Poinsettia Resource Page


University of Illinois Extension: Poinsettia Facts - Interesting facts and information about Poinsettias. Includes anatomy info, history of the plant, and number facts.

The Spruce:  Poinsettias - Keepers or Compost? - Caring For Your Holiday Poinsettia and Getting It To Bloom Again Next Year (How To)

Teleflora: Meaning & Symbolism of Poinsettias - This short article talks about the many names given to the poinsettia, some history about the person it is named after, and what it symbolizes in different cultures.

Why Christmas.com: Poinsettias At Christmas - Where this plant comes from, how it was used by other cultures, plus an old Mexican legend.

Wikipedia: Poinsettia - Description, Religious and Other Traditional Associations, Creation of the American Poinsettia Industry, Cultivation, Diseases, and Toxicity claims.


The following sites have instructions for how to make the craft suggested.

DLTK: Paper Poinsettia Flower & Poinsettia Paper Plate Craft

First Palette Kids' Crafts: Poinsettia Ornament

Planet Smarty Pants: Poinsettia Crafts for Christmas - 12 Crafts suggested, most made from recycled items.

Artists Helping Children: Christmas Poinsettias - Three poinsettia crafts are offered on this site: One using cardboard tubes, a coloring page, and a finger print picture.

Super Coloring: Poinsettia Coloring Pages - 6 pages offered.

Coloring.ws: Mistletoe and Poinsettia Coloring Pages - 7 poinsettia coloring pages offered.


YouTube: Poinsettia Playlist Learn about the history of poinsettia, how to care for them, make some crafts, and listen to a story read by the author.

Here's one of the videos in the list... How to fold a poinsettia flower, origami

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Gingerbread Activities

Picture by Becka Hons

Wikipedia: Gingerbread House  - Gingerbread house history, modern times, Guinness World records, and Gingerbread houses.

PBS: History Gingerbread - Article talks a bit about the history of ginger, and where the first gingerbread recipe came from and the inspiration to decorate gingerbread.

Fun Activities

DLTK Site:
Kidzone: Gingerbread Man Theme Unit - 5 Day Theme Unit and Resource List
Felt Gingerbread Man - Links to the poem and a mini-book version as well.
Gingerbread Man Dot Page - Printable activity page.
Gingerbread Man Activities - Clip art, coloring pages, recipes, and craft ideas.
Gingerbread House - Online Jigsaw Puzzle

Enchanted Learning: Gingerbread Man -  Site offers a picture story about the Gingerbread Man and craft ideas. Some activities may need a membership to print.

Mathwire: Winter Math Activities: Gingerbread House - Scroll down to the ginger bread house activities.

ABCya!: Gingerbread House - This site offers people a chance to build a virtual gingerbread house. Choose from an array of items to help you build and design a one of a kind house. Flash Player required to play.

Make Your Own House

Martha Stewart: Swedish Gingerbread House How-To - Scroll through the pictures to see how to construction this house using caramel syrup as the glue!

King Arthur Flour: Construction Gingerbread for Gingerbread Houses and Gingerbread House Cakes - Recipes

Food Network: Gingerbread House - Recipe

PBS: Zoom: Graham Cracker Gingerbread House - An easy to make house made from Graham crackers.

Little Red Window: Tiny Cardboard Gingerbread House - Instructions for making a gingerbread house from recycled cardboard.

Funschooling & Recreational Learning: Christmas/Holiday House - Make a holiday house from a milk carton!

YouTube: Gingerbread Playlist - Make an origami house, learn how gingerbread house kits are made, and watch an gingerbread house competition.

Here's one of the videos in the list...
History: Holiday Foods-Gingerbread Houses

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Carillon of Peter And Paul Cathedral in Saint-Petersburg
Wikipedia: Bell- Etymology, history, styles of ringing, church and temple bells, bellfounding and more. Also,
Campanology - The study of bells.

Owlcation: Interesting Facts About the History of Bells - Article includes information about: Introduction of Bells Across the World, How Were Bells Made, Tuning of the Bell, What Are Handbells?, Bell Towers, What is Bell Metal?, and a list of Famous Bells Around The World. Site includes photos and videos.

Discover Bell Ringing: Site offers a way to find local ringers, music of the bells, history of bell ringing, up the bell tower, learning to ring, technique of ringing, bell mechanism, and other bell related things.

Brosamer's Bells: Bell History - Offers a short article and a photo gallery of old bell information that includes pricing information, informative text, descriptions, part names, and more. Pictures can be viewed on line or downloaded.

History of Bells.com: History of Bells - Information about the cultural history of bells, and bell facts. There are more featured articles on the bottom of the page.

How To Draw Cartoons Online: How to Draw a Cartoon Bell

🔔🔔 Please use caution when downloading things from the Internet. 🔔🔔

Tim's Printables: Christmas Bell Templates, Colored Christmas Bell Templates

FreePatternsArea: Bell Shaped Christmas Decoration Craft Cut Out Pattern - Download the pattern, print it out, and cut it. Right click on your mouse to capture the pattern you want and save it to your computer or copy and paste it into a file 

First Palette: Bells - Offers a page with 4, 2, and 1 bell to download and use.

DLTK: Christmas Bells and Christmas Bells Coloring Pages


YouTube: Bells Playlist - This list includes more than 30 bell related videos about the history of bells, listen to bell ringers, learn how to draw bells, and origami bells, and bell crafts.
Here's one of the videos in the list...

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Note: If this, or any other post on Fran's World of Discovery, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Tangle & Zentangle Art

Art and meditation can take on many forms and Zentangle patterns combine both of these awesome things in a creative way. 

If this idea has piqued your interest, there are a few rules you'll need to know before you begin drawing with dots, lines, curves, S-curves, and orbs, and the sites offered below will help you gain an understanding of how to use them to create Zentangle art. 

You'll find some videos at the bottom of this post that offer instructions on how to make these designs as well.

Note: Please feel free to play with the concept of only using dots, lines, curves, S-curves and orbs to make art as well. Consider it a challenge to only use those things in a drawing!

To start creating, you will need: Paper, a pencil, a fine-tipped pen, and an ultra fine-tipped pen

You will also need: A ruler and scissors to cut paper into 3.5" squares or tiles.

Sites to learn from...

Zentangle - Learn how to get started with this meditative art from the people who designed it.

IAMBORED: 30+ Easy Zentangle Patterns to Give You Great Ideas For Your Own Zentangle Art - Answers the question: What is Zentangle? and offers some interesting pattern ideas.

Craft Whack: Inspired by Zentangle Patterns and Starter Pages - Offers printable patterns and ideas for making the designs created a little more interesting.

wikiHow to Make a Zentangle - Explains what a Zentangle is and the difference between a Zentangle and a doodle.

Renee Tougas: A Beginners Guide To Beginning Zentangle  - The author of this site shares her experience with Zentangle, as a beginner.

TanglePatterns: From the site: An index and graphic guide to the best Zentangle® patterns on the web and how to draw them. Also, What is a Zentangle? and why a pattern is not always a tangle.

Art For Kids & Robots: Totally Easy Zentangle - This site offers a couple of kid-friendly Zentangle activities.

Tim's Printables: Circle Templates, Pentagon Template 3", Triangle Template 3", Kite Template 3", Square Template 3" - Use the templates to design creative drawings within or on the outside of the template.

YouTube: Tangle & Zentangle Art Playlist - Includes videos for beginners and advanced designers and pattern ideas.

Here's one of the videos in the list...

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Note: If this, or any other post on Fran's World of Discovery, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Funschooling Geography

When you make learning fun, a whole new world of possibilities open up and things become much more interesting!
A subject like geography can be very hands-on and one-on-one experiences are really easy to accomplish. 
We find it fun to explore and discover our world in hands-on or experienced-based ways by visiting various places around us and on line. 

Here are some of the places we like to visit so we can learn more about them first hand:

Beaches, Intracoastal areas, estuaries, parks, preserves, historical places and monuments, historical areas around us, old trees, old streets, native American reservations, fresh water lakes, ship yards, different states, different counties, natural events or occurrences, wooded areas, forests, National parks, playgrounds, our yard, our neighborhood, man-made ponds, orchards, groves, zoo, fire stations, police stations, planetariums, science centers, museums, aquariums, recycling centers, farms, cultural centers, farmer's market, fish hatcheries, a pumpkin patch, space centers, air museums, pioneer settlements, preserves, etc..

Here are resource pages for some of the things we've covered that would be recorded under Geography:

The following links will take you to a post on Funschooling & Recreational Learning.

AmericaHawaii - Mayflower - Maryland

The World: Ireland - Ancient GreeceGreat Fire of London - Castle Resources

Animals: Click to link up to animal related posts on this blog.

Foods: Cranberries - Apples Chocolate - French Fries - Pizza - Oranges - Sweet Potatoes - Peanuts - Tomatoes - Beans - Popcorn - Corn Dog - Marshmallows - Strawberries - Cabbage - Pumpkins

Misc..: Volcanoes - Lighthouses - Chinese New Year - Rocks & Minerals - Outdoor Charades - Mummies & Mummification - Pine Trees - Leaf Hunting

Weather: Snowflakes - Clouds - Hurricanes - Meteorology - Sun Experiments

Seasons: Summer - Autumn/Fall - Winter - Spring - When To Plant

What is geography?

If you are open to the idea of designing your own one-of-a-kind study, then knowing how to record a topic may be important to you, especially if you need to document what's been learned for evaluations or record keeping purposes. 
In short, Geography is the study of the Earth's physical features, how people affect the Earth, and how people are affected by the Earth. This includes but is not limited to:

Mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, storms, climate, temperature, rivers, deserts, bodies of water, land formations, seasons, latitude, longitude, cities, buildings, digging, clearing forests, mapping, countries, animals, gardening, foods, rocks and minerals, etc..
Wikipedia has an Outline of Geography if you would like to gain a better understanding of the vastness of the subject.

Online Games & Resources

The following links will take you off Funschooling & Recreational Learning.

Cool Math: Geography Games

Sheppard Software: Geography Games

Education.com: Geography

Geography activities that are hands-on and crafty.

National Geographic: Fun Geography & Activities

Enchanted Learning: Geography Activities
Some of these activities may require a membership to print.

Mr. Nussbaum.com: World Geography for Kids
From the site: The Mr. Nussbaum world geography section features numerous interactive maps, activities and games, videos, research information, printables, and much more.

Mr. Donn: Geography
Geography, Lesson Plans, Games, Presentations

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Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Oysters & Pearls

WikipediaOyster - Information about salt-water bivalve molluscs - types, anatomy, etc..
Pearl - Information about the gemstone, pearl. Etymology, definition, physical properties, fresh and saltwater pearls, creation and much more.

American Pearl: A Brief History of Pearls: How Pearls are Harvested - Article about harvesting pearls, early history of pearl harvesting, and caring for oysters before harvest.

Sustainable Pearls: Harvesting Pearls - A short article about how pearls are harvested.

LiveScience: How Do Oysters Make Pearls? - How natural pearls begin in an oyster shell.

How Stuff Works: Animals: How do oysters make pearls? - Article talks about the natural production of pearls within the oyster's anatomy and how cultured pearls are created.

Oceana: American Oyster - Describes what an oyster is, how it grows/reproduces, and about depleted population due to over-fishing.

Metal Floss - 15 Shucking Amazing Facts About Oysters - This list offers some interesting facts about oysters, such as their ability to filter water, hold back fierce waves, their nutritional value, depletion and restoration projects, and more.

Ideo: Columbia.edu: Commonly seen organisms in Oyster Gardens - PDF: Information about creating an oyster garden - includes predators and reef associates. Includes pictures.

Original Oyster House - 10 Oyster Facts You Didn't Know - Info about oyster gender, oyster beds, human consumption, species, nutrition information, and more.

A-Z Animals: Oyster - Oyster facts, where they can be found, lifespan, color, food, predators, habitat and more.

Nat Geo Sites: Oysters - About oysters: As a food, habitat and range, shells, behavior, and threats to survival.

Rondale's Organic Life: 6 Surprising Things You Should Know About Eating Oysters - Farmed oysters vs wild and the best time to eat them.


Food Network: Oyster Recipes - Fried Oysters, Char-Grilled Oysters, Oyster Po' Boy, Grilled Oysters Rockefeller, and more.

Southern Living: South's Best Oyster Recipes - Offers a variety of ways to enjoy oysters including: Grilled, baked, as a pot pie, stew, and a few other methods.

NYT: Cooking: Butter-Fried Oysters - A classic recipe.


YouTube: Oysters & Pearls Playlist -  Videos include: How pearls are harvested, how pearls are formed, and how to shuck and eat an oyster.
Here's one of the videos that can be found in the list...

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Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Mummies & Mummification

British Museum
Discover Magazine: The Chemistry of . . . Mummies - Article - From the site: The secret ingredients used by Egyptian embalmers are revealed at last.

My Learning: A Step by Step guide to Egyptian Mummification - Offers a step by step process of mummification and pictures of Ancient Egyptian art. Use the arrows on the bottom of the page to go to the previous and next pages.

Wikipedia: Mummification - Discusses the process of mummification. Also Mummy - A longer article about the meaning, history, types, Egyptian mummies, Christian mummies, and other cultures. Plus the treatment of mummies in modern times.  Also, Chinchorro Mummies -  Talks about the mummified remains of individuals from the South American Chinchorro culture.

Ancient Egypt: Mummies - This site is fun to explore. After you read the brief article on the main page, you will see three words on the bottom: Story, Challenge, and Explore, click on any one of these words to start or continue your adventure. Each selection will offer you more information and some will offer another section to discover.

NOVA: Mummies 101 - How mummification works, plus a picture gallery.

BBC: Egyptian Mummies - Explore the fascinating and varied history of mummification across continents. There's an interactive Make a mummy activity on this site too. Also, Mummies Around the World.

The British Museum: Ancient Egypt - Mummification - Offers pictures and a little bit about the process of mummification.

Canadian Museum of History: Mysteries of Egypt - An article loaded with pictures.

Smithsonian: Ancient Egypt: Egyptian Mummies - After a brief article, this page has a large picture gallery.

Discovering Egypt: Egyptian Mummification - Offers mummification methods based on what could be afforded by the family.

Crystallinks: Ancient Egyptian Mummies - This site offers a lot of pictures of mummies and Egyptian art. Click on the links within the short articles/captions to learn more about Egypt.

Mental Floss: 15 Mummies You Can See Around the World - Offers a picture gallery and short bits of info about each picture.

Ancient Origins - Ten Incredible Mummy Discoveries from Around the World

Mummy/Mummification Activities & Fun Stuff

BBC: Make a mummy activity, played online. (Same as above.)

Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago: Mummy- Anubis leads you through the mummification process. Interactive site. Double clicking is needed to pick up most items.

Popsugar: Apple Mummies - Learn how to make Apple Mummies.

DLTK: Mummy Cardboard Tube Craft - Instructions and printable materials to make this project.

wikiHow to Make a Mummy Costume - Offers a few different ways to make a mummy costume.

The Idea Room: 25 Halloween Mummy Crafts & Treats - Mummy related craft made from recycled items, and fun treats such as cookies, cupcakes, meats and veggies.

Fun Family Crafts: Mummy - Mummy related cookies, decorations, treat ideas, and crafts.

GetColoringPages: Mummy Coloring Pages - 50 downloadable and printable pages.

Science Kids At Home: Mummy Experiment - Directions for an experiment that uses apples and a variety of salts.

Education.com: Hot Dog Mummy - Use a hot dog and baking soda to learn about mummification. This is a long term project.


YouTube: Mummies Playlist - Information about mummies and mummification, origami projects, and science projects. Here's one of the videos in the list...

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Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Chocolate Resource Page

Chocolate Information & Articles

Exploratorium: Chocolate - Discover.....The sweet science of chocolate. This is an excellent place to begin your study of chocolate!

Science Museum of Minnesota: Where are cacao trees grown? Find out here.

Field Museum: Chocolate - History, activities, process of making and much more.

Cornell University: Chocolate: Food of the Gods. There is a lot of information about chocolate on this site. Includes the history of the product, how it grows, health information and much more.

Washington Edu: Discovering the Sweet Mysteries of Chocolate - Brief history and the science of chocolate for kids.

AncientFoods: The History of and the Medicinal and Ritualistic Uses for Chocolate in Mesoamerica - A long, informative article about the history of the culture of chocolate, the cacao tree and its cultivation, iconographic and archaeological evidence, and medical uses. The same article can be found here: HeritageDaily: Medicinal and Ritualistic Uses for Chocolate in Mesoamerica.

Smithsonian MagA Brief History of Chocolate - Offers a brief, yet informative, history of chocolate. Also, Healers Once Prescribed Chocolate Like Aspirin - Article: (From the site) From ancient Mesoamerica to Renaissance Europe, the modern confectionary treat has medical roots.

Smithsonian: "Chocolate is a Fighting Food!" – Chocolate bars in the Second World War - This article has information about war rations offered to American soldiers and a story about the wartime chocolate memories of the author's grandfather.

The Gourmet Chocolate of the Month Club: Chocolate History Timeline - Chocolate History Timeline from 2000 B.C. to 1938 WW II.

Hershey: Our-Story - Discover Hershey: There's more to Hershey then meets the eye. Find out who Milton Hershey was, and how chocolate is made.

Cadbury: Discovering Chocolate - The Great Chocolate Discovery - This article discusses how chocolate was discovered, how ancient Mayans and Aztecs used it, and its introduction into Spain and Europe. 

Chocolate.org: Chocolate and the Aztecs  - History of chocolate, the Aztecs, and the Spanish: Introducing Cacao, Meet the Aztecs, The Aztecs Were Followers, and Chocolate Lives On.

Candyland Crafts: What is chocolate? - 
Facts, fiction, and history.

ICCO: International Cocoa Organization: The Chocolate Industry - Who are the main manufacturers of chocolate in the world?

Wikipedia: History of Chocolate - 
General information about the history of
chocolate. Also, Cocoa Butter.

Fox News Food & Drink: 6 of the World’s Most Expensive Chocolates - Find out what the most expensive chocolate is and who makes it.

WorldAtlas: Top 10 Cocoa Producing Countries - Information about the world biggest and smallest producers of cocoa.

Cocoa Project - This site offers different aspects of a cocoa study. 

FAO: Growing Cocoa - Information about growing cocoa.

Medical News Today: Chocolate: Health Benefits, Facts, and Research - Learn about the health benefits of chocolate!

US National Libary of Medicine - Chocolate in History: Food, Medicine, Medi-Food - Offers: Introduction, the concept of Diet, Chocolate as Medicine: the Mesoamerican Tradition, Chocolate as Medicine: the European Tradition, Last Chapters, and Conclusions: Chocolate as Medi-Food. This is a technical article.

PennLive: A spoonful of ... chocolate? Cacao has a history of medicinal use - Site offers a book review of: 'Chocolate as Medicine: A Quest Over the Centuries' -  the history of chocolate's medical uses.

Chocolate Activities

Chocolate Activities
Funschooling & Recreational Learning - Chocolate Activities - I offer more chocolate related posts, including resources and recipes such as a chocolate egg cream, chocolate covered pretzels, lip balm, bubble bath and a hot cocoa base here.

Homeschool Share: Chocolate Unit Study - Free unit study.

Homefires: Chocolate Curriculum - This curriculum was designed for groups or individuals. I wrote it, I hope you enjoy it!

Activity Village: The Chocolate Bar Game - A game played with dice. 

All Chocolate Kitchen: Chocolate SculpturesTake a look at some of the beautiful things that can be made with chocolate.

BoredPanda: 13 Of The Most Creative Works Of Chocolate Art - Site offers a variety of works of art made from chocolate.

Aol.Finance: 10 fun jobs that pay well - Scroll down to Chocolatier.

Chron: The Salary of a Chocolate Maker - Find out how much a chocolate maker makes and what you need to become one.

The Spirit Talks: Xocolatl Aztec Hot Chocolate Recipe - History about the drink and how to make it in a variety of ways.

Experiments in Tempering Chocolate - 
What tempering is and comparisons of different techniques to see which work best at home.

Business Insider: Cocoa Butter Prices Are Surging - Article about the high price of cocoa butter and what some companies are doing about it.

Glee Gum: Make your own chocolate kit - Interested in making your own chocolate? You can buy a kit here!

Bloomberg: Brexit Could Reopen U.K.’s 30-Year EU Chocolate War, Clegg Warns - Information about a modern day chocolate war.

All Free Crafts: Chocolate Covered Spoons - Instructions for how to make these treats.

Printable World Map.net - Choose a map to print out.

Ranker: Best Songs About Chocolate - Some songs may not be suitable for all audiences.


Cooking Channel:  Outrageous Chocolate Art - A short video that features some interesting items made with chocolate.

CNBC: This is the world's most expensive chocolate bar - A short video about the chocolate bar is offered in this post.

YouTube: Chocolate Playlist - How chocolate is grown and made, chocolate art, hot chocolate recipes, chocolate modeling clay recipe and how to, factory tours, how luxury chocolates are made, and other interesting chocolate related videos.

Here's one of the videos in the list...

You can help keep this resource updated by reporting broken links to me in the comments area. I'll get them fixed asap. 
If you have a chocolate related link to share, please add that to comments and I'll add it asap as well.
Thank you for your help!

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Note: Has this or another activity on Fran's World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!