June 10, 2011

The Runaway Bunny

The weather turned beautiful (way back when) and I've been a complete slacker on our little curriculum.  (FYI: I'm completely okay with being a slacker under our current circumstances.  She's only 4.  Also, we are outside learning and playing all-the-time.)  But we have been working on our Before Five in a Row (B4FIAR) book The Runaway Bunny for a few weeks now.  We did an activity or two each week.

I would really like to stick with B4FIAR and put it into our daily "schedule".  (Isabella has asked to do more as well.)  Now that I seem to have more energy (running+eating better=sleeping better), I am not quite so desperate for a nap while Oliver is napping, so I can spend some of that time focused on working with Isabella.  I feel like I'm still figuring out our rhythm with 3 kids and good weather.  I know I'll figure it out and then it will all change!

My favorite part about exploring The Runaway Bunny is I was introduced to a bunch of Margaret Wise Brown books that I didn't know.  We now love The Important Book and we really enjoyed Bunny's Noisy Book.

With all the fantastic weather, I can't say I really got into The Runaway Bunny.  I think I was suffering from a bit of spring fever.

Here's what we did:

Playing the "If...then" game from the story.

Pen drawings vs. watercolor paintings

Matching bunny silhouettes.

Making "handprint" crocuses.

Our bouquet of crocuses.

The finished lapbook.  All printouts are free at homeschoolshare.com.

Granola Bars

In my effort to be more healthy, eat less dairy, and keep our grocery bills within budget (despite the non-stop rising costs of groceries) I began making my own granola bars.  I make a large batch which lasts about a week.  They are easy to make, easy to transport, and the kids will eat them.  A perfect combo!

I've adapted this recipe from allrecipes.com.  I use less sugar and oil, and I've doubled the batch in the recipe below.

Kiasa's Granola Bars

4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I'm going to use 1/4 cup next batch and see how it goes)
1 cup wheat germ
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups raisins (or any dried fruit)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease two 9x13 inch baking pans.  (I have a large 12x16 inch cookie sheet I use.)

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the oil, honey, eggs, applesauce and vanilla. Mix well. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.

Here are some fun photos of the kids helping make the bars:

Mixing by hand is really the funnest way to go.

Patting mixture into pan...using surgical gloves, of course.

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