Blueberry Granita

This fresh fruit sorbet is the perfect treat on a summer day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup lemonade
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze.
  2. Every two hours or so, scrape with a fork, then return to the freezer. Ours was the perfect consistency after about 8 hours.

My Tree Journal

Today, Travis embarked on a project that will actually be a year-long process: To find a tree to follow and document the changes and differences across the seasons. This beautiful project truly teaches children to feel the wonder of nature, connect with a living natural thing, and become observant little scientists!

It all started with a picnic lunch at our local arboretum. I let Travis lead the way to the tree he deemed worthy of our picnic in the shade, and that sealed the deal of which tree he’d be observing.

The next step was to check out the label under the tree; he’d chosen a sweet cherry! This was exciting, since not as familiar to him as a maple or oak. If you’re not at an arboretum with labeled signs, consider taking along a nature guide or check out websites to identify your child’s tree.

He immediately decided the tree’s name was Chersie and drew Chersie’s picture on the front of his journal. We also made sure to snap the first of what would be our seasonal pics, in this case Chersie verdantly green in summer.

Travis went over to the tree with wonder. “It spoke to me!” he said. I asked him what the tree had told him. “It said, ‘I love you’,” he reported seriously. My tree whisperer! We marveled at how the bark was rough in patches, but smooth in others, and at all the bugs that were making Chersie their home. Travis said he missed the tree already on the drive home.

Once home, we printed the Summer photo using our Zink printer, which he then glued into the tree journal.

I will update this post with pictures from the fall, winter, and spring, so stay tuned!

Water Color Paint and Salt

The beautiful visual effect when salt hits wet paint has some science behind it, too! Whether your child is old enough to understand the STEAM concept of this project, or young enough just to enjoy the art and sensory play, this is an easy and fun craft to do together.

To start, I set out watercolors and a cup of water for Veronika, and invited her to make big stripes of wet color on thick paper. As soon as I began narrating, “Now some blue, now some green,” she dove right in. “I’ll do blue! I’ll do green!” she said, painting over my lines.

The wetter the better, and once we had several thick streaks of color, I invited her to sprinkle salt on top. Of course for a toddler this was great sensory fun.

But the real wow is watching the salt absorb the water right away. If you then shake off the excess, it leaves a neat bubbled look in the colors.

For an alternative, we painted a second set of thick stripes, then pressed plastic wrap on top. Leave until the color dries, then lift up. The paint itself looks full of bumpy, crinkled texture.

Veronika was eager to return to the salt, and soon had dumped a whole pile of salt on the paper and painted it directly with drops of watercolor!

Then she wanted to stir the salt around with her brush, add more water, stir the salt some more, etc., all of which kept her quite busy for a while.