Category: Krazy in Kindergarten

{Science} : Index Card Tower

One day while searching Pinterest, I came across this STEM activity using index cards.  I was intrigued because it is building things, which my boys love, but it was also a cheap science activity that could be used in a larger group setting, like the  homeschool group we started.

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Index Card Tower

Supplies:
index cards

Directions:
The children were divided into pairs, and were given a stack of index cards.  They were told to build the highest tower they could only using the index cards.  They could manipulate the cards in any way they needed, but they could only use the cards I had given them.  We had the pairs move to different areas in our house so that they could not see what the other groups were doing. After a given amount of time the kids walked around to see, analyze and learn from the different groups.

This activity was a lot of fun with a large number of kids, because you were able to see so many different thoughts when it came to building the tower.  We would not have seen the different building ideas, had it just been the boys and I.

 

Thing 1 and his partner’s tower

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Thing 2 and my creation.  (I was Thing 2’s partner, but I really didn’t help much because I was off taking pictures.  I just came back
a couple of times to talk to him.

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Thing 3’s tower.  In order to keep him from messing up Thing 1 and his partner, I gave Thing 3 his own cards so he could create.

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Thing 3 also built this dog after the activity was over.

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Have you ever built with index cards?

{Science} : Paper Airplane Design

One of the things I have wanted to incorporate into back into our homeschool is some “just for fun” science.  We love our science curriculum, but at times I miss some of the more random, fun science stuff we used to do.  So each week I plan to have one fun science activity.

This week it was to have the boys design paper airplanes and determine which design flew the best.

Paper Airplane Design

Supplies:
Paper (we used printer paper)

Activity:
Make a bunch of different paper airplanes.  Experiment by folding that paper different ways.  Which design goes the farthest?

Easy Peasy.

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My ultimate goal with this was to get the boys, especially Thing 1 to realize that it is OK to have failures. Thing 1 is very much a  perfectionist, and I want to help him realize that failure happens.  However, you can learn so much from your failures and make something better the next time around.

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As suspected, Thing 1 was disappointed that his first attempt didn’t work.  However, after a little bit of coaching, he kept trying until he built the airplane that went the furthest.

This was a simple and safe way to challenge him, without him really realizing it. I am such a sneaky mommy.

What fun have you had with paper airplane?

 

Clay Boats : Round 3

Every so often I like to repeat experiments that the boys and I have done in the past.  For one it is a great way to see if they learned anything from that experiment.  Secondly, I like to see how there thinking has changed as they have gotten older.  Lastly, Thing 3 all of them are to the age where they can participate.

This week we were suppose to have terrible storms, so I had planned to do a repeat of the clay boat activity we did back in 2011 and 2012.  The big difference this time around is that each boy created a boat on their own.  Ok, I may have helped Thing 3 a little bit, but Thing 1 and Thing 2 were all on their own.

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Here is each ones original creation.

Thing 1

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Thing 2

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Thing 3

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Mine

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The first thing we did was test to make sure everyone’s boat would float.  While Thing 1 and my boat floated, Thing 2 and Thing 3’s immediately sunk.  So I gave Thing 2 and Thing 3 some time to redesign their boats.

Round 2: Everyone’s boat floated, so we all begin adding pennies to our boats to see whose could hold the most weight.  We may have raised the stakes a little by saying that the losers make dinner.  😉

Thing 2’s redesign

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Thing 3’s redesign

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Thing 3 was the first boat to sink, but that may have been because he added some water to his boat too.

Next was Thing 2, but I think his boat had moved too far away from him, which caused him to sink it with his hand.

Thing 1 and I were close, until Thing 1’s boat sunk and I was the winner!

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The boys continued to build and rebuild boats for at least 45 more minutes.  It was a great time.  I am sure we will be repeating this experiment a few more times in the future.

 

This is What Our Homeschool Looks Like

Everyone’s homeschool looks different at different times. Some people have “school” at home, where they have a room dedicated to school.  Everyone has their own desks and that is where they do all their work.  Others gather around the kitchen table to work. Still others do school on the couch.

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This week Daddy Cameron was home with us and the weather was amazing!  We spent almost every day outside and we did most of our school while sitting on the front porch.  It was awesome.  We soaked up some sun, listened to birds and got our learn on!

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What does your homeschool look like during the spring?

{LEGO Build Challenge} : Bird

With today being the first day of spring I thought it only appropriate that the kids build a bird today.  This was a pretty quick build because the kids were in a hurry to head outside and enjoy the beautiful day.  Before we started the build we talked about the different characteristics of birds.

LEGO Build Challenges

Rules:
1.  You can use any LEGOs you wish.
2. Your bird must have wings.
3.  Your bird must have a beak.

As an additional challenge, I told the kids to see if they could make their bird move.

Thing 1 built a bird where it’s head moved.

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Thing 2’s bird head, wings and tail feather moved.

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The other bird bobbed it’s head.

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What have you built with LEGOs lately?

{LEGO Build Challenge} : Bridge

This week’s building challenge at our LEGO group was to build a bridge.

LEGO Build Challenges

Rules:
1.  Can use any LEGOs you wish.
2. Your bridge must be at least 1 inch off the ground.
3.  Your bridge must connect two things.  Examples: mountain, island, building, house, etc.
4.  Your bridge must be big enough for a mini figure to travel across.

This week we decided to make this an individual challenge, so that everyone could build the bridge they wanted.  By having each kid work on their own bridge they were really able to showcase their creativitiy.  Here are the kids’ creations.

Thing 1’s Build

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Thing 2’s Build

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Have you built a LEGO bridge? Leave a link in the comments below so we can see your creation.

Gumdrop & Toothpick Tower Challenge

A couple of years ago, we had invited some friends over to build things out of gumdrops and toothpicks and the boys loved it.  After looking at the weather this week I knew today was supposed to be rainy and cold.  I remembered this activity and thought it would be a perfect rainy, cold day activity, however, this time I challenged the boys to see who could build the tallest tower.

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Gumdrop & Toothpick Tower Challenge

Supplies:
Gumdrops
Toothpicks

Challenge:
To see who can build the tallest tower only using gumdrops and toothpicks.

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The boys accepted the challenge.  Thing 1 immediately set out constructing a tower made out of cubes.  When his tower was about 2 feet tall, he realized that he was going to need a bigger base to keep his tower from falling.

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Thing 2 started with a similar pattern as Thing 1, however he forgot to brace it in a few places, so it fell over.  This lead him to try something different using a diamond shape.  It was pretty cool to see him try something different.

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Thing 3, well Thing 3 just had a good time sticking toothpicks into gumdrops to create sea creatures.

It was a fun way to spend an afternoon.  Next I want to challenge them to build a bridge…

 

{Art} One Fish, Two Fish, Stuffed Fish

After visiting an art class last week the boys have decided that they would like to do more art at home.  I will admit, that besides drawing, there hasn’t been a lot art going on around here since before our move.  So I am making an effort to do something art or craft related ever week.  This week we made a stuffed fish.

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Stuffed Fish

Supplies:
2 Large Pieces of White Construction Paper
Watercolors
Tacky Glue
Scissors
Extra Newspaper

Directions:
1. Use watercolors to paint both sheets of constructions paper.  You want to paint the entire sheet of paper.  Then let dry.

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2.  Once the 2 painted pieces of paper are dry, turn the pieces of paper so that the blank sides are facing each other.  Sketch the outline of a fish.  Then with the blank sides facing each other cut the fish out.  You have to look close to see my lines.

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3. Now glue almost the entire way around the fish, leaving one area un-glued so that you can stuff newspaper inside.

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4.  Take small pieces of newspaper and gently stuff it inside the fish.  Once you have it stuffed, you can then finish gluing the fish shut.

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5. If you want you can punch a hole through the top fin of the fish and attach a string so that you can hang your fish up.

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While we the boys were working on their fish, I read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Suess to the boys.  They thought this was pretty cool and enjoyed listening to a story while they worked.  Thing 1 even said it was better than the art class because they were able to listen to the story.  You could also read Rainbow Fish, while working on this craft.

What have you done for art lately?

Getting Back to Work

After nearly three months off from school the boys and I got back to school this week.  To be honest, I was a little concerned how this week would go.  Would I have to fight them to get some work done?  How much was I going to have to re-teach?  How far behind are we?

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However, I am happy to say that this week went great.  Thing 1 got straight to work and Thing 2 took about 10 minutes before he got to work.  Both boys were actually able to pick up right where we left off.  Yay!

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I also started looking to see how far behind we truly are in comparison to my original plan, which had us ending our year the first week of April.  Surprisingly we are only 5 weeks behind. This means that with a little shuffling and a little bit of hustling we are still going to be able to finish this school year as planned.  Instead of working only 4 days a week we will be working 5 days a week.  We will also lose the 2 complete weeks off that I had built-in to our schedule.    I think that we can live with that.

How’s your year going?

 

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