Tag Archives: schedule

Enriching Your Summer with STEAM Learning

summer steamLooking for some ways to keep your kids learning while having a fun time this summer? Check out these ideas to STEAM up your summer!

  1. Periodic Table Battleship. So this is number one on my list for a reason. I think this is SUCH a great idea to get kids learning about their elements! I used a different table in our battleship game that included pictures. So perfect!!
  2. Science Headband Game. This one from Oriental Trading is cheap, but you could easily make your own.
  3. Make Ice Cream (by hand!) This looks like fun for the kids. Surprisingly I am not a fan of ice cream, so this doesn’t appeal to me. But I know my daughter would love it!
  4. Glow in the Dark Party. While this site has a gazillion things you could for a glow in the dark party, I am perfectly content grabbing a container of glow sticks at the dollar store and having my daughter put on a show with them in our dark basement. Fun and super simple! Just make sure to squeeze some science into the activity. If you are feeling especially ambitious teach your kiddo about chemiluminescence.
  5. Make Bird Feeders. There are tons of different ways you could make one (including having your child design and build their own invention). Birds are fascinating- tie in some extra ornithology activities by watching live bird cameras or dissect an owl pellet (GROSS).
  6. Make S’mores using a homemade Solar Oven. Delicious and a good tie-in to emergency preparedness. Not only because of the importance of having a way to cook food during a power outage….but because, let’s face it, in an emergency we will want to eat chocolate.
  7. Make a Straw Rocket (free printable HERE)
  8. Design and Build a Pom Pom drop This looks super easy- you just need paper towel rolls, tape, and pom poms!
  9. Build a homopolar motor dancer. Can I just say this looks AWESOME! I wonder if I could change the dancer into a spinning dragon or dinosaur…
  10. Learn the science behind yeast with a little balloon experiment. And then make bread knowing in your science heart why it rises. 🙂
  11. Apply your knowledge of conductors and insulators with some circuit testing. (I would also check out Snap Circuit boards for kids– they are fun for our entire family!)
  12. Use programming apps such as Hopscotch or Lightbot (our current favorite) to expand your child’s technology learning. And so they can be super cool and learn how to code.
  13. Make a sundial. I think I will enrich this activity with some discussion on the earth’s orbit and how it affects the sun’s position in the sky. And maybe watch some Neil Degrasse Tyson Cosmos movies.
  14. Fizzy Explosion bags. We have done this in the past and had a lot of fun! Just be prepared for your child to want to do this over and over and over….
  15. Make an Inventor’s Box. I think it would be fascinating to open up an old piece of electronics and see what’s inside.
  16. Teach your child binary and have them code their name with beads. Geeky enough?
  17. Make a compass. Then learn about WHY we have North and South poles and the Earth’s magnetic field. And then make a clay model of the Earth’s layers using a metal bead inside the center to show the magnetic core.
  18. Demonstrate the chemical reaction of citric acid and baking soda by making a lemon volcano.
  19. Teach nutrition using sites such as ChooseMyPlate.gov.
  20. Grow a lima bean seed. I especially like the use of a clear CD case to label the different parts of a plant.
  21. Something dinosaurish– not sure yet… but I need to keep my little paleontologist busy!
  22. Download my STEAM summer ideas in my TpT store.

Some of you may be wondering if I am going to be doing all of these activities. The answer of course is NO! I hope to get to many of them (except the owl pellet dissecting). But we just got approved to be foster parents so I know our life is going to drastically change. I can’t wait. 🙂

Happy STEAMing!

Weekly Schedule Chart for Little Ones

I came across this great pocket chart at Target for a buck. I put it on our fridge and it serves as a schedule of our weekly events. I LOVE that I can easily put the activity cards in and out of the chart. (the cards have an activity with a picture and the word) After I put in the cards that have a specific day, I can have her choose activities for the rest of the days. For example, I know church will be every Sunday, so that day can’t be changed. But we might go to the duck pond during the week, and that could be done on any day, so I would let her choose which day she would like to go. I LOVE that it is on our fridge and therefore I use it. My daughter is already recognizing that Sunday is a special day, and will use the names of the days in her regular conversation. We can also review at the end of the day/week what we have done, and can look ahead to see what is happening the next day! (This is terrible, but during church I think about the activities we will be doing for that week so I can have the cards made and ready for her.) If I were to change anything about this chart- I wouldn’t make the names of the days all capitals (it was just the font I had chosen- didn’t even think about it until later!)

January’s Curriculum and Menu Calendars

OK- I am finally posting my latest calendars! I have been really busy preparing to start a temporary job as a curriculum writer for a textbook company (this is SO up my alley- and I get to work from home most of the time, too…. such a blessing) I did want my beloved readers to know that I am still very much here and very much active in my daughter’s education! I wanted to post both my menu (to inspire you mommys to eat something new every night) and curriculum calendars (since I might not be able to post my learning activities as much, you can peruse this calendar and let it give you some guidance as to how you want to spend your learning time with your little ones!)
I added our fun little holidays in red…. can’t forget those days…. celebrating those off the wall holidays is one of my favorite aspects of being a mom. I am not following a set curriculum for January, other than the little one I created, for 2 reasons. First, the curriculum that I originally had (and loved) was just not meeting the needs of my daughter. And secondly, I wanted more flexibility in my day. And I really love the thematic days that Eva and I came up with- so I am going to stick with those for the time being!
My curriculum encompasses religious teaching, learning new Nursery rhymes/fairy tales, learning ONE spanish word a week (doing more was just too hard for me!), and spending time with gross motor skills activities. I read through my old Montessori checklists that I posted about a year ago, and fell in love with that all over again, and came up with a clever little way to integrate those skills. I printed the checklist, cut out each activity as a separate slip of paper, folded them, and put them in my daughter’s learning jar. Whenever we have a spare 20 minutes, we will pull out one of these skills to do together! There are learning activities from pouring beans between two jugs to folding clothes to grating carrots…. a huge variety!
I hope that your curriculum plans are coming along well- there is just SO much to do with so little time!!!
Happy TEACHing!

Some Fun September Holidays

I recently downloaded this great calendar pdf from Tara at Raising Itty Bitty Bookworms. Tara, if you are reading this, you are incredible! I thought I would import the pdf into the Gimp and add some fun, crazy holidays that we are going to be celebrating this month! ( I just barely completed this, thats why the first week of September looks awfully boring!Happy Teaching!

Kinda Decluttered, Sorta Organized, and Now It’s time for a Schedule!

I have spent a huge amount of time cleaning. I have really tried to stick to my original goals of decluttering and organizing the past two weeks… and, well, for the most part have done OK. We took a huge load to the Salvation Army Saturday with clothes, old toys, and a lot of VHS tapes. It felt great to get rid of so much stuff! Although in my opinion we need to get rid of more! (I love that hotel feeling- really simple and clean with NO knick-knacks. I like that “Does anyone really live here” look. Not that our house actually looks like that- in fact, it looks quite the opposite! Just look at the dishwasher box-house in our living room!
I have also organized a few things- I organized our bedroom closets, my computer desktop, put some labels on my rubbermaid drawers, and straightened up our DVD collection. I also put all my little Boo’s movies in one central location that she can access (not that she watches them a lot- I am just trying to give her more independence and choices in her cute little daily life). I need to organize my starred items in my google reader- SO many cute ideas that I don’t want to forget!
And now it on to the organization of our daily schedule. I am deciding if I want to use a daily docket– it just seems like a lot of printing….maybe I should pull out my franklin planner… ANY IDEAS????
I am creating a list of things that MUST be included on our daily schedule- brush teeth, nutritious meals/snacks, important things to do for the day, Mommys helper time, errands time, tot school time, free time, more of a morning routine (like nighttime) and more set times to be out of the house (otherwise we just seem to stay inside a lot)…….. AUGH i am SO SO SO making this harder than it needs to be! I think if I can just get down a morning routine I will be feeling great….
MORE TO COME!

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