Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Pease Porridge (Hot)

You're familiar with the nursery rhyme Pease Porridge Hot, I hope? Pease porridge is an English dish that was brought to the US by English colonists. They ate it hot, cold, or even 9 days old... though I think it would have been fairly unusual to have that quantity of leftovers. It is made, not surprisingly, with peas.

As part of our study of Colonial America, I taught Trevor's fifth grade class how to make Pease Porridge (Hot). I told the kids that they could wait and eat it when it was cold, or even nine days old, but they all chose to eat it hot. I've never seen a group of kids wolf down peas faster and I'm surprised how many asked for seconds. Cool.

Pease Porridge (Hot)

We kept the recipe ridiculously simple, just one package of split peas and 16 oz. of veggie broth in the crockpot on low for 4 hours. You can, of course, add other vegetables or meats. You'd typically start with water and a hambone, but the veggie broth is cheaper and lets kids whose religious beliefs prohibit them from eating pork to try this. 

"What do you think of the pease porridge hot?"

Pretty much thumbs up throughout the room! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Colorwear T-Shirt

Check out my new t-shirt! I colored it myself.

One of my goals at Creativation was to see for myself if the coloring book trend would be continuing strong in 2017. As I wrote in my trends wrap-up, the coloring craze had largely moved off the book and onto many other surfaces, such as wrapping paper, washi tape, canvases, and clothing. Colorwear was showing color-it-yourself t-shirts, so I stopped to check them out and snap some photos.

Their colorful shirts are printed in black and white and come with a set of fabric markers. And look how adorable the packaging is!

Colorwear has a wide variety of designs and colors available. Color-it-yourself shirts that I've seen in the past have always been printed on a white t-shirt. I love that Colorwear prints on colorful shirts. 

The ladies in the booth gave me the 'Grow' shirt so I could try it out. I brought it with me to a crafty get-together with my friends and colored while we chatted. Great friends, great food, great wine, and crafting - my favorite way to spend a day!

I'm always looking for cool gifts, particularly for kids. Colorwear t-shirts are a great choice. They're high-quality, with dozens of designs and colors. The price point is reasonable; you're giving an art project to do, a shirt to wear, and fabric markers that can be kept and used for many future projects. 

I've included links to the 'Grow' shirt, as well as to some of my other favorites. 


Monday, February 20, 2017

Hands-On Science: Creating a Sugar Water Rainbow

I love hands-on science and so does Trevor. (And pretty much every other kid, ever.) We've been having great fun conducting science experiments and writing about them for Little Passports. The latest is one about layering sugar water to make a rainbow

Conducting, photographing, and writing about a science experiment for a company like Little Passports is a different experience than doing the experiment for ourselves. For example, I need to pay attention to what Trevor is wearing or what's in the background of photos in a way that I don't for my own blog. I have to think about their target audience when writing up the steps, in a way that might be different than to publish here. And I need to wrap it all up in a coherent way that summarizes the science behind the activity, removing the personal information that I would add here. It's challenging, but in a good way. I honestly can't think of a better way to earn a living. 

But the downside is that my stories don't get told. The article concludes with the rainbow, lined up nice and pretty with the rest of the glasses. But that's not where the science actually ended for us. Trevor continued to mix and test and predict and guess. He swirled and squirted and poured, learning through play. 

Eventually, he didn't have a rainbow anymore. Instead, he had a dark brown, a dark green, a red-orange and a blue. This inspired a new thought. It's just sugar water - what if we add spices and flavorings to make it taste like the colors Trevor created?

The green looks like mint, so he added mint extract. The brown got vanilla and cloves. He added cinnamon oil to the red-orange, and ground ginger (?) to the blue.

Time to taste!

Delicious! And fun and educational, too. Thanks, Little Passports, for inspiring our science explorations!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Yarn Heart Greeting Card and Yarn Flower Gift Wrap

Ever use yarn to make a card?

How about to wrap a gift?

I used the Gelato Sweet Roll by Premier Yarns for both the card and the gift wrap. I love how they turned out. 

From February 19-25, JoAnn stores will be selling Gelato and the other 'flavors' of Sweet Roll Yarn at the low price of 3 balls for $10. What a deal!


Yarn Heart Greeting Card


  • cardstock
  • scrap paper
  • yarn
  • scissors
  • glue

Fold the cardstock to make a card base. Fold the scrap paper in half, then cut out a heart that fits nicely on the card base. Trace around the heart with glue. 

Remove the heart, then add yarn to the glued area.

Let the heart dry completely before continuing. This prevents the heart from shifting when you add the inner layers. 

Put glue in the center of the heart and add the next piece of yarn. You can alternate colors or make the whole thing a single color. Continue adding yarn until the heart is filled.

While the heart is drying, use a small loom to make a flower. It's so easy! 

Finish the gift by wrapping yarn around the box, then tying the flower around the box. If the ends aren't long enough to tie it all the way around the box, just tie it to the yarn that's already looped around the box. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Explorers' Grog

To wind up our unit about the Age of Exploration, I taught the fifth graders how to make grog. Not the watered-down rum that sailors were given, of course, but a non-alcoholic version that's quite tasty. It's chock-full of Vitamin C to prevent scurvy. 

Explorers' Grog


  • 1/2 gallon apple juice
  • 1 container of Limeade concentrate, defrosted
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 whole allspice berries
  • 3-4 whole cloves

Put the apple juice, limeade and spices into a large pot. You can put the spices into cheesecloth or a spice bag, or just put them loose in the liquid. Heat the mixture until it is warm, but not boiling. This recipe makes eight 8-oz servings. For the classroom, double the recipe so that each child can have a 4-oz. sample. 

Cheers! May your lives be long and free from scurvy.

This wraps up our study of explorers. On to Colonial America!