Friday, June 21, 2013

I Love Field Trips

...Especially when that field trip is on a Whale Watch! Being a true Cape Codder, I LOVE being on the water. Though my parents never owned a boat while I was growing up, I've still been around and adored them my whole life.

Thursday, June 20, I got to accompany some students on a 7th and 8th grade Whale Watch trip and I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures. I wish I could share the pictures of the kids, they were so beautiful! Alas, that is highly against school we won't be doing that.

Here you can see a Minke Whale next to another Whale Watch in the distance. I liked the comparison you are able to make since it's right next to the boat.

No sea creatures in this one, I just loved the boat and the reflection of the cloud on the water

A Minke Whale friend who was mere feet from our Whale Watch! Stellwagen Bank #CapeCod

There she blows! A Minke Whale in Stellwagen Bank #CapeCod

This is a 30 ft Basking Shark. He got right up next to us, you'll see in a couple pictures from now. #CapeCod

A clearer picture. The white under his nose is his mouth wide open. Since Basking Sharks don't have teeth, they take in krill from the water to eat. #CapeCod

This guy got pretty friendly! You can see the railing of the boat on the left-hand side of the picture. Basking Shark, Stellwagen Bank. #CapeCod

In the distance, the building on the left is Race Point Lighthouse in Provincetown, MA, and the tiny grey-ish rectangle to the right is Pilgrim Monument, also in Provincetown. I really love the clarity and texture of the water, so beautiful.

A friendly boater living the life near Sandy Neck on Cape Cod, MA.

Sandy Neck Lighthouse, Cape Cod, lucky are we to live in such a beautiful place?!

Ahhhh these pictures make me feel so happy! I am so lucky to live in an area filled with such gorgeous, natural sights. 

Thanks for checking these out and feel free to Pin them on Pinterest!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Harry Potter Club

Hello friends! Today was the last day of my Harry Potter Club at school. There were 6 weeks of Potter fun; I loved it so much, that I really want to share with you all the activities we did.

Before this session of After School Activities, I came up with a list of things I wanted to do. I was also lucky enough to get a bit of funding from the program to buy some supplies I needed. I knew I wanted to make wands, make HP tee shirts, play some Potter Pictionary, Jeopardy, Charades, and watch a movie. Read this post to see how I did it!


Week 1: Begin making the wands (tutorial here!)
Week 2: Paint the finished wands
Week 3: Harry Potter tee shirt making with freezer paper stencil (tutorial here)
            Charades and Pictionary
Week 4: Tee-Shirt touch up/finish up
            Vote for movie
Week 5: First half of movie
Week 6: Second half of movie
            Special snack!

Pictionary and Charades

The Pictionary and Charades were SO easy to do. Ahead of time, I wrote out Harry Potter words on pieces of paper and put them in a little bin for the kids to pick from. Even if the same cards were chosen in both games, different things happened and it was very entertaining.

One of the cards said Fred and George Weasley and one of my kids asked me to help. She wanted to play the scene where the twins put their names in the Goblet of Fire, turn into old men, and start fighting. Of course, there was no real violence involved in our portrayal, and it was absolutely hysterical! The other kids guessed right away. I lucked out with some real HP experts for my first session!


The Jeopardy Game lasted about 15 minutes, I was shocked! Next time I would do much harder questions but most of the kids were in 4th grade, so I didn't want to make them too difficult. I underestimated them for sure! HERE is the link for the game. Bear with me, this is the first time I've shared a PowerPoint, and I'm not sure how it will work. There SHOULD be links set up so you just have to click the box with the amount of points to go to that specific question for that category. PLEASE let me know if it is not working right, I want to fix it so you can use it. I believe if you just download it, all the slides should work the way I intended.

BE WARNED! One of the questions has the wrong answer because I forgot to edit it. (When I was making the game, it was easier to make one slide with the proper edits and animations, copy and paste the whole slide a bunch of times, and then just change the words in the questions and answers, but I missed one!)

Freezer Paper Stencils

Here are some of the awesome freezer paper stencil tee shirts!! *Note: Not everything was done as a stencil, as the kids were free to add to the shirt after they stenciled

An awesome Death Eater and Dark Mark shirt by one of my Slytherin kids

A blue Phoenix

Black Dementor

This girl is an amazing artist. The bottom right is the sweetest and most adorable cartoon dragon, but I didn't get a picture of the finished product

Harry Potter and a Lightening Bolt

The Harry Potter logo

The Movie

Most of my kids were in the 11-12 range, so I wanted to keep it as kid-friendly as possible. We all know that there is much more killing and violence as we progress through the series so I let them pick between the first three films. The majority voted for the Prisoner of Azkaban! It was all well and good until this line happened: Marge: "If there's something wrong with the *****, then there's something wrong with the pup!" WHOOPS! Forgot about that little tidbit. It was okay. I just reminded them that this is British language and the context wasn't intended as a swear (I explained this in Kid Words, of course). They were quite mature about it!

The Last Day

The last day was low-key. We watched the second half of PoA and we split this beauty:

I kept it simple; just a Stop and Shop brownie square that I decorated with pre-made Betty Crocker icing. The kids loved it, and of course they all fought over who got the Lightening Bolt!

All in All

I really loved this club. I would do it all three sessions a year if they let me! I had so much fun with the kids, and seeing a younger generation appreciate Harry like I always have gives me solid confidence that it will be around for years and years to come.

As always, thanks for reading!


Magic Wand Tutorial

First and foremost, I'd like to apologize for the terrible quality of pictures. The only camera I had available was my phone, which has an awful blue-ish tinted flash. Again, I'm sorry and I hope it's not too unbearable!

I made these with the kids in my Harry Potter Club and they really loved it! It kept them busy and I liked that I did it in the early weeks because it gave them a chance to talk and get to know each other while they were gluing and doing the papier mache.

I did not come up with the idea for this on my own. I looked up a bunch of tutorials and I modified each of them and combined them in my own way. Unfortunately, I don't remember which ones I used but if I find them, I will put a link in this post to the blog sites.

Here are the materials you will need.

BBQ Skewers
Pipe Cleaners (aka Unicorn Hair, Dragon Heartstring, and Phoenix Feather etc)
Glitter (aka Magic Dust)
Newspaper (one full sheet and a good amount of strips
Papier Mache mixture (I believe I used 1 part water : 2 parts glue)

Next you want to tape two or three skewers together with a Magical Core!

Roll it up in the FOLDED sheet of newspaper. (You know how a FULL sheet is technically 4 sections? I just used HALF (two sections) folded into one section...if that makes sense.

Don't forget to add some Magic Dust and recite an incantation!

Fold the ends of the newspaper over until the crease is just about at the ends of the skewers. We don't want any flimsy ends to our wands!

Now we begin the papier mache. Just dip and wrap! Feel free to let the strips of paper soak while you're working on your wand.

I wrapped the strips all in the same direction so when you smooth it out, it doesn't smooth in some parts and wrinkle in others. Remember, from here on out, it's totally up to the Wand Maker! If your little witch or wizard is not following this exactly, please don't try to micromanage. Just let the tyke be and see what comes of it. Certainly, however, provide help when it's requested!

See how the left side is thicker than the right? The left is where my handle is going to be. (Note, I did let it dry over the bowl in between coats. I believe it's easier to do a little at a time so it has time to dry...then the wet stuff is easier to work with when it's not a huge sloppy, gloopy mess.)

Just keep working it until...

BOOM! Ollivander status.

Now for the bad news. I don't know where the picture of my final product is! I painted mine all brown (dark for the handle, light for the rest), added some silver glitter accents, and dipped it for a silver glitter tip (to look like Lumos!)

For the good news. Here is a picture of some of my kids' wands! They came out great!! My favorite thing, though, is that no child's wand is the same or even remotely similar to another's. Make sure you have a variety of paint and other decorating supplies you can think of so the Wand-Maker-in-Training can exercise full creativity! Aslo, don't forget that NO TWO WANDS ARE THE SAME!

These are the FAB wands my kids at the club made! I love how distinctive they all are!

This Bad Boy is mine! 

I hope you liked this tutorial and I HOPE you will make some wands with your fellow Potterheads.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to follow me on Pinterest!

xo Christie

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Weekend on the Cape

This was the first really beautiful weekend we've had this year! I went on a boat ride with my friend, Lauren, and I even got attacked by a swan! We took Molly to one of our favorite parks and had a really great time taking some pictures. It was gorgeous weather and I feel so lucky to live here!

Chatham, Cape Cod, Sharks in the Park Weekend!

Chatham, Cape Cod: Summer home of the Great White

My favorite shark with a beautiful mermaid painted on it

Chatham, Cape Cod: This is the father swan (Big Daddy) that smacked me with his wing. These guys are strong!

Chatham, Cape Cod: Mama Swan and her signets

Chatham, Cape Cod: Beautiful Sun Rays captured using my Polarized Filter for my Nikon. The filter makes all the difference!

Chatham, Cape Cod: Looks like we were on a jungle cruise!

Chatham, Cape Cod: This is my favorite picture of the day. Clear blue sky and a lone seagull soaring above us

Armstrong-Kelley Park, Osterville, Cape Cod: Little Miss Molly looking at the Koi Fish in the pond

Armstrong-Kelley Park, Osterville, Cape Cod: Hey Molls!

Armstrong-Kelley Park, Osterville, Cape Cod: Singing the ABCs down the wooden walkway

Armstrong-Kelley Park, Osterville, Cape Cod: Peace.

Armstrong-Kelley Park, Osterville, Cape Cod: Ha! I thought this was cute

Armstrong-Kelley Park, Osterville, Cape Cod: Molls, Tom, and I had a wonderful day at the park!