teaching and learning Feed

kids, chickens, bees, rabbits.....and airplanes


Photo 1-3

Photo 4

Photo 1-3


Photo 5


This post might not exactly fit with the homesteading theme of this blog, but it fits with the culture of the north woods environment in which I live, and one of my deep rooted interests from a time period earlier in my life -aviation!   I love to keep just a spark of this interest alive by visiting our local airport each Spring when there are large, contracted aircraft stationed and ready to aid in wildland fire suppression.

At our small airport outside of town there is an U.S. Forest Service Tanker Base.  Every Spring some (pretty awesome) aircraft make their way to our neck of the woods and I work to  coordinate a kindergarten field trip to tour the airport to check out the airplanes, and to get some hands-on instruction by some wild land fire fighters and Smokey the Bear.

Last Friday was our field trip, and the weather and activity cooperated so we got to see some impressive airplanes and helicopters! To scope things out my daughter and I went out to the airport Thursday after school and we were lucky enough to have a chance to talk to some of the pilots and crew from Neptune Aviation.  We even got a chance to go aboard and sit in the cockpit of one of the planes.  The Neptune BAe 146 aircraft have been stationed in Ely and have been flying and dropping fire retardant on local fires and fires in Canada.


So I got a little fix of the aviation bug this past week - and got to pass that on a bit to a bunch of young little dreamers and doers in my life. 

Make:: Grass Guys

This week in kindergarten we're going to be sprouting some fun with our annual grass guy project.  I thought it would be fun to share this project here in case you wanted to play along!

Grass guys
 knee high nylon stockings, potting soil, grass seed, googly eyes, tacky glue, acrylic puff paint, clean spray bottle, and plastic plate or lid.

1)  Gently scoop approximately 1 T of grass seed in a nylon stocking.  Guide the seed to the toe end.

2) Scoop approximately 1 cup of potting soil into the stocking.  Press down into a ball.  

3)  Tightly knot the nylon, compressing the soil, forming the head.

4)  Gently turn the grass guy over - the seed should now be on the top.  

5)  Decorate your grass guy with eyes, nose and a mouth and let dry.

6)  Set your grass guy on the plastic plate and use the spray bottle to lightly saturate the dirt and seed.

The “hair” of your grass guy should start sprouting in a couple of days.  Add water with the spray bottle daily to keep moist.  Hairstyle when needed.


Chocolate Play Dough

Chocolate Play Dough

Early in the week one of my parent volunteers dropped off a wonderful batch of chocolate play dough for my kindergarten students to play with for the month of February -along with some silicone cupcake liners, candles, and chocolate boxes for creative play.  (thanks Angie!)  This play dough has been quite a hit, and I must say, I really don't mind the smell of chocolate permitting through my classroom either!

This weekend we made a batch at home too.  Chocolate play dough is great for making pretend chocolate cookies, candies, and of course Playmobil dirt bike tracks!

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Play Dough


  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup Hershey's Natural Unsweetened Baking Cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 10 Tablespoons vegetable oil



Mix water, salt and cream of tartar. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring regularly until mixture is hot. Add oil. Whisk together flour and cocoa in a separate bowl.  Stir in flour mixture a cup at a time, stirring in between each addition. Mix until playdough pulls away from pan and is no longer sticky (pinch it between your fingers to test). Dump dough on counter, let cool a bit, then knead.

Have fun!