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Constellations: Stars in Your Eyes and in the Skies

Constellations: Stars in Your Eyes and in the Skies

As far back as we know, people have looked at the night skies and seen pictures in the stars. Before modern navigation technology, it was essential for ship’s captains to know their stars.  Now, it is still a lot of fun to find the constellations in the night sky. This simple activity is a fun way to learn more about the constellations. Materials an image of the stars in a constellation (We used the constellation connect the dots … Read entire article »

Filed under: 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), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Mathematics, Science, Smart Summer Challenge

Mathematics Beach Party!

Mathematics Beach Party!

Beaches, water tables, sprinklers, the sink, the bath–if it involves water and getting soaking wet, it is sure to be a hit with young children…especially during the hottest days of summer! We were off to the beach yesterday and while the kids built sandcastles, waded in the water, and floated in an inflatable raft our friends brought along, I threw in a little math and science. Which molds better? Wet sand or dry sand? Interesting! The water helps … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Bodily-kinesthetic, Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Science, Summer, Touch

Skip Counting with Coins

Skip Counting with Coins

I have to make a conscious effort to ensure mathematics gets equal time in our house.  And, really, there are so many mathematics learning possibilities in play! Just spending ten minutes with dice or coins opens up a world of possibilities. We grabbed our jar of change and sorted our coins. Even toddlers (at least the ones past the mouthing stage) can participate in this step. Then, I printed out a sheet with 10 columns and labeled the top … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, 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

Balloon Obstacle Course

Balloon Obstacle Course

Today, please welcome the fun-tabulous Jamie of Hands on : as we grow.  She has a gift for sneaking authentic learning into fun, play-time activities.  While I am on maternity leave, I will be featuring a few inspiring posts from some of my favorite activity, craft, and education bloggers! Making an activity course is super simple and easy to do with just a couple of balloons! It can be filled with tons of learning experiences along … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), Bodily-kinesthetic, Featured, Guest Post, Mathematics

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

March Weather Bar Graph

March Weather Bar Graph

Just like we gradually introduce our children to the signs and sounds of language, mathematics pre-literacy is an important first step towards understanding operations and equations. A fun way to familiarize children with the vocabulary and tools of mathematics is to make a bar graph. We’ve done this before with Valentine’s Candy Hearts and for this activity we used our March Lion and Lamb calendar cut-outs. 1. Each day in March, determine whether it is a “lamb” … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Spring, Visual-Spacial, Weather

Hoo Do You Love?

Hoo Do You Love?

My daughter loves birds, owls especially. And Valentine’s Day is a time for sharing the love so we were very inspired by these Valentine’s Day Owls from Molly at Mommy Coddle. Owls are a perfect animal for Valentine’s Day because while most owls have round facial discs, the barn owls (sometimes called “monkey-faced”) have heart-shaped facial discs. We modified the design two years ago to create this owl, which is mainly my cutting and my then-two-year-old-daughter’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 1-2 (Toddlers), 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), Art, Featured, Mathematics, Winter

Yarn Pumpkin

Yarn Pumpkin

We made a yarn pumpkin, similar to this yarn egg we made for Easter.  This requires some manual dexterity and patience but it is very simple and relaxing and I think it looks lovely hanging from our chandelier! Supplies: Balloon School Glue Orange Yarn Green Pipe Cleaner Directions: 1. Inflate a balloon of any color until it is round. 2. Tie four strings around the pumpkin, knotting at the top, to create eight “sections”.  Paint the yarn with glue. (Note: I did this … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Fall, Featured, Mathematics

Apple Tasting

Apple Tasting

My kids love the opportunity to taste different varieties of the foods they love at local farms and markets. I was lucky enough to participate in an apple tasting with my daughter on the day I volunteered at our preschool co-operative. Once the tasting was over, the teaching assistant, who has an amazing traveling science museum called Science on the Move, whipped up a delicious peanut-free dip for the apples! Creating an apple tasting for your … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Fall, Featured, Home Arts, Mathematics, Science, Taste