Jun 23, 2017

Sunscreen Experiment

We are pretty serious about our skincare in this house. We only use products on the kids that rate a 0 or 1 on the EWG Skin Deep database, and with two out of three of our kids being fair skinned, good quality sunscreen is an important thing for us. The Sunscreen day of our Alphabet Island theme from Mother Goose Time was spot on! There was a sunscreen science experiment, an open ended sunscreen art project, lotion writing bags, and a sun protection game.

Bentley chose to start the day off by doing the Sunscreen Science Experiment!

We have quite a few favorite sunscreens that rate super low on the EWG scale! There is no reason to be spraying your kids with chemical filled sunscreens when there are so many amazing options out there. In case you don't want to do the research, here are some great ones that we love: 

The first thing we did was read over our special Science Experiment card. We love that Mother Goose Time provides us with this durable card with the experiment laid out for us. We are collecting them all so we have a file full of great preschool science experiments at our fingertips. 

Before applying the sunscreen to Bentley's hand, we talked about why we use sunscreen. He told me, "You need to use sunscreen because it the sun is very hot. It can make your skin burned." I thought that was pretty insightful for a 2 year old!

I applied the sunscreen to Bentley's hand just like a print craft. My kids are certainly used to those around here! We talked about how the sunscreen felt on his hand  ("cool, slippery") and how it smelled ("Just like candy mama!") Then  I had him make a handprint on each side of the paper. 

When he was finished, I had him wipe all of the access on his face and arms. He liked that! We discussed what would happen to the paper. The handprint he made was pretty non-existant. I explained to him that we would put it in the sun for a few hours and then see what happened and if anything changed. 

After a couple hours, we took it out of the window and observed the changes. Bentley's handprints were much darker than the sunbleached paper. We talked about the importance of using sunscreen so that your skin doesn't end up burned like the paper. The sunscreen protected the part of the paper that it was on.

We went on to have a fun day of learning about sun safety with our Mother Goose Time curriculum. Stay tuned for next week when we focus on Exploring the Island. 


I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. All opinions/thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.

Are you following House of Burke? To keep updated on all of the fun, please follow us on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram!

Continue reading >>

Jun 13, 2017

Sand Castle Invitation to Create

This week as part of the Alphabet Island theme in our Mother Goose Time curriculum, we are focusing on the topic At the Beach. The days for this topic are broken up into: Crab, Sand Castles, Shells, Sunglasses, and Sunscreen. Today we studied sand castles. The boys love building sand castles (who doesn't?!), so they were excited to dive into the activities.

We started the morning off by reading The Sand Castle Contest by Robert Munsch. The kids really liked it, and as we were sitting down to start our project, they were excitedly discussing what they would like to build out of sand if they could. One of the really fun things about Mother Goose Time is that they include separate cards for certain activities. You can find all of the activities for the month in your Teacher Guide, but the separate cards have pictures, extra details, and are extra portable!

Not only was I shown what my set up could look like, but I was also provided almost all of the materials for the invitation to create! All we needed to have on hand was paint, glue, and scissors.

The presentation of materials for an invitation to play or crate is so important! When the boys saw all of the materials in one place with the inspiration picture in the background, they were excited and ready. I gave them each a piece of background paper, a piece of sand paper, a piece of blue cellophane, some sand, scissors, and glue. Then I watched their imaginations take off! 

Bentley immediately started cutting the paper into big tower shaped chunks, while Kingston started cutting smaller intricate pieces out. As they worked, I asked them the prompts that are provided with the activity and we discussed the different possibilities. 

What rooms do you think are in the castle?
What kind of castle are you building?
Do you want to cut shapes from the sand sheet? 
How will you use the cellophane in your design? 
Where will you put the sand?

Both were in agreement that the cellophane "water" should go in the background of the picture and that they should glue the sane along the bottom. Bentley decided that he also wanted some texture on the castle itself, and Kingston wanted to put some flecks of cellophane on the castle like windows. 

I noticed that Kingston was very interested in trying recreate the inspiration picture, while Bentley seemed to be working more from an image in his head! They were both incredibly engaged, and I was impressed with their work. Bentley recently started cutting shapes with scissors, so watching him try to freehand shapes without frustration was really exciting. Perfectionist Kingston also seemed pleased with the shapes he cut out. Their finished products were wonderful! I love that you can clearly see the distinction between the replication done by the 2 year old and the one done by the 4 year old, but that they both took the time to execute their ideas to the very best of their abilities! 

If you loved this activity from Mother Goose Time, stay tuned for more! We will be blogging about our adventures with MGT all summer long! 

I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. All opinions/thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.

Are you following House of Burke? To keep updated on all of the fun, please follow us on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram!

Continue reading >>

Jun 5, 2017

Tinfoil Boat Design (with Mother Goose Time!)

Have you ever heard of Mother Goose Time? I stumbled across MGT when I was searching for an all inclusive preschool curriculum for Bentley. With Kingston progressing from preschool - 1st grade within a year and a half span, it seemed like all of my focus was being given to him and that Benny wasn't being challenged enough. I was desperate for something that was full of amazing learning activities, but didn't require me to have to plan an entire second curriculum out. Who knew that the PERFECT curriculum was out there. Mother Goose Time has it all! Every single thing is planned out for you and arrives in prepackaged bags for each day. Every month you receive a new book, cd, manipulatives, puzzle, and more! It's like a curriculum and a subscription box in one. I fell in love the moment I looked on the website. Everything is so detailed - from the Circle Time materials to the Teachers Guide and everything in between! We decided to put most of Kingston's core curriculum to the side for summer and focus on getting Bentley excited about his new preschool curriculum. K will be joining along with us as a fun and educational summer camp. 

June's theme is Alphabet Island! To check out exactly what was included in our June box, you can head over to the detailed What's Inside section of the Mother Goose Time website. The amount of stuff included is mind blowing, and they even include an extra Celebration kit each month to celebrate holidays and events that are happening. (This month's kit contained all kinds of awesome Father's Day items!) For our first week, we are focusing on Setting Sail

Each day is broken up into a Circle Time section, 4 different activities, and a Closing Time. There is also a suggested book which we have loved. On Day 2, we learned about boats. The kids favorite activity from today was the science activity: Boat Design. 

I swear Mother Goose Time literally thinks of everything. Included for this activity was one of their Science Cards. We had friends over who were joining us for this activity today, and we had plans to utilize our water table for this activity. Instead of having to drag my Teacher's Guide outside with me and risk it getting ruined, I just grabbed the brightly colored, durable science card and some tinfoil and headed outside. 

I filled up the water table and handed each child a piece of tinfoil. We discussed which shapes we should make our boats, and if we would need more than one piece of foil. The kids experimented with making different shapes. The 4 year olds took the time to put effort into making sides to their boats and making them look like boats while the 2 year olds both practiced the art of crumpling to form theirs. 

Once they had formed some sort of boat using the tinfoil, the kids gathered nature items from around the yard. Sticks, leaves, acorns, and rocks of different sizes were all brought over to the water table. One by one the kids put each of their items into their boats to test if it would hold them. 

We asked the kids several questions:

How many items can you fit in each boat? Do you think you could fit another one?
Why do you think that big rock made the boat sink? 
How could you change your boat to accommodate the larger rock? 

The kids used trial and error to answer the questions and to see how much their boats could handle. The boys were especially fascinated with how the boats sank, and we observed how the boats immediately sank once they started to take on water. 

This activity really seemed to engage the kids, and we ended up trying several variations on our original designs. We added extra pieces of tinfoil, and even tried out a heart shape! Mother Goose Time gives great tips on assessing your child's engagement during each activity inside the Teacher's Guide. I was thrilled that the children were indeed making predictions and redesigning their boats to accommodate heavier items as they played.

We can't wait to try out more activities from Mother Goose Time, and to share our journey with you. 

I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. All opinions/thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.

Are you following House of Burke? To keep updated on all of the fun, please follow us on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram!

Continue reading >>

We're BACK!!!

Hi friends!

Have you missed us?! I can't even believe it's been over a year since I last blogged. What used to be second nature to me, now seems so very foreign! So, what have we been up to and why did I disappear. Well... the answer to that is both simple and complicated. I was overloaded. When I opened my shop in March of 2015 and branched out into the world of small shop handmade clothing, I never imagined that it would take off like it has. House of Burke has grown to be something I am incredibly proud of, and also something that takes a LOT of time and effort, a full time job if you will. My family was suffering, my blog was suffering, and I was staying up incredibly late trying to accomplish things. So, something had to give. House of Burke (the blog) was put on the back burner to attempt to gain some sort of sanity. But now we are back! And we have a lot of exciting things to share. The last time you saw us, we looked like this:

And now, we have grown in a BIG WAY!!! Meet Scarlett!

It really doesn't get sweeter than this girl!! She arrived last July and is 10 months old now! What a 10 months it has been. She is such a smart, sweet, funny little girl. Her personality is just wonderful! We couldn't have asked for a better baby. Her brothers adore her, and we can't get enough. Kingston and her both sport the same shade of ginger hair, and they have a super special bond! Speaking of the boys, Kingston is now 4 (will be 5 in a few months!), and Bentley is 2 (almost 3 in a couple of months!) 

We are actively homeschooling - Kingston is currently working his way through 1st grade and Bentley has just started preschool (I will post about our different curriculums in future posts!). 

We also welcomed 14 other members to our family recently - our CHICKENS!! I will be introducing them and doing some chicken related posts soon. 

I am excited to be back sharing about our lives! Stay tuned to see what we have in store. 

Are you following House of Burke? To keep updated on all of the fun, please follow us on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram!

Continue reading >>

Feb 26, 2016

20 Fine Motor Painting Activities and Our NEW BOOK!

We couldn't be MORE excited to announce the launch of our newest Fine Motor Ideas book! Last year, the fabulous bloggers behind Fine Motor Ideas brought you our first book 99 Fine Motor Ideas for Ages 1 to 5 (Volume 1). Now we are back with the next volume, 100 Fine Motor Ideas: for Parents, Teachers & Therapists. 100 MORE fantastic fine motor activities to use with your little ones! But it doesn't stop there. These activities can also be used to assist in therapies for all ages, from young toddlers to the elderly. 

About the Book - From the Back Cover

The Hands Have It! 
Squeezing Play Dough, Fastening Buttons, Snipping with Scissors, and So Much More

100 Fine Motor Ideas presents fun, engaging ideas to involve the fine motor muscles in your child's hands, fingers, and wrists. Ten talented moms come together to share the most successful, creative, and inspiring invitations to play that they set up for their own kids to get those little hands working!

Your child's hands develop and change so much in the first years of life. From chubby newborn fists that can barely open to infants reaching for your face as they coo to toddlers self feeding and stacking blocks, soon you will have a preschooler learning to cut, write, and turn the pages of a book!

100 Fine Motor Ideas Includes: 
  • DIY Toys, 
  • Busy Bag Ideas for Playing On The Go, 
  • Sensory Exploration Invitations, 
  • Practical Life Ideas, 
  • Early Learning Activities to Introduce Colors, Letters, & Math, 
  • Art & Crafts to Inspire Creativity, 
  • Seasonal Ideas to Celebrate the Holidays.

Some of our favorite fine motor activities that engage all ages are painting activities. Every painting activity works fine motor skills. Below are 20 awesome fine motor painting projects to get you started. These just skim the surface though. There are tons of fine motor painting and other activities in our new book! 

Spray Chalk Splatter Painting from Cutting Tiny Bites

Marshmallow Painting from Therapy Fun Zone

Studying Spots with Seurat from Playground Park Bench

Fingertip Caterpillars from How Wee Learn

Textured Painting with Renoir from Mini Monets and Mommies

Qtip Train Art from Craftulate

Partner Painting from The Inspired Treehouse

Snap Paintings from Walking By the Way

Toddler Painting Activities from Mama's Happy Hive

Painting with Flowers from Outdoors Mom

Eyedropper Painting from Adventures of Adam

Painting with Feathers from Stir the Wonder

Birch Tree Art from Hands On As We Grow

Painting with Yarn from Buggy and Buddy

Pom Pom Apple Tree Painting from School Time Snippets

Splat Pictures from Mosswood Connections

Pulled String Painting from Inspiration Laboratories

Painting with Sunglasses from House of Burke

To find more fun fine motor activities, head over to my co-authors' pages (AND purchase our book! )

Fine Motor Color Learning Ideas from Powerful Mothering
Fine Motor Alphabet Ideas from Stir the Wonder
Storybook Inspired Fine Motor Activities from School Time Snippets
Fine Motor Painting Activities from House of Burke
Fine Motor Math Activities from And Next Comes L
Color Sorting Fine Motor Ideas from Still Playing School
Fine Motor Art Ideas from Our Whimsical Days
Favorite Fine Motor Tools for Science Activities from Little Bins for Little Hands

Print: Amazon
Kindle: Amazon

Get $2 off with the code "100fm" until March 7!

Fine Motor Fridays Pinterest Board

Continue reading >>

Dec 14, 2015

12 Days of Picture Books - Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa Review

(Affiliate links included for your convenience!) 

Have you been following the awesome giveaways and reviews going on over at the Penguin Young Reader's facebook page?  If not, you're missing out! Every day for 12 days, Penguin is giving away copies of some amazing books. Head over to enter now! 

The book that we are reviewing today is Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa by Anna Dewdney! If you haven't heard of the Llama Llama series, you must live under a rock. We LOVVVVVVVVVVVE these books. Seriously. Kingston is the hugest Llama Llama fan! Have you seen our Llama Llama footprint craft?! It's pretty awesome! 

From Penguin: 
It’s an exciting day for Llama Llama; he’s going to visit Gram and Grandpa Llama and spend the night! His first night away from home….and from Mama. But he makes sure to pack everything he needs. And there are so many fun things to do with Gram and Grandpa. It’s not until he gets ready for bed that he realizes that he’s forgotten something important. Fuzzy Llama! Fortunately, Grandpa Llama has a wonderful solution and soon Llama Llama is having sweet dreams.

What we thought: 
Well, it's no surprised that we LOVED this new Llama Llama title!! First of all, we are already huge fans. And second, Kingston is a huge fan of his Gramma and Papa, so he could totally relate to Llama spending time with his grandparents. It also inspired him to want to stay the night! (I'll be chatting with the grandparents about this! haha) Llama and his grandparents do so many fun things. As always, we LOVE the illustrations in these stories, and love the rhythmic text. This is definitely a title that should be under the tree this year!

Interested in seeing what our fellow bloggers have to say about these titles? Head to these blogs to read reviews of different Penguin Young Reader books, as well as get a different perspective on the ones we've reviewed! 

Sleeping Should Be Easy
House of Burke (THAT'S US!) 
Homegrown Friends
Growing Up Madison
Crafty Moms Share
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Inspiration Laboratories
Clarks Condensed
Book Rock Betty
Kid Lit Frenzy
Bored Mommy
The Delightful Life
Reads and Recipes
Omazing Kids
KidsCreative Chaos
The Chirping Moms
Hello Happy
Spark and Pook
Fun Handprint Art
Mama Smiles
Imagination Soup
Tots and Me
Design of the Picture Book
Gravity Bread
Creative Family Fun
Future Flying Saucers
Mrs. Karle's Sight and Sound Reading
Coquette Maman
Growing Book by Book
A Little Bit of Everything
Happily Ever Mom
Little Earthling
The Little Tourist

Are you following House of Burke? To keep updated on all of the fun, please follow us on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram!

Continue reading >>