Friday, July 31, 2015

Sea Turtle Sight Words Game {free printable}


We're still working on sight words with our 5-year-old. To make it a little more fun, I designed this BINGO-like game to play.


This beats the pants off of flash cards any day. Who wouldn't want to play a game with a turtle named Ollie, Netty, Timber, or Ziggy right?!?

The game I made contains eight turtle playing cards, a set of hatchling call cards with the sight words, and one blank turtle template for anyone who wants to customize the game for their child's learning level.

Download the 9-page PDF for free from Google Drive here.


To get the game ready, simply cut everything apart and grab some small items to use as game pieces. We used small flat glass baubles, but pennies or buttons would also work great. Each player will need a maximum of 13.

Place all the hatchling call cards face down in a big "go fish" pile. One player (or a parent) will select a card from this pile and read the word. 

Other players must scour their turtle card and place a game piece over the sight word if it's present. 


Play continues this way until all the sight words on one player's card have been covered; they're declared the winner!

Want a great book to extend the learning? We read The Green Sea Turtle by Isabel Muller. It taught my son all about the long journey of one sea turtle and its return to the beach where it was born to lay eggs. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

History of Flight Printable Board Game


One of the learning themes I planned for us this summer was flight. We've had a LOT of fun making gliders and airplanes and parachutes, but now it's time to put the science aside and focus on the history of aviation.

To do this we could (of course) read books, but I think learning history through a timeline game is WAY more fun.



This game was a labor of love. I hope your kids will enjoy it as much as mine have. Note: It's a lengthy game with lots of reading; I recommend playing with kids 8+. (While our almost-six-year old played along, he grew tired of the slow pace.)

How to Make the Game
Download the PDF of the game, milestones, and game pieces from Google Drive here.




This game would not have been possible were it not for the excellent record-keeping and timeline reporting by The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Print the game pieces and game board on heavyweight cardstock. (Print milestones on office paper.)

Assemble the game board with tape. Since your home printer doesn't print full-bleed (i.e. all the way to the edge of the paper), you'll have to trim the white edges.

Don't worry about cutting the milestones apart; it's easier to leave them as pages and clip together with a binder clip.

Cut apart the game pieces and fold each. Insert the folded end into medium-sized binder clips. (We used small clips and were constantly righting our fallen game pieces. Larger clips will be more stable.)

How to Play
Put all game pieces on the words "START." Player 1 rolls a die and moves their game piece the number of spaces rolled. Whatever number they land on on the board, they should read the event that corresponds. 



The card may provide additional instructions - Fly into the Future (i.e. move forward) a noted number of spaces, Go Back a certain number of spaces, or You're Grounded (i.e. stay put). The player must move forward or back after reading the event. 

It's up to you whether you then read the next event that the player eventually lands on or just move and don't read. (We played this way to speed up an already lengthy game; gauge your child[ren]'s attention span.)

The first player to the finish wins.

Read
We've read a bunch of great books that would be perfect to pair with this game. For a relatively quick picture book, I'd recommend Gail Gibbons' Flying. It provides an illustrated snapshot of the history of flight. The others were also our favorites.

Monday, July 27, 2015

After School Linky 7-27

Welcome to the party!

Summer is whizzing by at record-breaking speed. I hope you're having fun with your kids! 

If you need some ideas, you've come to the right place.

This Summer Rocks! Diamonds at Doodles and Jots





Sidewalk Chalk Clock Game at Creative Family Fun


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, July 24, 2015

Acids and Bases: Using Red Cabbage Juice

Some science experiments really wow. This is one of them.

My oldest son tested a variety of different substances to determine if they were acids, bases, or neutral. He did this using an indicator that we made from red cabbage.


Here's how we did it.

Make the Indicator
Peel about five leaves off a head of red cabbage and put in a blender with nine cups of water. Set on high until the cabbage is finely ground and the water is purple. Note: This makes A LOT of indicator so if you're not planning to go crazy testing many substances, reduce the mixture down to 3 leaves and 6 cups of water.

Beware; it smells. B-A-D


Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the blended cabbage over a pitcher. Voila! Your red cabbage indicator is ready!

Testing substances
Fill small disposable plastic tumblers half full of the indicator. Add a teaspoon or two of every substance to each cup. If the substance is an acid, it will turn the liquid from purple to pink or red. If the substance is a base, the red liquid will turn blue, green, or yellow.


I made an worksheet with a scale to help my son. I printed an extra of the color scale and laminated it so he could even hold it next to the tested liquids. Click on the picture below to download a free PDF on Google Drive.


Remember not to pour any substance in one of the cups. This will help you compare those substances which may not appear to turn the water.


The acids-bases scale shows the corresponding pH. Substances that are acids have a ph of less than 7; substances that are bases have a pH of more than 7.

Possible test substances include:
vinegar
salt
baking soda
lemon/lime juice
rubbing alcohol
handsoap
bleach*
milk
egg whites

*Exercise caution when using bleach. It's a powerful chemical! Grown ups should pour this.

Our favorite test substances were vinegar, lime juice, baking soda, and bleach.

To explain acids and bases, why not watch a YouTube video?!


This great activity came from Steve Spangler Science

Monday, July 20, 2015

After School Linky (7-20)

Welcome to the party!


I hope you're all staying cool this summer. It's like Mother Nature just turned up the thermostat in our little corner of the world. Thank goodness there is the pool, and loads of great indoor activities to do.

Here's some inspiration if you're in the same predicament.


A Boredom Buster: Make a Flying Toy at Planet Smarty Pants

Make Your Own Log Catapult at Brain Power Boy

 Free Pioneer Pack at 3 Dinosaurs


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, July 17, 2015

Simple Homemade Airplane


We're still flying high exploring flight. Yesterday we made some easy peasy homemade airplanes (or gliders, if we're truly being specific).


These are incredibly simple and made with items you've probably got around the house. Here's what you need.

Supplies
Drinking straw (not the bendy kind)
Heavy cardstock or poster board
Scissors
Tape and/or 2-4 tiny rubberbands
Something small for a weight (a tiny wad of modeling clay, button, etc.)
Clear tape

How to Make It
1. Cut the paper into two strips about 1 inch wide. If you're using a sheet of cardstock, cut it on the long end so your strips are 11 inches long.

2. Now that you have two 1-inch by 11-inch strips, cut one to be 5-6 inches long. Round the corners on the short length of paper. Fold each end in about 3/4 inch from the end. Crease.

3. On the longer strip, round the corners but make two of the corners on the same side of the paper elongated so they look vaguely like bird wings. Now roll the tips of the "wings" inward (you can roll the paper over a large marker to help).


4. Afix your wings to the plastic drinking straw. The long wings should be back from the nose of your plane about 1 1/2 inches. Use tape or for added durable use small rubberbands to hold in place.


5. Repeat with the shorter wings, placing them at the other end of the straw just about 1/2 or 3/4-inch from the end.

6. Now add your weight to the nose of the plane. We used a tiny round magnet that was held in place by clear tape. It may not have looked the best, but it did the trick.


7. Practice flying your new plane. We were surprised to see ours even make some loopty-loops!


This great idea was adapted from an activity shared in John Williams' book Projects with Flight. It's loaded with DIY flying machines to craft (kites, airplanes, helicopters, and even birds). 

Monday, July 13, 2015

After School Linky (7-13)

Welcome to the party!


Our summer is half over. I am in shock. We have been having LOADS of fun. I hope you can say the same!

Here are some of my favorite activities shared at last week's link-up.


How to Make a Lava Lamp from Science Sparks.

Homemade Wigglebot at Research Parent.



Sight Word Tallies from Creative Family Fun.

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, July 10, 2015

Drinking Straw & Tissue Paper Gliders


One of the themes I planned to explore this summer was flight. This topic requires no selling from me; my two sons are instantly fascinated.

We recently visited both of the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museums in the Washington, D. C. area. Touring these museums and seeing my children's enthusiasm and wonder bumped this theme to the top of the list.



Because aviation truly took off after the successful flight of a glider, launching our own exploration of flight with a homemade glider seemed fitting.


What You Need
2 large sheets of tissue paper
8 drinking straws (the kind WITHOUT the bendy joint)
Clear plastic tape


How to Make It
Gently crimp one end of a straw and push it into another straw about an inch. Do this so you have three straws put together. Put another three straws together. Put the remaining two straws together.

Bend the top of one of the the three-strawed lengths down about two inches. Crimp the end of the other three-strawed length and push it into the end of the straw you bent. Your straws will form a V-shape.

The two-straw length will be the bottom of your triangular glider frame. Bend corners and push the straws together until you have a large isoceles triangle made of drinking straws.



Lay this over one piece of tissue paper. Wrap it around the frame and tape in place. It can either go completely around or just around one side. We covered the whole frame, both sides, and used two pieces of tissue to do so.

Every seam or loose flap of tissue was taped down to avoid creating any unwanted aerodynamic drag.


How to Fly It
Take the glider to an elevated place and propel it forward. It may take a few tries to figure out just where to grip it and how much force to use when releasing it. Watching it gracefully fly is both shocking and fun.



My boys were surprised that something with no wings could fly so well. They had loads of fun experimenting with the best places and techniques to get it to land smoothly (or even nose dive drastically).

The gliders we made held up for a good 30 minutes of repeated flights, which given the construction, was pretty impressive. A little repair and we'll be back at it again tomorrow probably!


video


How Does a Glider Work
Because real gliders don't have an engine to help them fly either, their success in the air is largely dependent on their design. Both air flow and the wing design are what enable gliders to stay in the air despite their weight.

Our homemade glider is a delta wing airfoil and like all gliders, even hang gliders, its flight is made possible by Bernoulli's Principle. (Check out our exploration of Bernoulli's Principle here.) Essentially, the air moves faster over the top of the airfoil because of its design, which creates a low-pressure zone over the top. This enables the glider to be lifted, therefore suspending it in air. 


Read a Book
My 9-year-old really enjoyed reading about the Wright Brothers' glider designs in Gerry Bailey's historical fiction book. 

This wonderful craft came from Smash! Crash! Launch! 50 Mind-Blowing, Eye-Popping Science Experiments by Rain Newcomb and Bobby Mercer.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

DIY Parachutes (and the Science Behind How they Work)


What kid doesn't love parachutes? My boys have gotten so many of those parachuting army men as party favors, I've lost count. And forget trying to untangle the strings. (Ain't nobody got time for that!)

The weather may not have been on our side, but with so many rainy days this summer, eventually you just throw caution to the wind and do outdoor activities anyway. And so it was the day we made DIY parachutes.


Making these was simple. We had all the supplies we needed around the house.

What You Need
Disposable plastic (or paper) cup
Plastic garbage sack
String (we used some tightly twisted yarn)
Paper punch
Scissors
Tape Measure or yardstick

How to Make It
First we punched holes in the top of the plastic cups, just under the rim. You'll need to punch four holes equal distance apart (approximately).

Next we cut one plastic kitchen garbage sack into a 14-inch square. Since we made two parachutes, we measured and cut the bag with it flattened (i.e. two plies) so we had two squares with only a few cuts.


Now we cut four 14-inch lengths of string for each parachute. Our oldest son gathered a corner of the plastic square and tied one length of string to it, leaving only a small tail. He repeated this with the other four corners.

Then we tied each string to a different hole on the cup. (TIP: Try to keep the tails all the same length so you don't get a lopsided parachute.)


Now all that was left to do was to go to a high place and drop those puppies. My sons perched on the landing of our deck and later our yard's play set. They LOVED watching them gracefully float to the ground.

video

My oldest son tucked the parachute in the cup and dropped it to see what would happen. It sank to the ground with lightning speed. That's gravity for ya!

How Does a Parachute Work
The cup glides slowly down thanks to something known as air resistance (or drag). When air gets under it, the plastic parachute fans out for maximum coverage; this air resistance slows the fall of the object tremendously.

This great activity came from Patricia A. Staino's wonderful book Magic Moments: Super Science with Your Kids. Check it out!

Monday, July 6, 2015

After School Linky (7-6)

Welcome to the party!


I hope you're having a wonderful summer and making precious memories with your kids.

Below are some of the phenomenal activities shared at last week's link-up.

Monster Big Nosed Bookmarks at The Mad House.

Driveway Rhyme and Match Game at Dabbling Momma.


 Picasso Pots at Art Club Blog.



Relative Sizes of Planets (free printable) at Research Parent.



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!