What can you do with a cardboard box, wooden skewers, marbles, and hot glue? You can make a pinball machine! Over the summer, our family took a trip to Las Vegas. While we were there, Kat and I went to check out the Pinball Hall of Fame! We had $18 in quarters and a lot of arcade ambition, we were ready to go play some pinball! While we were listening to all of the bells and whistles and watching the cool mechanics of the games, Kat and I thought about how great it would be if we had our very own pinball machine at home. WeRead More →

On Tuesday nights, we head to the Phoenix Public Library to hang out at their Hacker’s Haven maker space. It is so awesome to see that Phoenix is funding these spaces for kids to get together and get creative! Hacker’s Haven is a place for kids, teenagers, and parents to gather and work with electronics. There are people there who can explain how to make circuits, how to use the electronics, and how they work. This is a space for kids to get together, play and invent on their own and with each other, in an environment that encourages hands-on learning and development.Read More →

During the last few weeks, I have been seeing a lot of pictures of robots made out of old electrical components. There are so many great ideas out there, and it is such a great way to get some use out of old broken electronics! One of my favorites was a little group of robots made from LED’s and Diodes. They had been formed into a band called LED Zeppelin.  They were so cute, I really wanted to make some!Read More →

Let’s get this ball rolling! I am fascinated with Rube Goldberg Machines. I remember when Pee Wee’s Big Adventure came out, one of my very favorite scenes was when he woke up, and this elaborate machine made his breakfast. I thought, how cool it would be to wake up to a pancake breakfast every morning, without having to do anything!Read More →

“We embarked on our journey to the stars with a question first framed in the childhood of our species and in each generation asked anew with undiminished wonder: What are the stars?”  ~Carl Sagan I love to learn about space and space exploration. When I was a little girl, I would wake up early before school to watch the space shuttle launch, and dream about one day going to Space Camp. I loved going to the planetarium, and I would collect star books and try to find the constellations in the night sky. As my own daughter has grown up, we have begun to shareRead More →

Last year, Kat and I enjoyed the fruits and vegetables that came from our first garden in our new home. We went through the trials and errors of proper watering schedules, organic pest control, and soil acidity. Some of our plants were very fruitful while others were not, and we ate and learned our way through our first big garden project. This year, I was struck by inspiration while reading a bedtime story to Kat. We had been reading “The Secret Garden” by Francis Hodgson Burnett, and Kat loved the idea of a special place the children could call their own while they played outsideRead More →

Last week, my daughter began working with maps. We printed out a ton of worksheets that went over the concepts of directions, map keys, and using pictures to represent places. We drew maps of our house, of our bedrooms, and we put things in the wrong areas to try to trick each other. Throughout the day, directions were a main focus. If we drove to the store, we would call out directions as we went. While we were walking to the park, we would talk about the directions we were going as we walked. After spending all day learning about directions, maps, and how theyRead More →

Homeschool at my house often involves two things: big projects and workbooks. Today, we’ve decided to incorporate both. She has been progressing rather well in math lately. We work on basic addition using number lines, groups of objects, and whatever else we can think of to hone in her adding skills. Lately, we’ve been working on the place values of ones, tens, and one hundreds. While she’s great at recognizing two and three digit numbers, the concepts of tens and hundreds place, and what they represent were a little difficult to understand at first.Read More →