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Naturally Educational » Archive for August 2011

Check it Out: Quoted in Parents Magazine

Check it Out: Quoted in Parents Magazine

Pin It Parents are often concerned about “brain boosters” and “school preparedness”. Part of my mission is to alleviate some of the pressure and stress we place on ourselves and encourage everyone to pursue the educational opportunities in our everyday enjoyment of life with our children. I welcome the opportunity to share my educational philosophy and some of the latest studies that show that reading aloud, play, outdoor exploration, and creative expression, along with plenty of love … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), Me, School Preparedness

Dinosaur Pasta Skeleton

Dinosaur Pasta Skeleton

We’ve been learning about dinosaurs and have enjoyed our visits to the American Museum of Natural History. The kids tried their hands at assembling a dinosaur skeleton made of macaroni. Pin It Materials: printout of the outline of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton clear plastic glue macaroni crayons, color pencils, and/or markers Directions: 1. Tape clear plastic over the printout of the skeleton. Pin It 2. Glue macaroni along the outlines. Pin It Pin It Pin It 3. Remove the plastic and allow to dry while you draw a prehistoric … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Science

Over 12 Picture Books About Dinosaurs

Over 12 Picture Books About Dinosaurs

There are a lot of picture books featuring dinosaurs but only a handful that use an entertaining story to share facts about dinosaurs. Most of the books I found are either illustrated non-fiction or stories that just happen to involve dinosaurs without sharing much factual information.  Here are some of my favorites. Pin It I’m Bad and I’m Big!, by Kate McMullan: Even the youngest dino-fans will enjoy these two tales. McMullan captures the voice of these … Read entire article »

Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Science

Websites For Teaching Children About Hurricanes

Websites For Teaching Children About Hurricanes

Pin It I’m waiting until the storm passes to discuss Hurricane Irene in more depth with my children–my daughter was obsessing about tornadoes months ago and I wanted her to get some sleep tonight! If we still have power, I plan on using some of these websites to help my children learn a little about hurricanes: Weather Wiz Kids: Hurricanes: Excellent graphics showing storm surges, how hurricanes form, and more. Experiments, including showing how cahnges in temperature … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Science, Weather

4 Picture Books About Hurricanes #Irene

4 Picture Books About Hurricanes #Irene

Here are some Picture Books About Hurricanes for kids. I didn’t have the foresight to check these out of the library this week before Irene shut everything down. So, the descriptions are from the publisher. I will update this post once we’ve had a chance to read these Hurricane books for kids. Pin It Hurricane by David Wiesner: The morning after a hurricane, two brothers find an uprooted tree which becomes a magical place, transporting them on … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Science, Weather

Dinosaur Fossil Imprints in Salt Dough

Dinosaur Fossil Imprints in Salt Dough

Pin It We have a lot of plastic dinosaur figurines from our visits to the American Museum of Natural History and we enjoy trying to classify them. Pin It For our most recent project, we turned them into dinosaur fossil ornaments. Materials: 1 cup flour 1/2 cup salt 1 tsp instant coffee 1/2 cup water plastic dinosaur figurines a little oil (any kind) ribbon (for hanging the ornament) Directions 1. In a large mixing bowl, pour in all of the dry ingredients. (We used 2 tablespoons of coffee … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Science, Touch

Help Earn 2,500 Books for a First Book Donation

Help Earn 2,500 Books for a First Book Donation

We volunteer and donate as much as we are able and literacy charities are very important to me as a mother and an educator. The evidence is clear: simply owning books helps a child identify as a reader and increases literacy rates. And the return on gains in literacy rates is huge. Pin It One organization that is putting books in the hands of low-income, at-risk children is First Book. “To date, First Book has distributed more … Read entire article »

Filed under: Volunteering

Water Fun Round-Up: Ocean and Sea Creature Activities and Crafts

Water Fun Round-Up: Ocean and Sea Creature Activities and Crafts

Splashing, swimming, and sailing, in sinks, water tables, pools, lakes, and oceans…studying sea creatures, washing, measuring, and floating…there is so much fun to be had with water! For the Water Fun linky of the Smart Summer Challenge*, participants really “dove right in”! (*rim shot* Thank you! I’m here all week!) Pin It Mathematics Beach Party – Naturally Educational Pin It A House for Hermit Crab Craft – Naturally Educational Pin It Ocean in a Bag – Pink and Green Mama Pin It Juice Carton … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ecology, Featured, Science, Smart Summer Challenge

Stegosaurus Craft

Stegosaurus Craft

We’ve been on a dinosaur kick for the last half year over here and I thought it would be fun to make a few dinosaur crafts. Pin It Materials paper plate paints googly eyes construction paper glue (I recommend a glue stick for this one; we like Elmer’s disappearing purple) chenille stems and a hole punch OR clothespins Directions 1. Paint the convex side of the plate and allow to dry. My daughter always asks if she has to “use realistic colors”. We talked about how … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Science

How Can Fiction Inspire Middle Grade Readers? Join Author John Bemis for a Live Chat

How Can Fiction Inspire Middle Grade Readers? Join Author John Bemis for a Live Chat

When I taught history in the classroom, I found that a handful of students came with a deep background level of knowledge of certain eras. Usually, they gained this information from reading historical fiction. The fiction narrative captivated them while the history lent meaning and realism to the text. Pin It I was very excited recently when I heard from Random House about the books by John Bemis. Bemis blends historical fiction with the stuff of legend … Read entire article »

Filed under: 9-11 (Elementary), 9-12 (Middle Grades), History and Culture, Literacy