Monday, April 30, 2012

Letter G is for Gumball

Who doesn't LOVE gumballs? This was the most fun the kids ever had with their letter of the week!
First little kids did the letter hunt. They found letter G on this Letter hunt page. Download for free here.

Yes, the gumballs rolled a bit but that made it more fun! (For the kids anyway ;-) If your child has steady hand it will work fine.

Page for the alphabet book was G for glitter.

We traced the letter G from Confessions of a homeschooler,

and made some do-a-dot art with the letter G as well.

Next up is gumball number hopscotch. 

Place them on the ground in the wrong order so the kids don't know what number is coming. If you just started number order, then you might want to place them in order so the kids don't get confused. Have them count the gumballs and then jump to the next one.

This was a big hit. 
Kids generally like when learning something includes motion.

We did number order with our number note cards. 
Have the kids put the cards in right order and then place the right amount of gumballs on each card.

The big kids used gumballs for addition. This time it was for a worksheet called "How many ways can you make 5?" They had two extra cupcake liners to divide the 5 gumballs in two different group amounts. 

Here are some suggestions for our letter G books from Amazon

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Earth Day Scavenger Hunt

As a closing activity to our 2nd week
"Earth Day, day-by-day" unit,
we participated in
Save the Earth Scavenger Hunt in our backyard!
We will take you through it step by step
and show you how you can also participate
in such fun activity with your kids! 

here are your scavenger hunt notes,
pledge and the scavenger hunt list to the kids
that you can download for free here.
Print them out, fold the notes, and hide them in a certain spot. Mark that spot with an "X" out of sticks.
The pledge and the hunt list you will use as you go.

Read the first note to the kids right by your house. 

We had the kids dress in superheroes costumes, as they joined the Earthman in mission to save the Earth.

Let's go save the Earth!
(Our base was the tree-house)

First mission is to pick up all the garbage into bags!

They did great! 

Next task was to sort the garbage into bags for compost, recycling, and garbage.

Next we found note number four. We were asked to make something out of the recyclable garbage! 

We decided to make yogurt "scarecrow sticks" to help us scare the birds and chipmunks from eating our strawberries.

You will need a drill, string, scissors, stick, and 6 yogurt cups. Drill holes into the yogurt cups on the bottom sides and have the kids put the string through them. Cut strips into the yogurt cup as you can see on the pictures.

Tie the strings to the stick and... the strawberries are hopefully protected for this summer!

Note number 5 told us to feed the animals!

We took care of our chickens and fish!

The next note left us a scavenger hunt list.
We had to find objects on the list in our backyard and cross them out once we found them!

Look at this cute double nest we found on our house!

This was a fun activity the kids enjoyed a lot!

Next "X" was located by the table, where we had art supplies waiting for us!

Earthman asked us to decorate grocery bags!
We needed bigger size canvas bags, fabric paint, and brushes.

Look at the cute results!

We will have the best bags in town!

The last note asked us to sign the pledge
to keep our Earth clean!

And how about an earthly dessert?

You will need some gummy worms and a brownie!

Mush up the brownie to make it look like dirt and hide the worms in there! Yummy!

Happy Earth Day everyone!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Earth Day day-by-day (Day 8)

Let's love our Planet and try each day, 
to do all things the greener way!!!

Day 8: Sign a pledge to protect our Earth

Ok, so we are not the type of people who would take the easier way, so naturally, we didn't just print out some paper and had the kids sign it after we talked about what was written on it. We had to take the more difficult, but yet more fun road, which helped the kids memorize the pledge main points! This is definitely hands-on activity!

Simply said - we made paper mache Earth and stuck the pledge points to it!

Here is what you need:

For the paper mache recipe - 1 part of flour to 2 parts of water
(this will depend on how big your project will be, but your final solution should be more pasty than liquid)

strips of newspaper
paint brushes
mod podge

First, blow up the balloon into smaller size. We decided for smaller only because of the kids' ages. They wouldn't have that much patience to complete too big of an Earth)

Then, mix the flour and water together in a bowl.

As you are mixing, add water or flour, depending on the consistency of the mixture. It has to feel more pasty.

Then, have the kids dip the newspaper strips into the mixture and place them wet unto the balloon.

It is better to cover the balloon with at least 3 layers of the newspaper, to make sure the final product will be durable. This is what you will end up with.

Leave it to dry for at least 24 hours or till completely dry to the touch. Our spheres ended up pretty hard. The only thing I would recommend is that you find a good place to keep them while they are drying. We left them in the bowls and the lower part didn't dry the same way and we had to fix the project. The sphere should be kept in a place where it could get nicely evenly air dry.

Pop the balloon inside.

Naturally, we had the kids paint the oceans first, since they cover most of our Planet.

Then they went on to paint the continents and clouds.

We let that dry another day. In the meantime, we read few books that I talked about in one of our previous posts, and discussed how could we save the Earth. We typed 5 main points into the computer, I printed it out, cut it out, and the kids pasted it to the Earth, using mod podge. 

Mod podge helps the paper nicely curve around the Planet's shape. 

It worked out great! Now we can hang it up in our house and be always reminded about what to do to live greener and save our Planet Earth!

Earth Day day-by-day (Day 7)

Let's love our Planet and try each day, 
to do all things the greener way!!!

Day 7: Compost all things possible

Why compost? The answer is simple - because we need more of good soil! It is quite easy - you take some of not so good soil, you put it in a compost container and you start throwing things in there that are compostable and that would otherwise make it to the landfill!

And what a great Earth Day lesson for the children! They can learn about the full cycle, where we not only save the landfills from some garbage, but they can also see how the yucky food scraps get changed into something useful, something naturally organic!

Here is a sample of a compost bin you can build out of left over wood you might have used for your garden or some other house project!

And here is one that was build not only from left over scraps but also using classic wooden pallets that would usually get thrown away...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Earth Day Day-by-day (Day 6)

Let's love our Planet and try each day, 
to do all things the greener way!!!

Day 6: Pick up garbage

Why not take a special trip to a local park with a bag and a stick and pick up trash that is laying around in the grass, under the bushes or hangs in a tree? You could also do the same thing on your street. After garbage pick up day there is plenty of trash around the streets and sidewalks! 

We practiced in our backyard :-)

The kids had a good time searching for garbage.

Everyone was happy to fill their bags and put the garbage where it really belongs!

This teaches the kids not to litter. Explain to them how garbage can harm animals and they will be careful for sure!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Earth Day day-by-day (Day 5)

Let's love our Planet and try each day, 
to do all things the greener way!!!

Day 5 - Read a book

There is nothing better than to pick up a book and read it with your kids. This time, you can do two things at once - not only read but also learn about the environment. There are many more titles that you can find, but these are the few our library owns. So go to your local library and find whatever they have, bring it home, and read... get inspired... and live accordingly. 

Only a little bit over a week till Earth Day everyone! Get ready for some super hero mission coming up next week here, on our blog!