Fabulous Farm Themed Party Ideas

Whether you need to plan a birthday party for a child or you want to have a fun celebration at the end of a farm unit study, I have collected some really fun and super simple ideas. We celebrated my son’s birthday a couple weeks ago and rather accidentally and last minute decided on a farm theme for his party.  On Wednesday before his Saturday party my plan had been a generic party, but my mom was picking up some plates for us and found some adorable farm themed ones. My son, who was turning two, loves our animals and playing with his toy tractors so it was a perfect fit.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Farm Themed Party Pinterest

I decided that it would be a fun and easy to put together theme because we already had most of what we needed. We used his toy tractors and farm equipment and some of his farm books to provide the decorations and then added some fun themed food.

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First, we set up a variety of toy farm equipment on the mantel and on the table where we were serving food. I used a green table cloth to be the grass under the equipment. We even happened to have a barn decoration that had been up in my older son’s room years ago.  We put that behind the table, but even without that you can make a really cute party with things that many folks already have at home.

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Next, I took to pinterest to see what kind of fairly easy finger foods I could find that had a farm theme and I was not disappointed. While there are plenty of more complicated options, we stuck with ideas that were easy to implement given our limited time frame.  We had ‘chicken feed’ trail mix, ‘tractor tire’ Oreos, ‘garden plot’ veggie tray, ‘u-pick fruit stand’ cut fruit, ‘hay bale’ rice krispy treats, ‘mud bath’ chocolate pudding and animal crackers, and ‘chicken eggs’ deviled eggs.  We did water and homemade lemonade to drink in mason jars (keeping it thematic and saving me from having to buy paper cups).

We could have printed out some farm themed color sheets or had a few farm themed games if we needed the time filler. However, we decided to go with a small ‘petting’ zoo made up of the chicks, goat, and chickens that we already had. It was a great opportunity for the other children to learn about and get up close and personal with some real animals.

While this certainly was not the fanciest birthday party I have ever seen, my son enjoyed it, the children all loved the decorations, and it was so simple and inexpensive to put together. I have included links below to the books we used to decorate as well as to the websites where I found the food ideas.  Do you have any fun farm themed party ideas?

 

Favorite Farm Themed Books

On the Farm Shine a Light Book

Farm Animals.

Baby’s Very First Tractor Book

Otis series (My five year olds favorite)

Farm Touch and Trace (a big hit with my toddler)

Chicken, Chicken, Duck

 

Farm Themed Unit Study

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

 

Little Women is only .99 on kindle right now! (Amazon prices subject to change always check before purchasing.)

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

All About Learning has released the best deal of the day: A FREE Snowman Pack with reading and spelling activities for a variety of ages.

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Happy Birthday Joseph: A Dr. Seuss Themed Birthday Party

My youngest son was born near the end of February but when we looked at family schedules, we needed to wait and do his party on the first Saturday in March. I scheduled his party and then realized that the date coincided with Dr. Seuss’s birthday. I decided not to let that coincidence go to waste and set out to plan a fun but simple themed party.

Seuss party pinterest

There are hundreds of ideas for a Dr. Seuss themed birthday party on the internet so I had plenty to choose from. Then my older children got involved and started adding ideas of their own.  Together we came up with some fun, easy, and inexpensive ways to turn the birthday party in a Dr. Seuss extravaganza.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

I spent a mere $14 at the Dollar Tree for decorations and the only other expense was food (around $50 for 30 guests). We utilized the Dr. Seuss books that we already had along with the bright red, blue, and white decorations from the Dollar Tree. This kept it simple and made a big impact. I focused on decorating the food table and the area where the high chair was set up for the baby and his smash cake.  We also chose mostly foods that could be prepared the day before to keep stress levels low and allow me to be able to enjoy the party.

I adapted Lindi Haw’s idea of using a Dr. Seuss book as a guest book. I had each of our guests write in the cover of Oh The Thinks You Can Think!. I am very excited to have that keepsake for him when he gets older.

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When we were thinking about themed snacks, we immediately thought of green eggs and ham. We simply made our regular deviled eggs and added a bit of natural blue food dye to make them green. I added a bit of ham to the serving tray and it was done.  Next,came a series of Cat in the Hat snacks. We found several ideas over at Mighty Moms and then added one of our own. We made Jello Stacks and strawberry and banana stacks from ideas we found there. Then we also added tomato and mozzarella skewers. I simply cut up some fresh mozzarella and alternated it with cherry tomatoes on the skewers.  We also got our idea for ‘roast beast sandwiches’ from that blog.

My children thought it would be great fun to have Truffula trees and came up with two different ideas. First they had broccoli with dip as trees and then, my daughter created a ‘forest’ of Truffula trees using lollipops, an egg carton and a bit of green tissue paper. She covered the large egg carton with the green paper to give her a base and then simply poked holes and stuck the lollipops through the holes. We also had the colored gold fish in honor of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and my daughter decorated cheese sticks to resemble the Cat in the Hat.

We can’t forget the cakes! We had a small smash cake for my son that my daughter topped with whipped cream and used blueberries to make a “1”. Then for everyone else my mom had made her special strawberry cake and my daughter used strawberries to decorate the top like ‘Cat in the Hat’.

While the party was for a one year who did not really care about crafts, my eleven year old daughter thought it would be lots of fun to do themed crafts with the other young children. So she set up a station outside where they could do a hand painting activity and decorate their own ‘Cat in the Hat’ hats.

Overall, I thought the party was a great success. We were able to decorate in just a few minutes, the snacks were fun but simple, and everyone had a good time. These ideas are great for a birthday party or to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday. What are your favorite birthday party themes?

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

You ARE an Artist Clubhouse Membership

Artistic Pursuits (A Review)

I remember drawing one good picture of a flower in middle school, it was purple and large and my art teacher really liked it. Aside from that one drawing, artistic skills and abilities have never been a strength for me. My son is very interested in drawing and I wanted him to have the help he needed to develop his skills. He has been doing an art program with my daughter and enjoying it, but wanted more instruction how to draw well. I was very excited to give him the opportunity to try one of the books in the K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 series by ARTistic Pursuits Inc.

When looking at the series I knew they were designed for younger students (my son is a 7th grader) but decided after talking to him to go ahead and give it a try. I did get Art in America, K-3 Vol. 8 which is generally recommended for the older end of that range and specifically focuses on drawing with graphite and colored pencils. I was prepared for him to feel like it was to ‘babyish’ for him, but the book is laid out in such a way that it works for a wide range of ages. Though a second or third grader could have done the lessons, it did not feel ‘babyish’ for my middle schooler and did a great job of giving him more basic drawing instruction.

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This program is a combination of book lessons with some short video lessons. The book includes both a DVD and a Blu-ray.  For this particular volume the only supplies that I needed to purchase were graphite pencils. He also needed plain paper and later in the book colored pencils but we already keep those supplies on hand.

The lessons were short and only took him about 15 or 20 minutes to complete. They are set up to be one lesson a week but since he is older I had him go ahead and do a couple of lessons most weeks. For each lesson you have instruction either in the book or a short video (about 5 minutes) and then a practice activity. This particular volume is twelve text lessons and six video lessons. In addition to basic drawing instruction, the book also includes information and lessons about various famous artists. Each of the twelve text lessons included a different artist.  I loved that they were introduced to some great artists, including John Copley and one of my personal favorites, John James Audubon.

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For the lesson featuring John Singleton Copley the student was introduced to the artist with a bit of background information about the artist. Then they showed how he used basic shapes in his drawings using an example of one of his famous pieces. The student is then given instructions on how to translate that skill into their own drawing of an object they can see or a photograph. There is also an example picture done by a nine year old student. I think this feature is nice because it gives both the student and the parent a better idea of  a reasonable expectation for the assignment.

The short video lessons demonstrated examples of different skills. One of them showed how to use shading to create light and dark and another taught students how to draw lines and circles with a ruler and compass. After each lesson the student had the opportunity to take what was learned and create their own art work.

As a seventh grader, my son was able to easily work through this course without any assistance from me. He enjoyed the short lessons and I could see improvement in his skills. If I were using this with a younger student, I would go through the lessons with them to make sure they understood the reading and be prepared to assist as necessary. it would still not take much prep work for the teacher and is a very easy to implement course.

Each volume of this series focuses on a different set of skills including watercolor, print making, paper construction, etc. With elementary aged children each volume is designed to be covered in one semester. If you are using it with older students, you could easily cover two or three in a semester. You can find more information about the other volumes at ARTistic Pursuits Inc. and donn’t forget to click the link below to read reviews from other Crew members. You can find reviews for each of the different levels and see how families with different ages used the program.

 

Kindergarten to Third Grade Art following History in Chronological Order {ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

Take a Look Tuesday: Our School Room

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*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

I need to start off by saying, you DO NOT have to have a dedicated school room to homeschool. That said, we are blessed to have a room that is our ‘school room’. This does not mean that all of our learning is done in that room, but it does give us a place to focus on our school work and to keep the books and materials ‘mostly’ contained. We had an unfinished upstairs and my awesome and handy husband finished a section of it for us to use for our school room.

My cozy window seat might just be my favorite part of this room. I had dreamed for years of a comfy window seat for reading but we never had the right space. When we build this room in a space that had a dormer window it was a perfect fit. Sometimes I sit here to read or teach and sometimes the children sit here and work. We can also use the space to look outside at the trees and watch for birds, squirrels, and other wildlife.

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My second favorite spot is my glider rocker area. I have spent many hours sitting in this seat reading to my children, watching them work, teaching them, and praying over our homeschool. When I sit here to read or teach the children can sit at their desks or bring out the pillows or bean bags and sit on the floor in front of me. During different seasons of our homeschool we have had a calendar area just above the rocker as well as a magnetic board for our All About Spelling tiles. There is a CD player just to one side of this so that we can listen to music or audiobooks.

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My handy husband also built dual purpose bookshelves. In addition to holding books they serve as a room divider. We have some of our book collection on these shelves, separated into broad categories such as chapter books, picture books, history, science, and Bible. We have a fairly extensive book collection (thanks to yard sales and Amazon) and not all of our books fit into our school room but I try to keep a good variety of fun books to read, books for extra studies, and books that go along with our current curriculum.

On one side of our school room we have a round table that we use for working together or when one of the children needs a larger work space for a project or assignment. My children, particularly my older two, also like to have individual work spaces so they each have a small desk on the other side of the room. The four year old never likes to be left out so he has his own small desk as well but spends most of his time in his preschool space.

Beside the round table I have our preschool area. There is a book shelf which holds bins of educational toys that are only used during ‘school’ time to keep them exciting, books, and crafting supplies for the four year old. In addition he has a small vertical book rack/shelf that makes it easy for him to see the books he has and to put them away when he is finished.I am also working on a container of file folder games to go in this area so that he can work on those with this older siblings.

I hope you have enjoyed this closer look at our school room. We enjoy using this room as well as our kitchen table, front porch, and even the van to learn and grow. I would love to hear about your school room and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about our space.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Back to School Bundle Sale going on now!! Back to Homeschool Online Course Bundle

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is doing an amazing sale this month! Buy One year get One Year FREE! We use this for several of our courses and one price covers all the students in your home for as many of their over 400 courses and you would like to use.

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!>

Check out some of the other Take a Look Tuesday Posts:

Jennifer @ Dear Homeschooler
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together
Kellyann @ Walking Home …
Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Linda @ Apron Strings & other things

Spoiled Rotten Mama Party!

spoiled3I am putting together a fun end-of-the-year giveaway at Schoolin’ Swag for our 4,600-ish wonderful, hard working, homeschooling mamas! Wanna take a peek at the lovely items being offered?

These items are being donated by mamas in our group, many of whom also have home businesses to help make ends meet. This is one of the few times each year that we allow personal advertising in the group, and I’m happy to give the opportunity to help a great cause! Homeschooling!

spr1From Charissa Rice (Mary Kay), we will have a bundle including the Satin Lips set and Ultimate Mascara!

From Rebecca Pahnke Thomas, we have Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion from Mary Kay (she is not business building, just being SO sweet in donating!) as well as Citrus Bliss Invigorating Essential Oil Blend from doTERRA!

From Hope Turner (Young Living), we’ll have a cute diffuser necklace and a bottle of “Stress Away” essential oil, as well as a couple of other samples and a Lavender Bath Soak.

srm5From lovely member Lynette Dickson, we have a hand crafted natural bronzer, using  the winner’s choice of combination of cocoa powder, rose powder, and ginger root powder for shimmer. Mmmmmmmmmm…chocolate and shimmer!

From Perfectly Posh member Leah Cherrone, we have the donation of the “Posh to meet you” kit by Perfectly Posh contains a Good Vibes BFYHC (big fat yummy hand cream-smells like mango with a hint of coconut), a Strawberry Fields Forever chunk (bar soap, smells like strawberry and lime–I LOVE THIS…SO yummy!) and a Santa Monica Smooth lip balm (peach, orange and mint, with a hint of caffeine). Also included in this bundle is a “dogbone” pillow made of  dress weight denim. It is medium firm (not softy soft, not hard).  It is designed for neck support and easy to carry or hang to store with the handles.

srm93Next, from Krysten Glor (31 Gifts), we have a $25 gift certificate to use however the winner’s heart desires! So many cute choices!

 

From Karen Daniels (Plexus), we have a 7-day trial pack being offered! I have loved the “Pink Drink”…certainly worth giving it a go if you’ve never tried it!

srm9From Ashley Moore’s Etsy shop, we have a $20 gift certificate to use toward her super cute selection of hair accessories and baby barefoot sandals (which are darling)!

srm91Now, from Dana Malone of One Buffalo (products with integrity), we are offering a bundle of natural, organic body care products, including:

  • Natural deodorant made with only organic coconut oil, arrowroot powder, non-GMO corn starch, organic shea butter, baking soda, beeswax and organic lemongrass essential oil
  • Lotion Stick – Mint, made with only organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, beeswax and essential oil

  • Lip Balm, made with only organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil and beeswax

srm92From our wonderful crochet guru Denise Hockenberry, we’ll have a cute and practical spa bath set including 3 wash cloths, 6 face scrubbies, and 1 soap saver!

srm95Further, from Jen Figueiras (Jamberry Nails) we have a $20 gift certificate, plus a mini application kit and the 2 sheets of accent nails! Just in time for summer! 🙂

srm98From one of our newest members, Brittany Barber (It Works), we have an Ultimate Body Applicator (value $25), which is a non-woven cloth wrap that has been infused with a powerful, botanically-based formula to deliver maximum tightening, toning, and firming results where applied to the skin.

  • Tightens, tones, & firms
  • Minimizes cellulite appearance
  • Improves skin texture & tightness
  • Mess-free and simple to use
  • Results in as little as 45 minutes
  • Progressive results over 72 hours
  • Made with natural ingredients

srm97Moving on (!), we have a Moonstruck 3D Fiberlashes set from Amy Hardy Moye (Younique)! Increase your lash volume by up to 400%!

srm99From our darlin’ brand new Avon rep Diana Doggett, we have a fun little package including nail polish (Pastel Pink), lipstick (Divine Wine), and Mark lip gloss duo (Glow Baby Glow and Girly Girl)!

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Finally, from two wonderful authors, Karen Ehman and Ruth SchweKaren Enk (I LOVE “Hoodwinked” which was also co-authored by them), we have a copy of “Pressing Pause“! I am so tickled to be able to include this in our event!

No Foolin’ Preschoolin’ Event is Shaping Up! UPDATED

playlearnI’m excited about our No Foolin’ Preschoolin’ Giveaway on April 1st at Schoolin’ Swag! We have some great companies and publishers already on board. Take a peek (click the live links to browse their sites and check out their donations!):

I’m looking forward to adding more to the list! These are great helps, to enhance the time you have to invest in your Pre-K student. Life is full of educational moments, whether it is simply investigating nature or developing gross and fine motor skills through play. SO much happens through play in our little ones. We shouldn’t underestimate its importance!  This is not a time to become rigidly academic. This is time for exploration. What feels cold? What smells spicy? Which is big and which is small? What does my name look like? Where does the sun go at night? How many crackers are on this plate? How do plants grow? What color is the sky? How can I say hello to my Spanish speaking friend? Which musical instrument do I like the best?  Oh, so much to learn!

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Teaching a love for learning is of utmost importance at this age, and fun materials can be great tools to use in accomplishing this! Cultivating a love for reading for preschoolers often happens in mommy’s lap, so we hope to offer some lovely books for your snuggle time, too!

Having preschool materials on hand can be of great help to some parents who may need a little assistance in guiding their children developmentally. Sometimes we don’t know where to start…sometimes we have so many things going on in the home, we don’t know HOW to start! I hope this event is an encouragement to you!

 

New Kickstarter Program With Hoffman Piano Academy!

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Ready for some exciting news? I just got this announcement from Angela Hoffman at Hoffman Piano Academy! Read here:

Are you looking for a piano teacher? Meet Mr. Hoffman!

Joseph Hoffman has always wanted one thing, for more people to be able to learn music and to love it while they’re learning. He spent years developing his own comprehensive piano method based on research in early childhood education and great music teaching methods like Suzuki and Kodaly. After receiving his master’s degree in music and founding a very successful music academy in Portland, Oregon, he wanted to find a way to teach music to children whose families might not be able to afford private music lessons, or who might live far away from a piano teacher.

Five years ago, Joseph and his wife Kelly came up with the idea to create piano video lessons and post them online, for free, so that anyone in the world could learn piano with the Hoffman Method. To support their project, they sold downloadable lesson materials, like sheet music and audio files, to accompany the video lessons. Mr. Hoffman’s video lessons now have over 5 million views, with thousands of students watching lessons every day. But he’s not done yet.

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Right now, Mr. Hoffman has 120 piano video lessons online. He wants to double that number in the next 16 months, then continue to make more. His ultimate goal is to make Hoffman Academy a complete piano learning program, so that a student who completes all the lessons would be ready to major in music at any university and become a professional musician.

The Hoffman Academy team is also working on building a new, interactive, subscription-based website that will include music learning games and online progress tracking. Video lessons alone can’t give personalized feedback, but the new Hoffman Academy will be able to guide students through developing their skills in rhythm, staff reading, music theory, and ear training, and make learning the piano even more fun and engaging.

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In order to fund these projects, Mr. Hoffman is running a Kickstarter campaign through the month of February. Campaign backers can try out the new Hoffman Academy premium subscription for themselves at a great discount. Or, you can contribute to our campaign and fund a Hoffman Academy premium subscription scholarship for a child in need. Come on over and check it out!

Do you believe in music education for everyone? Contribute to our Kickstarter and help make it happen.

Visit our Kickstarter page to learn more.

 

“I Love Language” Event at Schoolin’ Swag! (UPDATED!)

languagesComing up on February 15th, we’ll be having a new event at Schoolin’ Swag, featuring products centered around language…foreign languages, Latin, as well as American Sign Language.

Here are the companies/publishers which will be featured:

Don’t miss it!  Prizes will post beginning 9am on 2/15. We’ll allow a full 24 hours for posts to remain up (to cover our friends in all time zones), and winners will be drawn at 9am on 2/16.

What “Homeschool Homestretch”Is Looking Like!

nopeekWe have had a great time during our “Homeschool Homestretch” event!  So far we have been able to offer these encouragements to lucky winners in our group:

Today’s giveaways include:

Coming up, we have these FABULOUS donors still to feature (the donations are a secret…no peeking or peeling back the gift wrap!):

Come join us! Prizes post at 9am (Mtn Time) daily, with winners drawn via Random.org at 9pm. Two prizes tomorrow, and the remaining for a Grand Finale on Friday!

“Homeschool Homestretch” Event!

finish2I decided on a whim to see if I could scoot together some terrific incentives to help our great members at Schoolin’ Swag to finish the semester well!

So, next week, December 14-18, I’ll be posting at least 2 giveaways a day!  Postings will go up at 9am and close at 9pm that night.

I’ll give you a little peek under the tree, by letting you know the donors I have thus far (but that’s all–no particulars on what they are giving us!):

Donors:

Homeschool Buyers Co-op
Time4Learning.com
All About Learning Press
Stubby Pencil Studio
The Critical Thinking Co.
Dyslexia Games (The Thinking Tree)
CurrClick.com
Pandia Press
Love to Learn 

Be sure to drop in daily!