samantha liz

August 2012 archive

Dinosaur Week{s}!

Seeing how the dinosaurs measure up.

We are over halfway finished with week two of “Dinosaur Week”. The kids really took to it, so I really ran with it. Today we’ll be making a volcano and tomorrow (if the stars align, because we’ve tried twice before in the past two weeks to get there) we’ll be headed down to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to see actual dinosaur fossils.

Yesterday, we made our own.
Body Fossil CreationWe used pasta and mixed up some whole wheat flour baking clay to make some super awesome body fossils.

We baked them and they had a fossil hunt outside.The kids wanted to put them in our garden to “trick people in to believing we had unearthed some real body fossils”.

Color matching dinosaursMarcus has been enjoying his dinosaur color matching.

Marcus doesn't believe me when I told him he was having dino nuggets for lunch.However, he really didn’t buy it when I told him he was having dino nuggets for lunch.

Bike.All the talk about how dinosaurs lived and roamed even caused an impromptu bike yesterday to explore our neighborhood.

I think it’s safe to say that dinosaur week is a success. Excuse me while I get back to it!

Happy 12.

Twelve years ago today, I married the love of my life. We’ve grown in so many ways since that day, and we’ve done it all together. I’m so happy that I have the most loving man for a husband who turns out to be the most amazing father to our kids. ♥ Happy 12.


Making fossils. {take one}

As you know it’s dinosaur week, and you can’t talk about dinosaurs without bringing up fossils. Today was our first soiree into the world of making our own, so we discussed how they form and about several different kinds of fossils. How did we do this you ask? Well that’s easy; by making fossil cookies of course!

Full disclaimer: I had originally taken photos with the intention of doing a little tutorial of sorts. You see, I had gotten the idea of making fossil cookies from Martha Stewart, however I did not follow the recipe. I had the wonderful idea of using my mother’s amazing time tested peanut butter cookie recipe; because 1. I knew they were tasty, 2. We hadn’t had them in awhile and I was craving some peanut butter, and 3. I didn’t have a whole ton of walnuts on hand.

I modified it ever so slightly to include some flax to make the cookies a little more rocky {shh… that’s what I told the kids when I added it, I didn’t tell them about the Omega-3 essential fatty acids, protein, and good fibers}. I arranged out my ingredients on the counter and meticulously photographed them like any good Pioneer Woman wannabe would.
The cast of characters.

I then followed with a quick witted statement about how there are unusual attendants to todays baking…
The dinosaur guests.Giggles and merriment ensued.

Of course, I photographed the kids measuring each ingredient and looking adorable while doing it.
Obligatory cute kid photos making.

And finished it all up by including some mixing action.
Additionally obligatory mixing photos.

However, that’s all you’ll see of the actual cookie making, and I won’t be including my recipe, because, well, it didn’t exactly work out as planned…

We did have fun measuring and mixing, and we did make some shapes that we thought best resembled rocks. I even told the kids about different kinds of fossils. For example trace fossils; where we looked at the feet of the dinosaurs and determined that they actually looked different.
Talking about identifying dinosaurs by tracks alone.

We then came to the conclusion that we could “trace” their tracks back to identify which dinosaur had made them.
Making trace fossils.

**There may have also been talk about other trace fossils such as eggs and dinosaur poo, but we agreed that it was best to keep any sort of fossilized poo off our cookies.

Then, we talked about mold fossils. We took the smaller dinosaurs and replicated what it would be like to have cavity shaped fossil.
Making mold fossils

I have to say that it was all very fun and educational, and smiles were all around…
And they looked like this when we were done.

That is… until we put them in the oven…

And I remembered why there was a 2. on my list before…

I had blocked out the memory.

Turns out, Mom’s tried and true peanut butter cookie recipe was for lovely Jiff peanut butter, with it’s ever so lovely partially hydrogenated oils, keeping it’s lovely self together…

Unfortunately, this is not so true of the stir and refrigerate peanut butter that we use now. After googling, I found out that they are NOT interchangeable and the natural counterparts tend to spread and flatten…
And baked.
Yeah, I probably didn’t need to google to know that.

But we are not discouraged! Molly even said, “Well they are yummy, even if they aren’t fossils!” As she and Thomas both ate two straight from the oven. Also, as I typed this, I went back downstairs to check on the kids and found that bowl up there? Gone.

Tomorrow, we are on to discussing body fossils. {I’ve heard that there might be potting soil and pasta involved, but it may just be a dirty rumor.} Stay tuned.

Hello Dinosaur Week!

The kids have been really interested in dinosaurs lately, so we declared it dinosaur week. To kick it off, we set up this week’s trays.

  1. Fun dinos to play with and identify with our 3-part cards.
  2. “Dino”cabulary words I downloaded from K-3 Teacher Resources.
  3. Color matching and sorting dinosaurs. There are two of each dinosaur of color and kind as well as matching color tablets. Marcus is identifying and saying colors lately, so I thought this would be a fun way to reinforce it.
  4. Dinosaur 3-Part Cards I found on jojoeb’s flickrstream.
  5. Marcus “helping me” set them all up. This has become one of my favorite parts of Monday.
  6. Adding three numbers together with dinosaur bones {popsicle sticks}. Basically, the kids roll the dice, lay out popsicle sticks representing each number and Plus gathers the dinosaur bones together and brings them to King Equal, and we count them up for the total number of bones. Then, as an added bonus, they can use the wood numbers to write out their answers. Convoluted? Sure. A hit with the kids? You betcha.
  7. Measuring in centimeters. How long are these tiny dinos? I included a ruler with both metric and standard and a little measuring tape with centimeters to measure the dinosaurs.  I included a dry erase tablet so they can draw the dinosaurs along with their measurement findings.
  8. A dot exercise for Marcus.
  9. Examining rocks closely with a magnifying glass. We are talking about the three kinds of rocks and how they form. Geology is one of my favorite sciences.
To see them up close, you can head over to my flickr page by clicking on the picture of Marcus below.
All of our trays for dinosaur week.

There’s a lot more fun coming this week as well. From building dinosaurs to creating fossil cookies, we’ve got it all…Molly, practicing her mad writing skills.
That, and worksheets. The kids always love worksheets.


Rocking it out at our park.

We went on a rock hunt yesterday, and what better a place to hunt for rocks than our very own rock garden.

It’s right down the block from our house and called Independence Park, although we’ve always called it Stonehenge Park, because of all the rocks just piled up in a circular arrangement.

Whatever you call it, our little park rocks!