Once we made them, I reviewed with the kids how to count the edges, vertices and sides (faces). I always show them how to count from the top, middle and bottom so they don't miss any.
Later in the afternoon, we created some other 3D solids while we were making cookie dough. I challenged Nyella to make a cone, a cylinder and a sphere as we couldn't make these ones with the magnatiles or skewers.
Kids needs sensory play! As messy as slime can be...and as much as I hate the idea of it getting into my carpet...I gave in and made it with my kids yesterday. I know I have spoken before about how following a recipe can teach so much to kids (capacity, the properties of solids and liquids, measurement, fractions and procedural writing.) Slime is an interesting material because it is neither a solid or a liquid. Slime is a non-Newtonian fluid. A non-Newtonian fluid is neither a liquid or a solid. It can be picked up like a solid, but it also will ooze like a liquid. To find out more about the science of slime visit:
To get my kids to write the recipe, I break it up a bit. I let them know that if they have their recipe they can make it all by themselves one day. I am also a bit cheeky and hand over each ingredient once they have written it down. This makes the writing activity more physical and gives them even more incentive to write.
I hope you have fun making slime! Watch your carpets :)
Photographs can be such a strong tool in getting kids to write. Emergent writers need the kinesthetic/hands on experience before they move to the abstract and a picture can give this to them. One activity you can do to help your child to write is to have them pick a picture that is important to them. Ask them to tell you who is in the picture, when it took place, what they were feeling and where it was. After they tell you the details out loud, help them write them down.
In the classroom, I often take pictures of kids while they are playing and use these as a writing prompt. If they are building towers, making up stories with stuffies or building innovative machines it is great to record this and have them write about it. They can write the steps as to how they built their creation, if they gave it a name and what it does. If they are building a story with puppets or stuffies they can tell you what is going on in the story.
Today we had a blast at home. We planned a teddy bear picnic. To start, we thought about what we wanted on our menu and the details of the picnic. We decided to have it in our backyard at noon.
Next we found all the teddy bears we had and bear themed stories.
Here are bear themed books you can listen to. One is fiction and one is non-fiction:
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
A Bear Cub Grows Up by Pam Zollman
After reading a few books we became distracted and played with our bears. We put them in order from smallest to biggest and then we made a pattern with them (small bear, big bear...repeat). After this we organized the food. Instead of cucumber sandwiches we made an AB pattern of tomatoes and cucumbers on a skewer.
We had a little feast and listened to the Teddy Bear Picnic song by Anne Murray. We also made up patterns when we danced with our bears. After this the kids played with their bears in the garden for an hour. It was great to see their imagination take over. Later we may do the Cosmic Kids Yoga about Teddy Bears:
This was such a fun way to spend the morning.
I decided to give our day a pirate theme. To do this, I set up a compass rose on our carpet with painter's tape and set up a treasure hunt. The set up for this took a total of 10 minutes. I read the kids the first instruction and had 10 minutes of free time while they scrambled to find costumes.
The kids learned the cardinal directions and how to use a unit of standard measurement. Here, each step was 30 cm long. To remember the cardinal directions I taught them (Never-Eat-Shredded-Wheat and Never-Enter-Stinky-Washrooms.) They liked the second one better! When the hunt was over, they divided up the treasure equally. I used coins so we could study the value of quarters, nickels and dimes. We practiced counting by 5s, 10s and 25s.
I think my kids may be getting a bit spoiled because they said my treasure hunt was a bit boring. I told them to top it...and they did. They wrote clues for each other to find treasure, made a treasure map and two types of boats. One for their dolls that would float in water and one that they could sit in using a cardboard box.
As a writing task, my kids chose to write out pirate jokes we found online.
Other writing ideas:
*Writing a pirate story
*Labeling a diagram of their boats and writing step by step how they made it.
*Making up treasure hunt clues
*Making a wanted poster for a pirate
*Writing in role as a pirate
Yesterday, when the kids came down for breakfast they found a note waiting for them. It was from a magical mystery creature. When they came back from playing outside they found that this creature had left them a little house to set up in the garden. The creature said behind the door lay secret lands at their command.
Later that day they found another note. The mystery creature asked them to set up the house in the yard and write them a letter. In this letter they needed to ask questions so they could uncover who left the note.
Today when the kids came down for breakfast they found this note. After reading it they inferred that a fairy had left this note. We decided to learn to draw a picture of a fairy on Kids Art Hub (youtube).
As a STEM activity, Merryn decided to create more mushroom houses for the fairy's friends. As a movement break we also did a fairy themed dance video on Cosmic Kids Yoga.
We will see where this story goes. The benefit to having a magic visitor is that it puts the kids in the story. Based on their questions and interests they get to shape where the story goes. If they are like dragons or Lego characters they could be the ones leaving the notes. The magical door can lead to wherever their imagination takes them.
This morning as we were playing outside, we found a family of snails under a bush at the back of our garden. We decided to make a snail terrarium. Making a snail terrarium is very easy. You will need the following:
*A glass or plastic container with a lid you can put holes in
*Branches and rock
*Leaves and other food
We first put a bit of soil at the bottom of our vase, along with some rocks and two twigs for climbing. We then put in some of the leaves the snails were chomping on inside. To find out what kinds of foods snails like we looked here. https://www.wikihow.com/Care-for-Garden-Snails. We read that it was important that snails get fresh food daily and the container is kept moist. You can do this by spraying it once a day with a spray bottle.
After we placed a yogurt lid top with holes in it in the opening of the vase we took the snails inside. We decided to research a bit about snails as a morning project. First we learned that snails hibernate in the winter and start to come out in the spring when the conditions are damp. We looked at the parts of a snail. Then we researched what type of animal a snail is. We learned that snails are snails are molluscs, like oysters and clams. We also learned that snails have both male and female organs. This led us to look at the life cycle of a snail.
Some neat follow up activities for this inquiry could be:
*Drawing our own diagrams of snails
*Writing out a mini report on the most interesting facts we learned about snails.
*Writing a list of names for our snails.
*Measuring how far a snail could travel in 10 minutes.
*Having a snail race :)
*Making different paths for snails out of loose parts.
*Writing a story about our snail.
*Writing interview questions for our snails.
Today we looked at patterns in nature. When we looked at the daffodil growing in our yard we were inspired to draw flowers of our own. This was a great way to teach the idea of radial symmetry. Radial symmetry is when a shape is symmetrical around a central axis. To show the kids this, you first draw a circle and cut it into equal fractions. The daffodil is symmetrical (well nearly) in 6 equal parts.
Once you have divided your circle into 6 equal fractions of 1/6 you show your child how what ever you do in one fraction you have to do in the others.
Just like in nature, when the kiddos drew their pictures they were not exactly symmetrical. This is what made each one unique and gave it the artist's signature!
After watching many birds land on our bird feeders yesterday, the kids decided that they wanted to make bird houses/feeders. The first thing we did was research different designs for our bird houses online. The kids picked recycled plastic containers for their creations. I had them first draw a picture and plan out what they wanted their birdhouses to look like. Some other things I had them consider.
*What material should we use to make the house? What kinds of materials will withstand the rain and snow?
*How much seed do you want it to hold?
*Where should the opening be depending on how much food it is going to hold?
*What other animals might try to eat the food? How can we prevent this?
*What do you want to decorate it with? Will this withstand the rain?
*How can we hang it so it stands up straight?
*Where will the birds sit when they are eating?
Once you have hung your bird feeder keep a lookout for birds coming for a quick snack. You can fill in a bird-watching checklist found on the link below!
Bird to Watch for in Spring Checklist:
Our little feathered friends are famished in the spring! Spring is the season when birds return from their winter migration and start nesting. During the spring parents need lots of food so their babies have the right nutrients to grow. Also, the availability of natural food for wild birds doesn’t really peak until late summer and early fall. Here is one type of bird feeder you can make at home with your kids.
2 cups bird seed
2 packs of gelatine
3/4 cup boiling water
Mix the gelatine with the water and pour it on the seed mixture.
Put it in cookie cutters and fill it with the mixture.
Place straws or small sticks inside each cookie cutter so you will be able to tie on a string later.
As a literacy connection, have your child write out the steps and add them to their recipe book. We found we didn't have enough cookie cutters so we made some with aluminum foil and a pipe-cleaner. Finally, place the tray in the fridge for 5 hours or...even better overnight.
Hang your bird feeders outside and get your binoculars ready! Make a tally of how many birds you see come for a snack. Draw a picture and label it of one bird you see coming to have a feast!
Following a child's interest is the most engaging way to extend on their learning. Here I have posted some every day activities that can draw from various strands across different age groups. Remember each child has different interests so the key to working with your child is to follow their lead and ask the right questions.