Fun with the kids for Halloween (or anytime).

Tell Jokes With Body Language
It's no secret that kids get a kick out of physical humor, especially when body parts are the jokesters. These classics are sure to amuse -- and make for truly unforgettable home videos and snapshots. Send pictures of your Mr or Ms or Miss and we will post them.
Mr. Hand
Get out the body crayons and draw lips where your thumb and forefinger meet. Add more facial features, then see if the hand can manage a tongue twister or two: try the classic "Unique New York," or the absurd "Girl Gargoyle, Guy Gargoyle."
Chin Puppets
Have one family member lie on a bed on her back with her head hanging over the side, a cloth draped over her body and a bandanna wrapped around her face. Use body crayons to draw eyes on her chin, then have her talk and sing to her heart's -- or is that chin's? -- content.
Belly Laughs
Draw a face on a volunteer's tummy using body crayons, with the belly button as the mouth. Now have him grab his belly with both hands and make it talk, scream, and tell jokes. Little kids, who think tummies are inherently funny, find this especially hilarious.
** This photo originally appeared in FamilyFun Magazine
Courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine

Pipe Cleaner Creatures


Pipe Cleaner Creatures


The folks at Martha Stewart have come up with some really cute pipe cleaner creatures. Use their ideas to creat your own Good Guys in the Garden.... things like bees and butterflies and ladybugs. Send us pictures of what you create.



Make a Scarecrow

Scarecrows Dressed for Halloween?


Who would have thought that last year’s costumes could become this year’s scarecrow clothing? The junior gardeners at Marblehead Elementary School think this form of recycle-reduce-reuse is not only fun and creative, it also helps protect their garden from unwanted visitors!


Students worked in groups with teachers and volunteers to engineer scarecrows out of PVC pipe for their monthly after school garden workday. After putting them together, they decorated them in re-used costumes, topped them with pumpkin heads, and then discussed why gardens need scarecrows. In their school garden, Kinder through 5th grade students grow veggies for eating, discover nature through butterflies and life cycles, and learn about plant adaptations through native plants.


Making a PVC scarecrow is a fun and simple project that can be done at school or at home with kids and grandkids. It takes just a couple of hours and when you involve children in the process of planning and construction it is a great opportunity to engage them in growing and caring for the garden throughout the year. Dressing scarecrows in a theme and changing clothes with the seasons can help to sustain their interest, especially during times that little is happening.

Bluebird Houses

Bluebird Conservation

...a student's adventures with bluebirds


There was a time in the 1980’s when the Western Bluebird population in Orange County, California consisted of only 10 breeding pairs. It was at that time that bluebird enthusiasts like Richard Purvis began the work of conservation. Richard’s experiences as a child in Georgia ignited his passion for the birds. In 1984, he hung and began monitoring his first bluebird nest box in Orange County, California at O’Neill Regional Park. A group of enthusiasts, led by Richard, formed the Southern California Bluebird Club (SCBC) in 2006. A year later, the group's nest boxes fledged 5,200 nestlings!


In 2012, San Clemente High School student Will Cox (photo on left) knew very little about the bluebird’s plight until he contacted the SCBC. After learning about the challenges these cavity nesters face through habitat loss, threats from other more aggressive cavity nesters, and environmental pollution, commonly in the form of Easter grass, Will decided to focus his Sea Scout Quartermaster service project on a team build of bluebird nesting boxes.



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