Categories
5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Cinco de mayo

¿Qué es Cinco de Mayo? (What is Cinco de Mayo?) 

Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of the Puebla on May 5th, 1862. 

Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated in Mexico as much as it is in the United States. However, as the granddaughter of a Mexican American, I am humbled by this holiday. In the United States, we use it to highlight and celebrate the Mexican culture. Parades, dancing, festivals, and my favorite — food — are some of the ways to celebrate this date. A favorite tradition during this holiday is to break open a piñata. There is even a song (in English and Spanish) to go with it! This song is one that will stick with you and is fun for everyone. So take a look into the beautiful and colorful Mexican culture by clicking on the blue link: Cinco de Mayo and its history

A fiesta worthy activity para los niños!

Grade Levels: PreK through Grade 3

Age Levels: 

  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (Elementary)

Description: Read/listen to the book The Piñata Story by Lisa and Michel Zajur and Illustrated by Samira Mobayed Murray. Discuss their observations of Mexican culture from the book. Create your own piñata and have fun! 

What Should I Do? 

  1. Listen to the Read Aloud book by one of the authors, Lisa Zajur: The Piñata Story. The author introduces some Spanish words and encourages the children to learn them, too. Practice along with your child.  
  2. Discuss the observations of Mexican culture from the book.
    1. What do the houses look like?
    2. What are the people wearing?
    3. What colors do you notice? 
    4. What are similarities and differences from Mexican culture with your own? 
  3. Make your own piñata! 

Tools and Materials 

Paper Bag Piñata Supplies 

  • Tissue paper or construction paper (12 x 4 inch pieces) 
  • Stapler
  • Candy (optional)
  • Paper lunch bag (5x3x10) or any size will do! 
  • Newspaper pages to shred
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Hole punch

**SEE PHOTOS FOR ASSISTANCE 

  1. Shred the newspaper and grab the candy. 
  2. Fill the paper lunch bag with shredded newspaper and candy. Make sure you fill the bag with enough paper and try not to put too much candy in it to make it too heavy. 
  3. To secure the bag closed, fold over the top and tape or staple shut. 
  1. Measure your paper bag and cut the paper into strips that are long enough to wrap around the paper bag. 
  2. Now, cut fringe along the edges of the paper strips every inch or so. Only cut half way. The strips don’t need to be perfect and can be different sizes. 
  3. With the left-over paper, cut approximately 5 more 1-inch strips of each color paper, about 4- 6 inches long. Set these aside.
  1. Starting at the bottom of the bag, use tape to secure each piece of fringed paper around the bag. The first layer should hang over the edge of the bag.
  2. Repeat while overlapping the previous color.
  3. Punch two holes at the top on opposite sides.
  4. Cut a piece of ribbon or twine a few feet long and place it through one hole on your piñata, and knot it. Repeat this for the other side. 
  1.  Using your leftover strips that you set aside from step 6, tape these strips to the bottom of the bag. 
  2.  YOU’RE FINISHED!

Tags: 

History

Art

Reading

Listening

Parent-Led Activity 

Music

Developer:

Lauren McNeely

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA
Credit:
ConnectionSpot.org on 5/5/2021

Categories
5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) Family Resources PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Spring Equinox

Grade Levels: PreK through Grade 3

Age Levels: 

  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)

Description: Learn about the Spring Equinox from the online version of the Farmer’s Almanac.  Listen to the author of the book,  And Then It’s Spring by Julia Fogliano. Discuss how this book relates to what actually happens during the Spring Equinox. Then, make a craft! 

Spring has sprung! 

After a grueling year filled with fear and uncertainty due to COVID 19, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. While the first day of Spring was marked March 20, 2021, it has taken a little while for the flowers to bloom after a colder winter; at least in the northern hemisphere. However, depending on where you live, will depend on your Spring weather! So, what makes this change happen you may ask and how do we explain this to our children? If you were to ask my grandfather, he would swear up and down on the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Don’t panic though, you don’t need to go buy a book. There is an online version to help us explain,; The Spring Equinox . In this edition of The Old Farmers Almanac, you will learn what the word “Equinox” actually translates to, the folklore behind it, and ancient traditions that we still carry out to this day.

What tools and materials do I need?

  • Computer & internet connection to listen to read-aloud story
  • Rocks, Paint, Paint brushes or Painting utensils (get creative! e.g., Q-tips, Cotton Balls, items lying around your house that can act as a paint brush)  

What should I do? 

  1. Click on The Spring Equinox to find out more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
  2. Listen to the book and then it’s spring by Julie Folgliano and illustrated by Erin Stead.
  3. Discuss the season using questions. 
    1. What happens in Spring?
    2. Why do we call it Spring?
    3. What can we do in the Spring? 
  4. Make a craft! I associate Spring with having fun outdoors; gardening, and watching things come back to life.  For this craft: grab some rocks, paint, paint brushes or painting utensils (get creative! e.g., Q-tips, Cotton Balls, items lying around your house that can act as a paint brush).

Craft: Flower Painted Rocks

Picture courtesy of Crafts by Amanda

Grab any old rock lying around and paint it however you would like! Once dry, leave them around your house as a paperweight or around your community to help bring it to life- just like the flowers in Spring! 

It takes a reminder that flowers only bloom because of the rain and the sun. Let’s hope the rain of COVID 19 is over and we can get back to blossoming. Happy Spring!

Tags: 

Science

Art

Reading

Parent-Led Activity 

Creative Thinking

Developer:

Lauren McNeely

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA
Credit:
ConnectionSpot.org on 04/9/2021

Categories
5-6 yrs (kindergarten) Activities PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

IMAGINE iT. MAKE iT!

Listen to the story. Get inspired to be a maker!

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Grade Levels: PreK through Grade 3

Age Levels: 

  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)

Description: Listen to the author of the book, Be A Maker, read and discuss her story. Children use this as inspiration to be a maker at home. 

What tools and materials do I need?

  • Computer & internet connection to listen to read-aloud story
  • Assorted art and craft supplies (e.g., paper, crayons or markers, scissors, glue, tape)
  • Miscellaneous recyclable materials (e.g., cardboard boxes, toilet paper tubes, bottle caps, old magazines, newspaper)

What should I do? 

  1. Listen to the read-aloud of the storybook, Be a Maker, written by Katey Howes and illustrated by Elizabet Vuković. Children will learn that the world is full of possibilities and there are all kinds of things you can make and do to have fun, be creative, and help others. The author does more than just read the story. She engages the listeners with questions and comments about the illustrations. She calls attention to important points that children should notice. For example, there are hints in the story about something happening in the neighborhood that’s creating some noise, but it’s not revealed until near the end. At one point, the author calls the children’s attention to the picture of the girl with her head tipped to the side and explains that she is hearing something and she wants to figure out what it is. At another point in the story, the girl makes a map to explore and figure out where that noise is coming from. The author asks, “Do you see something on the map that marks where she’s headed?” Later, she asks, “Do you have a good guess about what’s making all the noise in the neighborhood?” These questions and comments do an excellent job of engaging children in the story and helping them to use their imagination and observation skills to think more deeply about the story.  
  2. Talk about the story. Discuss the story and the many things that the child made throughout the book such as a spaceship, telescope, tower, gift, music, lemonade stand — even a new friend. Sometimes making projects can help others, too. You can help your community and make a difference. In the end, you can feel good about the things you made and be proud of your accomplishments.
  3. Present the children with the following problem which is derived from the book itself:

“In a world of possibilities, today, what will you make?”

Look at the materials you have available.

Imagine what you can do with these things to make
something special for yourself or someone else.

  1. Show the children the materials that they can use for this making project. Help them ponder the making projects mentioned in the book and imagine the new possibilities. Pose some questions or comments if the children are struggling with ideas. 
    • How can these materials be changed (e.g., cut, torn, bent, folded, rolled)?
    • What kinds of things do you enjoy? 
    • Think about something that you might need to solve a problem. 
    • What inspired you about the projects in the book? 
  2. Share. The author of the book emphasizes that children should feel proud of what they make and do. Encourage the children to share their work with others and talk about their ideas. Display their projects for others to enjoy, too!

Tags: 

Art

Creative Thinking

Fine Motor Skills

Inventive Thinking

Listening

Parent-Led Activity

Reading

Social-Emotional Learning

Developer:

Sharon Brusic

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA
Credit:
ConnectionSpot.org on 04/07/2021

Categories
5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) Activities PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Recycled Robots

Grade Levels: PreK through 1st Grade

Age Levels: 

  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary) 

Description: You will be designing and making your own robot out of recycled materials (soda cans, food cans, water bottles, boxes, etc.). The purpose of this activity is to show children what can be recycled, how recycled materials can be used in a new way, and create an interest in recycling.  

What tools and materials do I need?

  • Assorted recycled materials (soda cans, food cans, water bottles, boxes, bottle caps, etc.) 
  • Glue (glue sticks or school glue) 
  • Tape (duct tape, masking tape, and/or scotch tape)
  • Scissors  
  • Googly eyes (optional)

“Recycle Bottles and Cans AD (HDR)” by kingdesmond1337 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

What should I do? 

  1. Ask the child what he/she knows about recycling. Ask questions such as: 1) What does  recycling mean to you?, 2) Where have you seen recycling happening?, 3) What kinds of things get recycled?, and 4) How does recycling help our community?   
  2. Give the child some recycled materials. Collect some recyclable items and share them with the child. It would be helpful to have at least one box and four cans. A wide assortment is best to promote creativity on this project.
  3. Discuss what kinds of items get recycled. Review what goes into a recycling bin in your community. Ask the child about this phrase: “reduce, reuse, recycle.” 
  4. Talk about robots. Explain that robots are machines that people design to do certain jobs or tasks. They are controlled by computers. Discuss robots that the child may have seen on television or in books. 
  5. Design a recycled robot. Ask the child to design and build a robot using recycled materials. Explain that this will just be an image of a robot. It will not be connected to a computer and programmed like a real robot. 
  6. Ask questions. Ask questions about the child’s robot. For example: 1) What’s the robot’s name?, 2) What would you like your robot to be able to do?, and 3) How can you change your robot to make it even better? 
  7. Share the robot. Encourage the child to share the robot with other family members or friends. 
  8. Encourage recycling. Show the child more examples of what can be recycled. Consider going around the house to collect more recyclables. Compliment the child’s creative work and remind him/her that recycling can help protect our community by reducing pollution and helping to save energy. 

Tags: 

Art

Creative Thinking

Inventive Thinking

Engineering

Parent-Led Activity

Developer:

Jessica Jones

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 03/16/2021

Categories
5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Family Resources

Let’s Talk Money

Finances. As adults, most of us dread this word. Can I get an AMEN?  It brings a whole host of baggage with it; budgeting, spending, savings, debt, checking account, savings account, investments, retirement accounts, and the list could go on and on. 

If I would have learned some basic skills at a young age, some of my decisions and choices about money would have led me down a different path. That is one reason my first career was in finance. Setting yourself up for success is the true key to financial contentment. Notice how I used the word “contentment”. It’s not about becoming rich. It’s about becoming smart with your dollars. So, how do I explain this or help my child start this process early on?

SCENARIO:

You go to the grocery store. Your child wants everything in sight and they don’t understand why 3 boxes of gushers are not going in your cart. You say no for the millionth time. 

A conversation may start like this: I understand that you want things but everything costs money. Money is something that we exchange for the value of something else. Sometimes it is called cash. It is green and we call them bills or coins. Other times, we pay with a card (show them). Most children need to connect words to objects. When we get to the check out, I will give you the card/cash/coins etc. to pay the cashier. 

#1: TALK ABOUT IT! Use financial language (cash, coins, savings accounts, checks) when speaking with your child. Tell them where the money goes when you receive it. It goes to pay the bills, electricity, rent, groceries, etc. Help explain what each word means. Spending cash. The cold hard green stuff. If you don’t have it lying around (I mean who does), draw it, explain it.

#2. Get involved. As pointed out in our scenario, you can be interactive with your child and money. If you go to an ATM, explain that it does not give you an endless supply of money. That money is linked to your personal account.

#3. Guide them. Give some guidance by setting a budget once they obtain money. If you are able, you could set up an allowance. Give room for mistakes! We have all had that impulse buy we later regret. Working with money is a process and takes years to master. 

RESOURCES TO HELP:

Websites, Games & Information on Money 

Make Money Fun for Kids!

Money as You Grow: Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Money doesn’t have to be scary and it won’t solve all of our problems. However, it can be a great contributor to contentment. So talk about it. Be real. And remember money, when managed intentionally, can give us the opportunity to live life to the fullest.

Grade Levels: K-6

Age Levels: 

  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (elementary)

Tags: 

  • Social Skills
  • Parent Led Activity 

Developer:

Lauren McNeely

Credit: 

Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 02/09/2021

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Activities PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Let’s Invent

Grade Levels: PreK-8 

Age Levels: 

  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (elementary) 
  • 11-14 yrs (middle school)

Background: 

Did you know that we celebrate National Inventors’ Day in the United States on February 11? This day was chosen because it is Thomas Alva Edison’s birthday and he is one of the greatest inventors of all time. Edison received more than 1,000 patents in his lifetime and many of these inventions made incredible contributions to our lives. He is probably best known for having invented the first incandescent light bulb that was able to glow for at least 13 hours! Prior to his invention, scientists were only able to achieve bulbs that burned for a few minutes. You can learn more about Edison through the Library of Congress or the Thomas Edison National Historical Park

We use inventions every day. Some inventions changed our world while others are just plain fun to use. For example, Lonnie Johnson is a famous inventor today. He invented one of the most popular toys of all time — the super soaker water gun. Inventors come from every cultural identity and background. For some examples, see the websites: Ten African American Inventors Who Changed the World, Asian Inventors, and  Famous Hispanic Inventors Who Changed the World. In addition, women inventors have created groundbreaking innovations and LGBTQ+ inventors, innovators, and scientists have a long history of celebrated contributions to science, technology, and invention. 

“The original Super-Soaker prototype and its inventor, Lonnie Johnson.” by Communicator is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The world is full of inventions and new ones are created every day. Look around your home and you are certain to find a lot of inventions. Some are complex like the refrigerator and computer. But, others are rather simple like VelcroR, buttons, pencils, and Post-ItR notes. 

Activity Description: Practice inventing just like Edison. Explore materials around your home. Modify them. Experiment with them. Be curious. Create something new and useful to meet a want or need. 

What tools and materials do I need?

  • Assorted recyclable or throwaway materials and items (laundry container caps, takeout containers, broken toys, dried out markers, old CDs, empty thread or ribbon spools, packaging materials, etc.) 
  • Miscellaneous materials around your home such as string, rubber bands, paper clips, paper bags, disposable cups, etc.
  • Wrapping paper, construction paper, or cardboard scraps
  • Glue, masking tape, and/or clear tape
  • Coloring utensils (e.g., crayons, markers)
  • Scissors

What should I do? 

  1. Closely observe the materials you have to work with. Think about different ways that these materials can be used or modified to create something new. Can the materials be cut or shaped to change them? Can materials be connected together with glue or tape?  
  2. Play around with the materials to see how they might be combined together in different ways. Ponder how these things can be used for something different than their original purpose. For example, can you turn your materials into one of these useful objects? 
    • Coin sorter
    • Picture holder
    • Jewelry
    • Game or toy
    • Cell phone or book stand
    • Crayon storage
    • Desk or drawer organizer
    • Coasters
    • Bookmark
    • Doll furniture
    • Musical instrument
  3. Explore ideas. There are many websites with ideas for converting throwaway items into useful products. If you can’t come up with ideas yourself, search online for some suggestions such as BabbleDabbleDoReuse This Bag, and BeautyHarmonyLife. Check out the pictures below for some ideas, too. 
  4. Improve your design. Once you’ve created something useful, think about how you can make it even better. Ask someone else for an opinion if you can’t think of ideas yourself. Make changes to your invention until you think it’s the best possible. 
  5. Give your invention a name. Be creative and think about a clever name for your new invention. Then share your invention with friends and family members. 
  6. Use your invention. Put your invention to use. Give it to someone as a gift. Be proud of yourself for being a creative inventor!
Hair accessory storage made from paper towel roll, cardboard food tray, and a scrap of wrapping paper. Spinning tops made with old CDs. A dried out marker is the leg, secured in place with rubber bands. These seed starter cups were made with one-half of a toilet paper roll, cut and folded on one end to close it off. 

Tags: 

  • Art
  • Creative Thinking
  • Curiosity
  • Fine motor skills
  • Inventive Thinking
  • Parent-Led Activity
  • Problem-Solving

Developer:

Sharon Brusic

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 02/10/2021

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Activities PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Make Someone’s Day

Create and send pick-me-up cards to people who
need support

Grade Levels: K-12 

Age Levels: 

  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (elementary)
  • 11-14 yrs (middle school)
  • 14-18 yrs (high school)

Description: Write letters or make homemade cards to send to people in need of support to show that you care. A few links to organizations that provide key information and addresses to send your cards/letters are suggested here. Please note that there are likely other organizations in your local community as well. 

What tools and materials do I need?

  • Paper — any kind, but construction paper and plain white paper are best
  • Coloring utensils such as crayons, markers, or colored pencils
  • Pen or pencil 
  • Envelopes – any kind (business size, letter size, mismatched card envelopes, etc.) 
  • Postage (if necessary)

What should I do? 

  1. Identify an organization that collects letters or cards for people in need of support. Three of these organizations are listed below. However, you can do additional searches online or consider seeking sources in your local community (e.g., nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals). 
  2. Find out what parameters there are for sending cards and letters to this organization for distribution. Be sure to follow the instructions provided by the organization carefully. Some are very specific about what to do and what not to do. For example, you should not be saying things like “Get Well” or “Feel Better Soon” because many patients have chronic or terminal illnesses. It’s also important to omit personal information (e.g., last name, contact information) and avoid using crafty items that easily fall off (e.g., glitter).
  3. Use your artistic and writing skills to create meaningful letters or cards that fit the organization’s focus and that you think will make someone’s day better. Many of the websites provide some examples to help you out. However, use your creativity to create something special that the recipient will appreciate. The pictures shown on this activity are unique card designs created by a student that were sent to some of the organizations listed.
  4. Enclose your cards/letters in an envelope, address the envelope, and mail them. If there is just one piece of paper in the envelope, you can probably put one first-class stamp on the envelope. Otherwise, you will want to take your envelope(s) to the post office so they can be weighed and proper postage applied.
  5. Feel good about helping others. When you make other people happy, you’ll feel better yourself. There are many people struggling with health issues, depression, loneliness, and other life events. You can make a difference by showing that you care through this simple, but important, activity. Consider inviting some friends over to have a letter-writing or card-making get together! 

Tags: 

  • Art
  • Creative Thinking
  • Parent-Led Activity
  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Writing

Developer:

Sharon Brusic

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Activities PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Fall Treat: Chocolate Caramel Turkey Legs

Here is a simple and delicious Fall treat for upcoming holidays that can easily be made by preschoolers (with your assistance) to high schoolers. Based on the recipe and instructions from Taste of Home, all you need is: 

  • 20 honey wheat braided pretzel twists
  • 3 oz melting chocolate  (we used the Bakers Dipping Chocolate because it comes in a microwavable container for easy melting and clean up)
  • 40 caramels 
  • Wax or parchment paper

Instructions: 

  1. Put the caramels in the microwave for a few seconds (10-15 secs, just until they are easy to mold). 
  2. Then wrap two softened caramels around the top of the pretzel rod shaping it to look like a turkey leg (my daughter- a caramel lover- used three caramels but when we ate the finished product, we realized the extra caramel wasn’t necessary- two definitely give you a good bit of caramel).  
  3. Next, dip the caramel wrapped pretzel rod into the melted chocolate until the caramel is coated and place it on parchment or wax paper. 
  4.  Let the chocolate on the  “turkey legs” dry (if you are in a hurry, you can throw them into the refrigerator but make sure to take them out before serving as the refrigerated caramel will be too hard to eat).

These were a huge hit in our house- they were so delicious!  I loved how easy they were to make and how easy clean-up was by using the microwavable melting chocolate.  

Grade Levels: PreK through High School

Age Levels: PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool), 5-6 yrs (kindergarten), 6-8 yrs (primary), 9-11 yrs (elementary), 11-14 yrs (middle school), 14-18 yrs (high school)

Tags: 

Culinary, Parent-Led

Developer:

Karena Rush

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 11/15/2020 

Categories
5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) Activities PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Be Kind Reconnect

It’s busy times for families. There are parent conferences underway at schools. It’s the hectic election time and we are bombarded with lots of negative messaging through all media channels. We are in the midst of a beautiful autumn season, but not able to fully enjoy harvest get-togethers due to social distancing guidelines. We thought now would be a good time to reconnect you to one of our activity posts called, Be Kind. This simple activity might be an enjoyable way to spend time together with your children and do something nice for a neighbor, friend, teacher, or relative. With the abundance of fresh apples on these crisp days, it’s also a great way share the harvest with those you care about. Be kind, be safe, and be healthy!

Listen to a Story – Solve a Problem

Grade Level: Pre-K to Grade 1

Description: After listening to a story about kindness, children will talk about the story and then solve a hands-on design problem related to it. Children will use simple at-home materials to create their solution to the problem.

What tools and materials do I need?

  • Computer & internet connection to listen to read-aloud story
  • Assorted art and craft supplies (e.g., paper, crayons or markers, glue, tape)
  • Miscellaneous recyclable materials (e.g., colorful shopping bags, cardboard, empty plastic containers, toilet paper tubes)
  • Simple office supplies (e.g., rubber bands, paper clips, stapler)
  • One piece of whole fruit (i.e., apple, orange, banana, kiwi, peach) or vegetable (i.e., tomato, cucumber, zucchini) or flower “gift” per child [see design challenge in step 3]

What should I do?

  1. Listen to the read-aloud of the storybook, Be Kind, written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Jen Hill. Children will learn how to show kindness to others by seeing the many ways that it is demonstrated in the story.
  2. Talk about the story. Share examples of how kindness can be shown in your family or community. Help the children recognize how they have shown kindness. Can they think of times when someone didn’t show kindness? How did it make them feel?
  3. Present the children with the following problem. Modify it as desired to better connect to your family, friends, or neighbors. Change the gift item to whatever you have available (i.e., apple, orange, banana, kiwi, peach) or some flowers or a vegetable from your garden. If the child is capable of making a decision, offer several options and let him/her pick. For example, “What do you think Mrs. Diaz might like better — an apple or a banana or a flower?”
Making gifts for others is a way to show kindness. I know a friend who really likes apples. She is sick. How can we hang an apple on her doorknob to let her know we care about her?
  1. Provide the children with assorted materials to design their solutions. They should creatively design a new product, not simply use an existing object as is (e.g., put the apple in a shopping bag or a flower in a vase). Encourage them to modify the materials they have to make a special gift. Having to think about how to hang it on a doorknob offers a unique engineering challenge that requires some additional problem-solving.
  2. Pose questions as the children solve the problem. Help them to think through the problem and come up with their best working solution. For example:
    • How can you attach it to the doorknob?
    • What would make the part stronger?
    • Is it the right size for the fruit, vegetable, or flower being used as a gift? Is it too big or too small? How can you fix that?
    • How will she know who put it there?

Deliver the gift to the friend when finished. Try to hang it on his/her doorknob. If it doesn’t work as intended, ask the child to modify the design or consider an alternative place to put it. Discuss how it felt to show kindness to another person.

Categories
PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Peep and the Big Wide World Activities

Visit Peep Family Science to learn about this free at-home science program for families of preschool children. Watch the introductory 3-minute video to see concrete examples of what is available and how it is used. Then download the four free apps to help you work with your children to do hands-on science experiments to explore ramps, colors, sounds, and shadows. PEEP Family Science is available in English and Spanish, too. 

Every app begins with a short parent video to give you tips on how to engage your child in the activities. Each of the four themes (apps) includes a variety of 10-15 minute activities that are easy to do at home with simple materials. More short cartoons intended for young children are included to promote their interest and engagement in each of the topics. For example, here are some of our favorites in each app:

  • Colors App: A Peep of a Different Color (Video) and Color Hunt (Activity)
  • Ramps App: Marble Mover (Video) and Ramps and Turns (Activity)
  • Shadows App: Bringing Spring (Video) and Shadow Puppets (Activity)
  • Sounds App: Chirp, Chirp, Tweet, Tweet, Chirp (Video) and Making Maracas (Activity)

Grade Level: Pre-K

Tags: 

Art

Critical Thinking Skills

Curiosity

Engineering

Listening

Parent Led

Problem-Solving

Science

STEM

Vocabulary

Developer:

Sharon Brusic

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 07/02/2020