Have you heard about water beads? These things grow about 20 times their size and they are seriously addictive. Well, I got some, for the kids, and turned it into a learning experience. The word of the day was “absorb” watch our video below then read through our critical thinking questions.
What does absorb mean?
What do you think will happen to the dry water bead once we add water?
*Remove bead from water at 4, 6, and 8 hours
Which bead is biggest? Why?
Which bead is smallest? Why?
Put the beads in order from the least amount of water held to the most amount of water held.
Name three things that absorb.
Name three things that do not absorb.
This is an experiment we will visit again as the kids get older it would be a great way to teach permeation! Let us know how it goes!
My kid’s favorite way to learn is through touch. They love to build, create, and destroy so this lab was a great way to teach them about primary colors and how they are used to create other colors. So I grabbed some red, yellow, and blue craft paint some paper and a brush. We headed outside and got to painting. You can watch the video below and get some critical thinking questions for your littles.
I love the tiles floors in our classroom. They have proved so useful this year! I use them in many ways but one way is to teach the kids to be still. For some time I taught English to students in China virtually. One of my students (11 years old) told me a technique her father used to teach her to study. He would have her sit quietly for a time appropriate to her age. When the time was up she got a treat. I started doing this with my kids at the beginning of the day.
My children are instructed to sit in the square. No hands or feet outside the square, no talking, no playing, be a statue. SJ closes her eyes during this time to tune out her brother and will often face away from him. KJ is wiggly (which is appropriate for 4) however, he can go the entire time without talking. The time is between 2 and 4 minutes depending on our morning.
After meditation the receive a prize.
The objective is to teach them to be still on demand. As homeschoolers most of our day is spent up and about they are all over the classroom, the house and eventually outside. Compared to their counterparts in public school they move a lot. On Sundays at church they are in children’s church so they are able to sit still for the lesson and pay attention without any problems.
Meditation is a good practice the Bible tells us to “Meditate on the Word of God day and night.” Joshua 1:8 it also says to, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
I have been obsessed with all these cute book nooks and teepees. So I’d been thinking of a way to make it work for me and my kiddos. I found it! Shower curtains! Why should shower curtains be restricted to the suddy, steamy messy room that houses the commode. No! I will liberate the shower curtain! Free it from its prison and present it as an offering to my messy kids!
Its water resistant fabric makes it easy to clean and the hooks make for easy take
down as I re-model in the future.
Really though this was the easiest, quickest nook ever and they love it!
This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping my sister host a baby shower. We had some cups left over and in the blur of exhaustion set the cups down on the floor by the front door. Days later (don’t judge me) I finally picked up the cups. Did I mention we have a dog, a various curious dog who I am sure put her nose in the cups. So what was I to do with these paper cups? Games!
I took the cups and put letters and numbers on them. I told the kids it was game day and I set the game rules they had a blast!
For the Math Game we used our Base Ten blocks and put the appropriate tens and ones inside the cup to make the number.
As the kids filled the cup I would stack them. They loved seeing the stack grow as a mark of their accomplishments.
We then flipped the cups over and used the letters to make words. Once the kids discovered a word I would write it on the white board. My kids are motivated by praise and a sense of accomplishment so seeing there progress is important for them.
What do you do with an empty box, bored kids and art supplies? You build a car!
In the box above I have:
A hot glue gun
An empty egg carton
Star cut outs
Round make up applicators
Styrofom or paper plates
A Shower curtain
The first thing I did was hot glue the shower curtain to my tile floor.
This made for easy clean up and the hot glue did not damage my tile at all.
Next I put some paint on a plate and let the kids apply it with the make up applicators.
They are kids and are going to make a mess but I find the applicators are easier to hold than paint brushes and you can throw them away after.
While the paint dried I had the kids get started on coloring the wheels. The then put a star on each wheel. For the steering wheel I used the glue gun to melt a hole in the Styrofoam plate and use a pipe cleaner to secure it.
We put the plate inside the box and pushed the pipe cleaner through the box.
Egg cups from the egg carton were cut out to make headlights and yellow tissue paper was glued inside. They were secured to the front of the box using a hot glue gun.
We used stars and pieces cut from a recycled box for the tail lights.
The kids loved this activity and they still play with their car weeks later.
This past week was dubbed “Experiment Week”. Day 1 was DIY Bath Bombs.
Here is what you need:
Empty Christmas Ornament or a Bath Bomb mold
1 Cup Baking Soda
3/4 Cup Epson Salt (Blended until its a fine powder)
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup water
Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
Next place the water, lemon juice, 1 tbsp coconut oil and essential oil (add per fragrance preference) into a spray bottle. Spray the liquid into the dry ingredients until the mixture has the consistency of sand. At this point we added food coloring.
Once the mix starts to stick together start placing into the molds. Close the mod and allow to dry overnight. Due the the size of the ornament molds it took a few days to completely dry out.
We covered the following topics: life skills, science, and math.
Questions and discussion.
1. Can you measure out a cup? 1/4 cup? 1/2 cup?
2. Why is it important to rest and relax?
3. What happens when the wet ingredients mix with the dry?
For the past week or so the kids and I have been storing and stocking up on empty food boxes and toilet paper rolls. We knew we were planning for a project but we hadn’t quite decided what. Well while KJ played with cars in the corner of the classroom genius struck.
A car tunnel!
I quickly pulled out the boxes, a plastic container we don’t use often and a glue gun.
SJ drew a map of where everything should go then we put it all together.
Parents I have three words for you: hours of fun! HOURS OF FUN!!
This is a great STEM activity.
Vocabulary: Velocity, engineering, acceleration and deceleration
Questions: How many seconds does it take for the car to go through the tunnels? Will it go faster or slower as we tilt the lid?
You can even have your kids decorate the boxes adding an element of art to the project. When we were done with the project we carefully removed the tunnel pieces and placed them inside the container to use another time.
Have fun with this project and please share your pictures of your tunnels below.
Last week SJ was out of town. She got back Saturday night, we went to church Sunday and started up with school again Monday. She was pretty wiped out and after a week of informal school with KJ we needed something to look forward to. So we told the kids we would go on a field trip and today we went to Riley Farms.
It was really fun. We took a nice hike from the main cabin where we picked up a map to the apple orchards. The hike was less than a mile and the kids got to learn the proper way to pick apples. Once the apples were picked they were weighed and we paid for them.
The grounds are really neat. They have sheep on property, colonial toys, a bakery, even a cabin. The kids and I finished reading Meet Addy which takes place during the colonial era and so we got to go inside the cabin giving them a visual to a setting similar to the cabin in the book.
It was a fun, informative day, and its only 15 minutes from our house so I see many visits to this farm in the near future.
I am loving the tile floor in our classroom and all the cool new ways I am learning to utilize it. This past week I used it for both a sight word and math drill. I define drill as anything I want the kids to answer at a rapid pace.
For our sight word drill, I placed one flash card per tile. The flashcards are double sided. One side is written in blue the other in red. I placed the cards red side up.
When I say the word the kids run to that word and flip it to the blue side. I had to do one child at a time because my kids are so competitive. Once all the cards were flipped to blue I would say the blue word and they got to pick the card up.
For the math drill I allowed both kids to play simultaneously. SJ (5) worked independently since she can count in her head. KJ (3) and I worked together since he still uses his fingers for math.
I placed one equation per tile square on the floor and I gave each kid a stack of cards raging 1 through 10.
I had 30 equations and 20 answer cards so we had to improvise and double up some of the tiles. This is a game we will play often I’m sure.
This game could use any equations, so it is something that is easy to utilize as a learning tool that grows with the kids.
You can also use puzzle mat pieces to play tile learning games, check them out here!