The Great Outdoors: seedlings, studies, ideas

I don't know what your great outdoors is looking like, but ours is pretty rainy and cold.

Other than filling our bird feeders and checking out the "ponds" that are forming in our yard (and splashing in them!) we've been inside.   

So we've been checking on the baby eagles in their nest in IOWA!  If you haven't seen this, check it out!  And show the kids in your life!  It's a live stream of a family of eagles! LINK HERE
And if you want to see the movie of the eaglets hatching, check this link.

We did get one warm day this week and we spent the whole day outside!  
{This Little Project} is our garden that we're planting now and that we'll transfer into our real garden in a month, when it's finally warm enough!

It takes longer with the kiddos helping but they are now TOTALLY INVESTED in this work and I'm certain that they will want to EAT the things THEY PLANTED.  (At least it worked last year!)

Kay was checking out what was in the soil with her magnifying glass.

So far we have herbs as well as fruits and veggies started.  Learning about seeds and plants is a great educational experience for them every year-I love it!

To learn more about roots and how plants look we also planted some seeds in some plastic bags.  We are watering them with a medicine dropper here.  It's easy to see how much water they are getting that way.

I'll update {This Little Project} later.  Right now these little bags are taped to the window right next to our Nature Shelf.  We'll watch them sprout and grow roots through the clear bag.

Jay caught a fly and wanted a closer look.

Jay definitely has the green thumb in our family.  
He's been checking every plant in our yard for progress.  I think he is so ready for spring to really get here!  
Here he is showing me that one daffodil is bloomed and the other is still a bud.

We're starting a nature study journal with this printable from Handbook of Nature Study.
If you want to infuse nature study into your life, you'll love that website.

We have come across some fun tools that we use to study nature.  This post is long enough already, so I'll share those with you this coming week.  

But, I do want to share my favorite read about the value of being in nature for children.  It's a must-read for every parent and has totally changed how I value our time outside!

Joining in here too.  Stop by for fun gardening ideas!

Earth Day Produce Bags

Every time I go to the grocery store I come home with this:

Lot's of yummy fruits and veggies


I do recycle these bags, but wouldn't it be 
great not to have the waste in the first place?

If you are someone who like reusable grocery bags, 
{This Little Project} is for you!

Each year our family makes a few more small changes to lessen our carbon print and try to be better stewards of our world.  At Earth Day each year I look at what we've accomplished and try to share how it has worked for us.  
Because change takes time.  

And it can be hard to get used to, right?

Here is one of our family's changes this year: reusable produce bags!

Now, you may think I'm going a little tulle crazy after telling you about my travel bags and Kay's ballet bag made out of the magical stuff, but
  here is one more thing you can make with your tulle:

Produce bags for the grocery store!

Here are some of the things I like about these bags:

They are light-so you won't be paying more for that produce!

They breath-so your fruits and veggies will stay fresh!

They're washable-so you stay healthy!

You can see into them-so nothing gets lost in the fridge or on the counter!

They are reusable-so you don't create more waste on our world!

Want to make {This Little Project}?

Here are my {Project Tips} 
I used a single layer of tulle (not doubled like on the previous bags I made for other things)

I used a zig zag stitch around 3 sides

For the top, I folded the edge down about 1/2 inch and sewed through it with a needle and 3 strands of embroidery floss to create a drawstring for the bag (for more photos and details of how that works see my post about making tulle travel bags).  This way was quick and easier than feeding a string through it.

The folded-down top makes it a little stronger.  But I still don't carry the bag just by the string.  I hold to the entire top of the bag when it is cinched up-the same way you would carry the plastic produce bags.

I also made them in different sizes and colors (tomatoes are in orange, apples in white, broccoli in green).  I also tried the netting tulle with the bigger holes (broccoli on the right in photo).  That way we'll have the right sized bag for what we're getting at the store that day. 

Earth Day is April 22nd, but it's always a great time to commit to doing a little something to make the world a brighter place.

If you're looking for a fun way to record your goals, try this Earth Day pledge.  It's a great way to get kids onboard too!

If you are looking for more ideas for changes and goals to set for your family this year, check the archives!

Happy Earth Day!

For {egg}cellent Students

I have some {egg}cellent piano students and 
{This Little Project} is for them!

 Pianists always need another pencil and with all the other treats that kids get this time of year I decided to make a little topper to put on an Easter pencil for their Easter treat.

If you have some {egg}cellent students too, feel free to use the printable below!

Piano Pencil Topper Easter

abc button

Friday Favorites and Freebies-Easter!

Since the coming week is the celebration of sacred events, I thought I would share some printables to set the mood.

{Little Project Tip:} My color printer isn't fantastic so I take my printables like these to Staples for 50 cent color copies.  They look beautiful all framed and they don't cost as much as printing them as photos.

Here's a free printable with lots of color choices for you from todaysfabulousfinds.

This is beautiful too! Find it at ladybirdin.

This one is a mix-up.  Lots of fun at valfrazier.

Love this Amazing Grace, also available in other colors at madiganmade.

Love this printable from autielolocrafts! And there are lots of color choices!

Many thanks to dollarstorecrafts for great printable links!

Happy Friday!

100th Day Fun!

You may not have realized it, but April means that the 100th day of the year is here!

We were still on vacation on the actual day (April 10th) but did some fun things to learn about 100 before we left and since we got back. 

 Since we're still in the hundreds (today is 104) I figure 
the party is still on! 

You know that we'll take any excuse for a party around here!

We had a lot of fun making our 100 piece trail mix.  The packet (see below) comes with a printable for this but I just divided papers with columns so it would be easier for Kay to count hers out.
These are our 10 bowls of choices: graham pieces, fruitloops, fishies, pretzle fish, marshmallows, m&ms, craisins, raisins, peanuts, and banana chips

We also made caterpillars by circle cutting paper and writing numbers to practice skip-counting by 5.  Then did it with nickels and dimes.  
Lots of ways to count to 100!

There is also a great packet (shown above) that we've been enjoying that you can print out at Whattheteacherwants.

So, if you didn't get to celebrate the 100th day, there's still time to party!  Have fun!

Travel Bag Tips

Do you ever feel like every time your kids open their suitcase there's an explosion?

{This Little Project} solves that problem!

We just got back from a great family getaway. Little Ellie slept the whole airplane ride there and back.  If you've had a squirmy one-year-old on an airplane you know there is only one word for that: BLESSING!

We got to see cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and soak in the sun and Sea World too.  Now we're back to real life and the cold!  But I want to share a {Little Project} that made our trip great.  
And it's not just me that enjoyed {This Little Project}-my husband is a BIG fan!

Want to know my secret?

Travel bags that you can SEE into!

I've mentioned before that I love how versatile tulle is.  It's the fabric I chose to make my travel bags from because the fabric is quite strong, but you can also see through it.

To make {This Little Project} you need:

tulle in the color of your choice.  I used a different color for each person.

yarn or crochet string



First, use your sewing machine to sew the tulle into a bag (size is your choice ;) 

{Little Project Tip:}  I use two layers of tulle for the front and 2 for the back to have a sturdier bag. 

Each person in our family had their own color of bag.  

This made it VERY easy for them to find THEIR clothes.  

AND since they could also SEE what was in the bag they could find just what they were looking for.  

No more pulling everything out to find the socks or swim suit!

2- I used a needle to weave a string through the tulle so make a pull string.  You could also sew a casing and thread your yarn/string through the tunnel.

3- Put a bead on the end and tie it through so the thread doesn't pull through.  My kids loved choosing their beads!

Now just pack everything right in your little bags and your suitcase will be so organized EVERY time you open it!

And there you go: something to make your life easier!  
And just in time for summer vacations-may they be even better!

Friday Favorites and Freebies-Dolls!

Happy Friday! 
With 2 girls at our house, we enjoy a lot of doll play. Here are some fun ideas I wanted to share!

Want to know how to change that ratty doll or horse hair into this?  Seriously, she gave them doll perms! Stop by HollytheHomaker for all her great tips!

Do your dolls like to dress up?  These aprons are darling!  Get the pattern at brassyapple!

Want to make your own paper dolls?  This tutorial from Etsy is so fun!

I love these lace-up dolls.  Lots of fun and skills too!  Find them at yellowmums!

Have a little boy?  Yellowmums made some for them too!  These are perfect!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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