Summer Playdate Essentials

Do you ever wonder what your children are like when they go over to a friend’s house for a playdate? Do they remember to take off their shoes? Do they say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’? Do they follow the rules?We have all had that nightmare playdate over. The kid who runs around your house with dirty shoes, rummages through your pantry, leaves toys and food all over the house, etc. How do we prevent our kids from becoming that nightmare playdate? We begin by teaching them the rules of being a great host and guest. And then we practice, practice and practice! Fingers crossed, they remember to follow these rules on the next playdate.Good social skills make playdates fun for everyone. The most important rule to teach your kids is to always make everyone feel welcome and … [Read more...]

Building Structures: Fun and Educational Activities for Kids

Need educational activities for kids to stay busy and engaged for long periods of time? Part engineering experiment and part artistic exploration, structure building can be accomplished using everyday items from the kitchen, linen closet and recycling bin. Kids won’t likely be bored while creating unique and interesting structures of all sizes.Building Structures into Geodesic ShapesGeodesic shapes such as cubes and pyramids will result when the building materials are long tubes and squishy connectors. Great combinations for building geodesic shapes are:Dry spaghetti noodles and mini marshmallows, Plasticine or play dough ( kids can roll it into balls)Toothpicks and mini marshmallows, gumdrops or bag of frozen peasPlastic straws and large marshmallowsNote: … [Read more...]

Make Your Own Chia Pet – Craft Meets Classroom!

My kids are too young to 'officially' home school, but that doesn't mean we can't lay the ground work for their future education!  Regardless of whether you're choosing to teach at home or send your kids to school (we haven't decided yet!), this activity is fun and a great learning opportunity. Make Your Own Chia Pet - What You'll Need:- A small clear jar (I used a baby food jar)- Grass seed (I used Rye)- Dirt (just a handful from the yard)- Odds & ends for decorating (I used buttons, foam stickers, nail polish & ribbon) Make Your Own Chia Pet - How to Do It:- Moisten the soil & fill the jar 3/4ths of the way with moistened soil- Add grass seeds to the remaining moistened soil and add the seed/soil mixture to fill the remaining 1/4th … [Read more...]

Science Magic: Inertia Learning Activity

Newton's laws of motion describe the relationship between the forces acting on a body and the motion of the body.Newton's First Law of Motion: This law describes inertia, which means a body will stay at rest or continue at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external unbalanced net force.Example of the inertia of an object at rest: You can remove a paper from beneath a standing clothes pin and the pin will fall into the container beneath it.Discover for Yourself:Place an index card over the mouth of a heavy drinking glass or jar. Stand a clothespin on top of the card so that it is centered over the glass. Quickly and forcefully thump the card straight forward with your finger. You want only to hit the card and you want the card to move in a horizontal … [Read more...]

Cereal Box Cut-Out Crafts Matching Game

Create your own Memory style matching game with cereal boxes. This will make it a quick and easy educational game for preschoolers.Open and flatten out your old brightly colored cereal, and other food, boxes. Choose about 6 different solid colors and cut out 2 pairs of same-size squares or circles from each.I used a circle cutter to get uniform shapes with guaranteed smooth edges. You could also trace a cup or saucer size plate. The trick is to make sure that the boxes you use are similar width, but differing colors.Let your children turn over the pieces, shuffle them, lay them out, and start matching. Such a simple and easy learning activity for young children and if they lose the pieces, rip them up or drool, color, or mark them, etc. you aren't out any money. … [Read more...]