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.
My kiddos ask to do experiments just about everyday! I actually will be reviewing a site that I joined for that purpose called Mystery Science in a different post. This experiment was very easy and a lot of fun. Most importantly you probably have most if not all these ingredients in your home already.
The experiment calls for equal parts oil and water, food coloring, and Alka-Seltzer tablets.
**We tried the experiment with aspirin and it fell flat so we re-did it with
Alka Seltzer and red food coloring.
First we put the oil then water into the jar and let it settle.
I asked these questions:
What is happening to the water?
What is happening to the oil?
Next we added a few drops of food coloring. Add as much as you like we did 6 drops.
I asked: What is happening to the food coloring?
(If the jar is steady it should stay together and not mix very much.
Finally we dropped in the Alka-Seltzer tablet and watched the magic happen.
What is happening to the oil and water?
Why do you think that is?
Since oil and water do not mix, the water bubbles caused by the Alka-seltzer float through the oil causing it to take on the same effect as a lava lamp. When the mixture is shaken the oil and water in time will separate again rather than mix.
During experiment week this one was a hit! The objective was initially to have the kids walk on water. Due to the limited supply of corn starch we did this experiment in a bowl rather than our kiddie pool.
Here’s what you need:
Shower curtain (for easy clean up)
Ball and car to explore how they react to the oobleck.
This recipe is simple 2 parts corn starch one part water. The kids loved exploring to see the progression of consistency. Its extremely messy so here is a teaching hack I have learned. When doing messy learning I tack the curtain or table cloth to my tile floor using my hot glue gun.
The kids had a lot of fun discovering how this liquid behaves (at times) like a solid. They were covered in oobleck by the time we were done. I let them play with it after our official lesson so they could mix various colors.
Here are some questions and discussion points.
1. What are the stages of matter? (We focused on three rather than five)
2. What stage is this in?
3. How does each stage behave?
4. How do you know something is a gas? A liquid? A solid?
1/4 -ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional
½ cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Granny Smith apple chopped
½ cup chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising. Place chopped apples in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add apples, butter, and cinnamon. Cook until sugar is dissolved and apples are soft. Add chopped walnuts. Stir well and place in a 9×13 baking dish.
Once dough is doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut with a serrated knife into 12 to 15 slices. Place into pan cut side down.
Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
Remove from oven and immediately flip onto a serving dish. Allow to cool a few minutes and serve while still warm.
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?
4. What happens when the colors mix?
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.
Today we had some fun with money! SJ(5) is currently working her way through Horizons 1 work book. She learned about money while working through the Horizons K book but for this level they are relating money to place value.
This was the perfect excuse to pull out the base ten manipulatives. For this activity we used pennies, nickles and dimes. Though she uses quarters, half dollars and dollars in her math book. I think we will wait a little while to introduce them using base ten.
I placed the money in different increments in front of SJ and she used the manipulative to assign the money value.
We didn’t leave out KJ(3) though. I just used pennies with him and it was a great chance for him to practice counting and writing. He is having a hard time, confidence wise, writing without assistance but my husband and I have decided not to give in to his fussing about needing help at all. We have seen him control his pencil and though we don’t expect his work to be perfect we do expect him to try. When he is successful, which so far has been every time, he is so proud of himself.
This was a great activity, the kids really enjoyed it and I think the younger children are comfortable with money they better they will be managing it in the future.
One of the many benifits of homeschooling is the ability to teach your kids random, awesome things like…CODING!!. I stumbled upon this awesome website that teaches children code.
My kids LOVE it. The teaching is broken into age groups the first group is geared towards kids who are ages 3 to 5. The first few lessons are simple things like teaching children to reach an objective.
The first activity was about 4 squares. The objective was to move the character to the left one square. Once they saw an example the grid got bigger and I even threw in a few obstacles. You can see in the picture above that it took SJ and KJ the same amount of moves to reach their goal. Which was a lesson on taking different paths to reach the same objective.
After the kids got the hang of it on the white board we decided to act it out.
I printed out pictures of SJ and KJ’s favorite characters. I then had one child go into the living room while we placed the character face down along with some blank white pages.
The child who placed the character had to direct the child who had just come back from the other room to their character using the sign below. They could rotate the sign to reach their objective but could not point to the picture.
My kids are 5 and 3 and they really enjoyed this game. The next day when they got to start writing code on the computer they were able to follow along easily. We really enjoyed using http://www.coding.org
and I believe my days will be filled with my children exploring new ways to make things happen.
We pick up crayons from everywhere! Back to school sales, dollar stores, restaurants, if they are offered to us or are being sold at a great price then we are getting them. This has led to an abundance of broken crayons. My son KJ has a real problem with things that are broken (though breaking things is his specialty) so he fights against using crayons that don’t meet his standards.
This activity was fairly easy to prep. I took all the crayons and put them in a pile on the table. I asked the kids to remove the wrappers which proved tedious so K and I joined in. After the crayons were unwrapped I had the kids sort them using disposable cupcake pans.
I then baked the crayons in the cupcake plans on 300 degrees for about 15 min. Once the crayons were completely melted I took them out the oven and put them into the freezer to harden. They easily popped out of the tins and the kids enjoyed being able to use them right away.
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.