPER EASY this one was.

I think we will make a whole bunch of these to create a pumpkin patch for our gnome and fairy villages. 

GLITTER ACORNS

For these fun sparkly acorns, you will need acorns with tops, glitter, modge podge, and a paintbrush.

Pick out an acorn, and paint modge podge all over the base of the acorn. Do not put it on the top.

acornNext, roll the acorn around in the glitter.

I found that filling a few cupcake liners with my different glitter colors was the perfect way to get a good layer on my acorn base.

Finally, set the acorns gently on wax paper to let them dry.acornAren’t they pretty?

Totally worth being covered in glitter for most of the day.

I am definitely incorporating these into a fun fall centerpiece.

OWL ACORNS

For the last craft we made, we used more acorns without the tops, felt, scissors, a sharpie, and craft glue.

Choose your felt colors, and cut two round circles for the eyes, a triangle for the beak, and two teardrop shaped wings.

Glue your pieces on with craft glue.acorn

Let the glue dry, and then use the black sharpie to draw two dots for eyes.

acorn

Aren’t they cute?

We had a blast making all of these!

All three crafts were very easy, and also did not take very long to make.

Maybe these will inspire you to put on a spooky or fun Halloween movie and to start creating with acorns!

xo, Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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