December Dollar Tree STEM Boxes

Today I am sharing my December Dollar Tree STEM Boxes. With Christmas just around the corner we have all kinds of treats around the house. I decided to challenge the kids to use these treats to complete some fun December STEM projects.

Challenge #1: Make a Christmas Tree

December Dollar Tree STEM Boxes: Make a candy cane mazeSuggested supplies:

  • Sugar cones
  • Frosting
  • Green food coloring
  • Assorted candy 
    We used: Red Hots, Reese’s Mini Cups, Reese’s Pieces, Mike and Ikes, Rolos, and M&M’s

Christmas STEM Make A Christmas Tree 1

December Dollar Tree STEM Boxes Make a Christmas Tree

December STEM Make A Christmas Tree Snack

This was a super easy edible craft. I think all three of the children had fun making it. Even Kenten who thinks he is too cool to do a lot of these projects now.

Challenge #2: Make marshmallow snowflakes.

December Dollar Tree STEM Boxes: Make marshmallow snowflakesSuggested Supplies:

  • Mini marshmallows
  • Toothpicks

December Dollar Tree STEM Boxes Make Marshmallow Snowflakes

Miss Julia had a lot of fun creating her marshmallow snowflake. I think she may have ate more marshmallows than she actually used to complete this challenge though (ha).

Challenge #3: Make a candy cane maze.

December Dollar Tree STEM Boxes: Make a candy cane maze

Suggested supplies:

  • Candy canes
  • Paper plates
  • Christmas erasers
  • Hot glue gun
  • Replacement glue sticks

December Dollar Tree STEM Boxes Make a Candy Cane Maze

This was Jack’s favorite challenge… Mainly because he got to use the hot glue gun by himself. He may or may not have burnt my fingers multiple times during the process.

Thank you for checking out our December Dollar Tree STEM Boxes.

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What STEM projects did you take on this month? Comment below so we can be inspired by you.

Did you miss our past STEM boxes? You can find them all here.
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Tea Time Tuesday Christmas Treasury Edition

Welcome back to Homework and Horseplay! As you can see I am posting our Tea Time Tuesday Christmas Treasury Edition a little late… Some how the day slipped away from us, so we had a very low key tea time this evening. 

Featured Book

The Golden Christmas Treasury: 25 Stories, Poems, and Carols by Rick Bunsen

The Golden Christmas Treasury: 25 Stories, Poems, and Carols

We are slowly working our way through our “Bookvent” (Not sure what this is? Check out my Christmas Traditions post.), and Jack unwrapped this book today. Instead of picking out a special poem for tea time we took turns reading this aloud to each other. I picked it up years ago from a thrift store. It has some really great short stories in it.

Featured Recipe

This week Kenten made us Peanut Butter BarsTo make your own bars you will need:

  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 ½ cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Bars is one of our favorite Christmas treats, but this summer when my trusty MacBook died I lost all of our recipes (among many other things, uggh!) so we had to find a new recipe. We tried this recipe from Culinary Hill today. Overall they were pretty good, but a bit sweeter than the ones we normally make. 

Our Table

Tea Time Tuesday Christmas Treasury Edition

This afternoon we cozied up in our school room… As you can see we really did keep it simple! We didn’t even set out cups or drinks. We still had a sweet evening tea time though. 

Thank you for joining us for Tea Time Tuesday Christmas Treasury Edition…

With less than two weeks before Christmas and Christmas break about to begin for us, I most likely will not be sharing our tea times until the new year starts. Feel free to look back on all of our 2017 Tea Time Tuesday posts over on my Tea Time page.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Traditions

 I had good intentions to post this on or before December 1st, but somehow time got away from me and I am writing it a week later than planned. Christmas, without a doubt, is my favorite holiday. We start decorating the first week of November, and spend most of December creating fun Christmas crafts and treats. This is also the perfect time of year to enjoy family traditions.

What are our Christmas traditions?

Back in 2011 when I began homeschooling we started a Christmas book countdown (which is apparently known as “Bookvent” on Instagram). I wrap 24 Christmas or winter themed books, and starting on December 1st we open one a day. Even though my children are getting older, Julia and Jack are both excited for this tradition.

We also have an “Elf on the Shelf”, but ours is a little bit different… Our elf is Christopher Pop-In-KinsHe is super cute, and Jack just loves searching for him every morning. Even if Christopher does get revenge when the kiddos are a little sassy like last year (bahaha)!

Elf on the Shelf Causing Trouble

So what are we reading for our 2017 Christmas “Bookvent” ?

Christmas Traditions: Bookvent

Disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

This year I wrapped up the following books:

  1. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
  2. The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
  3. The Golden Christmas Treasury: 25 Stories, Poems, and Carols by Rick Bunsen
  4. A Silly Snowy Day by Michael Coleman
  5. Frozen Noses by Jan Carr
  6. Clifford’s First Snow Day by Norman Bridwell
  7. Little Einsteins: Christmas Wish by Marcy Kelman
  8. The Littles Have a Merry Christmas by John Peterson
  9. The Nutcracker adapted by Bethany Snyder
  10. What Santa Can’t Do by Douglas Wood
  11. Jingle Bells by Darcy May
  12. There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Bell! by Lucille Colandro
  13. Mickey’s Christmas Carol by Ron Dias
  14. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
  15. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz
  16. The Littlest Christmas Tree by Janie Jasin
  17. Santa’s Noisy Night by Julie Sykes
  18. The Christmas Carol retold by Mark Taylor
  19. Clifford’s Christmas by Norman Bridwell
  20. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  by Rick Bunsen
  21. If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
  22. A Chipmunk Christmaby Janice Karman
  23. The Grinch: The Care and Feeding of a Grinch by Christopher Moroney
  24. Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini

Today Jack read this book by himself!

BookVent Christmas Tradition: What Santa Can't Do

If you have been following me on our homeschool journey, you know that Jack REALLY struggles with reading. Tonight he decided he was going to read our book to me since I was feeling a little sad about Julia leaving for the next four days to go to Detroit with her Papa… He struggled through a few words, but he did it! I am so incredibly proud of this boy. Although it has been so hard watching him struggle so much with reading and writing, nights like tonight make up for it. Seeing his confidence growing and the look of pure excitement when he finished just melted my heart.

This year we are also incorporating Christmas themed tea times…

So far we have had a Grinch and a Reindeer theme. Don’t forget to check back next week to see what theme we chose for Tea Time Tuesday.

What are your Christmas traditions?

I would love to know what specials traditions you and your family celebrate each year. Comment below!



Tea Time Tuesday Reindeer Edition

Welcome to Tea Time Tuesday Reindeer Edition. Recently I have been questioning doing Tea Time Tuesdays EVERY week, but this cozy afternoon reminded me how special these times are. We broke out one of our favorite poetry authors, Shel Silverstein, and focused on all things reindeer. Grab a cup of tea and your copy of Shel Silverstein’s poetry and join us for some reindeer fun.

Featured Poem

Santa and the Reindeer by Shel Silverstein

“This is the hour,” said Santa Claus,
“The bells ring merrily.”
Then on his back he slung his pack,
And into his sleigh climbed he.

“On, Dancer! On, Prancer! On, Donner and Blitzen!
On Comet and Cupid!” cried he.
And all the reindeers leaped but one,
And that one stood silently.
He had pulled the sleigh for a thousand years,
And never a word spoke he.
Now he stood in the snow, and he whispered low –
“Oh what do you have for me?”
“I have games and toys for girls and boys,”
Said Santa cheerily.
The reindeer stood as if made of wood –
“But what do you have for me?”
“The socks are hung, the bells are rung!”
Cried Santa desperately.
The reindeer winked at a falling star –
“But what do you have for me?”
Then Santa reached into his beard,
And he found a tiny flea,
And he put it into the reindeer’s ear,
And the reindeer said, “For me? Oh gee!”
And into the blue away they flew,
Away they flew with the flea.
And the moral of this yuletide tale
You know as well as me.

Featured Recipe

This week Julia made us Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies. To make your own Reindeer Cookies you will need:

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Chocolate-covered mini pretzels
  • Mini brown M&Ms
  • Regular-sized red M&Ms

Tea Time Tuesday Reindeer Cookies

These cookies are so incredibly cute! Miss Julia made them on her own while Jack and I were completing his partnership homework, and she said they were pretty easy to make (just a little time consuming). You can find the instructions here.

Our Table

Tea Time Tuesday Reindeer Table from Homework and Horseplay

Tea Time Reindeer Table

Thank you for joining us for Tea Time Tuesday Reindeer Edition…

Jack and Julia found it incredibly hard waiting to eat their reindeer cookies until Kenten was done ice skating with friends, but we laughed more than a few times reading Shel Silverstein’s poetry.

Waiting for Reindeer Cookies can be so hard

Did you miss our past Tea Time Tuesday posts? Head on over to my Tea Time page to check them all out. What fun Christmas projects and treats are you making this year?

Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Edition

We are early Christmas decorators here, but with Thanksgiving officially past it is finally time to break out ALL things Christmas. What better way to kick off the Christmas season than to have a Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Edition.

Featured Book

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Featured book from Homework and Horseplay

This week we are switching things up and skipping the poetry… We always start the holiday season by reading this book and doing some baking, and I wanted to share that tradition with all of you.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Featured Recipe

One of our favorite things to bake for Christmas is “Grinch Cookies“. To make your own Grinch Cookies you will need:

  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix 
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 6 to 8 drops green food coloring
  • 1 cup  Andes Mints, chopped
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • Red Runts candy

Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Cookies from Homework and Horseplay
You can find the instructions here. We do NOT add the mint extract because my children find them to be too minty and we add “hearts” to add that extra Grinchy touch. Otherwise we follow the instructions. We were super excited to find that you can now purchase Andes Mints bits now… No more chopping!

Our Table

Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Table from Homework and Horseplay

Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Table Setting

Thank you for joining us for Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Edition…

We are off to watch “How The Grinch Stole Christmas!”, and relax for a little bit before heading to Julia’s chorus performance. She had a performance last night as well, but I was one of the chaperones in the waiting room with the children. I can’t wait to hear her sing tonight.

Would you like to see our other Tea Time Tuesday posts? Head over to my Tea Time page.