Monday, November 24, 2014

10+ Great Activities to Learn about the Moon (& the Linky!)


As soon as the nights get longer and days get shorter, my boys spend a lot more time noticing the moon. If your kids find the moon fascinating too, here are some of the Internet's best ways to learn about it.


1.  Play a Yahtzee-like game with phases of the moon playing cards. This is one of Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational's free printables.

2.  Make a model to demonstrate how the Earth rotates around the Sun and the Moon goes around the Earth. Preschool Crafts for Kids has the instructions!

3.  Oreos aren't just for dunking. It turns out the sweet sugary treat with its creamy white center makes a great way to craft the moon's phases. Check it out on 123 Homeschool for Me.

4.  Teach kids why there are craters on the moon with a great hands-on science experiment. I Can Teach My Child shows you how.

5.  Get kids active with a game that challenges their knowledge of the moon phases. They'll have a blast jumping from one phases to the next! Learn ~ Play ~ Imagine came up with this brilliant idea for kinesthetic learners!


6.  Learn the phases of the moon with connect the dots pages! This great freebie is available from Kids Activities Blog.

7.  Calculate how far you'd jump on the moon and get active learning all about the moon's lack of gravity. This great idea is at Finding Teachable Moments.

8.  Grab some paper plates and scissors so kids can cut their way to a great phases of the moon craft. Mrs. Parzych's Kindergarten did this incredible activity!

9.  What can you do with a ball and some white and black paint? Make a moon to move around the room and demonstrate the phases! Science Matters is the blog to read to find out more.

10.  One of the best ways to learn about the moon is to read about it. Fantastic Fun and Learning has a book list of moon-themed fiction and non-fiction children's books.

11.  What better way to see how the moon changes than with a model that kids stick their heads through and rotate?!? Stop by Eberopolis for more details!


12.  Make a phases of the moon flip book. You'll find the free printable pages here at Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational.


What are you up to with your kids? We'd love to know!


The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Phases of the Moon Flip Book


Last week we played a great Phases of the Moon card game. This week I reused the graphics for another fun activity. I designed flip book pages, so my son could make his own "animation" of the moon moving through eight phases.


I handed my oldest son three copies of the pages, which he cut out using my personal paper trimmer. Even our 5-year-old got in on the action.

Once the pages were all cut apart, the 9-year-old sorted them into piles. With that completed, he looked at the reference sheet and put the piles in order.

With the cover page first, he began pulling one page from each pile, placing them after the one before.


Next we used the three hole-punch to make holes in the left side of all the pages.

Finally we added a tiny rubberband and paperclip as the binding.


Now came the fun part: flipping the pages to see the moon change! My son thought this was the coolest!

video

Download the free 2-page PDF of these pages from Google Drive here. And then flip out!

This idea was inspired by an activity in the book Science Crackers Awesome Astronomy by Raman Prinja.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Splitting White Light into a Spectrum


It's been awhile since we talked about rainbows, but this simple little activity was a great refresher. Using simple household items, my sons and I split white light into a truly impressive spectrum of colors.


What You Need
1 used music or computer CD
Aluminum foil
Working flashlight
Rubber band
Pushpin
Dark room

Prep
Tear a small piece of foil and cover the flashlight with it. Secure it in place with the rubberband. Using the pushpin, puncture the center of the foil so it has a tiny hole.


Split the Light
Now turn the flashlight on, grab the CD and head into a dark room (we were in the laundry room). Shine the flashlight at the back of the CD, adjusting the angle until you see a straight column of rainbow light.


This stripe of vivid color is the flashlight's spectrum.


How it Works
The tiny groves in the CD when it's laser recorded act as a diffraction grating that split the light.

My boys were so impressed to see their own tiny rainbow! This great activity came from the book Beyond the Solar System.

Monday, November 17, 2014

After School Linky (11-17)


Welcome to the party!


Seeing so many fellow bloggers so eager to raise life-long learners is so inspiring.
Some of my favorite activities from last week's linky follow.



 Games for the Eyes at Mosswood Connections

 Number Line Activity with Place Values at Hands On As We Grow

 STEM Books for Children from The Educators' Spin On It

Woodland Animals Learning Pack at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom


The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Greek Mythology Matching Card Game


My 9-year-old son finds Greek mythology fascinating. I'm not going to lie. I do too.

I've been wanting to create a Greek gods & goddesses card game for at least a year, and I finally worked up the nerve to create my own graphics (so please don't be critical).



Download a free 2-page PDF of the 16 different gods and goddesses game cards here. I printed four of each page, but gauge your child's attention span. A shorter game can be played with two copies of each page.

Once printed on cardstock and cut apart, I shuffled well and we were ready to play.

We played "go fish" with the cards, dealing five cards to each player and putting the remaining cards face down in a big messy pile between us. The goal is to make matches (if you made four copies of each page, a match will consist of four cards). 



"Do you have any Apollo God of Music cards?" If the opponent has one or two or three Apollos, they hand them all over. Then the inquiring player can ask their opponent for another god/goddess card. If their opponent has none, they must draw a card from the pile in the middle. Any matches are set aside.

The player to run out of cards first wins!

Read Want a few great chapter books to read with this activity? 

These are a few of my son's favorites. Ken Jennings' Junior Genius Guide is a non-fiction chapter book with fun facts and illustrations that reminded me of the Origami Yoda illustrations. 

Joan Holub's Heroes in Training series is a wonderful historic fiction account of Greek mythology from the perspective of 10-year-old Olympians; it's wildly creative! My son has read all the books released in the series so far.
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