Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Soccer Sight Words (free printable game)


To give my kindergartner a little sight word practice, I created a BINGO-like game for us to play. He's more than a little obsessed with soccer lately (apparently it's the game of choice for kinder boys at recess), so I thought I'd capitalize on this new interest.


Soccer Sight Words is a simple game. Not practicing sight words right now? No problem, the PDF I made includes some blank cards for you to customize.

Prep
Download the game free from Google Drive here.
Print on heavyweight cardstock.


If you plan to play the game again and again, laminate the playing cards.
Cut apart the sight words and scramble them in a bowl.


Grab something to write with, small buttons, or if you've laminated, fine-tip dry erase markers.

Play
Players pick their own game card. One by one, a sight word is pulled from the bowl. If players have this word on one of the three soccer balls on their card, they note that by placing a small game piece like a button over it or by crossing through it with a pen/marker.


The first player to have all the words covered on one of their game card's soccer balls is the winner!

Monday, September 28, 2015

After School Linky (9-28)

Welcome to the party!


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to a great week ahead.

Here are a few of my favorite activities shared during last week's party.


ay Sound game from Boy Mama Teacher Mama




LEGO Math - Learning Money from Tree Valley Academy

The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational
We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks.


Friday, September 25, 2015

How many drops of water fit on a penny? (A Surface Tension Experiment)


My 10-year-old wanted nothing to do with this activity. How's that for honesty, eh? But he grudgingly saddled up to the stool at our counter top when a spark of curiosity ignited at the sight of a penny, eye dropper, and glass of water.

This simple experiment elicited a, "WHOA! That's cool," from a boy who was too impressed to remember he was supposed to be cranky. 

I love when that happens.


To start I asked my son how many drops of water he thought will fit on a penny.

"Two."

"Well, let's see."

And we did. He filled the dropper with water and one by one, added drops of water from one inch above the penny. 

At 21 drops or so, a drop finally overflowed off the top of the penny. My son had to pick his chin up off the floor.

The water bowed out from the penny top like a mushroom top. How did it stay on top so long, without spilling?


The answer is surface tension. The tiny molecules in the water are attracted to each other. This attraction is what keeps the water droplets together. 

Now we added some liquid dish soap to the water and tried the experiment again. Would the soapy water droplets make a difference?

The answer is yes. The soap decreases the surface tension. The attraction of the molecules to each other is decreased and fewer droplets will be suspended on the penny as a result. 

This experiment came from Scientific American.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Earth's Layers: DIY 3-D Diagram


It's hard to imagine what's deep down inside our planet, but to help my 5th grade son remember, he made a diagram.

Despite his hatred of cutting and art, he really enjoyed seeing how his diagram came together. And now he can refer to it any time to see just what exactly is deep, deep underneath our feet!


Supplies
Large earth to cut out (download my free PDF from Google Drive if you need one)
Colored paper in brown, yellow, orange, and black
Circular objects in various sizes to trace
Scissors
Pencil
Glue
Chalk (optional)

How to Make It
Step 1: Lay your earth picture over top of the brown paper and cut out the earth. You'll be cutting a brown circle the exact same size as your earth. This is the earth's crust. Set your earth aside until step 6.

Step 2: Find a circular object slightly smaller than your earth. Trace it onto the yellow paper and cut it out. This is the earth's mantle. Center it inside the brown circle and glue it in place.

Step 3: Find another circular object that is smaller than the yellow mantle layer you just made. Trace it on orange paper and cut it out. Center it inside the yellow circle and glue it in place. This is the outer core.


Step 4: Find a small round object and trace it on black paper. Cut it out, center it in the middle of the orange circle and glue it in place. This is the inner core.

Step 5: Add labels to each of your layers.

Step 6: Orient your earth correctly and fold the left side over the right so you have a vertical crease in the middle. When "closed" you won't be able to see the earth's continents.

Step 7: Do the same to the earth's core, folding it in on itself in half vertically.

Step 8: Glue the back of the earth's right side to the back of the core's left side. When laid flat, your earth will cover the folded core you made.

Step 9: Glue to a piece of black or dark blue construction paper to simulate space. Add stars with white chalk (optional).


Read
Before we embarked on this project we read Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth, which helped us visualize a trip through all of the earth's layers. It also contains a handy illustration to refer to when you're making your 3-D diagram!

Monday, September 21, 2015

After School Linky (9-21)

Welcome to the party!

Fall officially starts on Wednesday and from the looks of last week's linky,
everyone is ready to learn about pumpkins, apples, and leaves!

Check out some of my favorite activities from last week's party.

Drive to the Sight Word at There's Just One Mommy.




 Learning about Leaf Parts and Shapes at Gift of Curiosity.





The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational
We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks!



Friday, September 18, 2015

Tic-Tac-Toe Phonics Practice


Posting this activity almost seems silly. It's sooooo simple. But sometimes those kinds of activities are truly the best.

Each week our kindergartner is learning five new phonics sounds. To help him review last week's letter sounds, I whipped up a quick tic-tac-toe game.


I made the cross-hatch tic-tac-toe out of wooden craft sticks and hot glue. It's totally unnecessary, though. Just draw the lines on paper if you'd prefer.

On two different colors of sticky notes, I wrote the letters he'd be practicing. (You'll need to cut the notes to fit.)

When he got home from school, he and I played - him with one color of notes and me with the other (instead of Xs and Os). 


Each time we played a letter, we had to make the letter sound. 

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

After School Linky 9-14

Welcome to the party!


I'm taking a few days off with my husband to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

I'll be back on Friday, 9/18. Until then, I hope you'll link up or browse the incredible ideas shared here!

The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational
We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Collecting (and Studying) Fingerprints


Fingerprints are one of detective's best clues. They often help solve the crime and catch the criminal. I thought my boys would have fun learning more about them.

Here's how my sons (ages 6 and 10) took their own fingerprints and examined them for three key characteristics.


Supplies
paper
sharp pencil
transparent tape
magnifying glass

Step-by-Step
1. Hold the pencil at an angle so all of the graphite makes contact with the paper. Scribble back and forth until you have a large block of solid pencil lead on the paper.


2. On another piece of paper, lay your hand flat with fingers splayed, and trace around it.

3. Now starting with the pinky on that hand, rub the end of the finger on your scribbled pencil paper until it's covered.


4. Cover it with a small piece of transparent tape and pull it away from the skin.


5. Place the tape on the tip of that same finger on your hand drawing. Repeat with all the other fingers.


6. Look at the prints under a magnifying glass. Do you have an arch (what looks like a mountain shape), a loop (where the skin ridges head in one direction and then double back upon themselves), or a whorl (which looks a lot like the ridges of your skin swirling out from the center)?


Read
We used some great non-fiction to better understand ridge skin patterns and how detectives use fingerprints to solve crimes.



Our youngest son enjoyed some other detective fiction books as well.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Phonics to the Finish Free Printable Game (A, I, P, S, & T sounds)


The schools here use the Jolly Phonics program to teach kids letter sounds. I'm sure there are loads of alternatives, but I'm a fan of how the program combines a catchy tune, memorable song lyrics, representative object, and hand actions to make phonics really stick in kids' heads.

Our youngest son had his first introduction to the Jolly Phonics program in his alternative kindergarten class (aka Pre-K) last year. This year in kindergarten, he's getting it again. With the first few weeks of class underway, I wanted to test his knowledge of the first five sounds his kindergarten teacher had explored. 


Out of that curiosity, this game was born. Download a PDF of six game boards and playing cards free on Google Drive here.



All you'll need is the printed game boards, 3-4 pages of the cards printed and cut apart, and about seven game pieces per player.

The objects I used on these cards correspond with the Jolly Phonics program for the letters A, I, P, S, and T.

How to Play
Shuffle the playing cards well and put them either in a pile between the players or in a stack face down. 

The first player draws a card and reads the letter on the card. They look at their game card. If the first object on their card starts with that letter, they can cover the picture with a game piece. If they don't have an object that starts with that letter, they discard the card and play continues with the next player drawing. 

Players can only place game pieces on objects in order. Once the card is filled and the final object (inside the star) is covered, the player has won the game.


Beware! There are lose a turn cards. There are also "You Choose" cards that are like WILD cards, and allow a player to place a game piece on the next object on their game card.

NOTE: You may need to remind your child when reading the letter on their playing card, that the red line on the card should be on the bottom. This will help your child correctly orient the card so as not to confuse the "p" with a "d."

Not familiar with Jolly Phonics? Query YouTube to view videos of the songs!

Monday, September 7, 2015

After School Linky 9-7


Welcome to the party!


Are you in the full swing of school or still trying to adapt to a new routine?

Either way, there's loads of ideas for you to incorporate into your child's day here.

A few of my favorites shared last week are featured below.

11 Books About Leaves for Kids from Gift of Curiosity

Back to School Science Experiment (Apples!) at Sylvan Learning



LEGO Math Race at All Day Everyday Mom

Polymer Clay for Kids at Mama Smiles


The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational
We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!
When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Mouth Bow Musical Instrument


It's no secret. We're B-I-G fans of DIY music instruments. Need proof? Check out our homemade piano, wrenches xylophone, drinking straw flute, craft stick harmonica, balloon bongo drums, PVC palm pipes, and tissue box guitar!

It's been awhile since the kids got to pluck some strings, though. This simple instrument requires very few supplies, comes together quickly and easily, and makes some surprisingly cool sounds! 


What You Need
Strong string
A stick (ours was about 12-14 inches) that bends without breaking
Plastic disposable drinking cup
Craft knife (for only adults to use)
Scissors
Cling wrap (optional)

Making Your Mouth Bow
Wrap one end of a length of string around an end of the stick, about an inch down from its tip. Tie it in a sturdy knot.

Bend the stick and tie the string on the other end of the stick, about an inch from the tip. Knot it tightly. Clip any excess string.


Have a parent cut a slit near the top of the plastic cup using a craft knife.

Insert one end of the stick into the slit in the cup.


How to Make Music with Your Mouth Bow
Place one end of the stick in your mouth, clamp down on it with your teeth (not your lips and tongue). If the idea of your child putting a stick in their mouth makes you nervous, you can cover the end of the stick with a small piece of plastic cling wrap.

With the mouth bow firmly in place, use one hand to lightly hold the stick and the other to pluck the string. The cup is your resonator.


To make the tone change from high to low, gently bend the bow even more and release. 

History
This instrument has a long history. According to the book Kidtopia by Roberta Gould, which provided our instructions for this activity, the mouth bow may have been one of the world's very first musical devices and has been played all over the world, especially Africa, Asia, and South America and even some Native American groups. Where the original instrument would have used a gourd as a resonator, we've used a plastic cup. Check out Gould's book for even more great crafts for kids!