Crafty Kid Fun


Marcus has been in a crafty mood lately. Here are some of his latest projects, which he made for his online class


Marcus enjoyed recycling materials into these musical instruments. He found the instructions for the kazoo HERE.

He found the instructions for the banjo and the matchbox guitar HERE.


He had a lot of fun making these paper cranes. I bought the origami paper at a craft store. There are lots of youtube videos showing how to make an origami crane. Here is one we like:

He also made a dreidel. He made this without instructions, using oven-bake clay, a golf-pencil and a sharpie.

You can learn about the dreidel and the game HERE.


What crafts have your kids made lately?


Marcus’ Starry Night


Although I only just discovered this tutorial from a search on Pinterest, it sums up how my son created his own Starry Night version last week, except he followed instructions given verbally by his awesome Liahona teacher.

I think it’s fun to teach kids a little background about the artist first. I like this website and this webpage about Vincent Van Gogh.


Using only black construction paper, white school glue and oil pastels, as well as a look at the original art, Marcus created his own Starry Night-

DSCN4671 DSCN4672 DSCN4675

After using the glue to outline his picture, he let it completely dry and then he colored over it with oil pastels.


I think it’s fun to help children recreate a famous piece of art, and Starry Night has this magical feel to it that children enjoy.

Pinterest is an excellent resource if you are looking for ways to incorporate more art into your homeschool. Use the search to find all sorts of ideas. I typed in: famous art for kids, for example.

Or you can check out my Pinterest homeschool arts and crafts board.

What famous artists have you incorporated in your homeschool?

Spring Paper Craft



As I’m posting this, it happens to be snowing here! Needless to say, it doesn’t resemble spring at our house at this moment. I am crediting this craft project to my son’s online teacher as it was an assignment for his history class, tying in with his agricultural revolution studies. She called it nature paper. She has a blog called Puddle Wonderful Learning, which hasn’t been updated since the end of last summer, but still contains some fun ideas for children that you should check out.

For this craft your child will need the following supplies-

*White tissue paper  *Elmer’s glue *Water *String *Hole punch *Sponge brush *Construction paper (any color- 2 sheets) *Wax paper *Scissors *Flat leaves, blades of grass, flower petals, etc. collected from your yard. (All nature items must be able to lay flat.)

Start by folding a sheet of white tissue paper in half and cutting it to the size of an 8 & 1/2 x 11″ paper, or to the size of the construction paper if so desired. We used a regular sheet of printing paper as our template. Remember to keep the fold intact.


Lay out some wax paper as your working surface. Open up the tissue paper (over the wax paper) and on one side of the fold only, lay out the leaves, grasses, flower petals, etc. Leave the other half of the tissue paper alone so that you can fold it over to cover the nature items.


In a small plastic bowl, mix equal amounts of Elmer’s glue and water. Using the sponge brush, lightly dab the glue mixture all over the folded tissue paper. This will seal the nature items to the paper. If your child accidentally tears the tissue paper, just patch it with left over tissue paper. Tell your child not to brush the paper with the glue, but to sponge it on. There will be wrinkles.


I’m not sure if I can recommend what we did next, but I’ll tell you anyway. We covered our wet paper with a layer of wax paper, and pressed on it to completely fuse the nature items to the tissue paper. Although our paper turned out ok, it was tricky to peel it off from the top layer of wax paper (the bottom layer was easy to peel off).


Whatever you do, make sure the nature items are completely sealed into your folded tissue paper by the glue-mixture and that the whole thing is as flat as possible. Then let your paper sit somewhere safe and allow the glue to dry naturally. This may take a day or two.


Once your textured paper is completely dry, carefully peel it away from the wax paper. If you want, turn it into a nature journal cover by hole punching it, and 2 pieces of construction paper (one for the cover, to go underneath the textured paper, and the other for the back), with blank or lined paper layered in between, tied off with string.


We’ll have to try this again in the fall. Then it can be fall paper.

Magic Box Poetry


The poem, The Magic Box, by Kit Wright, has inspired school children for years to create their own version, and Marcus has been doing the same with his distance-education class. I couldn’t find a link to the poem that I liked, so here is a copy of the original poem, followed by my son’s imaginative rendition-

The Magic Box   by Kit Wright

I will put in the box

the swish of a silk sari on a summer night,
fire from the nostrils of a Chinese dragon,
the tip of a tongue touching a tooth.

I will put in the box

a snowman with a rumbling belly,
a sip of the bluest water from Lake Lucerene,
a leaping spark from an electric fish.

I will put into the box

three violet wishes spoken in Gujarati,
the last joke of an ancient uncle,
and the first smile of a baby.

I will put into the box

a fifth season and a black sun,
a cowboy on a broomstick
and a witch on a white horse.

My box is fashioned from ice and gold and steel,
with stars on the lid and secrets in the corners.
Its hinges are the toe joints of dinosaurs.

I shall surf in my box
on the great high-rolling breakers of the wild Atlantic,
then wash ashore on a yellow beach,
the colour of the sun.  


My Magic Box   by Marcus Madsen

I will put in my box

a view from the top of Machu Picchu,
a hug from the softest teddy bear,
an x-ray of a flying griffin’s wings.

I will put in my box

a slash of an ancient warrior,
the last breath of a dying dragon,
the ashes of a phoenix.

I will put in my box

the first bark of a newborn puppy,
the footsteps of a cat marching on a fence,
a rotating tire of a speeding car.

I will put in my box

a seventh dimension,
a sixth sense,
the flutter of the wings of a butterfly.

My box is fashioned from an element unknown to man, called Creatanium, vapor, and solid cloud,
with a view of the heavens on the lid and portals in the corners.
Its bottom is made from space itself.

I shall create an answer for every problem in the world, in my box.
The secret to every sickness,
the solution to every war,
and I shall answer the mystery that is much greater than us.

Have you used The Magic Box poem in your homeschool? What other poets inspire your children to write their own poems? My daughter really likes Shel Silverstein.

My First Visit to Europe


To celebrate our twenty-third wedding anniversary, my husband took me to Italy, Greece and Turkey. This was my first visit to Europe. It was a dream come true for me.

Rome in the Rain

Rome in the Rain

I fell in love with Italy. We visited Rome, Naples, and Venice.



Did I mention how I fell in love with Italy?



Greece was fun because of all the Greek mythology portrayed.



Turkey was very interesting.

Ephesus and Istanbul

Ephesus and Istanbul

It was an amazing trip.