Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stick It to Bubbles!

Sticks It!

Today we tried several different projects! 
We got some crafts sticks and popsicle sticks and they entertained to children all day. We also tried a new bubble solution and some painting as well. 

Moroni's stick bomb.
My girls are camping with their grandma for the week so it's just me and the boys. We decided to try these stick activities and Moroni loved them!We also talked about kinetic energy and problem solving. He did a great job. We spent hours just on this one activity. 

Useful Activities for Younger Children:

What shapes are these? Can you make these shapes? What other kinds of shapes can you make? Great for K-2nd. You could have older children make more complicated geometric shapes.

Which letters are these? What other letters can you make with these sticks? Great for children in kindergarten.

How high can you build a tower with these sticks? How can you build it so it won't fall? Use any method you can think of.
You could also have them do this in groups or in partners. Great for any age group.

This activity is great for determination and patience. It was also a great lesson in kinetic energy.

He got pretty creative with this.

Popcorn Party!

Popcorn Party!

 Introduction: The Book

 I checked out a great book at the library about popcorn. It is wonderful. The book contains a lot of facts about popcorn that could be a great introduction into many units of study including the first Thanksgiving, Native American Culture, American History and many others. The kids really enjoyed the book. It had some humor that they could understand as well. The book is quite long for young children though. I would recommend this book for children in 2nd through 5th grades.

Popcorn Popping Game

Try this game! If you have a classroom or large group of students sit in a large circle and sing the song together. Then have a few children in the middle of the circle at a time and have them POP!

This is a fun warm up activity for all ages! I think it is especially good for children in pre-k through 1st grade. The children really enjoyed it, and I think it would be even more fun with a bigger group. It would also be a great introduction for an ELA study unit. You could mix up the order of the song and see if the kids notice. Then have the kids help you remember which order the song goes (how do you make popcorn?). Then discuss how important it is to pop the popcorn following the directions. 
After this activity have the children write down their own instructions on how to do something.

Popping Popcorn!

We learned lots of facts about popcorn. Did you know that there is a certain kind of corn that is popcorn? If you didn't you really should check out the book.

We tried a new recipe! We madeDisneyland caramel chocolate popcorn found on the sixsistersstuff website. It turned out great, but it is very rich. Didn't the kids do  a great job? It looks delicious:) After reviewing the correct way to pop popcorn it was fun to have the children actually do it.

Popping popcorn, don't worry about the little guy, I'm standing right next to him.

Popcorn Olympics!

I found this cute idea on pinterest as well. It is actually a FHE lesson. It is from one of my favorite websites livecrafteat.com. It includes activities to do with popcorn called popcorn olympics. I tested the children's large and fine motor skills by playing some games with popcorn. These games were fun for all ages. The games included:
Popcorn Cup Drop 
(stand on a chair and drop the popcorn into a cup on the ground.)
Popcorn Relay 
(walk or run down to a marked spot and around something and back with a cup of popcorn on your head)
Popcorn Distance Throw 
(see how far you can throw a piece of popcorn) 
Popcorn Straw Blow
(put a piece of popcorn on the table and blow it with a straw to the other side of the table.)
Popcorn Mouth Toss
(throw pieces of popcorn into your mouth, how many can you catch in 1 minute.)
Don't Eat Pete 

My five year old doing the cup drop.

My ten year old doing the relay with a cup of popcorn on his head. This one was more challenging for my five year old, but she did well:)
These games were a great way to exercise motor skills and the children enjoyed them. I would recommend doing them outside. You could also adapt the activities to a certain age group.
For example: you could have preschoolers or kindergarteners use tweezers to put the popcorn in a theater bucket. For children in 1st through 2nd talk about why you cannot throw a piece of popcorn very far.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Harry Potter Day!

Harry Potter Day!
 I found a bunch of fun activities on pinterest with a Harry Potter theme. We made basilisk skin which required some science experiments. The reaction produced a bigger fire than we thought so we started roasting smores over it. I would not be able to do this project indoors in a school but it was a great activity and we may be able to do it outside. The children loved seeing how the chemicals reacted. Here is the address to the basilisk skin. http://www.mykidsadventures.com/harry-potter-potions/

We also made Harry Potter wands out of paper just for fun. "Stupify!" 

The older kids learned how to crochet and made Gryfindor scarves. This project was very difficult for the young children. My 12 year old daughter was the only one to really grasp it.
I found this worksheet on lessonplanofhappiness.com. This teacher did a great job on it.
 Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans 
We did some taste testing with jelly beans and experimented with our sense of smell. After taste testing, we came up with our own flavors for jelly beans. It was fun to see what the children came up with. I would definitely use these activities again. I think that the basilisk fire would be great for older children around 4th or 5th grade. I think that the jelly bean activity would be great for children from k-5th it can be easily adapted to any grade level, though the younger children would need help writing. It would be a great way to stimulate creativity for a writing assignment. 
We spent 2 hours on these activities.

Ocean Day!

It's Summer! 
I love summer, it is my favorite time of year, but it can get crazy if you don't have a schedule and plans to entertain the children.

Here is our first activity theme day:


We also made crabs and turtles out of seashells. The children loved making these but the learning component was harder to integrate. It was more of a craft project. The same thing was true for the toilet paper octopi, but the children got to be more creative with these. These activities took us about 3 hours to do all of them. Here is the address for the ocean jars: http://www.icanteachmychild.com/make-ocean-zones-jar/. 

Turtle Magnets
Turtle Snacks

We also painted fish with celery. I think this would be a great activity for a preschool or kindergarten class. You could use the activity with a unit on fish or oceans and read the book "The Rainbow Fish" and talk about differences and how everyone is special.
Celery Painting
The kids came up with some pretty cool mixed colors.
  We also made some cute turtle snacks. I think these would be great for preschool or kindergarten. They are a healthy snack to go along with a lesson. The snacks were made from apples, mini chocolate chips, toothpicks, and balls of honey dew, though I suggest using green grapes ( they didn't have any green ones at the store when I went.)
Crab magnets
 The turtles and crabs were made from foam sheets, sea shells, google eyes, hot glue, and paint.

To top off the day we had to watch Disney's Finding Nemo and talk about Dory's good advice to "Just Keep Swimming"

Create, Connect Collaborate

Hi I'm Tera, I love spending time with my kids and I am passionate about education. My kids think that I am a fun mom who likes entertaining them all day;) but shhh! while that is probably true, I also don't want them plopped in front of a screen all day. I want them to spend their time learning and exploring, so I develop activities to exercise their brains :).  The children don't even realize how much they are learning because, I believe that learning should be fun, exciting, and self motivating. 
So, here are my activity lessons. I hope you enjoy them and try them with your own children. Also, if you have any suggestions or would like to share an experience you have with any of the activities, I would love to hear them. Thank you and enjoy!