Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Linking Word Family Chains -at, -am, -an, -ay, -ap (free printable)


Our kindergarten son's literacy skills are growing by leaps and bounds, but I wanted to continue to show him the pattern in words, what makes them rhyme, and how much easier it is to read when you recognize the sound of their endings. With this aim, I completed another word family activity.


This free printable can be used in a variety of ways. The flexibility makes it easy to customize for your child.

What You Need
3-page PDF of the word links (download it free from Google Drive here)
Heavyweight card stock, plain or colored paper


Prep
Print and cut out the links on the dark black lines. Scramble together

Play: Option 1
Have the child see how many words they can make by combining the links' beginning sounds with the word family endings. 


Play: Option 2
Divide the links into even piles for each child. Have them see who can make the longest chain, or complete a chain the fastest.

Play: Option 3
See how long of a chain your child can make on the floor. Can they loop it around the furniture or make it go in a circle?

Monday, March 28, 2016

After School Linky (3-28)


Welcome to the party!


Now that the temperatures are warming, I can't wait to get our boys outside
for some learning fun.
I hope spring is blessing you with long, sunny days and mild weather!

Here are some of the great ideas and activities shared at last week's link-up.

 Blow Dart Painting at The Science Kiddo


Caterpillar Number Work from You've Got This




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.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Twirling Paper Flyers


My boys are always up for making things that fly (paper airplanes, paper flyers, rockets, etc.). Last week we explored the role of air and gravity as we raced a paper circle and a coin to see which would fall first (check that out here). 

To continue the lesson in weight, gravity, and airflow, we made two simple paper flyers. If your kids have enjoyed throwing helicopter seeds in the air to watch them spiral to the ground, this is a must-do.


What You Need
Paper (we used card stock and lightweight office paper)
Scissors
Tape

What to Do: Flipping Fish Flyer
Cut a one-inch strip off the short end of your paper (final dimensions: 1 inch by 8.5 inches). Cut a small slit in one end about three-fourths of the way across the width of the paper. Turn the paper and do the same to the other end.


Now thread the paper slits through each other, making a fish shape.


With someone standing by to make sure you don't fall, stand on a chair and toss the fish into the air. Watch it float to the ground.


What to Do: Triangle Flipping Flyer
Cut a 2-inch by 5.5-inch rectangle out of paper. Make two cuts each approximately 1/3rd from the long edges. Cut in from one short side, then turn and cut in from the other. Now tape the two ends together to form a triangle. 


Again, standing (with a spotter) on a chair, release the triangle and watch it twirl to the ground.


Try making the flyers out of two different weights of paper or make some smaller/larger to see which flips and floats to the ground faster.

This great idea came from the book Science Play! by Jill Frankel Hauser.

Monday, March 21, 2016

After School Linky (3-21)


Welcome to the party!


Spring has sprung!

This party is full of ideas and inspiration. Here are just a few of my favorites from last week's party.


Number Tree - Theme Reveal from Fumbling Through Homeschooling

Jesus Centered Easter Countdown from Nap Time Creations


Anansi the Spider Craft from Teacher Mom Plus 3

Sight Word Tallies 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, March 18, 2016

Money Trail Board Game (free printable to teach coin names/values)


Our six-year-old is learning about money at school, which is good because he's long been confused about the differences between dollars and cents.


To reinforce his school lessons, I made a simple board game to help him associate the coin values and names with their appearance.

Gather Supplies
You'll need:




Assemble
Once printed, poke a hole in the center of the spinner. Thread the small loop of a safety pin onto a brad and thread it through the hole. Open the prongs at the back of the spinner, making sure the pin spins around freely.


Play
Put the small game pieces on the words START. The youngest player goes first and flicks the spinner. Whatever they land on, is where they'll move their game piece (for example, if the safety pin spinner points to "dime," they will move their game piece to the next space on the game board that features that coin. Play alternates between players. Players must spin "penny" or "1 cent" to land on the final space and win.

Read
A great book to pair with this activity is Learning about Coins. Check it out!


This game would not have been possible without the amazing, copyright-free images from WPClipart.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Coin and Paper Race: The Science of Air & Gravity


What can you learn about gravity and air from a coin and a piece of paper? Quite a bit, actually.

Our coin and paper race was fun and educational. 


What You Need to Do It
A large coin (we used a half dollar)
Heavyweight cardstock
Scissors

What to Do: PART 1
Cut the cardstock so you have a circle just a tiny bit smaller than the coin.

Hold the paper circle in one hand and the coin in another. Drop them at the same time. Which hit the ground first?

The coin did. Why?

The paper is lightweight so despite the fact that it's surface is the same size as the coin, it is easily disturbed by the air, therefore it flits and flutters on its way down to the ground. The coin, however, is heavy so nothing disturbs the gravitational pull.

What to Do: PART 2
Now place the paper circle directly on top of the coin. Hold the edges of the coin without touching the paper, and drop them from one hand.


video

What happens? The paper and coin travel as one.

Why? 

The coin as it falls, pulls air immediately behind, and the paper stays in place on top of the coin because it's caught in the pocket of air.

This is our second experiment from E. Richard Churchill's book 365 Simple Science Experiments book. It won't be our last!

Monday, March 14, 2016

After School Linky Party (3-14)

Welcome to the party!



It's spring break this week for us and we're already planning summer camps for our boys.
Wow, 2016 is really going fast.

I hope you enjoy a few of my favorites from last week's link up!


 V is for Viscosity from Memorizing the Moments



Game for -am and -ame Words at You've Got This


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, March 11, 2016

2-Minute DIY Water Trombone


We've made harmonicas, xylophones, flutes, guitars, etc., but never a trombone. This quick experiment is surprisingly simple and awe-eliciting.


What You Need
An empty bottle
Water
Plastic drinking straw

What to Do
Fill the bottle 2/3rds full of water. Place the straw in the empty bottle. Now hold the straw in place with one hand, and blow across the top of it. 


Move the straw up and down while blowing, the tones you make are higher and lower pitch, similar to a trombone.

How Does it Work
As you lift the straw out of the water, you are lengthening the column of air inside it. This is exactly how a trombone works.

This awesome experiment came from the book 365 Simple Science Experiments. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Order of Operations FREE Printable Game


Knowing the order of operations is important. Without knowing what to do first, next, after that, and last in a math problem like the following means the difference between getting the answer right or getting it very wrong.
7 x (4 + 1) - 7 x 2 =

Aside from the acronym PEMDAS and the acrostic "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally," I wanted to find a fun way to reinforce the order:
  1. parenthesis
  2. exponents
  3. multiplication or division
  4. addition or subtraction

I made a fun game for us to play.


What You Need
The PDF of the game board, cards, and spinner (download it from Google Drive here)
Heavyweight card stock
Scissors or paper cutter
Recycled chip board (aka empty cereal box) to mount the glue the spinner to
Glue
Brad
Safety pin (optional, but this makes a quick, easy, and effective spinner)


Preparations
Print a copy of the game board for every player (page 1 of the PDF). Print the spinner. Print an extra page of the SPIN cards. If you're playing with more than two people, print two sets of cards (i.e. two pages of each card type and four SPIN cards).

Cut the cards apart and shuffle well.


Glue the page with the spinner on it to the chipboard and cut out. Either poke a hole with a nail through the middle or use an unconventional hole punch to make a hole. Thread the hole of a safety pin through the brad and into the spinner hole; separate the prongs on the back. Voila.

How to Play
Players take turns drawing cards and placing them on their game board, saying out load, "Parenthesis go first," "Multiplication follows Exponents," etc. If a player already has the card they've just drawn, it goes into a discard pile. If the player draws a SPIN card, they must flick the spinner and follow the directions it points to when it stops moving.


If necessary, you may need to reuse the discard pile. The first player to completely fill their game board wins.

VARIATIONS: Have players try to get TWO cards of each kind on their game board to extend play. When our game was "over," my son was having so much fun he suggested we keep playing this way.

Monday, March 7, 2016

After School Linky (3-7)

Welcome to the party!



The days are getting longer, the kids are playing outside, and I caught a whiff of people grilling outdoors this weekend. I hope you're enjoying the first signs of spring as we are!

Here are some great ideas shared at last week's link up.





 Musical Shamrocks from Grandma Ideas

 Bee & Pollination Craft-tivity at Fumbling Through Homeschooling

St. Patrick's Day Picture Books from Embark on the Journey

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.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Pouring Water Down a String (Science Experiment)


"I think you're going to make a big mess."

That's how my 10-year-old answered the question, "What do you think is going to happen?" 

I had everything set up for this experiment and my boys were on full alert. While it was a little messy, it was also totally awesome.


Here's how we poured water down a string and what you need to do it too.

Supplies
Pitcher
Water
String (we used a tightly woven yarn)
Wide-mouthed glass or jar

What to Do
Fill the pitcher with water. A small pitcher will work best; our large pitcher was too heavy for my boys to pour slowly and steadily. 

Tie one end of the yarn around the pitcher's handle. 

Drape the string over the pitcher's spout and take the dangling end and hold it on the inside rim of your glass.

Hold the pitcher at an angle and gently pour the water. You may drip some water at first so have a towel handy. 

IMPORTANT: the string must be touching the spout. A fuller pitcher means you won't have to tip it so drastically.

Watch as water cascades along the string, clinging to it, until it reaches your glass.


How It Works
This is a great experiment to illustrate the principle of cohesion (particles of the same substance sticking together). Once the string is wet, the newly poured water wants to adhere to the water molecules already absorbed by the string.