Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Our Halloween Celebration October 31, 2010

Since the kids don’t go trick or treating due to allergies, we always throw them a Halloween party at home, filled with all of the costumes and unhealthy goodness that every child enjoys on Halloween. 😉  This party’s been a couple months in the making…we decided this year to make sure our party was eco-friendly and as healthy as it can be (well, as healthy as a party can be when you’re indulging in chocolate and treats! 😉 ).  All of our decorations had to be made from materials from our recycling bin or be things that either had been reused from previous Halloweens or could be reused for future Halloweens.  And above all, the kids had to have fun, of course!

So, on to the pictures….

Jedi attacking his pumpkin. Apparently he is a little knife happy sometimes. Should I be worried?

Bug getting ready to paint her pumpkin. I think it might be bigger than she is!

Monkey loved her pumpkin and didn't want to carve it. She chose to paint it (but we'll dissect it and take the seeds out to roast in a few days. 😀 )

The girls painting their pumpkins

The painted pumpkins in the back (Monkey's is red, Bug's is blue), then Jedi's pumpkin, my "food chain fishes", and Dave's traditional jack-o-lantern face

Dirt Pudding...homemade coconut milk chocolate pudding with chocolate cookie crumbs and gummy worms. All of our food was dairy/gluten/egg/nut free due to allergies, and free of refined sugars/artificial dyes/artificial flavors due to behavior issues. And as much as possible, we tried to get things made close to home (the produce and meat was)

Chocolate couldrons--chocolate cups with yogurt (plain with fresh squeezed orange juice & orange zest) and a chocolate covered pretzel "stirring stick"

Ghost & Pumpkin chips made of corn tortillas, olive oil, & himilayan sea salt with a pumpkin dip made with one of the poor pumpkins that didn't fare well the night before.

Jack-o-lantern oranges filled with banana slices & orange segments

Faux peanut butter cups made of sunbutter & allergen free chocolate chips

Vampire teeth made of apple slices & broken jagged banana chips

Blood punch, made with an organic super fruit & veggie juice, SoDelicious coconut water sorbet, organic lemon lime soda, & ice cubes made in a jack-o-lantern muffin pan

Worms. Made with an organic beef hot dog & a homemade BBQ sauce

Sloppy Joe Jack-o-Lantern pie

The food spread

Ghost made of cheesecloth

The party room...it's not very often you see a 7 month old house covered in massive spider webs. 😉

The haunted houses the kids painted, and the signs Jedi made

One of Jedi's toilet paper roll bats

The digging pit. A huge bucket filled with sand, fake spiders, and fake skeleton bones

What's Halloween without some candy goodness?

Hunting for the hidden candy

Dr. Claw (Jedi) as the party DJ

Bug & Monkey tossing beanbags into the pumpkin pail

Feeling the items in the mystery box--a bunch of squishy toy snakes & frogs, some fake spiders, ears of corn, etc.

Digging in the pit

Jedi looking for bones blindfolded

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Take the Green Halloween Pledge! October 28, 2010

Filed under: Saving the Earth — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 7:40 pm
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This year, our family took the Green Halloween pledge.  We made the choice to celebrate Halloween in an eco-friendly way…it’s healthier for us and for our planet!  Some of the things we did this year are:

-All of the costume parts were either handmade and bought from Etsy, bought from our local consignment store, or pieced together from things we had at home.  Plus, some of the components were bought with future use in mind (for example, the girls’ hats for their costume were bought with the intent of also being winter hats!)

-The kids used reusable containers for their trick or treating at the zoo.

-Our pumpkins were bought from a local farm, and most of them are going to be painted instead of carved, so the insides can be used for soups.  The ones that are carved will have the seeds roasted for snacks and the outer part composted.

-The kids are making all of the decorations for our party with things from our recycling bin (pictures to come!)

-The food at the party is all organic, with most of it locally grown.

-The candy we’re giving out to the kids at their party is all organic, free of artificial colors/flavors, preservatives, and refined sugar.

-Any decorations for the party that aren’t made from recycled materials are at least reusable…no paper plates, paper streamers, latex balloons, etc.

What are you doing to Green your Halloween?  Take the Green Halloween pledge here: http://www.holidayleds.com/green_halloween_pledge  (Holiday LEDs is giving away a $150 gift certificate to one lucky pledger!)

 

Montessori Monday October 18, 2010

Monkey is 3 years 8 months old

Monkey had a busy time in her homeschool room this week!  She seems to be getting into a good routine and almost every day she asks to go down and do her school work.  She usually stays in her homeschool room for 2-3 hours a day, but sometimes she’s been down there for longer than that.  Some days it’s hard to get her to want to stop for the day so we can get to an appointment!

Using the hammering shapes work--the child hammers little shapes into the cork with a wooden hammer (the nails are actually tacks)

Jedi hammering nails into a pumpkin

Monkey hammering nails into a pumpkin. She *loved* this work. The pumpkin now has 3 days worth of nails in it--she seems to come back to this work almost daily!

Sorting purple bats, white skulls, and black spiders into separate cups.

Using tongs to put a black spider into each section of the pan.

Using tweezers to get the corn off the cob and transfer it to the dish.

Using foam pumpkins and pumpkin patch pictures to count. Each patch has a different number written on it and monkey puts down the number of pumpkins written on the patch.

Using the Power of 2 cube. Monkey was *really* fast at this! She got the concept very quickly.

Putting the geometric solids on their bases. She was very interested in the fact that some shapes would fit on more than one base--for example, the pyramid can fit on the triangle base and the square base!

Putting clothespins on the rim of a basket.

Jedi & Monkey painting haunted houses in preparation for their Halloween party

This is a cross between ecology and tonging. The blue paper represents water and the green paper represents land. The little flower pot is a "trash can". I put a bunch of small pieces of foil and paper on top of the "land" and "water" and monkey used the tongs to clean up all of the "litter".

Using the Parts of a Tree puzzle and comparing it to the 3 part cards.

Using the world map continent pieces to do pin punching. She easily took the stylus and put "dots" on the paper around the perimeter of the continent.

 

Family Update & Field Trip–trick or treating at the zoo! October 17, 2010

Filed under: Family updates,Field trips,Saving the Earth — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 7:43 pm
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Because of multiple food allergies, we don’t usually trick or treat around the neighborhood (well, that, and there are no other kids in our neighborhood currently…that kind of puts a kink in the plan! 😉 ).  We usually throw an allergen-free Halloween party for the kids on Halloween, but we do take the kids out trick or treating at an area zoo.  This year, instead of going to the Columbus Zoo, we went to the Cincinnati Zoo to meet up with my sister, her fiance, and my nephew.

A lonely little rose at the zoo.

Monkey as a Pumpkin. This year, we decided to go eco-friendly on the costumes (of course!). All of the costume pieces were either reused, consigned, or bought handmade from Etsy with the intent to repurpose (the hats the girls wore can be used for winter, and the tutus can be used as regular clothes).

Jedi as Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget--this was totally his choice. Not sure what's up with the plaid shoes, but those were also his choice. 😉

The lovely bamboo that was everywhere at the zoo.

Rhino

The rhino was coming straight at us

Bitty Bug was a ghost.

Jedi was really into character, being all mysterious why watching the animals.

Wild horses (obviously not wild at the zoo. 😉 )

Petting a big snake.

Gorillas

Zebra

Bug lovin' the zoo!

Bug and Monkey discussing their trick or treating loot

The zebra really close to us

Polar bear

Beautiful pheasant that was loose at the zoo

Asian Elephants

Bug was really into trick or treating. We liked that it was mainly stickers, coloring books, and tooth brushes with 2 or 3 pieces of candy. That way they didn't get too sugared out.

My sweet little baby bug.