There Were No Grocery Stores!


This year our Middle’s history classes have been focused on American history and it has been so much fun!  It has been such a pleasant change to have a year long theme and it's really given the students a chance to grasp some larger concepts.  We’ve covered the 13 colonies, the French & Indian War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812. During the last three quarters we’ve talked repeatedly about the ideas of taxation without representation, human liberty, equality, geography, how different governments have been run in the past, and so much more.  


Today though I’d like to share about a different recurring theme - that there were no grocery stores!  I can not tell you how many times I’ve been faced with a room of shocked faces when they learned the lengths people had to go to for basic necessities or how many things they often did without.  More than one student suggested people should have just taken a ship back to England to buy sugar the week we made Plantation Muffins, which really weren’t so bad (  


Yesterday after reviewing key battles in the War of 1812 we discussed clothing.  How fabric was sourced (cotton/wool), how it was worked, and what steps were taken if they wanted a color other than white, grey, or tan.  Which leads us to this…


We started with a mix of vinegar and water (aim for a 1:4 ratio) and added red onion to one pot and purple cabbage to the other.  The mixtures simmered for about an hour before we added our white cloths. I pulled all but one cloth out near the end of 3rd block and you can see the results here, I really love the bright color the purple cabbage created.




The final cloth spent the the afternoon in the red onion dye but at the end of the day I placed it in a container with liquid from the onion and cabbage and allowed it to soak for about 24 hours.  Just look at that intense color!  All from vinegar, water, and veggies.


If you decide to try natural cloth dying at home let us know how it goes and be sure to follow us on Facebook to see what's in store for 4th Quarter.

Fall Festival 2017 ~ Behind the Scenes

Our Fall Festival was a fantastic way to wrap up 1st quarter!  We took our regular club day and kicked it up a notch with new games, crafts, and a yummy baked potato bar.  The teens in Trebuchet Club completed their projects and treated everyone to a demo.

Read on for a behind the scenes look at how we upcycled and crafted it all…

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Since all ages had anatomy classes 1st quarter we decided a skeleton scavenger hunt was called for.  After finding a printable skeleton that fit our purpose ( we printed 3 copies on bright colored paper.  All the pieces were then cut out and hidden throughout the building.  The kids divided into 3 teams and each team was given a paper skull.  They spread out and collected all of the pieces then using glue and tape they assembled their skeletons on large sheets of paper.  It was so fun to watch their frenzied search.


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Our bowling set was simple to make and the kids had fun helping with it.  

  1. Choose your plastic bottles, we liked the shape and size of these sparkling water bottles.  Simply wash them out and allow to air dry completely.

  2. Once they were dry we chose to add rice to give them a little weight and prevent them from tipping over too easily.

  3. Using spray paint made for plastic apply a couple of coats all over.  After the paint dried completely we wrapped masking tape around it in a wavy pattern.

  4. Add a pop of color with spray paint.  When it’s dry carefully peel away the tape and you’re ready to bowl!


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For a ghostly sack race start with white pillowcases and use black paint or sharpie to draw a face (don’t forget a layer of cardboard inside the pillowcase to prevent marks bleeding through).


Lastly, our DIY bean bag toss.  After browsing Pinterest for ideas we settled on using a large cardboard box.  Simply cut out your circles and reinforce with packing tape as needed.  We opted to trim poster board to fit the box and decorate that so we can swap it out with the seasons but you could easily paint your design directly on the box.  


Cut out squares of fabric. Place print sides together and sew 3 sides. Turn right side out and fill with beans. Stitch the last side closed and your ready to toss..png



Rather than purchasing bean bags we sewed our own.  It was inexpensive, simple, and quick plus a couple of our Littles got to practice sewing.




Do you have any crafty party ideas to share?