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You're my Number One! Here's why...

For the first time in this blog, an idea for something to be made by the parents only. It requires some work but no knowledge in sewing beyond the very basics!

Each of our kids is naturally Number One for us, but don't they deserve to know why?
It could be the fact that they often offer help, or persevere in projects they undertake, or their good treatment of the family pet - anything you appreciate about your kid. I would leave grades and their likes aside, but to each their own...

Photography Celebrations for a Happy Valentine's (or any Happy) Day!

Here are some charming ideas taken from professional photographers, that can be practiced at home for the whole family to enjoy:

A. How we've changed: A tradition worth starting: take a family photo of everyone at the same location and with everyone keeping their relative place. Here is a famous example for inspiration.

B. How we've grown: Choose a childhood photograph (for the kids pick one as an infant or toddler) and recapture that old moment, years later, with the same posture, similar clothes and a like location. Here are several examples to inspire you!

C. How alike we look: Take a closeup photo of each family member's face, keeping the face at the photo's center and parallel to the sides. Use any simple software or application to "cut" each photo at the center lengthwise, and paste a corresponding half of someone else's photo. This example shows a professional, meticulous work, but you may well suffice for a simple result that will nonetheless show the family resemblance. Take all photos at the same time and same place to have the same lighting conditions, which would make the "pasting" much easier.

Aside from that, while you're having a family celebration, why not start a family tree project? - you can choose a free software or platform (there is an available variety), and start collecting information including photos, recordings, videos, "Google Street View" screenshots and anything else you can think of... :-)

History? The Most Fascinating Lesson!

Homemade History Lesson

Some kids (and adults) mistakenly understand "history" to be an account of past wars and an exhausting list of dates. Why not correct them?

What could be more intriguing than researching past times and how people used to live, including their costumes, habits, music and games? - Maybe the preliminary question of how historians gather their information. How do they know?!

I sent the kids - along with a magnifying glass, a flashlight and a notebook - to look for evidence for the history of their own house. What kind of evidence do you think is available? Was the house always in its present shape? Are there any signs of changes made? Was it renovated? Can the kids interview anyone who's lived there before? Maybe their parents?... And what about old photos?

The kids refused to stop the "history lesson" even after a long while!...

A Fairies and Gnomes Garden

A Fairies and Gnomes Garden

To celebrate the approaching spring, Valentine's Day or just for fun:

Choose some small or medium flowers at the nursery, and add a flowerpot, a large bowl, a window box or a garden-bed. Plant the flowers, and let your imagination guide you: what might attract the fairies and gnomes to your garden? You might scatter some nice mushrooms you crafted; large acorns to shade the garden; small pebbles to step on; tiny furniture made of shells or small stones...

Garnish as you please, and wait for the fairies and gnomes to come. And should you spot any of them wandering in your garden, don't forget to share your photo here!... :-)

A Time Capsule: Happy New Year, And Happy Birthday Kessem!

A Happy New Year to everyone, and a Happy Second Birthday to Kessem!

New Year's Time Capsule

Here's a nice idea for a family celebration, with a little gift for you:

A "Time Capsule" booklet to fill out and keep!

Print it (download here), fill it in and encapsulate it (a large plastic bottle can make a wonderful capsule). Now wait eagerly for the opening date... Have a lovely new year! :-)

Dreidorah? Menoreidel? A dreidel-menorah :-)

A DIY Menorah-Dreidel

Pondering whether to make with the kids a menorah or a dreidel for Hannukah? How about making a menorah-dreidel?

Science and Agriculture in the Kitchen

Papaya Seeds Drying

After eating a papaya, the kids were fascinated by the many bright seeds. Instead of dispensing with them, we made an experiment:

First, we wondered what to do with the seeds - should we sow them as they are, or maybe wash and let dry? We washed about a half of the seeds and put aside to dry, as seen in the photo above. Next we turned to think about the conditions which would best allow the seeds to germinate. The kids raised various assumptions, according to which we filled five different glasses: one with soil and lots of water; another with soil and just several drops of water; one with moist cotton wool, etc.

Once the seeds we put aside have dried, they too will be put in five glasses in similar conditions.

The kids are following the seeds with interest; what's your guess - which seeds have a chance to germinate?

Experiment: Papaya Seeds in Glasses