Crafts and Projects · Writing Appearances

A Craft to Teach Kids Budgeting and Giving

I love teaching my daughters, which is probably a good thing considering I homeschool them.

There are definitely days that don’t go as planned and I second guess what I am doing, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to be able to homeschool my daughters. It’s amazing the amount of information I learn (or relearn) alongside them.

Earlier this year I talked about a fun craft to teach kids financial responsibility that my daughters and I had done together.

That craft was a “bank” divided into four sections: spend, save, invest, and donate.

I had mentioned these banks in an article I had written entitled How to Quickly Boost Your Child’s IQ, which had been published on A Fine Parent.

Fun craft to teach financial responsibility

I recently wrote another article that was published in The Old Schoolhouse magazine (winter 2018) entitled Hands On Math: The Hungry Jar that discusses the benefits of a simple activity which focuses on donating. My family calls it “the hungry jar”, which my daughters “feed” once a week.

Within the article, I explained how the hungry jar can teach philanthropy while instilling some important math and life skills. I discussed how this simple hungry jar gives kids the opportunity to count coins, add and subtract money, comparison shop, budget, estimate, and help others.

At the end of the article, I stated “Maybe your family would enjoy creating your own hungry jar…”, so I thought I would share with you how my daughters and I created ours.

I got the main concept of the hungry jar from a church my family once attended. During the offering time of the service, the kids walked around the sanctuary collecting coins and dollar bills from members of the congregation to insert into a large glass jar near the pulpit. The money from that jar was then donated each month to a different chosen cause.

We stopped attending that church, but we didn’t want to stop feeding a hungry jar, so we decided to create our own “hungry jar”.

Create a Hungry Jar to Teach Math

First off, our jar isn’t technically a jar. It’s actually a clean oatmeal container.

We decorated the oatmeal container with a wallpaper sample I had found at a rummage sale for free. We chose this particular wallpaper sheet because it had bears at a picnic, so we thought it fit with being “hungry”.

Create a Hungry Jar to Teach Math

We put glue on the outside of the oatmeal container, wrapped the paper (cut to fit) around the container on the glue, and taped the edges together to hold it in place.

Decorative paper or construction paper may have stuck better than the wallpaper sample, but we were able to get it to stay in place.

We have been feeding (and emptying) our hungry jar for a few years now, and it is still holding together.

Create a Hungry Jar to Teach Math

Once we had the paper wrapped around the container, I cut a hole large enough to insert large coins and folded bills in the lid of the oatmeal container. Then, I wrote “Hungry Jar” on it.

Create a Hungry Jar to Teach Math

That was it!

Each week my daughters “feed” a set amount of money to the hungry jar. After some time, they count the money, comparison shop, and purchase items for a local food shelf using only the money they had added to the hungry jar. Afterwards, they subtract the money they had spent.

Sometimes, we have the opportunity to deliver the items and help at the food shelf. Otherwise, we donate the food during local food drives/collections.

If you would like more information about how the hungry jar teaches math concepts, you may be interested in reading the article I wrote entitled Hands On Math: The Hungry Jar that was published in The Old Schoolhouse magazine (Winter 2018).

Do you have any hands-on math ideas you’d like to share?

Jobs of a Preschooler · Ramblings

Simple Science Experiment: Chemical Reaction

This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on one of the links and make a purchase. Thank you!

My daughters and I continue to do our science lessons using Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science for our science course this year.

We’ve had a lot of fun doing multiple science experiments already using this book. I love how the suggested science experiments use easy-to-find (if not already on hand) supplies. I also like the hands-on approach the science experiments add to the reading.

You can click here if you are interested in seeing the books Apologia offers. Please keep in mind the science books are written from a creationist point of view.

I’ve talked about a couple of the science experiments we have already completed using Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science.

We did a simple science experiment that answered the question: do molecules move faster in cold or hot water.

Does food coloring mix faster in cold water or hot water?

We also did this simple science experiment when we discussed atoms and density.

Simple Science Experiment

I won’t be sharing every science experiment we do along with our current science lessons (there are over 50 of them!); however, today I am showing another simple science experiment we completed during our reading.

This was a neat experiment to show chemical reactions. The science book gives a detailed explanation of what the chemical reactions were, what substances interacted together, and what new substances were formed. I’m not going to get that detailed, but I will still show you what supplies we used and a general idea of the steps we did to complete this experiment.


  • clear, empty plastic 2 liter bottle
  • white, distilled vinegar
  • balloon
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • funnel
  • purple cabbage
  • water
  • small pot
  • stove
  • ladle
  • measuring cups (1 c., 3/4 c., 1/2 c.)
  • safety glasses


  • Boil 2 cups of water in a small pot on the stove with some cabbage leaves. The water should turn purple. Let it cool for a little bit and remove the cabbage leaves.

purple cabbage base

  • Pour 3/4 c. vinegar into 2 liter bottle.

vinegar in bottle

  • Pour about 1/2 c. of the purple cabbage water into the 2 liter bottle using a funnel.

Pouring base into vinegar

  • Notice the color change. The white vinegar and the purple cabbage water made the vinegar (an acid) red.

acid coloring

  • Pour baking soda into the balloon using a dry funnel.
  • Cover the lip of the 2 liter bottle with the balloon’s opening. Make sure the balloon is securely attached.
  • Move the balloon so the baking soda falls into the mixture in the 2 liter bottle.

inflating a balloon with vinegar and baking soda

  • Watch the chemical reaction occur as the mixture fizzes and the balloon gets bigger.

inflating balloon with vinegar and baking soda

  • Eventually, the mixture will stop fizzing.

inflating a balloon with vinegar and baking soda

  • Notice how the red mixture has now turned purple when the baking soda (a base) was added.

Up close base color

It’s as simple as that!

Jobs of a Preschooler- I'm a scientist...

“I’m a scientist…” from the book Jobs of a Preschooler

I ended up buying an entire head of cabbage for this experiment even though it only required a few leaves. As a result, we had quite a bit of cabbage left over.

Similar to when we did our grand pumpkin experiment, I searched online for a recipe so that I could use the left over cabbage pieces.

baked purple cabbage

Who knew that these science lessons would lead to some cooking lessons as well? We ended up sampling some baked cabbage later that day.

from book Jobs of a Preschooler...preschooler being a taste tester

“I’m a taste tester…” from the book Jobs of a Preschooler

What’s your favorite science experiment?








Crafts and Projects · Writing Appearances

Creating a Thankful Chain for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is only a few days away!

Of course, we should be thankful every day of the year, but Thanksgiving can be a great reminder to focus on what we are thankful for.

Last year, I had mentioned my daughters and I decorate a Thankful Tree and hang a Thankful Chain in our house to show what we are thankful for each year around Thanksgiving.

We definitely have a lot to be thankful for!

I recently wrote a post for Hands On As We Grow entitled Make Your Own Simple Thankful Chain for Thanksgiving. You can check it out if you are interested in seeing step-by-step instructions on making a thankful chain.

Not only are these thankful chains a great way to decorate your house with what you are thankful for, but they can also promote cutting, writing, colors, and pattern making practice for the little ones.

thankful chain

How do you show what you are thankful for?

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles

20 Gifts Under $20 for Pickle Lovers

National Pickle Day is this Wednesday, November 14th!

I have put together a list of 20 pickle-themed gifts for pickle lovers under $20 that would be great for a variety of ages.

These pickle-themed items may even make great Christmas gifts! Can you believe Christmas is already next month?

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on one of the links and make a purchase. Thank you! 

I found all of these items by doing an online search. The only item that I have actually seen in person is item number one, so please do your own research before making a purchase to determine if it is truly what you want.

1. Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles Book

Of course, I had to put Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles on this list! This is a great gift for children and adults (so I’ve been told). Free coloring pages and activity ideas are available to go along with the book if you are interested.

2. I Heart Pickles T-Shirt 

I have seen quite a few pickle-themed shirts, but I like how simple this I Heart Pickles T-Shirt is. It’s available in sizes for youth, men, and women.

3. I’m Kind of A Big Dill T-Shirt 

Here is another simple pickle t-shirt with a little humor. This “I’m kind of a big dill” t-shirt is available in sizes for youth, men, and women. It is also available in five different colors: asphalt (shown in picture), black, cranberry, grass, and navy.

4. Pickle Pen 

Many of the reviews state that this pickle-shaped pen is cheaply made; however, it may make an interesting gag gift.

5. I’m Kinda a Big Dill Ceramic Mug

This may make a great gift for those who like pickles and hot drinks, although the thought of the two being mixed together doesn’t sound very appetizing. Coffee and pickles anyone? I like that the handle is shaped like a pickle on this “I’m kinda a big dill” ceramic mug.

6. I Love You More Than Pickles Box Sign 

If you can’t stand pickles, then maybe you shouldn’t buy this for someone you love. That would be a little insulting, don’t you think? Instead, those who love pickles may be interested in buying this “I love you more than pickles” sign for their loved ones.

7. Pickle Lover Street Sign Sticker Decal 

I’m curious what would be the best location to place this 8.25″ x 2″ Pickle Lover Dr sticker decal. Do you have any ideas?

8. Pickle Fabric Button Earrings 

These pickle fabric button earrings are handmade in Omaha, Nebraska. I laughed when I read the part of the description that states “ears are NOT included”. It appears as though there are multiple designs available besides pickles including science, pigs, manatees, basketballs, dragonflies, sea horses, and more.

9. Pickle Charm Hypoallergenic Stud Earrings 

These pickle earrings look like pickles cut in half lengthwise on the backs. As of this writing, there were no reviews of this product.

10. Pickle Slice Earrings 

I haven’t worn earrings in so long that the earring holes in my ears have closed, yet I included three pairs of earrings in this list. I’m sharing them because I thought each pair looked so unique and different. Part of the description of these pickles slice earrings states that these are “straight from the pickle jar to your ears”, but I’m assuming they are not real pickles. These pickle slice earrings also have no reviews as of this writing, but I think they look cute in the picture.

11. I’m Kind of A Big Dill Bib

Aren’t all babies “kind of a big dill”? Sorry, I don’t think this would fit on an adult because it only comes in size small. It also only comes in this light blue color.

12. Lil’ Pickle Short Sleeve Onesie 

This “Lil’ Pickle” short sleeve onesie is available in five sizes: newborn, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months. I think it would be funny to get a picture of a little one trying a pickle for the first time while wearing this short sleeve onesie.

13. I’m Kind of A Big Dill Long Sleeve Onesie

This “i’m kind of a big dill” long sleeve onesie is available in size 6 months. Wouldn’t it look cute on a baby boy or girl?

14. Zippered Pickle Pillow Case

pickle pillow case



This is a large 20″ x 54″ zippered pickle pillow case, not an actual pillow.

15. Keep Calm and Eat Pickles Pillow Case 

This is a 16″ x 16″ pillow case with a reminder to “Keep Calm and Eat Pickles”.

16. Bring Me a Pickle Socks

These socks are only available in one size. There are multiple other possibilities to choose from besides “a pickle” such as “bring me ice cream” or “bring me popcorn”.

17. Rubber I Heart Pickles Bracelet 

This is a simple silicone rubber I Heart Pickles wrist band bracelet available in green.

18. Personalized Pickle Charm Bracelet 

This pickle cord charm bracelet can be personalized with a letter of choice.

19. Pickle Apron

This pickle apron could be used for any pickle lover who also enjoys cooking or maybe even crafting. It includes a pocket to hold small items.

20. Pickle Coin Purse

This zippered pickle coin purse may become a pickle lover’s favorite coin purse.

Will you be purchasing a pickle-themed item as a gift this year?



Jobs of a Preschooler · Ramblings

Simple Science: Do Molecules Move Faster in Cold Water or Hot Water?

This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on one of the links and make a purchase. Thank you!

As I had mentioned in a previous post, my daughters and I have been using Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science for our science course this year.

The companion student notebooks (I purchased one for each of my daughters) have been very useful. They have an entire section devoted to scientific lab reports that go along with the course. My daughters are required to complete each of the scientific lab reports when we do the experiments.

Scientific Lab Report 1.2(A2)

My daughters have been getting so much practice following the scientific method lately that they even reminded me of it when I recently declared “Our Grand Pumpkin Experiment”.

We have been able to complete all of the recommended science experiments together so far. I’m hoping we will be able to complete them all, but we will see. There are over 50 within this course!

You can find all of the products Apologia has to offer here.

Below is a science experiment we recently completed during our reading on atomic motion.

Does food coloring mix faster in cold water or hot water? 

We gathered the following materials.

  • 2 quart sized canning jars without lids
  • green food coloring
  • small pot of hot water (heated on stove)
  • cold water
  • hot pad
  • funnel
  • eye protection

Then, we completed the steps listed below.

  • Fill one of the canning jars up to the 400 ml line with cold water.
  • Run the other canning jar under warm to hot water from the faucet. (I did this because I was worried the jar would break with the sudden temperature change of the hot water.)
  • Fill the warm canning jar to the 400 ml line with the hot water. Place on hot pad.
  • Put one drop of the food coloring into each jar at the same time.
  • Watch what happens.

Will the molecules move quicker in the hot water or the cold water?

Does food coloring mix faster in cold water or hot water?

The answer is pretty obvious when you look at the picture. The molecules moved quicker in the hot water than the cold water.

Does food coloring mix faster in cold water or hot water?

Another simple, yet fun experiment completed!

Jobs of a Preschooler- I'm a scientist...

“I’m a Scientist…” from Jobs of a Preschooler

Check out these posts for more science fun.