The Giving Tree on Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day 2013

I decided to take out a favorite book of mine and the boys – The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein today and use it as our base for all activities in lieu of Valentine’s Day.  gtreecI have read this story many times myself, so thought it was a good idea for them to hear it from the author himself : found here on youtube: The Original “73 Movie

After we listened to the story I had Liam complete two worksheets found here on  

He labeled the tree parts and then recalled each item the tree gave to the boy and what the boy used it for. Then thought of things the tree gives as gifts, such as food and paper, oxygen and shelter.

I then took an art activity we had used at Halloween time and tweaked it a bit to go along with The Giving Tree.

First the boys painted the “ground” flipping a paper plate over and used greens and brown for the forest floor.

Then using a brown paper sandwich bag, they each stuffed tissue paper into the bottom of the bag for a base of the tree.  Then twist the bag just above the base. Next cut long strips going down the bag for branches. Then they used a bit of glue on their hands and twisted each strip to form the individual branches.

While they worked on this part, I cut out foam shapes for leaves, stopping to help Luke out once in awhile with his branches.  They glued the leaves on, used a piece of red tissue paper for the apple and added a heart to the tree just like in the story!

They came out awesome!! gtreeagtreeb

Heifer International Farm Visit

We visited Overlook Farm again today for the Harvest Festival. This is a working Learning Center that is part of Heifer International. In a previous post called Moo-ving project you can view our other visit.

Today we had the best experience with the kids learning hands on global issues concerning hunger and poverty. The farm had hay rides, lots of activities for the children, scavenger hunts and we walked through to explore the homes in the Global Village and learn about traditional harvest celebrations in Peru, Poland, Kenya and more. There was also a delicious lunch prepared from the farms products! My oldest was really able to see the process from garden to table! Though I really didn’t think about “schooling” today we walked away with a lot of new knowledge! All of us!

Heifer offers free Global Education kits. They are amazing- I speak from experience! We took action after using the kit and raised money to buy a few Living Gifts!

If you are able to take a field trip, please do so! Here are the locations. We live about and hour and a half away, but so worth the trip every time!

Older children and those of 18 and older can volunteer and live on or off the farm! My oldest who’s eight already has said many times, he wants to volunteer as soon as he is old enough!

The Scavenger Hunt took us a while! This was one of the clues : There are many purple plants in the garden, and although I’m one of the smallest, none of the other purple plants smell as good as I do or have prettier flowers. If you can find the other purple plants, write them down but be sure to  get one leaf from me and smell it! I taste particularly good with tomatoes and mozzarella.

Really make you think and look closely! We got all 12 of them! Whew!

Garden Scavenger Hunt

View of the cattle

Making a bees wax candle

Playing Instruments Together

Guinea pig in Peru

Learning to weave a bookmark