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)

Grandparents’ Day

A Time for Togetherness

When I think of Grandparents’ Day, which occurs on Sunday September 12th, I think of comfort. Comfort in tradition, comfort in stories, and comfort in making memories with family members of the older generation. There is so much to learn from them. It almost seems like time slows down enough to let us take in the smallest moments. 

For us parents, it’s a time to have a break. It’s not that we don’t love our children. However, it’s nice to take a breath, read a book, enjoy a HOT cup of coffee, and maybe do some things WE want to do. Plus, it makes my heart swell when I see my child look at their grandparents with love in their eyes. There is nothing like it. 

This would be a great opportunity to have your children connect with their grandparents and I am sure your parents won’t hesitate to step in and take advantage of this time! So, if your child’s grandparents are looking for some things to do, or, maybe they just need a refresher in hanging out with the kids for a day, check out some ideas below!

Making the Connection

  1. Make some food. Have them break out an old cookbook, or a recipe only found in Grandma’s brain and get to cooking! Cooking is also a great way for children to talk about science and math. Teach them about temperature, measurements, time and most importantly: The LOVE it takes to make it!
  2. Read some books. See if your parents, or maybe you, can dust off some of your old childhood books in the attic. Was there a favorite one that you read or  one that was read to you as a child? Nostalgia can go a long way, in helping to make connections between generations.
  3. Go on a walk down memory lane. If your parents are anything like mine, they have boxes and boxes of memorabilia, photos, and my old stuffed animals they swear they will give to me one day. Have your parents sift through these treasures with your little ones. The stories are sure to put a smile on their faces. 
  4. Have your child try out THEIR hobby.  Forget the XBOX and VR Goggles. Step back in time to good old fashioned hobbies. My grandfather loved to work in his wood shop. I can still smell his pipe while he sanded away the imperfections of wood as he was making countless cherished items for our family. Or, maybe your mother likes to crochet. Now, your child might not be old enough to hold crochet hooks, but maybe they can help unspool the yarn. All our children want to do is get involved and feel needed. Let your parents know that! Show your children a video of what they may have to look forward to on YouTube by clicking on the link and typing in your parents hobby.
  5. Go to the park. If your grandparents are still able to be active, ask them to take your child to a local park. Getting outdoors and enjoying the sunshine will do good for all.  

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: 

  • Current events
  • Parent-led activity
  • Social-emotional learning

Developer:

Lauren McNeely

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 09/08/2021

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)

Labor Day: At Summer’s End

The Sunflower

Is there a cheerier flower than a sunflower? For me, the sunflower is a beautiful reminder of hot summer days. The flower’s yellow petals are like rays of sunshine and I love how they stretch towards the sun. I think the sunflower is the perfect bloom to help commemorate Labor Day

The first Monday in September is celebrated as “Labor Day” in the United States and “Labour Day” in Canada. Similarly, many other countries celebrate International Workers’ Day on May 1. Regardless of when it is celebrated, this special day is intended to honor workers and acknowledge trade unions and labor movements that sought to protect workers and promote their rights. But, what does this have to do with the sunflower? 

For many, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. Many families take a final summer vacation that ends on Labor Day. Many employees have a holiday from work on Labor Day and enjoy this time with family and friends at barbeques and beaches. The weather gradually starts to cool down after Labor Day and schools commence their new academic terms. It’s a time of transition. Sunflowers are generally still in bloom and they are a gentle reminder of summer’s beauty coming to an end as we move towards crisp fall days. Moreover, sunflowers are considered symbols of optimism and happiness. They represent good fortune and good luck, including career and employment ambitions. Doesn’t that fit with a day that aims to honor workers?  

Acknowledge & celebrate the day

How can you and your family acknowledge and celebrate this special day? Here’s five suggestions to try. 

  1. Learn about Frances Perkins, the first woman U.S. Secretary of Labor. Listen to The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins and Her New Deal for America by Kathleen Krull. You can also visit the Frances Perkins Center website to learn more about her courageous commitment to improving the lives of ordinary Americans. 
  2. Participate in local Labor Day activities. Many communities hold special events to honor this federal holiday. Scan your local newspaper or do a web search to find programming in your area. Look for festivals, parades, and other kinds of family fun.  
  3. Thank workers. Do something special to thank workers with whom you interact. Leave a flower for the mail or newspaper carrier. Show your appreciation to bus drivers, delivery workers, or store clerks by having your child create and deliver handmade thank you cards. 
  4. Relax. Labor Day is the perfect day to take some time off from work and focus on your family and friends. Plan some togetherness time by playing a game, taking a walk, hosting a picnic, or baking cookies together. 
  5. Enjoy sunflower seeds. Snack on sunflower seeds while you sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and bright sunshine. Use this time to talk to your children about laborers in your region who you depend upon to get the goods and services that you need. 

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: 

  • Current events
  • Health & wellness
  • Parent-led activity
  • Social-emotional learning

Developer:

Sharon Brusic

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 09/01/2021

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

National Thoughtfulness Day

Grade Levels: PreK through  Primary  Grades

Age Levels: 

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

National Thoughtfulness Day

August 28th is National Thoughtfulness Day and we thought this would be a perfect day to share with our readers as our kids head back to school.  Teaching kids to be thoughtful towards others is an important social skill, but there are other benefits as well.  For example, when we show thoughtfulness, it boosts our mood (consequently increasing happiness and decreasing depression), it can increase our feelings of self-worth, and it can strengthen our connections with others.  While some of our compassion may be innate, it is important that we model thoughtfulness and give children opportunities to practice thoughtful acts.  Below are some ideas for being thoughtful towards others as well as some books we recommend about thoughtfulness.

Acts of Thoughtfulness:

1.       Write a note to someone letting them know why you appreciate them. 

2.       Draw pictures or cards and drop them off for residents at a local nursing home.

3.       Make Thursdays “Thoughtful Thursdays” to set up a weekly practice of thoughtfulness.

4.       Make small handmade gifts for neighbors and leave them as a surprise at their door (my daughters used to love picking flowers and making a bouquet for our elderly neighbors).

5.       Compliment five people in one day.

6.       Read Megan Sheakoski’s list of 100 Acts of Kindness for Kids on her blog Coffee Cups and Crayons for lots of other great ideas.

Books: 

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

One of my favorite books about being thoughtful towards others is Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson.  I love this book as it shows a child’s missed opportunity to be thoughtful to another student in her class.  The ending really makes us think about how our actions can influence others.  The book is best for children in elementary school.

Lost and Found Cat by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes

Another great book about a thoughtful act of a stranger is Lost and Found Cat, a true story about a family fleeing Iraq with their beloved cat.  This book is also best for children in elementary school.

Here is a Random House Kids interview with the author Amy and her story of finding Kunkush the cat.

Kindness is My Superpower by Alecia Ortego

Kindness is My Superpower is a book about being thoughtful that is geared towards younger children (Preschool-Elementary age).  The book presents kindness examples in a fun rhyming format. 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” Margaret Mead

Let’s go out and teach our children to change the world!

Tags: 

  • Reading
  • Parent-led activity
  • Difficult conversations (The Lost and Found Cat book is about a refugee family fleeing their country)

Developer:

Karena Rush

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 08/25/2021 

Categories
5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) Activities Birth-36 months (infant/toddler) PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

National I Love My Feet Day: August 17

Grade Levels: PreK through  Primary  Grades

Age Levels: 

  • Birth-36 months (infant/toddler)
  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)

NATIONAL I LOVE MY FEET DAY HISTORY

Have you ever thought about how important feet are? For many of us, feet enable us to balance, walk, dance, and play sports among other things. In fact, feet are so amazing that some people can use their feet as well as others use their hands. For example, artist Sheri Caldwell lost the use of her arms at age 6, due to polio, and at age 10 learned how to paint with her feet and is now a professional artist. There is even an international organization that is dedicated to artists who paint with either their mouth and/or their feet!

Carolyn D. Jenkins realized just how important  feet are and submitted a proposal to give them a day of celebration, care, and pampering. In 2015, the National Register of the Calendar of Days approved August 17th as Annual National I Love My Feet Day

What tools and materials do I need?

  • Tempera Paints
  • Paper (butcher paper preferred but any thick paper can work)
  • Markers
  • Bucket of water
  • Towels or rag for cleanup
  • Large paint brush or rag for applying paint to feet

* This could get messy so you may want to either  lay out some newspaper or do this activity outside and dress your child in clothes that can get dirty. 

What should I do? 

  1. Brainstorm with your child all the things they appreciate about their feet and what they can do.
  2. Write down key ideas that your child shares with you.
  3. Help your child to paint the bottom of their feet with the tempera paints.
  4. Instruct your child to walk on/paint the paper with their feet.
  5. Dialogue: As you are enjoying this activity with your child, engage them in conversation by asking them questions such as: 1) What do your feet feel like?, 2) What colors do you see?, 3) Is this difficult, why or why not?

For another way to do this activity see: Painting with Feet by Meredith at Homegrown Friends Studio.

Tags: 

  • Art
  • Gross motor skills
  • Parent-led activity

Developer:

Beth Powers

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 08/17/2021 

Categories
5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) Activities Birth-36 months (infant/toddler)

Beach Fun at Home

Some of my favorite summertime memories include spending time with my family at the beach.  However, when it’s not possible to get to the beach, we have some ideas for creating a “Beach Staycation” to bring the beach to you!

Craft: Sand Art

With just paper, a glue bottle, and a little sand, you can make some beautiful sand art.  Start by having your kids draw designs with the glue on a piece of paper. Once the design is done, pour sand over the glue and paper. Make sure the sand covers all the glued areas.  Next, dump the excess sand off the paper (you may want to do this outside or over a plastic container or newspaper to minimize the mess. In addition, if there is a lot of glue, you may want to wait until it has dried a little to avoid the glue dripping). When the excess sand is removed, you have a beautiful sand picture.  See this easy to follow youtube video by Shezcraft for a visual demonstration.  For older kids, you could have them use different colored sand for a more detailed design.

Activity: Sand and Water Sensory Bin

Summertime calls for play with sand and water. Making an ocean themed sensory bin is a great way to bring the ocean to you.  The Fun for Learning website has a gorgeous, easy to make, sand and water sensory box that allows kids to play in both sand and water at the same time.  All you need is a large plastic container, sand, blue dye, a few shells (rocks will also work), and some small ocean themed toys.  Take a look at their website for instructions and pictures of their beautiful end product. When you see the pictures of the possible creations, you will want to join in the play!

Snacks:  Sand Pudding & Ocean Jello Cups

My kids love making sand pudding.  It’s a simple and fun snack that definitely makes you feel like you are at the beach.  All you need is a sand bucket & shovel, vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers, and some ocean themed candy.  The Three Snackateers have a great easy to follow Sand Pudding recipe with some creative ocean themed toppings. My girls have decorated the top with Sweedish Fish, Gummy Sharks, or Teddy Grahams swimming in lifesaver “floaties” or lounging on towels made of fruit roll-up-by-the-yard. 

Ocean Jello Cups are another big hit in our house and are also easy to make with just a few simple ingredients including blue jello, whipped cream, and Swedish fish. The Tip Toe Fairy has a fun “fishing” design that I’m sure kids will love.

If you are doing a staycation at home or just looking for some summer fun, we hope you enjoy these ideas!

Grade Levels: Preschool-Elementary School 

Age Levels: Choose from this list. Delete those that do NOT apply. 

  • Birth-36 months (infant/toddler)
  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)

Tags: 

Art, Culinary, Food, Parent-Led, Sensory Learning

Developer:

Karena Rush

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 08/04/2021

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

One Giant Leap for Fun

Family: “Ah, Houston, we have a problem here.”

Houston: “This is Houston. Say again please…” “What’s your problem family?”

Family: “Houston, we have a problem here.”

Houston: “Roger. What’s your problem family?”

Family: “We’re searching for space activities for our children.”

Houston: “Roger that, Family.” We’re going to alter your course online to Connectionspot.org”

Family: “Thanks, Houston! Problem-solved!” 

July 20, 1969, the United States’ Apollo 11 was the first crewed mission to land on the Moon. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin became the first people to land on the moon. As he took his first step, Armstrong famously said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Today, over 50 years later, the Connection Spot team would like to take one small step for science, and one giant leap for family fun!

Listed below are links and resources to engage your future astronaut with resources that are out of this world!

  • Solar System Model: This video by former NASA engineer, Mark Rober, does an excellent job of explaining the size of our solar system . (Grades 3-12)
  • Solar System Tour: Take an interactive 3-D tour of the solar system or the International Space Station, investigate the latest images from Mars, or use amazing images of auroras, galaxies, meteor showers, and other phenomena to enhance your space experience. (Grades 4-12)
  • KidCyber: Is your child looking for more information to satisfy their love for space? Explore the text options, videos, and images on the site. (Grades K-6)
  • NASA Images: This is a nicely indexed, searchable collection of NASA photos whose topics range from aeronautics to space, the planets, and beyond. (Grades 2-12)
  • Space STEM Activities: Explore STEM activities connected to space like building a Mars rover out of pasta! (Grades K-12)
  • PBS Kids Design Squad: Learn about space rocks and design a “core sample” with a STEM activity! (Grades 4-12)
  • Space Rocks Game: Play a meteorite board game as a family! The site also includes support videos and resources! (Grades 3-12)
  • NASA Mars Rover: Explore this website from NASA for videos and images from the Mars Rovers. (Grades 3-12)

We would love to hear from you about which space activities your family enjoyed! Post your experiences in the comments. 

Age(s): 

PreK 3-5 Years (Preschool)

5 to 6 Years (Kindergarten)

6 to 8 (Primary)

9 to 11 Years (Elementary)

11 to 14 Years (Middle School)

14-18 years (High School)

Tags: 

Parent-Led Activities

Science

Developer:

Kevin Bower

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 7/21/2021

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

Celebrating 4th of July with your family

Grade Levels: PreK through High School

Age Levels: 

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

Here’s How To Explain 4th Of July To Your Kid

For many children who are living in the U.S., July 4th might seem like any other holiday with fireworks, parades, and celebrations. But, this day is significant for us because it is when we celebrate our Nation’s Independence. Explaining this may be difficult to understand, depending on the age of your child. Romper Magazine Online helps parents and caregivers to explain 4th of July to your Kid. Mike Doveton, National Park Ranger at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, provides some great suggestions. Key ideas include:

  1. Start with what’s right and fair. Ask kids to think about what’s fair and not fair in their lives, and then share that the colonists felt that Great Britain were not treating them fairly.  
  2. Describe what the Declaration of Independence is and why it is important
  3. Consider what the term Independence means. For example, Doveton explains that independence doesn’t just mean the freedom to do anything you want, but the freedom of people in a community to decide what is just and right for the community. 

Activities

Better Homes and Gardens shares 9 Easy-to-Make Outdoor 4th of July Games for Kids. These games will help provide fun and healthy activities for families and kids. 

Jacklyn Moran provides 15 Fun and Easy Fourth of July Activities To Do With Kids  for the website Everymom. These include crowns, cookies, and parade sticks. 

Join the Signers of the Declaration of Independence by adding your name to the list of signatories online 

Resource

Alonso, created a free resource titled A Kid’s Guide to 4th of July in Spanish

Tags: 

Art

Creative Thinking

Inventive Thinking

Parent-Led Activity

Developer:

Beth Powers

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 06/30/2021

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)

Edible Art

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)

Background: 

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables month — a time to think about how you incorporate healthy fruits and vegetables into your diet. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes dietary guidelines which describe the importance of a well-balanced diet as part of a healthy lifestyle. Including fruits and vegetables in your meals and/or as snacks is one key part of a healthy diet. Healthy eating habits should be encouraged with children throughout their lives. However, getting children to enjoy vegetables, in particular, can sometimes be a challenge. How about turning it into an edible art project that you can enjoy together as a family? 

Activity Description: Gather assorted vegetables to use as a decorative topping for a flatbread pizza. Arrange the vegetables in fun and interesting patterns on pizza dough that is cooked and enjoyed. 

What tools and materials do I need?

  • Assorted colorful vegetables cut into slices or small pieces (tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, spinach, red or green peppers, etc.)
  • Pizza dough (store-bought roll from refrigerated section or homemade)
  • Mozzarella or other pizza cheese (shredded)
  • Cookie sheet or pizza pan (lightly oiled)
  • Rolling pin and a little flour (may be needed to roll out the dough; otherwise just use fingers or a glass rolled in flour) 
  • Oven 
  • Pizza sauce (store-bought jar or homemade) [optional]
  • Fresh basil [optional]

What should I do? 

  1. Prepare the dough. Roll and cut the pizza dough into one large pizza or a few single serve sizes depending on how many children are involved and the size of your pans. You might find it helpful to use a rolling pin and a little flour on the counter to roll out the dough. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can use your fingers. Another option is to roll a glass in some flour and use that in place of a rolling pin. 
  2. Arrange the vegetables. Have the children arrange the vegetables on the dough in any patterns of their choosing. Encourage them to incorporate a variety of vegetables in order to create unique designs on their flatbreads. Tell them to fill their art space (dough) as much as possible. Use this decorating time to engage your child in a conversation about the importance of incorporating many different colored vegetables into a healthy diet.
  3. Precook the vegetables and crust. Cook the flatbread(s) according to dough instructions. The sample flatbreads illustrated on this post were made with Pillsbury® pizza dough, cooked at 400O for about 6-8 minutes. 
  4. Add cheese. Remove the partially cooked flatbread(s) from the oven and have your child carefully arrange a small amount of cheese on the flatbread so as to not cover up the design. Use a minimal amount of cheese. About ¼ cup of cheese was used on the flatbreads pictured (each flatbread used ½ of the Pillsbury® dough). Cook the flatbread for another 3-4 minutes to melt the cheese and get a nicely browned crust.    
  5. Cut and serve the flatbread. Cut the cooked flatbread into small pieces. Top with some chopped fresh basil, if you have it. If desired, heat up some pizza sauce to use as a dipping sauce. 
  6. Other considerations. Consider some of these options as you plan and conduct this activity with your children. 
    • Serve the flatbread as part of a meal that includes fresh fruit such as apples, bananas, mangos, pineapples, melon, etc. Cutting these in small pieces and having your child eat them with a toothpick instead of a fork makes it more fun. 
    • Share the Healthy Eating Plate with your child and reinforce this balance when preparing and serving your meals. Learn more at the USDA’s My Plate website. You’ll find some great suggestions at that site in celebration of the 2021 10-year anniversary of the MyPlate concept graphic that serves as a guide to healthy eating from each of the five food groups, including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy. Take a quiz, download an app, create a healthy food plan, or learn how to post about your experience on social media at this site. 
    • Learn some great strategies about promoting healthy eating with your children through the My Plate, My Wins: Real Solutions from Real Families video (3:27 minutes) published by the USDA. 

Tags: 

  • Art
  • Culinary
  • Fine motor skills
  • Food
  • Health and wellness
  • Parent-led activity

Developer:

Sharon Brusic

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 06/24/2021

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

Sweet Summertime

A few weeks ago I asked students what they were most excited about for summer. Many said the beach, or the pool, but there were also a majority of students who said camping! Did you know that June is National Camping Month? Take advantage of the warm days and cool nights with family members, friends, and/or your favorite stuffed animals, and spend a night under the stars! Below are some ideas to help kick off that summer fun. 

  1. Get outside! Go for a hike and explore the nature around you. Not sure where to go? Check out your local listings. Things to consider and bring:
    1. Sunblock
    2. Bug spray
    3. Water 
    4. Proper shoes
    5. Healthy snacks that are easy on the go such as Nutri-Grain bars or mixed nuts
  2. Gone fishing? Is there a local stream, lake, or pond near you that you can fish at? Grab a rod and some worms and have your try at fishing. Don’t have a fishing rod? Try making your own fishing rod
  3. Pitch a tent! Set up a tent outside and take some blankets, pillows, and flashlights for a night of fun.
  4. Enjoy a campfire. If you are able to build a campfire, make some smores, and share stories together.
  5. Build a project! If you can’t have a campfire consider making your own Solar Smores Box! This is a great activity for the kids and a way for them to extend their brainpower even after school is out for the summer. 

It doesn’t have to cost you money to have fun in the summer. We hope a few of these ideas enrich your child’s experiences. Happy memory making!

Age Levels: 

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

Tags: 

Environment

Food

Parent-Led Activity

Science

Developer:

Lauren McNeely

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA
Credit:
ConnectionSpot.org on 6/2/2021

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!

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Developer:

Lauren McNeely

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Credit:
ConnectionSpot.org on 5/5/2021