Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Changing your own Wiper Blades for Busy Mamas -A guide and a #Giveaway

When was the last time you got the wiper blades replaced on your car?
Personally I wait until they start smearing more than wiping and put it off a bit longer (because I forget until it rains several weeks later).

The thought of doing it myself was plain scary. I was worried I would buy the wrong size or break them. It didn't matter that I can put together kit set furniture or fix a sewing machine, the Car was out of my league. Until now!

It turns out there is a way to change your wipers without any stress and gain bragging rights for having done them yourselves! I wish I could take full credit for this discovery, but it was all because I was offered a chance to review a set of Wipers from Read on to for step by step instructions and a chance to enter to win a new set of Windshield wipers for your car!

How to change your own Wiperblades:

1. Visit and search for the model of your vehicle.

2. Select from one of the 4 options available (and the exact size you need). I selected the extremely affordable ANCO 31 ($7.95 each for our Corolla). There are three other options for more extreme weather conditions.

3. Don't worry about shipping, it's free in the USA

4. Don't stress about them not fitting, if for some reason they don't, EZ Wipers will give you a full refund.

5. Receive your wiper blades in the mail.

6. Return to for the installation instructions specific to your car.
If you are like me, you might want to print out the extremely clear photos and instructions.

7. Bravely march to your car with the instructions and blades, follow the five easy steps.

8. Find a chance to add 'so the other day, after I changed my wiper blades..'  into every conversation at your kids' sports activities (just kidding, I just stuck with raving about to my husband). have been generous enough to provide another set of Wiper blades to give away to one lucky reader. Please use the giveaway tools widget to enter. The giveaway is open to US residents 18 yrs + (void where prohibited).

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

The Nutcracker Ballet Unit Study (Make your own from more that 60 free web resources)

In a few weeks, the girls will be auditioning for their parts in their ballet school's Christmas production of 'The Nutcracker.' Miss K, especially, has been excitedly reading and learning all about the characters and their dances. It seemed like great great opportunity to add a Nutcracker Ballet unit study! 

Below you will find all the links to the free web resources we will be using. I have listed them by subject rather than by the order we will be using them. Including nine study guides from different Ballet Companies all over North America might seem a bit over the top but they are all different.  Be sure to check out each guide as they all have unique suggestions for activities, puzzles and games. Each guide also outlines the theatre, cast and crew for their performance. Some of the photographs of the dancers and theatre alone are worth pouring over with your kids! We hope you have as much fun as we will studying the Nutcracker! 


The History of the Nutcracker (the tool/ornament) at

Study Guides

Language Arts Nutcracker activities
5 Nutcracker Language arts based activities from the Union City Youth Ballet

Drama, Theater and Dance activities
Comparing Smooth and Sharp movements of Dance from Lesson Planet

Math Based NutcrackerActivities
2 Math activities for Pre K - 1 from the Union City Youth Ballet
Compare Nutcrackers with a Venn Diagram printable from Teach123
Symmetrical Nutcracker Activity from A Faithful Attempt

Science Based Nutcracker Activities
4 different areas of science to explore from Union City Ballet 
Learn about Clarks's Nutcracker bird at
Hands on activity to explore different kinds of bird beaks from Utah Education Network
Hands on activity to explore Levers in everyday use (incl. worksheets) from
Make your own crystal snow flake -an experiment from Science Kids New Zealand

Social Studies & History Activities 
Ideas about studying the history of Ballet and the Country of Russia (the origin of the story)

The History of the Nutcracker (the tool/ornament) at

Learning about Tchaikovsky
Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra -An interactive online book/game from the Carnegie Hall site
Hey Kids, Meet Tchaikovsky at Making Music Fun
A great collection of Musical instrument worksheets can be found at Enchanted Learning
Free 60 Pg Musical Lapbook Printable  from
Music Coloring Pages from
Active listening and Discussion worksheet for 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy' at Lesson Planet

Art and Crafts

Nutcracker Paperbag Puppet Printable from Jim Gamble Puppets
Make Nutcracker & Clara puppets with this printable from Lesson Planet
Recipe for Sparkly Sugar Plums from the
Recipe for Sugar Plum Fairy Cupcakes from the Cupcake Project


Ballet Lap n Note from Homeschool share: 
Topics Incl.: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, history of ballet, creative writing, positions, tutu 

Preschool Nutcracker Ideas and Activities

Nutcracker Cut & Paste Activity from
Nutcracker Montessori 3 Part Card Printables from Laura's Place
Nutcracker Coloring Pages from
2 Math activities for Pre K - 1 from the Union City Youth Ballet

Free Clipart and images to add to your project

Free Dance Themed B & W GIFs at ClipArt etc
Free Theatre Themed B & W GIFS at Clipart etc
Color Nutcracker image at Phillip Martin Clipart
Male Ballet Dancer Image at Phillip Martin Clipart has a lot of ballet themed images
Candy and Gingerbread Clipart at

Free iOS Apps

Monday, August 25, 2014

Learning About Careers in The Theatre With Poppins Book Nook

It was tough to decide which direction to take this month with the Poppins Book Nook theme: What will I be when I grow up? It was exciting to look through books about careers in our community.

The girls both had different types of ideas and so I decided not to cram it all into one project. The post today will focus on career in dance and theatre. Miss K (8) began taking Musical theatre classes, and she is 'hooked'.  They are studying 'Broadway Musicals by the decade, from the 30's to the 90s' to go along with this we are working on a unit study based on this amazing book I found on Amazon.

How Does the Show Go On: An Introduction to the Theatre  It gives kids a great view into how a modern Broadway show is produced. Its split cover opens up like a red curtain and begins at the front of the house and then takes you to the stage and behind. At each point, there are detailed explanations of the many roles of the people working and acting in the theatre. The book is extremely interactive, and there are playbills and tickets to take out and look at. There are also parts of scripts and directors production sketches and of course a lot of photos from many well known Disney Broadway Musicals.

We went through it quickly exploring all the pieces but now have started at the beginning again to study each role and part of the production in a unit study. I am making notebook and lapbook type components as we go through this book. With luck, I can soon share them on the website for you to use with your theatre fans and budding actors and actresses!

In the meantime here are some we have already found...

  • My new favorite Drama resource is It had given me the confidence to begin playing Drama games with the girls and we may even try script writing soon thanks to some great lesson plans they share.

Thanks for taking the time to join us this month, be sure to check out all the inspiration from all the other Poppins Book Nook Bloggers!

Follow all the Fun & Learning!

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you can also email me at couponkiwi at gmail dot com


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