Posts Tagged “Solar System”

Philadelphia Science Festival

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Philadelphia Science Festival is calling all families to #GetNerdyPHL

It is that special time again, when Logan Square transforms into a major science carnival with booth after booth of fun and engaging experiments. The Philadelphia Science Festival is a nine-day, concentrated focus on all things science.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Science Festival

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Science Festival

Join thousands of science enthusiast in #GetNerdyPHL spirit April 22 through April 30, with literally something for everyone. Science shows, special exhibits, demonstrations, contest and the amazing outdoor Science Carnival at Logan Square… no child goes bored.


Last year we attended an extension of the Philadelphia Science Festival held at Rowan University. My daughter had a terrific time with several hands-on science activities. Last year and in 2013, we attended the science carnival with my niece and daughter, and together – they couldn’t get enough. Here are some of our favorite moments:





For more information, please visit our write up from last year’s Philadelphia Science Festival event AND visit for the specific details for this year’s festivities. If you have attended in the past, what exhibit did your family find the most intriguing?  What are you hoping to see this year?

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Easy & Last Minute Earth Day Family Activities

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So you had the best Pinterest intentions, and perhaps you even got off on a good start – buying healthy ingredients or downloading cool craft ideas… but then Mondays are Mondays after-all and if you are like me – it just came too soon to really see all my Earth Day ideas unfold into awesome pin-worthy projects.  Well there’s always next year.


Just take a few for these simple ways to celebrate our great big and beautiful Earth and everything all around us.

1.  Plant a garden. Using items in your panty and refrigerator you can create a simple edible center piece. Here we used black olives, sunflower seeds, carrots, broccoli, grape tomatoes, asparagus, radishes and parsley to decorate and create a garden snack for our table.

2. For bedtime, read a book about Earth. Click here for a cute online version of What Does It Mean To Be Green by Rana DiOrio.

3.  Take a listen to some Earth-Friendly kids songs about plant life, animals and our ocean with Recess Music’s “Celebrate Earth” series.

4. Step outside and take in the night sky.  How full is the moon?  What shapes are the stars making tonight? Do you recognize any constellations?

5.  Take Five.  In the morning grab your coffee and your kid and sit outside to listen to the birds for five minutes.  How many different chirps can you hear?  Identify three different types of birds.  One my favorite five-minute time-outs is to look for rabbits.  Can you spot a frog in a pond?  Both require stillness and quiet.  Or take a brief walk around the block to engage your senses… what do you see, hear, smell and feel?  Literally, STOP and smell the flowers – just don’t pick them if they don’t belong to you.


Above all…  remember in the end – Every Day is Earth Day

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Our Blue Moon Journey Concludes… Until 2015

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Tonight’s sky beamed with the our long awaited “Blue Moon”. Hope you’ve enjoyed this experience as much as we have. We brought our Moon story to a close with more songs and here’s one of our absolute favorites – an instrumental piece.

We just sat and watched it play on the screen in darkness… taking in its magnificent beauty. Sometimes you need to slow things down to bring out the best. And sometimes you just need a great beat to enable the lyrics or lesson to stick… try Mr. Lee’s “Phases of the Moon” in a rap. We think it is rather catchy.

Speaking of the phases of the moon, here’s another great learning video from Songs Of Higher Learning also called “Phases Of The Moon”. Take a listen, we love this one too.

Of course we love the songs designed for the little ones like “Man On The Moon” and “Hey Hey Mr. Moon”.

We love reading as much as we love music and dancing, so naturally we continued our adventures through story time. Here are a couple more good ones to consider…

Full Moon Barnyard Dance by Carole Lexa Schaefer: Cute tale of barnyard friends pairing up and dancing by the river in the moonlight.

Full Moon Barnyard Dance

Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant: Beautifully illustrated, it speaks to the moons named each month by the Native Americans.

Long Night Moon

Night Of The Moon Jellies by Mark Shasha: Sweet story about a boy who finds a jellyfish washed up on the shore, later discovers its a magnificent moonjelly. He and his grandmother sail to sea to return it and watch all the moonjellies light up the water.

Night Of The Moon Jellies

Homeroom At Home facebook page offers more pictures and tips on a Moon lesson plan. Also, our main website offers video suggestions and reviews for the Solar System; click here to jump over now.

It’s been an incredible journey. We’ve enjoyed learning the ASL sign for moon and how to say it in Spanish (La Luna). Via and I have had a great time reading all sorts of stories about the moon or including it as a main story element. The crafts and music have been particularly fun. This is a fantastic topic with so many options for exploring. Parents, keep in mind that my little monkey is only two and a half, so I’ve had to dial our activities back to her age group and attention span. There is so much more you could incorporate with regard to a lesson on the moon… be it a weekend camp-out or a summer long adventure. Be sure to mix it up to keep their interest and allow their imaginations to go wild… after all that’s how we landed on the moon to begin with. We’d love to hear about your adventures, so please share your stories and pictures.

We conclude our festivities with a beautiful song: “I See The Moon And The Moon Sees Me” with great anime visuals.

Thank you for joining us on our “Once in a Blue Moon Journey”! #BlueMoon

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Hullabaloo Review of "Raise A Ruckus" CD

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Hullabaloo’s new CD, “Raise A Ruckus” (set to release September 4th) is an awesome addition to any children’s music collection.  Right from the start we loved this collection.  The third song mentions chimpanzees and so was perfect for our recent Monkey Madness play date.  We played all sorts of songs having to do with monkeys, chimps, apes, etc and so naturally I was excited when I discovered that Hullabaloo’s “Look At You” would be a perfect fit and of course a playful hit.

I love the title track “Raise A Ruckus” as it is catchy and fun.  Sometimes (and especially at the tail end of summer) kids need to just let some energy loose. Actually most of this album serves that purpose… to just have a silly great time.  “Bit Her” is about a brother who bit his sister’s toe – just silly.  “Trash Is My Treasure” is an adorable story of a seagull that recycles food scraps for his meals.  He finds yum-yums in dumpsters and local trashcans – again silly fun nonsense.

“Out Standing” is a cute song about playing in the rain.  Great for a rainy summer day when kids are stuck in the house, although be fore warned… they might just prefer to follow the lyrics and stand in the rain.  haha

“Rocket Shoes” will be added to our Solar System lesson as an entertaining song to keep the theme light and fun.  It’s exactly the kind of thing I look to play while doing art and crafts, or to stay with the theme without being overwhelming. It is essential to mix things up between stories, crafts, music, museums and this little number is perfectly upbeat and entertaining to keep their interest.

“Raise A Ruckus” is just fun and appropriate for kids of all ages.  I’ll be swapping out some favs in the car for this one…. yeah it’s that good!! Hullabaloo has some upcoming concerts (although on the west coast) but be sure to check out their website for information on performances and the their other CD’s. Their website is

(Disclosure:  I was given a complementary copy of this album for review.  The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.)

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Our Once In A Blue Moon Journey Continues…

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Our Blue Moon Journey Continues…

With the second full moon this month coming soon… we’ve been celebrating and focusing on our Moon all month long. We’ll admit that we’ve not made it outside every night and a few of the nights were too cloudy to catch the Moon, but those nights we had been successful – were well worth waiting for. Although my little one is only a toddler, we explore the moon and its phases – of course not in too much depth but at least more than “the moon is made of cheese”. I figure if she’s that interested and patient I might as well squeeze in a couple of fact here and there and eventually she’ll remember something factual about her precious obsession. That’s not to say we don’t enjoy all the fictional tales and children’s book for her age too. And a quick trip to the library provided us with plenty.

Crescent Moon CraftSo what have we been up to so far this month? Well, to the right you’ll find a simple craft we did using a black paper plate and silver glitter glue.  The best part is the visual effect if you shine a filtered flashlight over it in a dark room. My daughter really liked this effect. Throughout our journey, I highlighted the different phases of the moon as I could – and this was a perfect little exercise.  You can find more pictures of crafts and such on our Homeroom At Home facebook page.

We love dancing as much as crafts in our house, so of course we had to find some fitting music. Recess Monkey has a whole CD of outer space fun on their album “The Final Funktier”* but we were sure to play “Moon Boots” over and over again. You can enjoy it here from YouTube but we recommend the entire album. We also found some other goodies online to dance to and our favorite was “Phases Of The Moon”.

Reflecting Moon Screensaver

Via and I searched for online fun having to do with the Moon. Together we solved puzzles and shared some videos. An awesome website for this is Here’s one of the puzzleswe completed together online. She and I also searched for pictures of the Moon and a new screensaver. Here’s a picture of the screensaver we finally agreed on. She likes the reflection of the moon; I like the animated bird.

We ended up doing more online with pictures and games, than making crafts this month. It was still a very cool celebration. We also read many books about the moon. Here were some of our favorites so far:

Here In Space

The Moon And You

Goodnight Moon

Kittens First Full Moon

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Here’s to our continued “Once in a Blue Moon Journey”!

Be sure to check out the “Blue” Full Moon on August 31st. PS – it’s not actually blue although we did have an orange moon earlier in the month. And for more information on our solar system, check out our main Homeroom At Home site by clicking here.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post.  *I received a complementary copy of Recess Monkey’s album for review.  All of the opinions stated here are strictly my own.)

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Our Once in a Blue Moon Journey…

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What takes your breathe away? What distracts you in mid-sentence? For my daughter it’s anything in the sky. Yup, anything. She spots birds, clouds, planes but the most fascinating thing to her is the moon. If the moon is out – day or night, she’s found it. Sometimes driving down I-95 I’ll hear a squeal – “MOOOOOOON, Mommy!” What a beautiful sound and of course what a wonderful sight our moon is at any phase.

To embrace her fascination and curiosity, August starts the beginning of our month long journey with Earth’s moon. And it couldn’t get better with a special Blue Moon month. We are fortunate to START and END our journey with two full moons. This only happens every couple of years… 2.66 years to be exact.  The second full moon of the month gets the actual title of a “Blue Moon”.

So with this being the first of August, we’ll experience a full moon tonight. Then throughout the month we’ll follow the moon, read about our moon and create a variety of artwork around the moon… only to end our journey with a second full moon on August 31st.

Below is a picture Via took just a couple days ago. We hope to capture more cool shots of the night sky this month, as well as capture our adventures through crafts and artwork.

Here’s to our “Once in a Blue Moon Journey”.

Moon July 30, 2012

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Explore The Universe

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Here’s another DETAILED resource for teaching your school-aged children about the Solar System. Check out Questions and Answers SPACE as part of the Questions and Answers series published by Arcturus Publishing Limited. This book is colorful and offers a variety of photos and illustrations to depict planets, the moon, the sun and galaxy. I really like the Q&A style this book was written in because it makes for a very easy to read and interesting reference. Learn what makes certain planets blue in color, what the different crescents of the moon tell us, and what makes a shooting star. There is so much to explore in this hardback including satellites, space travel and asteroids.

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