## Monday, May 30, 2016

### After School Linky (5-30)

Let's party!

Summer is upon is. Are you ready to have fun with the kids? This is a great place for inspiration.

Here are a few ideas shared at last week's party.

5 Great Variations of Tag at Grandma Ideas

Nature Scavenger Hunt Printables for Kids at Crystal and Co.

DIY Scratch Paper Art at Teacher Mom Plus 3

The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks.

## Friday, May 27, 2016

### Flashcard Alternative: Flip-Top Math Facts

I love self-checking math activities. This one is perfect. All you need to do is place some calls to all your friends and family and ask them to hold on to some ketchup, toothpaste tube, and parmesan cheese lids.

What You Need
Lots of plastic flip-top caps
Permanent Marker

Prep
On the lid of each cap, write a math problem; I stuck with addition problems since my youngest is in kindergarten.

Pop the top and write the answers on the bottom part of the cap.

Practice
Give your kiddo the caps. They'll answer the problems, open the caps and check their math.

This great idea came from Flap Jack Educational Resources.

## Wednesday, May 25, 2016

### How to Crush a Bottle With Air Pressure

When I asked our six year old why this experiment worked, without hesitation, he said, "Magic!" Science is magical, isn't it? This fun activity will really wow your kids.

What You Need
An empty plastic 2-liter soda bottle with cap
Lots of Ice
Pitcher of ice water
1/2 c. boiling water
Funnel (optional)
9x13 casserole dish

Experiment
Fill the 9x13 dish with ice.

Pour the boiling water into the empty bottle; we used a funnel. Let sit for 2 minutes.

Seal the bottle by putting the cap on tightly.

Now lay the bottle on its side in the pan of ice.

Pour the pitcher of ice water over the bottle.

Pick up the bottle by the cap to examine it. It's been crushed without you even touching it!

Why it Works
The boiling water heated up the air inside the bottle and once capped, the hot air was trapped in there. When the bottle was placed in the ice and cold water poured over it, the air in the bottle began to cool down, thus decreasing the air pressure inside the bottle (cooler air expels less pressure than hot air). When the air pressure in the bottle decreased more than the air pressure outside the bottle, there was more force pushing in on the bottle than pushing out, thus collapsing the plastic.

This great experiment came from the amazing site Cool Science Experiments Headquarters. Stop by and check out all the phenomenal activities and inspiration there!

## Monday, May 23, 2016

### After School Linky (5-23)

Let's party!

This little party always has loads of great ideas. Check the following out from the party two weeks ago.

Book Based Summer Activity Calendars at Growing Book by Book

Free Cooperation Songs and Rhymes from Bits of Positivity

Number Line Secret Codes at Creative Family Fun

'BUMP' Multiplication Review Game from Teacher Mom Plus 3

Rainbow Number Bonds at Rainy Day Mum

The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks.

## Friday, May 20, 2016

### Center of Gravity Balancing Experiment

Center of gravity is a difficult concept for kids to grasp. This experiment can help, though.

It's scientastic! Okay, that's not a real word, but it should be.

What You Need
An unsharpened pencil
1 piece of wire (ours was 16 gauge) about 12-14 inches long
2 wooden clothespins

Prep
Take a straight length of wire and put the pencil on top of it in the center, about an inch away from the end of the eraser. Holding the pencil and wire in place, bend the left "arm" of the wire over top the pencil. Do the same with the right "arm" of wire.

Now arc the two ends of wire downward slightly and clip the clothespins on each end.

Experiment
Take the pencil and try to balance the eraser on your nose. Adjust the wire (closer to the eraser), its curve, or the position of the clothespins in necessary. Once you get the position right, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to balance ... for 10 seconds or even longer!

Why it Works
It's easier to balance something when you lower its center of gravity, which is precisely what the weights (i.e. wire and clothespins) accomplish. Another example of this is when high-wire walkers carry a long pole to help them balance better.

This great idea came from Jordan D. Brown's awesome book. Check it out!

## Wednesday, May 18, 2016

### Silent E Apple Tree FREE Printable Game

Let's face it, the silent e is tricky. It doesn't make a sound, but changes the way earlier vowels in the word are pronounced. Ugh. What a pain for beginning readers!

To give my son some practice pronouncing words that are transformed with a silent e, I designed a fun game to play together: Climb With Me Up the Silent E Apple Tree.

What You Need to Play
FREE 5-page PDF (available on Google Drive here)
Heavyweight card stock
Paper cutter or scissors
Tape
Die
Different game pieces for each player (we used buttons)

Prep
Print the PDF on the card stock. Since your home printer won't print full bleed (i.e. all the way to the edge of the paper), trim off the white strip on the bottom of page 1 and top of page 2. Tape these pages together to form your apple tree game board.

Cut out all of the word cards and place face down in a pile under the tree.

How to Play
Place both game pieces on the word START at the base of the tree. The youngest player rolls the die first and moves their game piece the number of spaces rolled.

If the player lands on an apple, they draw a card. They must pronounce the word with AND without the silent e. If they do this correctly, they can advance two more spaces.

HINT: I like to remind my son that while the ending e is silent, it makes the <a,e,i,o,u> say it's name. In other words instead of the i in pine making the ih sound, it literally makes the eye sound.

If they land on an empty circle, they stay put.

If they land on an apple core, they must move back the number of spaces indicated.

Play alternates between players. If a player lands on a space where a branch points them up or down the board to another space, they must move their game piece to wherever the end of the arrowed branch points.

The first player to make it to the FINISH (i.e. the bird) wins the game. This was challenging for our 6-year-old but great practice and great fun at the same time!

Read
Want a great book to read along with this? We recommend the following.

## Wednesday, May 11, 2016

### Raindrop Hop {Active Skip Counting Practice}

Our kindergartner is pretty good with numbers but I've noticed when he skip counts by twos, there's a long pause after 10. To help improve the pace with which he can move through these numbers, I found a fun way to memorize the sequence.

I grabbed a few sticks of sidewalk chalk and drew a big cloud with approximately 20 droplets (I think I got carried away and made 21 drops) of rain coming out of it. On the droplets, I randomly wrote the numbers 1-20. To make sure the 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. weren't too far apart from each other, I started with those numbers first. Then I simply filled in the odd numbers.

When he came outside, he was intrigued.

The instructions were simple. Start at the cloud and hop the raindrops skip-counting by twos all the way to 20. At first, it'll be a gentle rain, with your child slowly jumping their way to 20.

Tell your child the rain is getting heavier and FASTER. See if they can say and jump the sequence with greater speed.

You can really have fun with this from sprinkle, to steady rain, to all-out down pour, the more times your child hops the drops, the better they'll become at memorizing the numbers!

Given that we've been getting loads of rain this spring, this activity was perfect. A neighborhood friend came over and the both of them got hopping!

## Monday, May 9, 2016

### After School Linky (5-9)

Let's party!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you find inspiration here.

Below are just a few of the great ideas and activities shared last week.

Distance from the Sun at Teacher Mom Plus 3

The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks.

## Friday, May 6, 2016

### Building a Straw House (STEM activity)

Next time you read The Three Little Pigs, ask you child to make their own house out of straw ... well, rather, straws - drinking straws to be precise!

This activity will really bring out your child's inner engineer.

Supplies
Plastic drinking straws (bendy ones work but others would be better)
Chenille stems (aka pipe cleaners)
Scissors

Prep
Cut several pipe cleaners into 2-3 inch long lengths.

Design. Build. Play. Create.
Challenge your child to build a house ... or anything really. By inserting half of a pipe cleaner in the end of one straw, bending it, and inserting another straw, you can start to make shapes, sculptures, and whatever your heart desires.

Note: You can add multiple pipe cleaners into the end of one straw!

Our six year old son, who loves to create paper sculptures and build with scrap wood, absolutely LOVED this. It was hard to tear him away at bed time, and I was told multiple times that we would continue to work on our house tomorrow. Who am I to argue?

## Wednesday, May 4, 2016

### Words in Words (a Literacy Board Game)

Our youngest son is doing a great job on his journey to becoming a fluent reader. I've been surprised to see some of the words that he gets hung up on, though. When he knows the sight word "ate," for example, I expect him to read "gate" with relative ease. Not so, though.

This activity is an effort to help him see words inside of words, which sometimes (not always) will be just the cues he needs to read them more quickly.

What You Need to Play
2 players
2 different game pieces (we used LEGO minifigures)
Free PDF of the cards and game board (download it here)
Dot stickers (or tape)
Heavyweight card stock (8 pieces)
Scissors or paper cutter
Marker

Assembly
Download and print the 8-page PDF file on heavyweight card stock.

Cut out the game cards so that each has a word at the top and blank rectangle at the bottom.

Fold the cards in on themselves and write the word that's inside on the outside in marker. Use a dot sticker (like what you'd use for pricing yard sale items) folded over the top edge to seal each closed.

Put these in a pile or bowl.

How to Play
Both players put their game pieces on the START circle. The youngest player picks a game card, reads the word in marker and tries to figure out what word is inside that word (without scrambling the letters!). Once they have a guess, have them open the card.

If the word they discovered inside the main word is on the inside of the card in red, they move their game pieces the number of letters in that word. For example, if the child selects the card with the word 'seen' on it, and says 'see' is the hidden word, they'll move their game piece three spaces since there are three letters in the word 'see.'

If there are multiple options on the inside of the card, the player can only move their game piece the number of letters in the word they guessed (so if they said 'an' and not 'ant' in elephant, they move TWO spaces, not three).

The player to reach the finish first is declared the winner.

I was shocked at how well my youngest son did with this and how much his older brother also enjoyed playing with him. If we're going to keep the enjoyment going, it looks like I'll have to make even more cards!

## Monday, May 2, 2016

### After School Linky (5-2)

Let's party!

I can hardly believe how quickly the school year has gone. Are you already planning for summer fun?

This linky has loads of ideas and activities for inspiration.

Here are my favorites from last week's link-up.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear Algorithm Activity and Printable at JDaniel4's Mom

FREE 100s Chart Puzzles from Boy Mama Teacher Mama

Kids' Color Mixing App at The Science Kiddo

Rock Sums at Creative Family Fun

The After School Linky is cohosted by
Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school, home school, or on the weekend!

When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up, you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board and feature an image on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks.