Two recent projects: Nesting materials for the birds, and facts about Vikings

Busy day today in the Conciliottoman family! We’ve been inspired by the Homeschool Makeover series on Hodgepodge (and by the somewhat frightening collection of things on top of my piano) to start trying to move SOME of our “living” into the finished basement family room. It tends to be a home for miscellaneous junk, but it’s a nice room and I’ll be glad to see it turned into a place where we’re all happy to hang out. Before-and-after shots will be coming, but in the meantime, here’s a quick look at two of our recent projects.

We were hoping at some time this week to get around to making a “nesting materials box” for our backyard birds. We got the idea here, and used some of our old dryer lint, a suet feeder we picked up for about $2 at Walmart, and some yarn (29 cents a ball at the Rescue Mission store) to put it together midweek. Homeschooling on the Cheap friends: This makes a great low-cost (and fun!) project!

Here’s the finished product, hanging in our ornamental pear tree near Ashar’s birdhouse.

Making a nesting materials box for birds to use

Can’t wait to see some prettily-colored nests in our yard!

On another topic altogether, I mentioned yesterday that one of the events Ashar put on our timeline was the first recorded Viking raid in 787. Kind of an odd thing to include, right?

Well, not really. Ashar got the idea from a project she worked on with Chris. We’re not even sure where this interest started, but Ashar has a figurine of a little Viking named Olaf, which came from Chris’ mom, and she wanted to draw a Viking ship to make him feel at home. So here’s what she worked with my mom and me to create:

Drawing of a viking ship

Well, all that happened back in January (read more on my husband’s blog, Papergreat, here), and a while later, she and Chris had a “Daddy day” and decided to create a Viking project. Ashar LOVES research projects, which I realize is an odd sentence to write, but she likes to collect facts and sort them out and write them down. Normally, she’s not one to “do” anything with all her facts – she’s not going to write you a report – but things like Powerpoints, lists, etc., are pretty common.

So they took another poster-sized sheet of paper, the same as the one the ship is on, and came up with everything from a “List of Viking Names” to “Viking Food” to “Viking Facts.”

Facts about vikings

Ashar loved “Gorm the Sleepy” as a name for a Viking. It’s pretty close to “Mom the Sleepy,” so I can approve. They learned how Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye got his name (from a birthmark around one of his eyes) and even what religious beliefs the Norsemen had.

More facts about vikings

Drawings are courtesy of Chris, as is the super-neat handwriting, but fun fact finding was a team effort! I can’t take any credit for this one, but I can definitely give it some props here on the blog.

What projects has your family been up to this week? What do you have planned for the week ahead?

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