Monday, August 3, 2015

Cagles Family Farm - Ag-Venture Tour Review

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

Cagles Family Farm is a family operated farm located in Canton, GA. Since 1936 this farm has been in operation and was a working dairy farm up until 1995. Though it is no longer a dairy farm, it still maintains a herd of dairy cows and a variety of farm animals. Present day Cagles is now used primarily as an agri-tourism venue for family fun and education. Their motto is "Every urban child should learn that their food, including milk, is produced on a farm and not just a product of the local grocery store." 

A moms review:
Escape the city hustle and bustle for some good ole' country fun. Cagles offers many great activities for families and groups. At Cagles you can get lost in the huge corn maze, visit a pumpkin patch, take a hayride, watch the herding dogs work, take a walk through a scary haunted barn and see where milk really comes from. There is so much to do down on the Cagles Family Farm.

The kids and I took an Ag-Venture tour at Cagles Family Farm. We met our tour guides Cathy and Oak (a border collie) outside of the red brick ranch house, which is where you also pay. While we waited the kids had fun playing on a very large antique scale located outside of the house. They also got to pet a few of the other border collies that were out and about. From there our guide led  us through the "Cow Subway". The kids found the large steal tunnel going under the road fascinating. And of course they couldn't resist yelling to hear their echos. We moseyed our way into the museum barn where our guide told us about the Cagles Family Farm history and their transition from a Dairy Farm to an Agricultural Farm. There are lots of cool things to see in the museum like old tractors, tools, milk jugs, antique typewriter and more. 

Next came the highlight of our day. Our guide led us to an open barn where there was several animals including the two cutest baby cows. She explained to us that they were Holstein Cows and that they supply the majority of our milk. She then bottle fed one of the cows which got lots of awww's from the kids and adults. She briefly explained some of the other animals that were in the barn and gave each of the kids some special leaves to feed the animals. In addition to the cows there was also a pig, turkeys, white ducks and a few chickens. My daughter was fascinated by the cows who loved to lick your hand when you rub their noses. And my son was fond of the pig who loves to be scratched and will even roll over on his side just like a dog when you do. I had to practically drag my kids away from the animals when it was time to move on. I really liked that above each animal they had a sign with some great educational facts which I could read to the kids. On our way to the next area the kids got to see and pet some of the BIG cows. The guide provided each child and adult with some hand sanitizer as well before moving on.

Next we visited Miss. Rosie's Parlor for a milking demonstration. But where was Rosie? The guide opened the barn door and had us yell, "come on out Rosie." We had to do it a couple of times and then she came running out and right into the milking stall. The guide explained to us that Rosie was a Jersey cow and that she was a little different than Holstein cows. The kids noticed that she was solid brown and didn't have spots. The guide joked with the kids and said her brown color didn't mean that she produced chocolate milk...but that she did give richer, creamier milk that is used in ice cream, cheeses, etc. I think YUMMY was the response from all the kids. The guide also explained how they milked cows in the olden days and how cows are milked today. Then she hooked Rosie up to the milking machine and we got to watch the milk shoot through the tubes. The kids even got to put their hands on the milker tubes to feel how the suction feels to a cow. My kids said it felt just like a vacuum cleaner. Guess what else? Rosie is expecting a baby!

Next it was time to board the hayride. Our driver had some trouble starting the tractor but after we all yelled Yee-Haw it surprisingly started right up. We took a tour of the farm grounds and stopped in a large field by a lake to view a sheep herding demonstration. Oak our border collie guide did the demonstration. Oak is currently being trained and had to be on a long rope lead but he did a great job of following his commands and getting the sheep back to their pen. 

We ended our tour which took about a little over an hour by visiting the goats. Another favorite part for my kids. Each child and adult received a handful of feed. There were goats of all colors shapes and sizes. My kids could have stayed there all day petting and feeding the adorable goats. 

But wait.....on our way back to the car we stopped for a little fun on the Jumpee Pillow. WHEEE! 

My daughter (age 6) whose dreams of owning a farm when she is a grown up said she "had the best day ever." And after her first visit to a real working farm she is even more determined to be a farmer. But she is still very adamant that her husband will have to clean up the poop.

Extra details:
  • Wear proper footwear like sneakers or boots. This is a working farm.
  • During the summer months the concession stands are not open so make sure you pack a lunch, snacks and beverages.
  • If your susceptible to headaches from certain smells I suggest sitting at the middle or back of the hayride so you don't get a headache from the tractor fumes. 
  • Pavilions and nice shade trees are available to eat under.
  • Ag-Venture tours are only offered on the 2nd and 4th Saturday at 10 am during the Summer months. However if you have a group trip you would like to plan they offer those by request during the week.
  • Outdoor Bathrooms and hand washing facilities are available. They are very clean and not porta potties.
  • The walking part of the tour is handicap and stroller accessible.
  • There is a dirt parking lot with ample parking.
  • They accept credit cards and cash.
  • Sign up for the email list to get valuable coupons. Also check out websites like Groupon which offer special offers from time to time.

Cagle's Family Farm
355 Stringer Rd.
Canton, GA 30115

Links to follow:
-Cagle's Family Farm Website
-Cagle's Family Farm Facebook

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Discover The DaVinci In You At The Discover DaVinci and Michelangelo: Side by Side Exhibition (Limited Time)

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

SPECIAL OFFER August 1st and 2nd only. Show the ticket desk this blog post to receive $10.00 admission. 

The Discover DaVinci and Michelangelo: Side by Side Exhibition is a very special traveling exhibit from Florence Italy which has currently taken up temporary residence in Atlanta. The Exhibition will be on display through October (possibly longer).  The DaVinci  and Michelangelo exhibition takes visitors back in time to learn about the remarkable genius of two of the greatest Renaissance masterminds that ever lived. The exhibit has been on display at various locations across North American for the past 4 1/2 years and is made possible by Genius Productions a nonprofit company based in St. Louis.

“Not everybody realizes DaVinci and Michelangelo were alive during the same time but were also bitter rivals,” explained Rodgers, “When discussing the Italian Renaissance you can’t talk about one without the other.”

A moms review:
After you check out at the front desk (and hopefully meet curator Mark Rodgers) I recommend taking advantage of the fun Mona Lisa photo op. After you are done striking your best Mona Lisa pose get your FREE audio tour ready for a total immersion experience or sign up for a docent tour which is offered once a day Monday through Thursday and twice a day on Friday through Sunday. Hopefully you are lucky enough to get a tour from Mark Rodgers the curator. He is amazing and full of energy and knowledge. He is so knowledgeable one would think that he somehow traveled back in time to the Renaissance to interview these two amazing men.

The exhibition is broken into themed areas, 5 themes for each genius. These include Michelangelo's life story, sculptures, paintings, architecture, artists bottega. And DaVinci's military machines, flying machines, nautical & hydraulic machines, mechanics and masterpieces. The exhibition compares and contrasts DaVinci and Michelangelo’s masterpieces that defined their individual talents and beliefs.

Some of the highlights and comparisons in the exhibition include:
The Mona Lisa – The Pieta
The Vitruvian Man – The Statue of David
DaVinci’s Ideal City – Vatican City & St. Peter’s Dome
Last Supper – Sistine Chapel
Battle of Anghiari – Battle of Cascina

The first section of the exhibit showcases DaVinci's and Michelangelo's life and several of their most famous paintings, including the "Mona Lisa," "Last Supper" and a picture depicting Michelangelo's life with Lorenzo de' Medici. Next you will explore my favorite part of the exhibition which are the original cast sculptures of Michelangelo's most famous pieces. These cast sculptures were created directly from the Master's works by the National Academy of Cast Making in Florence. Since they are original cast sculptures they are actual size and include all the fine details like the chisel marks. I may never get to Italy to see the original David or Pieta so seeing an exact cast of these two amazing works of art was truly an amazing, once in a life time experience. Did you know that the The Gonfaloniere Soderini of Florence wanted Michelangelo to change the nose on David because it was too big? Well you can find out what he did during a visit to the exhibition. And did you know that the Pieta was the only piece that Michelangelo signed? Visit the exhibition to see his signature.

There are several more DaVinci and Michelangelo paintings throughout this section as well. Do you know what a fresco painting is? Well if you don't you can learn all about them in this section of the exhibit as you get an up close look at details of the "Battle of Anghiari" and famed Sistine Chapel frescos including the famous "The Creation of Adam".

Next you will hit the front corner of the exhibition where visitors get to immerse themselves into Michelangelo's Bottega. Learn about Michelangelo's art studio, his tools of the trade and some of the old secrets and deceptive techniques. Also in this section are several of DaVinci's inventions including the life preserver, scuba diver, glider and portable bridge. And your children won't want to miss the fantastic hands on area where they can build a bridge, color their own Mona Lisa masterpiece, make a paper helicopter and see what these masters saw when they looked through perspective frame.

As you proceed to the next section you will see many more of DaVinci's Masterpieces on display. Each one is a spectacular high quality licensed reproduction with the sort of detail known only to professional restorers. They are even framed to the exact size of the original artwork. Before you make your way into the hands on invention section be prepared to be amazed as you stand in front of DaVinci's water pipe organ.

Finally you will make your way to the DaVinci invention exhibition which contains over 60 hand-crafted inventions that were built from Leonardo's 500 year old designs as no originals exist today. These displays are the life work of three generations of Florentine artisans, who have meticulously brought to life the creations by the brilliant scientist, inventor and artist Leonardo DaVinci. This exhibition is grouped into the following themes: military machines, flying machines, nautical & hydraulic machines, and mechanics. Some of the inventions you will learn about include the "bicycle," "spring powered car," "hang glider," "robotic lion,"  and the "air screw."  Each display has a 3D model of DaVinci's invention along with explanatory notes and illustrative panels with DaVinci's drawings.

I can think of no better way to learn about this Renaissance master than through a hands on interactive exhibit. Yes children (and adults) can touch and try out many of the 60 machines on display. Give the first ball bearings a spin, try out a lever, find out how gears work and slam down a CAM hammer. And if you have any car enthusiasts this is an excellent way for them to learn how the cars we drive today were inspired by DaVinci's invention sketches. This interactive feature definitely makes this exhibit a very educational and memorable one.

After you work your way through the inventions, which might take awhile if you have children, you will learn about DaVinci's and Michelangelo's impact on architecture. Yes these masters were more than inventors and artists they were also architects. 

Throughout the exhibition there are several videos for visitors to enjoy including a video by Mark Rodgers. 

I really hope you can make it out to this exhibit before it leaves Atlanta. It is definitely a can't miss event!

Extra details:
-Teachers and homeschool educators can download a fantastic free teacher guide to expand on the exhibition.
-The exhibition will offer docent and self-guided tours.  Docent guided tours are pre-scheduled and visitors can check the website or call for daily times. Self-guided tours require a smart device with Internet capabilities.  Visitors who self guide should bring their own smart device and headphones. Docent and self-guided tours are included in the price of admission.
-Photography is allowed.
-No food or drink is allowed. 
-Pay close attention to the little red and green signs which alert you as to what you may and may not touch.
-Exhibit is stroller and wheelchair accessible.
-Be sure to check out the really awesome gift shop.

1155 Mount Vernon Hwy – Suite 150
Atlanta, GA. 30338

Phone: 470-395-4888

When to visit:
Monday-Friday 10am to 5pm
Saturday 10am to 9pm
Sunday 12 noon to 5pm

-Adults are $18.95
-Seniors (65+) and teachers (with school ID) are $16.95
-Children 4-12 years old are $14.95
-Children three and under are free with a paying adult

Parking is accessible at the public parking lot available at Perimeter Pointe. There is no charge for parking.

Links to follow:

*Prices indicated in post are subject to change.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Brundibar Story and Opera - Overcoming Adversity

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

We had tons of fun with the Poppins Book Nook blog series last year and we will be continuing that fun all throughout 2015. This month's theme was, "Composers" Keep reading to learn more about the books we read, craft we made and grab your FREE journal page. There is also a giveaway at the end of the post! To check out all of our past Poppins Book Nook posts click here.

This month we read Brundibar by Maurice Sendak. This book is based on the Czech opera of the same name (which is slang for Bumblebee), with libretto  by Adolf Hoffmeister, set to music by Hans Krasa. The opera was completed in 1938, and performed 55 times by the children of Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp. Krasa who was Jewish, was also imprisoned in Terezin. He died in Auschwitz in 1944.

Brundibar is a great story and a good way to introduce children to the holocaust since the composer was a Jew who lived and died in a concentration camp. The story however is not about the holocaust and teaches important lessons on bullying, friendship, self esteem, overcoming evil and more.

The story itself is a simple one. It is a story of two children who must find help for their sick mother in impossible circumstances. The town bully, Brundibar, prevents them from reaching their goal until a bird, a cat, and a dog advise them to join with their friends and work together to defeat the bully. The children join together, and good wins the day. This is not high drama.

We also utilized our Usborne Geography Encyclopedia to learn more about Germany and the Czech Republic.

Other book recommendations:

-Second World War Cards
-Second World War Sticker Book
-Story of the Second World War
-The World Wars

FREE Resources:
Here are some further resources for learning about this book as well as the holocaust.

-Brundibar lesson plan
-PBS - Brundibar and holocaust lessons
-WWII films for children
-Brundibár - The Children Opera - Holocaust Survivors back on stage!!!
-Original footage -Hans Krása: Brundibár - children's opera and Brundibar Clip   
-Brundibar: A Children's Opera

For our craft we made friendship necklaces since friendship and sticking together is one of the important lessons learned from the book.

  • Yarn
  • Connecting puzzle pieces (we used what we had on hand...I would recommend getting blank ones like these)
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  1. Decorate the puzzle pieces and write "best friends," "friends forever," etc on the pieces.
  2. Punch a hole at the top of the pieces.
  3. String a piece of yarn through the hole.
  4. Give one piece to a friend. 

Free Journal Pages:
Here is a biography journal page and music journal page which both complement this book nicely. Download your copy by clicking on the the pictures below.

Here is a list of the wonderful bloggers participating in the Poppins Book Nook be sure to visit them for more fun ideas:

Note the Score with your Favorite Composer Giveaway!
Composers are important to music because they write the music the musician play in their orchestras, bands, and groups. This month the Poppins Book Nook is bringing Composer themed storybooks to life with fun activities and more! Every month this group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win the Note the Score with your Favorite Composer Giveaway. The winner will receive one copy of The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine. So let’s all get our instruments ready and bring composer themed storybooks to life in this month with the Poppins Book Nook!

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the PromoSimple terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here

Just enter the PromoSimple below to win:

Image attribute: Melonheadzdoodles CollectiveCreation

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sea Survival Stories - Sharks, Submarines and Ships Oh My!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

We love reading and hands on learning so of course I couldn't resist participating in another online book club. The last Thursday of every month I will be joining some of my Usborne friends in the Story Corner Blog Hop. Each month there will be a theme and I will share one of our favorite Usborne books and a hands on learning activity to go along with it.

Make sure you also follow my Usborne Facebook page where I share about literacy tips, book deals, giveaways, new arrivals, upcoming party information and more.  - Kathys Cluttered Book Nook.

This month's theme was beaches/oceans so the book I chose to share with you is called True Survival Stories. This book is part of the True Stories Collection which are great chapter books for children ages 9 years and older. True Survival Stories features 10 stories, 4 of which involve the ocean. From shark attacks and blazing airships to exploding spacecraft and sinking submarines, these are real stories of people who have stared death in the face and lived to tell the tale.  The book is a 100 page  paperback and costs just $4.99.

Picture of True Survival Stories

Be sure to also check out these other shark and ship resources from Usborne.

We decided to do a shark craft to go along with this book.

  • 3 Paper Plates
  • Wiggle Eyes
  • Markers or Paint
  • Glue
  1. Fold the 1st paper plate in half, this is the body/jaws. Fold the 2nd paper plate in half then cut it in half to make the fin. Glue the pieces together in the middle.
  2. Cut triangles out of the 3rd paper plate, these are the teeth. Also cut a large oval out of the 3rd paper place, then cut it in half to make the eyes. 
  3. Color or paint all the pieces gray.
  4. Glue the fin piece to the top of the 1st paper plate along with the eyes on each side of the fin. Glue wiggle eyes on the semi ovals. Glue the teeth around the opening on the 1st paper plate. 
  5. Have fun with your shark puppet.

Free Resources:
Head over to Camp Google and check out all the resources from Ocean Week including a live dive with National Geographic Explorers. (The live dive is over but you can watch the recording and still complete the activities)

Story Corner

Each month we feature different themed books and corresponding activities! This month’s theme is summer so make sure you check out all the other posts from my blogger friends!

Treasure Island-Inspired Compass Treasure Hunt from Line Upon Line Learning
Free Ocean Matching Pack from Life Over at C's

story corner

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Camp Google - 4 Weeks of FREE Fun Science Adventures #NGKinsider

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

I am about to leave for a a week long camp to become certified as an Outdoor Wildlife Leader along with my two friends. But I won't be the only one having and your children can experience a science camp from the comfort of your own sofa over the next 4 weeks. Khan Academy, National Geographic and NASA have joined forces with Google to bring you Camp Google. Camp Google is a 4 week online camp designed for children ages 7-10 years old. Each week will be filled with fun science activities and exploration.

Every Monday camp starts with a live adventure that you access right from the Camp Google site. Adventures include a dive into the Atlantic ocean, a hike up an active volcano and jamming with a music star. If you miss a week don't worry, camp activities will remain open and you can look back and relive the experiences at anytime.

National Geographic kicks off the fun on July 13th with Ocean Week. During Ocean Week children will go on a 1 hr live dive into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean with with National Geographic Explorers Erika Bergman and Sylvia Earle. The event will be staged from inside Baseline Explorer's Submarine 'Nemo' where Erika Bergman and Sylvia Earle will discuss marine biology, technology and then pilot an OpenROV pre-positioned several miles offshore and piloted through a wireless ethernet bridge.

Children will learn things like:

  • What's at the bottom of the ocean floor?
  • How are volcanoes formed?
  • What do astronauts eat?
  • Why does music make us want to bust a move?

All you need to participate is internet access and a few household items.

As children progress through camp activities they will earn cool these.

Google explains:

"To really dig into the answers, kids will complete hands on science projects led by experts - using supplies often already available at home - that encourage them to learn by doing, explore the real world and get a little messy. With every activity completed, kids collect special Camp Google badges and track the new skills they've learned along the way."

Watch this video to learn more:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the camp after you attend some of the session!

Designed By: Wacky Jacqui's Designs