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Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

5 Easy Indoor Activities to Promote STEAM Skills in Your Kids

Simple ways to get your child thinking critically.

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Turning everyday tasks into learning opportunities with your children can greatly benefit them in the classroom. And STEAM education, which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, is a great way to get your kids to brush up on their critical thinking skills. Here are five ways to incorporate STEAM (or STEM) into fun activities without having to set foot outside.

1. Make soup together.

Science: Through this activity, children will become early scientists as they compare and contrast how the texture of vegetables changes throughout the cooking process.

Technology: Ask: How does heat cook soup? How will you time the cooking? How do you keep veggies fresh before cooking? Have the kids think of the everyday uses of technology that help them and you make soup. In addition, have the children come up with different ways they might cook their soup if they didn’t have a stove.

Engineering: Using a knife can promote an early engineering experience of a simple machine, such as a wedge. The discussion alone around the process of cooking is a wonderful form of engaging engineering skills.

Art: Follow your soup-making process by reading a story! Our favorite is the story of Stone Soup by Marcia Brown. After storytime, invite children to draw a picture of their favorite part of making homemade soup.

Math: Through cutting vegetables, children may learn halves or fourths, exploring fractions or simply counting and measuring. Adding spices and measuring the vegetable stock also provide opportunities for children to begin to understand the properties of measurement.

Play with bath toys.

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Make bathtime educational.

Photo: Pixabay

Gather various water-safe objects that sink and float through exploring, observing and predicting.

Grab plastic measuring cups and spoons, plastic bowls and other water-safe items and toss ’em in the tub. Ask:

  • Why do some things float and some sink?
  • What do you notice about the shape, weight and feel of the objects when they’re in the water? How does that change when you take them out?

Bake together.

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The science of turning raw ingredients into something mouthwatering.

Photo: Pixabay

Make prepping a treat even sweeter with these tips and questions to incorporate into your kitchen adventures.

  • Talk through measurements as you mix dry ingredients together.
  • What do we predict will happen when dry ingredients are mixed in with the wet ingredients?
  • What makes the batter change color?
  • What do you think might happen when we bake the batter? What makes the batter go from wet to baked and delicious?

Ease into a bedtime routine with flashlight shadows.

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Nothing like old-school entertainment.

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Grab your flashlight and small objects, like a favorite stuffed animal, toys, or even a shoe, and see how many different ways you can make shadows move and play across the room.

  • Place objects or your hand in front of the light and observe how shadows change and move around the room.
  • Create a story about the object’s shadow.
  • How do you make the shadows dance?
  • How can we make the object look bigger or smaller?
  • How many different ways can you make a shadow disappear and reappear in a different place?

Build a shadow theater.

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Bring the inner director out of your child.

Photo: iStock

Materials: Shoe boxes or pieces of cardboard, tape, white or waxed paper, flashlight, variety of objects to cast shadows

Cut off the top and bottom of the boxes. Help the children to tape paper across one of the openings. Ask: What else could we use to attach the paper? Place different objects in the box and light them from behind. Allow the children to select objects and have others guess what each object is while viewing from the other side. Encourage the children to experiment with moving the object and the light.

  • Can you make the object look bigger? Ask children to think of other ways to make a shadow theater.
  • What else could we use to let the light shine through? Do we need a frame?

Allison Wilson is the Director of Curriculum and Innovation at Stratford School, a leading independent private school founded on the belief that education is a significant influence in the life of a child. She is passionate about developing teachers and students, bringing more than 15 years of experience to the early-childhood sector through teaching, school leadership, teacher training and innovative curriculum development. Stratford offers an accelerated, balanced curriculum from preschool through eighth grade with an emphasis in the areas of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) that incorporates music, physical education, foreign language and social skills development.


 

This article was written by Allison Wilson from Working Mother and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

How To Fold a Paper Boat

Ahoy! Are you looking for a fun Valentine’s Day craft?! Look no further! Have your children practice their fine motor and math skills while they fold a spare sheet of paper into a floating masterpiece. Let your children decorate it with hearts or fill it with candy, then sail right into Valentine’s Day!

1. Fold a piece of paper in half crosswise.

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2. Fold paper in half lengthwise and open it back out.

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3. Fold the corners down the center crease.

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4. Fold the long bottom strip up and fold the corners over.

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5. Flip the paper over and repeat the previous step.

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6. Fold the opposite corners together and turn it sideways to make a diamond.

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7. Fold the bottom corner up halfway, turn it over and repeat.

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8. Open the triangle and fold the opposite corners together.

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9. Hold the paper at the tip and gently pull the sides apart.

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Ship ahoy!

 

 

Encourage Imagination during Halloween

Halloween is the perfect time for your children to go above and beyond with their imaginations. Here are a few ways to help them express themselves.

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  1. Ask your children to create mysterious potions with items found in your kitchen. While the potions are brewing, encourage them to come up with spells that the potions will produce and ask them to elaborate on the outcome of taking the potions.
  2. Inspire your children to dress up as anything they want to be. Try to make them think outside the box. Share some of your favorite old costumes to help them get started.
  3. Create a spooky story with your children. You can begin by starting a sentence and asking them to finish it. You’ll be amazed where their minds will take them. Don’t forget to write the story down for lasting memories. For example, “As I was trick-or-treating on Halloween night, I heard a rustling in the bushes and …”
  4. Bake cookies in the shape of a pumpkin and ask your children to use their artistic skills and imagination to decorate them as a pumpkin family. Ask your children to tell you about each pumpkin family member in the process. You can use bat or ghost cookies for this activity

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What are some of your favorite costumes that your children have worn or will wear for Halloween?

Pumpkin Carving Party

The days are chilly, the leaves are changing and fall is in the air.

A pumpkin carving party is a great way to gather your community together. Bring your own pumpkin (BYOP)!

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Invite families in your community to get slimy with pumpkin goop, spooky with spider webs and creative with jack-o-lanterns.

Decorate your yard or block with fun Halloween decorations and watch this magical land come to life. Your little ones will love getting together with other children in the community.

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Total Solar Eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017, the moon will cover the sun, causing rapid temperature drops throughout the United States. This is known as a total solar eclipse. You can complete a simple craft with your children to help explain what the solar eclipse is and how it will look.

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Items that you will need:

  • Two sheets of black construction paper
  • One sheet of yellow construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Directions

Guide your child in cutting out a large circle from the yellow sheet of paper and glue it to one of the black sheets. Next, take the second black sheet of paper and cut out a circle slightly smaller than you cut from the yellow sheet. Slide the black circle across the yellow circle to show the different phases of the eclipse. Once you are done discussing the phases, glue the black circle to the center of the yellow circle so that just the edges of yellow are showing. This representation is a great way to explain to your children how the solar eclipse will look.

While completing this craft, discuss with your child why solar eclipses happen and how often they occur.

Summer Activities

Ten activities to do with your child this summer:

  1. Ride your bikes around your neighborhood or in a local park to increase family togetherness and to emphasize the importance of exercise.

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  1. Have a picnic. Encourage your child to help pack the basket. You can talk to him about the different types of food you are putting in the basket, where the food is from and what foods are best for his health.

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  1. Go on a leaf hunt. Your child can learn about different types of trees by their leaves, and she can observe how the trees grow. To create a lasting memory of your wonderful walk, you can collect a few leaves, place them on a sheet of paper and color them with a crayon. This will produce an imprint of the leaf to have for the future.

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  1. Volunteer in your community. Many communities have public gardens where children and parents come to plant their own flowers to contribute to the beauty of the community. If your community doesn’t have a garden, consider starting one. This will teach your child the importance of being involved and giving back.

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  1. Plan a treasure hunt. For more enjoyment, include the whole neighborhood.

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  1. Prepare new summer recipes. Encourage your child to use his skills to help with the ingredients and measurements. Soon, he’ll be cooking meals for you.

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  1. Take some of your old clothes and place them in a chest. Now, you can have a dress-up day, which is a perfect inside activity for a rainy day. Your child will love dressing up just like mom!

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  1. Create a craft table. Prepare a corner in your child’s playroom or bedroom with a table for craft activities, such as drawing, painting or building. This makes for another great indoor activity for rainy days.

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  1. Stargaze. On a warm, clear night, sit outside with your child and observe the various Talk about what you can and cannot see with the human eye. Enjoy the starry night!

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  1. Teach your child to conserve water during her daily activities. Since we enjoy pools, oceans and lakes during the summer months, this is a good time to teach your little one about the dangers of pollution and the effects it can have to our oceans and lakes.

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2017 Upcycling Challenge!

Congratulations to our 2017 Upcycling Challenge winner – Ashland, VA! The School won with 1,603 votes for their mural of The Goddard School logo using packing peanuts and recycled water bottles.

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White Marsh, MD came in second with 1,551 votes for their mural made of recycled materials.

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Village of Shiloh, IL came in third with 574 votes for their rain barrel and sensory garden. Way to go!

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Thank you to our Goddard School community for participating, voting and sharing!

Paper Flower Craft

Attention parents! Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and the most special gifts are those made by the hands of your tiny tots. Here’s a craft idea to help your child create a special keepsake for mom.

What you need:

  • Photo of your child
  • Construction paper
  • Pipe cleaners or straws
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape

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Instructions:

Cut the photo of your little one into a circle.

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Encourage your child to choose a color (or two) of construction paper and cut out eight ovals for petals. Cutting should be done by an adult.

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Help your child glue or tape the petals into a flower.

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Glue or tape your child’s photo in the center of the flower.

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Use a straw or pipe cleaner for the stem. (Tip: Twisting two pipe cleaners together makes a stronger stem.)

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For a more advanced activity, help your child write a poem for Mom and attach it to the flower. Have fun!

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Seven Fun and Creative Ways to Make a Lucky Shamrock! ☘

Are you looking for a fun craft to do with your children to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day? Don’t worry! We have you covered with seven fun and creative ways to make a lucky shamrock! ☘

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Painted Shamrocks

Gather together an empty toilet paper tube, some green paint and a paper plate. Pour a little green paint on the paper plate. Place an end of the tube in the paint and stamp a green circle on a blank canvas or sheet of paper. Do this two more times creating the shape of a triangle; then use a paint brush to draw a line coming from the bottom of the triangle to create a shamrock.

Shamrock Shakers

Gather two paper plates and some green paint. Assist your child to paint the bottoms of both plates green and lay them to dry. Next, place an assortment of “shaker” items on the inside of one plate, and then place the second plate on top with the green side up and have an adult staple the edges together. Finally, ask your child to shake the connected plates. For more engagement, encourage him to do a song or dance to go along with the rythem.

Pipe Cleaner Shamrocks

Bend one end of a pipe cleaner in the shape of a heart and use the other end as a handle. Place a newspaper on top of your table to avoid spills, and then place a white sheet of paper on top of it. Dip the heart end of the pipe cleaner in glue and stamp the glue on the paper four times in a circle creating the shape of a shamrock. Next, give your child a cup of glitter and carefully assist her in sprinkling it over the glue. Once the glue is covered, shake off the excess glitter.

Apple Shamrocks

Cut an apple in half. Next, ask your child to paint the inside of the apple green. Stamp the apple onto a sheet of paper or canvas four times forming the shape of a shamrock. Finally, use a paint brush to add a stem to your shamrock.

Texture Shamrock Craft

Cut out a large shamrock shape from construction paper for your child. Visit your local art supply store, and have your little artist pick out different green items to glue to his shamrock. These items may include buttons, pom-poms, felt pieces, etc. Once you are ready to begin crafting, encourage your child to demonstrate his artistic skills by attaching everything he gathered from the store to his shamrock. He may need adult assistance with the gluing. Discuss the different textures of each item with your child.

Shamrock Wreath

 Cut out a large cardboard circle from an old shoe box, packing box or pizza box, and then cut out a small circle in the middle of your cut-out so that it resembles a wreath. This should be done by an adult. Next, encourage your child to draw different size shamrocks. Also, consider drawing some shamrocks for her and ask her to color them in. Once you have a variety of shamrocks of various sizes and colors, cut them out and help your child glue them around the circle base. Finally, place a hook on a door in your home and hang up the wreath. Your little leprechaun will want to show off her wonderful creation.

Shamrocks out of Paper

 Draw a large outline of a shamrock on a piece of paper or canvas. Then, cut different shades of green construction paper in one-inch shapes, such as squares, triangles or circles. Next, provide your little one with all the shapes that you have cut on a plate. Ask him to start gluing the pieces anywhere within the lines of the shamrock. While he creates his work of art, you can talk to him about the different shapes and shades of the pieces.

How to Fold a Paper Airplane

If you end up stuck inside this winter due to the weather or frigid temperatures, don’t worry! All you need for some fun is a piece of paper. Spend some time with your little ones and learn how to fold a spare sheet of paper into a high-flying masterpiece! Watch the tutorial here!

 

  1. Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise to fine the center.

 

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2. Fold the top corners down to the center line.

 

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3. Fold the triangle down to look like an envelope.

 

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4. Fold the top corners down to the center line, leaving a small triangle sticking out.

 

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5. Fold the small triangle up.

 

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6. Fold the plane in half, with the small triangle on the outside.

 

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7. Fold the wings back on themselves.

 

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8. Slowly launch the plane and watch it glide along, or lift one of the back flaps slightly to make it fly in a spiral.

 

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Have fun!