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Rainbow Scavenger Hunt Hike in the Woods

Rainbow Scavenger Hunt Hike in the Woods

Can you find all the colors of the rainbow in the woods? We go on hikes and nature walks almost every weekend and love to find ways to keep things fresh for the kids. A themed scavenger hunt can turn your walk in the forest into a learning adventure. With younger kids, you can begin by looking for a rainbow. Red Trail Marker Red Fire Thorn Berries Orange Mushrooms Orange Lilies Yellow Black-Eyed Susans (plus Violet Cone Flowers) All the greenery that … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Ecology, Featured, Sight, Smart Summer Challenge, Visual-Spacial

Week 3 #SmartSummer Linky: Backyard Science + Government Week Round-Up

Week 3 #SmartSummer Linky: Backyard Science + Government Week Round-Up

Show us how you’re having a Smart Summer in your own backyard! This week’s prize is from one of my favorite fair-trade, eco-friendly kids’ toys boutiques. Our theme for this week was Backyard Science…and we had lots of fun exploring in our own backyard!  I can’t wait to hear what you have been doing to find the learning opportunities in the everyday. I had highlighted posts from the previous week’s linky to but for clarity’s sake, … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Smart Summer Challenge

The Butterfly Life Cycle

The Butterfly Life Cycle

We’ve visited our local vivarium and are fascinated by butterflies.  To get a closer look at the butterfly life cycle, we ordered the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden from Amazon and then went onto Insect Lore’s site to order the caterpillars (an extra $5 handling fee). The kids were thrilled to open the package and check out our five little larvae (i.e.: caterpillars). Our tiny caterpillars got bigger and fatter–just like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And they spun … Read entire article »

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

#SmartSummer Week 2 Government Linky

#SmartSummer Week 2 Government Linky

Show us how you’re having a Smart Summer! I had highlighted posts from the previous week’s linky to but for clarity’s sake, I’ve moved the round-ups to their own posts: Me on the Map Round-Up Government, Patriotism, and Currency Round-Up I’ve been sharing my family’s Smart Summer activities this week for our Government theme: exercising our democratic right to vote for our favorite ice cream flavor, skip counting coins, We’re also planning on making statue of liberty headbands, finding out … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Featured, Geography, History and Culture, Smart Summer Challenge, Visual-Spacial

Delicious Democracy

Delicious Democracy

How do you communicate the basis of democracy to the under 5 crowd? With ice cream, of course! I checked in with my daughter to see if she knows who is president (she does) and how he got to be president (she did not). I explained that people vote for the president.  We skipped over the whole “electoral college” thing but I’ll explain later how you could make that a part of this activity for older kids. Then, … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Fall, Featured, History and Culture, Interpersonal, Smart Summer Challenge

Mapping a Nature Hike #SmartSummer

Mapping a Nature Hike #SmartSummer

Knowledge is supposed to enrich our lives, not just reside in dusty books (or hypnotic bits and bytes). So, we took our map skills on the road and used them to explore a “new to us” nature trail. Check out this map! Ain’t she a beaut? Most of the trail maps we encounter are faded, sad affairs. Not this one. This one has a lovely compass rose for finding directions, words for … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Bodily-kinesthetic, Ecology, Featured, Geography, Interpersonal, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Smart Summer Challenge, Visual-Spacial

Smart Summer Challenge Linky – Week #1 #SmartSummer

Smart Summer Challenge Linky – Week #1 #SmartSummer

Show us how you’re having a Smart Summer! I’ve been sharing my family’s Smart Summer activities this week: painting life-sized portraits, reading picture books about cartography, mapping our neighborhood, listening to world beats, and using maps to navigate nature walks. [Update: I've highlighted some posts from this week at a Me on the Map Linky Round-Up] We’d love for you to share your ideas–you can add a link to a post on your blog or even a photo … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Geography, Smart Summer Challenge

Moving and Grooving to Music Around the World #SmartSummer

Moving and Grooving to Music Around the World #SmartSummer

Music is a big part of our lives. My grandfather was a professional musician and my daughter loves to play piano. And music is a fun way to gain insight into other societies.  As part of my study of history, I delved into how music reflects culture. So, as part of our Me on the Map week, we enjoyed traditional music from around the globe! Since this (history and culture through the lens of art) is my … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Bodily-kinesthetic, Featured, Geography, History and Culture, Music, Musical, Performing Arts and Theater, Smart Summer Challenge, Sound

Me on the Map – Smart Summer Challenge Week 1 #SmartSummer

Me on the Map – Smart Summer Challenge Week 1 #SmartSummer

The first Smart Summer Challenge theme is “Me on the Map”! What is the Smart Summer Challenge? Amy of teachmama.com, MaryLea of Pink and Green Mama, and I are challenging our community to beat the “summer slide” (the learning loss that can happen over the summer). Starting MONDAY, June 27, we’ll be posting our activities daily, loosely following this calendar of educational summer ideas, and hosting a weekly linky (with PRIZES) for other bloggers to share their … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Geography, History and Culture, Smart Summer Challenge

Is Homework Worthwhile?

Is Homework Worthwhile?

My almost five year old daughter is too young for homework–or at least that is what I believe.  She’s picked up on the idea somewhere, though, and has introduced it into her play: “My homework today is to dance!” When my son, almost three, mimicked her, “My homework is to throw this ball,” his sister replied, “You’re too young for homework!” But is homework an effective learning tool at any age? Homework’s Effect is Negligible…Except in Math An interesting … Read entire article »

Filed under: Academic Achievement, All Ages, Mathematics