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Naturally Educational » 6-8 (Early Elementary)

Growing Bean Plants

Growing Bean Plants

It is that time of year when kids grow like weeds and everything is verdant, sprouting and budding. We’ve been studying the water cycle and now we are learning about the plants the grow after the early spring showers. Question: How do seeds become plants? My daughter hypothesized that they need light and water and that the roots would come out first. Materials: seeds (we planted beans since they sprout so quickly) glass jar (so you can observe the growth) potting soil … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Science, Spring, Summer

Papel Picado for Cinco de Mayo

Papel Picado for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory over the French military at Puebla. Although the date has limited significance in Mexico, it has become a time to celebrate Mexican heritage in the United States. Interest in Cinco de Mayo increased during the Chicano movement of the 1940s. We made a papel picado banner to decorate our home in preparation for Cinco de Mayo. Materials: colorful tissue paper or thin construction paper scissors, punches glue or tape cord or string Directions: 1. Fold the paper in … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture

Earth Day Books for Kids

Earth Day Books for Kids

Many of our crafts involve re-purposed /  recycled materials and now that we are in full spring swing we are closely connected with the new growth going on outdoors.  We also enjoy picture books that address Earth Day directly or environmentalism in a more general way.  Here are a few of our favorites: The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, is the classic children’s story of the damage one person’s greed (the entrepreneurial Oncler) can do to the … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Spring, Volunteering

April Showers (Water Cycle Experiments)

April Showers (Water Cycle Experiments)

Mommy, why does it rain? Or, lately, the question is: Why does it drizzle, rain, and pour so much around here? April is the month of showers and we are eagerly awaiting the May flowers those storms will bring. We did two experiments to learn more about why it rains. Experiment #1: Cotton Ball Clouds Question: What happens when a cloud becomes full of moisture? Hypothesis: It will rain. Materials: cotton ball small tray or bowl filled with water Procedure: 1. Ask your child to describe … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Science, Spring, Touch, Weather

R is for Rain

R is for Rain

My kids love to water color, so we created water color letters for our study of rain. I outlined bubble letters–the word “Rain” for my daughter (4.5) and just an “R” for my son (2.5).  On reflection, I would have also made a lower case “r” for my son. My daughter painted “in the lines”: While my son opted for covering the entire page. Then, they each got to sprinkle salt on their paintings for a nice droplet effect. My … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Art, Featured, Spring, Weather

In Your Easter Bonnet, With All the Frills Upon It

In Your Easter Bonnet, With All the Frills Upon It

Although it may be a bit early for Easter, this bonnet is a fun way to welcome spring. We made this craft last year so I don’t have a lot of detailed photos but the instructions are fairly simple. Materials: paper plate paper bowl tissue paper glue Easter and spring embellishments (silk flowers, butterflies, etc.) stapler ribbon Directions: 1. Cut out the center of a paper plate. 2. On either side of the hole in the paper plate, staple a length of ribbon long enough so you … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Spring

March Lion and Lamb Masks

March Lion and Lamb Masks

We’ve been enjoying our March poem and updating our calendar with the lion or lamb to match the weather–and the weather has given us plenty of opportunities to choose both!  Last week we had 75 degree weather and then it snowed yesterday! We made lion and lamb masks to help us with our daily weather observations. Lion Masks Materials: paper plate orange and yellow construction paper, cut in 1″ x 4″ strips brown construction paper (for ears) glue (we used Elmer’s disappearing … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Spring, Weather

Books for Junior Ornithologists

Books for Junior Ornithologists

February is National Bird Feeding Month and today begins The Great Backyard Bird Count.  My husband and I were never avid birders before but my daughter showed an early and intense interest in our feathered friends. So, learning about birds has become a family passion. Here are a few of our favorite books for junior ornithologists: Bird Calls (Hear and There Books): A short riddle introduces eight common birds. Then, pull the tab to reveal a picture, … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), All Ages, Ecology, Featured, Science

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for Young Children

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for Young Children

I don’t shy away from discussing controversial issues, even with very young children.  I do, however, worry about intruding on their open minds with our adult hang-ups. My children do not need to be told that someone should be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.  To them, in their innocence, skin color is no more of a defining characteristic than height, eye color, hair color, or even … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Interpersonal

8 Favorite Christmas Picture Books

8 Favorite Christmas Picture Books

Last minute trip to the library? Check out some of our favorite Christmas picture books including classics and new favorites! A Christmas Carol: The original is, of course, by Charles Dickens. This version, illustrated by Brett Helquist, is short enough for reading in a single night with my four year old and retains the fascination of the original. The illustrations are perfect for capturing a young child’s imagination. As most adult readers know, Scrooge’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Winter