Clubhouse Worm Diary, Day 4

Tired of Diary of a Worm yet? The Clubhouse Kids sure aren't!

Although we have yet to discover an actual worm, they are still excited to be going along with the pages in the book and making their own fun as we go.

Today's Clubhouse Kid idea...

"Worms live under the grass, under the dirt, inside their tunnels. Let's dig holes!"

Sure we could do a little digging of our own, and see what we come up with.

Another feeble attempt at worm hunting in the desert which I knew would turn up dry. Pun intended. The desert is definitely DRY right now. Kids like to dig though, right?

Plus we are going to start our new garden this week, so that's a perfect place to start the hole digging.

We have Clubhouse Kid sized shovels, rakes and gardening gloves, so they got right to work digging...


Clubhouse Worm Diary, Day 3

This morning just as we were about to head to our playground, the clouds closed in on us and the rain started pouring! In that very instant my Son looks at me and says,

"This is great! It means we're going to get a Rainbow!!"

If only we all thought that way as soon as the rain started to fall ;)

Then came the comment that changed our plans for the day,

"Worm comes out after it rains, right?!" 

I simply couldn't bring myself to tell him that I have never, in my 6 years in Arizona, seen a worm. Instead I made the impromptu decision that looking for worms would be our adventure that morning. Definitely more fun than explaining to excited little faces that the Sun is too hot, the dirt is too dry, and that little bit of rain really wasn't enough.

So off we went on a walk to look for worms.
They looked, and looked, and looked.
This is the closest we came to finding one:

"Oh mannnn, it's just a stick!"

About this time I decided it was time to step up this adventure. 


Clubhouse Worm Diary, Day 2

Working our way through "Diary of a Worm", it was time to talk tunneling.

Where to begin?

Dirt Paint.

It was simple.

1 cup Flour.
1 cup Salt.
1 cup Water.
A few tablespoons of Black tempera paint.

They mixed it all up, and were pleased.

"We made dirt!"

I had another ingredient on hold,
but first it was time to start making our "worm village".


Clubhouse Worm Diary, Day 1

When we read in the classroom, I always let the Clubhouse Kids pick the books that are read. Sometimes this means I am reading certain books every day for weeks. I love when that happens. It means it's the perfect time to expand upon the book, and bring pages to life. The most recent book that has become a Clubhouse favorite:

It's an adorable book, written by a worm.

Well, not really, but you know what I mean.

He talks about his life, his family, his best friend (a spider), what he likes and dislikes about being a worm, and more.

They love it. Every page.

So today when it was chosen for reading again, as I knew it would be, it was easy to lead into our first "Diary of a Worm" activity... which, lucky for me, didn't involve touching an actual worm at all.

Page 1: 
"Mom says there are three things I should always remember: 
1. The Earth gives us everything we need."

Perfect place to start, especially considering all of the fun we recently had with Earth Day activities. We did everything but make an Earth, which I was saving for today.


Clubhouse Thank You, and some Bead Science!

We started our adventures in water beads about a month ago, and we are thoroughly enjoying all of the fun ways they can be used in the Clubhouse Classroom for everything from sensory play to Science!

We want to take a moment to thank Rainbow Water Beads for hosting our recent water bead giveaway. We were incredibly excited when we received this in the mail to distribute to our winners.

They have a variety of packages, and 15 different colors to choose from.

Our favorite option is the Designer Water Beads Sampler Bundle which brings 15 packets of water beads, one in each color. The cost is only $18.95, making it about $1.27 cents per packet. The best part, free shipping!!

The colors are labeled clearly, and I have found that just half of one packet makes for enough beads to engage in a great sensory experience, or plot another Science experiment...

Which leads us to our most recent experiment with water beads. We know they grow in water, but do they grow in anything else?

We took two jars, filled one with water and one with vinegar.

Will the beads in the vinegar jar grow?

"Yes, they will grow... but not big."

"They won't grow, they are waterrrr beads and that is not waterrrr!!"

We added blue food coloring to both, and decided to use the white color beads for an added element.

Will the white beads absorb the blue color?

"They will all turn blue!"

"Maybe a little blue, but not a lot."

We recorded our theories into our Clubhouse Science Journal, and then added the water beads to the jars.

Now all that was left to do was wait.

The Clubhouse Kids are great with time lapsed projects. We go about everything else we have planned for the day, with the added excitement of "Can we go check on our beads?!" every 10 minutes. They also enjoy how all of their thoughts, ideas and theories are recorded into our journal as the process unfolds.

On to the process. The jar filled with water is on the right...

"They are both growing, but the water ones are growing fastest!"

"The ones in vinnygurr stopped growing!"

At this point we moved the jars, for viewing purposes. 
The water jar is now on the left...
"The water beads only growed big in the waterrr. Told ya!"

Closer observation was required to see if the beads had in fact changed color. We started with the ones that had been soaking in blue water.
"They did turn a little blue!"

On to the vinegar beads, where we noticed an interesting "side effect" that we never guessed...


They did grow, slightly. They did absorb the blue color. They were also sticky, sticky, sticky! They stuck to each other, to little hands, to anything they touched. If you have played with water beads before you know that once "full grown", they are bouncy and slippery. Not in this case. The Clubhouse Kids enjoyed that interesting reaction. They went on to ask, "Do you think they will grow if we put them in water now?" So we did, and they sat... and sat... and sat. Three days later, even in the water, they still hadn't grown. Our experiment was then concluded. Once added to the vinegar, the beads will not grow again even if soaked in water. 

The final consensus?

"Don't put waterrrrr beads in vinnygurr, they don't turn out right!"

Another successful water bead experiment, enjoyed by all.

In case you missed it, read about how we studied dehydration by shrinking water beads, what happened when we froze water beads and observed how they melted, and how much fun we had simply by putting water beads into a squirt bottle.

We will continue or Clubhouse Adventures with water beads, so join us! We would love to hear all about what you are doing with water beads in your home/classroom. Also, if you try any of the experiments we have done, let us know your results! Just stop by Fit Kids Clubhouse on our Facebook page and share. We will be tracking all of the fun!

If you still haven't gotten your hands on these little sensory wonders, be sure to head over to Rainbow Water Beads and place an order! Tell them Fit Kids Clubhouse sent you, and who knows... maybe we'll have another water bead giveaway in our near future ;)

Did I mention I'm done with vinegar for the month?

Ms. Liz

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Science Sunday


Clubhouse Balance: A Box and a Playground

Sometimes people focus on one teaching theory above all else. Some believe that absolutely nothing of something, or everything of something else, is the only way to go. I prefer balance.  Drawing from so many different theories and practices, we find our way around here somewhere in the middle. I believe it is possible to give something, without taking away something else. In this case, a playground. The argument presented to me was that a playground, with all the "bells and whistles", would vanquish the need for a Preschooler to simply use their imagination when playing outdoors. I was able to test this theory, with a box.

It started the day the Clubhouse Kids found a box. Well, actually I found the box and made it readily available for them to find it.

First, they took to decorating it. Eventually it was covered in every thing from puffy paint to chalk and watercolors. For awhile that's all they did,
color the box.

Then one day they decided to move it.

"Under the tree, by the bush. It's a secret!"

Apparently the location wasn't secret enough though, so another day they decided to "hide" it.

They were covering it in sticks, leaves, and rocks. Enter the word of the day: Camouflage.

They went on for awhile, gathering materials from all around them and covering the box.

Using their new found word, camouflage, over and over again.

"I camowflojeddd it!"

They did some pretty great work too.
Take a look...

You couldn't find that from outer space!

The box became a hiding place, a spaceship, a race car, and a planet.

Yes, they climbed in and were on another planet. They even taped "aliens" on the  inside of the box.

I never once said what the box was, or should be. All I did was leave it in the grass.

Then one day they decided to name the box.

They took the time to write all of the letters of the box's new name right on the "door".

The name?


Don't ask me to pronounce it, I get it wrong every time.

They climb in and out, sometimes one at a time and other times sharing the space. Sometimes they all stand around it and pretend someone/something is in there.

"Shhhh, it's a Lion cave. Listen..."

Not too long ago I heard a lot of noise coming from the box.
Cautiously, I approached.
You never know what HTREHHHTE is up too.

"We're on a roller coaster!!!"

The box wasn't moving. 

It's a box I left out on the grass, and they did all the rest.

They used their imaginations, they took turns, they shared space. They wrote letters, they learned new words, they created an adventure. They laughed, squealed, tossed themselves around and simply had a good time.

They did all of that while this was 40 feet away.
It is the all new Fit Kids Clubhouse Playground, equipped with a variety of swings, a slide, a rock climbing wall, fort, and rope ladder. 

They love it. 
That has never stopped them from loving the box too.

Now that's what I call balance. 

I do believe I'll keep them both :)

Ms. Liz
Linked up with: Fun Stuff Fridays Link and Learn


Clubhouse Mandala, One Month Later

Back in March I saw this Rainbow Mandala idea on The Golden Gleam and fell in love with the colors, the concept, and how much fun I knew it would be for the Clubhouse Kids. What I didn't anticipate is how it would become an over a month long process. To some that may be a downside. Obviously, I didn't get the post out during the time rainbows were everywhere. What I did get though was a lot of focus, dedication and time spent on one project.

Plus, in the end, we got this:

We started back in March with our Rainbow Scavenger Hunt, which the kids totally loved. I must admit, we are still finding all of the colors of the rainbow hidden throughout the great outdoors. That may be part of the reason this project lasted so long. First, the kids simply just wanted to continue to collect colors. We had baskets in the classroom, one for each color, and for days they just kept adding things to the baskets, sorting through the colors, discussing rainbows.

When I introduced the poster board for the actual Rainbow Mandala, they were excited. Gluing is always popular around here! They started with red, and then they stopped.

"Can we work on this more tomorrow?"

"Next time should be orange day!"

Sure. Who I am to argue with Preschoolers who want to take their time?

When they were at orange, they decided they needed more for that ring so that led to a macaroni coloring activity. Squirting paint into baggies, squishing the macaroni around, putting it out to dry.

"This will sure look good in our Mandala!"

On a day they were working on yellow, they decided they wanted to add paper. They spent a good 15 minutes just cutting up scraps of yellow paper to add to the basket.

This went on for a few weeks.

Every class someone went over to the mandala with a basket of colors and added to a color ring.

Sometimes it was a group working on it together. The baskets and glue were readily available, so they became very independent with this entire activity.

"We gotta make sure all the colors get filled up."

That's how I watched the rainbow mandala grow over time. It simply became part of the classroom.

Then I noticed something this past week.

Could it be?! Were they going to complete this after all?

Today, it happened.

*Cue the choir*...

They had reached the inner circle!

Seeing as how they had such little space left, they now rushed through to get it done.

They worked meticulously finishing up the last colors, filling in little white spaces they found in the other colors. Finally, I heard it...

"Ms. Liz, we DID it!"
"It's a Mandalaaaaa!!!"
"We got every color!"

It was almost an emotional moment in the Clubhouse Classroom. Their work of Art was finally complete, and they were thrilled.

They high fived. They hooted. They reminisced over their hard work.

"Remember when I put that Orange dinosaur on there?"

So there you have it. The Fit Kids Clubhouse Rainbow Mandala. Once it is completely dried it will make it's way to the wall. In the meantime, the Clubhouse Kids noticed we have a lot of colors left in our baskets.

"Can we make another one?"

Sure, why not? I'm thinking it will be done around the 4th of July ;)

Ms. Liz

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Classified: Mom
Fun Stuff Fridays




Clubhouse Easter Eggs, More Spaghetti Please!

After our adventure in dying all of our Easter eggs with vegetables we decided to continue on the path of naturally decorating, and kicked it up notch. Now we weren't just using veggies.. we were adding blueberries, red onion peels, brown rice, oats, pastina and, of course, spaghetti!


Clubhouse Easter Eggs, Au' Naturel

When I started Fit Kids Clubhouse part of my mission was, and still is, to impart healthy choices into the minds of all of the Clubhouse Kids. We focus a lot on eating healthy around here. We study vegetables from seeds all the way through to our lunch plate. I enjoy any opportunity I can take to bring new vegetables into the Clubhouse Classroom that we can explore, use, and enjoy. So, when it came time to color eggs for Easter, I could think of only one way to do it.


Clubhouse Zen, The Easter Edition

Yesterday morning we had some fun with crayon shavings. Not the original fun that I had "planned", but much more fun instead! If you missed it, read about it here in The Life Cycle of a Crayon. The fun continued into the afternoon, and eventually we had a few Clubhouse Kids ready to make some Easter Egg art with our "crayon dust".

After all of the dumping of the dust earlier, they were finally ready to simply sprinkle the dust onto one side of the wax paper.

Then we folded the paper in half, put a piece of craft paper on top of it, and while being very closely observed, they got to use the iron. This was exciting, of course, since iron's are usually off limits. We discussed how hot the iron gets and what could happen if it was touched, or handled in any way, without adult supervision.

"You could burn your fingers off!"

That seemed to prove the understanding that the iron is not to be played with,  no? Bonus home safety lesson!

Once ironed, the wax melted ("...if that was my fingers they would melt too!") and we had some pretty little waxed paper prints.
We got out the oval stencils in all sizes, did a little tracing, and then I handled most of the cutting. The Clubhouse Kids love to use scissors too, but this time they actually wanted me to do the cutting while they did all of the tracing. (Hence no tracing pictures, I was busy cutting!)

Once we had some eggs of all sizes, we took out a little tape, and off to the windows we went to display our Easter Eggs.
"I want to put the tiny egg right here next to the big one and the huge one!"

"Over here the Eggs catch more Sun!"

So you see, eventually these crayons did end up in our Easter Egg Art display! We just did it when the Clubhouse Kids were good and ready. Good thing that happened sooner rather than later or else we could have been displaying our Easter Eggs sometime around The 4th of July :)

Of course, since they had so much fun writing, drawing and just touching the crayon shavings yesterday, I decided to add a little something to the Clubhouse Classroom this morning.

Who says a Zen garden shouldn't be colorful?

Ms. Liz