Posts Tagged ‘hands-on learning’

31 Days of LEGO Unit Studies

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015


My kids have always loved playing with LEGOs, so 31 Days of LEGO Unit Studies sounded like a good series for me to do. We have come up with a lot of fun projects I’ve never seen before. My kids surprise me by building what we are studying out of LEGOs. They’ve had a great time learning many of their academic subjects over the years through LEGOs. Here are some of the LEGO creations we’ve put together over the years, and we will be adding to this index during the next few weeks:

31 Days of LEGO Unit Studies









1920’s Party

Monday, August 24th, 2015

1920s-partyThis post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

If you are studying the Roaring Twenties, why not throw a 1920’s party! You can dress up in helmet-shaped hats and wear beads with your dress. Have the men wear a black shirt with a white tie to represent a gangster from this time period.

We are using All American History, Volume II this year for our American History studies, and we are going through the different decades of the modern era. To actually feel like you are there, it’s fun to have 1920’s-style decorations. For example, for our centerpiece, we had a glass vase full of beads, with white ostrich feathers sticking out.


1920’s Party Invitation

For our invitation, I found a picture of a gramophone, and I cut out a silhouette in black card stock paper. I glued that to some purple card stock paper, writing the party information on the inside of the folded card.


1920’s Gramophone Cake

The cake was similar. I made a gramophone cake by frosting a chocolate cake with purple frosting. I outlined a gramophone with chocolate frosting, piping it on through a Ziplock bag with a corner cut off.


1920’s Music

We played some 1920’s music in the background of the party to create the ambience. Here is some 1920’s music you can play:

Old Family Photos of the 1920’s

We looked through some old genealogy pictures to find family members who lived during the 1920’s. It brings this time period in history home because this decade wasn’t so long ago after all, if grandma’s mother lived at that time!


1920’s Headband Craft for Kids

We made a 1920’s headband craft. We started with a ribbon that I found in the curtain section of a craft supply store. We used hot glue to add embellishments like feathers, buttons, broaches, or tassels.


Watch this video demonstration to see how I did these fun 1920’s activities:

Civil War Treats: Molasses Cookies

Monday, July 13th, 2015

molasses-cookies-civil-warThis post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

If you are studying the Civil War time period, why not make some old-fashioned molasses cookies? These Civil War molasses cookies are yummy!

We got this idea from All American History, Volume II, which we are using in our study of the Civil War. When doing hands-on activities, it’s wonderful to be able to taste the time period. This is why we chose to make Civil War molasses cookies.


Civil War Molasses Cookies (Recipe)


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 2 3/4cup flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt


Cream together shortening, brown sugar, egg, and molasses. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees and roll dough out to 1/4.” Cut out cookies with a round cutter (use either a glass, a lid, or a round cookie cutter). Place on a baking sheet; bake for 10 minutes.


Video Tutorial: How to Make Civil War Molasses Cookies

Watch me as I make these delicious old-fashioned molasses cookies:

Elementary Chemistry Series

Monday, November 24th, 2014


This post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

Can you teach elementary-level kids something as difficult as chemistry? Yes, you can! This year we studied elementary chemistry, and the curriculum we used was Christian Kids Explore Chemistry by Bright Ideas Press. We had a wonderful time doing all the experiments, which helped us to understand basic chemistry concepts.

The book presented these chemistry concepts in a way that even a child could understand. The science experiments used inexpensive household items, and the experiments were not difficult to perform. My high school kids were present when I went through this elementary-level chemistry book with my two younger kids, and my older kids did better in their high school chemistry because the basic concepts had already been mastered, so the more difficult high school-level concepts were easier to understand.

The multiple choice tests for each chapter were hilarious. One of the answers always made my kids laugh hysterically. You still needed to pay attention and learn all the lessons because it was not possible to pick between the other two possibilities unless you knew the material. In this way, my kids began to look forward to the chemistry tests! Can you believe it? That’s definitely a positive aspect of using this curriculum!

In case you missed any of the experiments that we performed, here is an index of the fun chemistry experiments:

1. Chemistry Tools
2. Filtration Experiment
3. Make Your Own Element Cards
4. Mixtures and Compounds
5. How to Build Atomic Models
6. Atomic Cookies
7. Building Molecular Models
8. Breaking Covalent Bonds
9. Acids and Bases
10. Dissolving Calcium with Acid
11. Measuring the Volume of a Solid
12. Testing Charles’s Gas Law
13. Saltwater Experiment
14. Saturated Solutions
15. Freezing Alcohol
16. Hydrocarbons

I hope you enjoyed all these experiments as much as we did!

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