Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 15: Chocolate Chip Day

image from twin-tables.com


Chocolate Dough

Materials/Ingredients:

  • Semi-sweet chocolate, 8 ounces
  • Light corn syrup, ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Plastic bag
  • Vegetable spray or oil
  • Airtight container

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate (can be done in microwave).
  2. Stir chocolate with spoon until smooth.
  3. Stir in corn syrup.
  4. The chocolate will stiffen almost immediately, but keep stirring.
  5. Transfer to a sturdy plastic bag and refrigerate until firm.
  6. Once firm, dough can be worked by kneading. If too hard, cut off small pieces and knead.
  7. You can lightly spray working surface with vegetable spray or oil to prevent sticking.
  8. Store unused portion in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Source(s): From familycorner.com; featured in Toolbox Training book 100 Cooking Activities for Kids (activity L7).


Check out the full May calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.
   

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April 12: Space Shuttle Columbia First Launched (1981)

image from Wikipedia.org

Kids can make balloon rockets in honor of the first launch of the space shuttle.


Balloon Rocket Races

Materials:

  • twine or kite string
  • straws
  • tape
  • balloons

Directions:

  1. Cut twine or kite string in about 10-foot long pieces.
  2. Thread one end of a string through a straw.
  3. Pull string tight, taping each end down to different objects. Ideally, one side should be slightly higher than the other.
  4. Blow up balloon, but do not tie it.
  5. Tape balloon so that it hangs under straw.
  6. Let go of mouth of balloon and your rocket should shoot from one end of the string to the other!
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s 100 Construction Activities for Kids (activity N1).


Check out the full April calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

March 13: Planet Uranus Discovered (1781)

image from easyscienceforkids.com

Uranus, one of the bigger planets, was discovered on this day in 1781. How does it stack up in diameter compared to the other planets?


Planets’ Diameters

Materials:

  • Measuring tape
  • String
  • Ruler
  • Sidewalk chalk

Directions:

  1. What is the diameter of each planet in our Solar System? Check out EnchantedLearning.com to find out.
  2. This is best done outside in a space where you can use sidewalk chalk, but could also be done indoors with string and tape.
  3. Try different scales depending on space, but to offer some perspective, if 1 inch equals 1000 miles, Mercury is only three inches across while Jupiter is nearly three feet!
  4. To mark a planets’ diameter with chalk, measure a piece of string to HALF the diameter of the planet.
  5. Once a piece of string is cut to length, one person needs to hold one end steady while a second person holds the other end.
  6. Keeping the string tight, the second person rotates around the first person, tracing a circle with the chalk as he/she moves. This represents the planet’s diameter.
  7. Repeat for each planet.
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s book 100 Science Activities for Kids (activity F10).


Check out the full March calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

February 28: Floral Design Day

image from paperflowerstudio.com


Paper Flowers

Materials:

  • construction paper
  • straws
  • stapler
  • glue
  • scissors
  • can or cups

Directions:

  1. Cut 8” squares of construction paper and fold like a fan.
  2. Fold fan in half to form flower and staple to straw.
  3. Cut leaves for each flower and glue or staple onto the straw.
  4. Flowers can be arranged in a cup or can to form an arrangement.
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s 100 Art Activities for Kids (activity B6).

Note: this book also has directions for making a flower basket out of paper.
Check out the full February calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Friday, February 26, 2016

February 26: Tell a Fairy Tale Day

image from kidzcoolit.com


One-Minute Fairy Tales

Materials:

  • props as deemed necessary

Directions:

  1. This is a great activity for teaching kids how to whittle a story down to its basics.
  2. Choose a familiar fairy tale or other story that all the kids will know. If necessary, read the story to them first.
  3. Then ask for volunteers to act out the story. The catch is that they only have one minute.
  4. Then ask those same kids to act it out in 30 seconds.
  5. Then cut the time down to 10 seconds.
  6. Encourage kids to discuss what happens and what they learn about the story.

Source(s): 100 Drama Activities for Kids (activity I7)


Check out the full February calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

February 25: Don't Utter a Word Day (Quiet Day)

image from reviewtrackers.com


Mum Ball

Materials:

  • a ball

Directions:

  1. This is a great game for transition times, quiet times, or circle time.
  2. Players sit in a circle.
  3. Players roll a ball back and forth without making any noise.
  4. If someone makes noise, (s)he is out.
  5. Play continues until only one player remains.

Variations:

  • For variety, kids who are out can walk around the back of the circle and try to get other players to make noise (no contact or noise allowed from those children who are out).
  • Also consider requiring the ball to remain in the circle or roller or receiver is out (your choice).
  • For a more active game, players can stand and ball can be thrown.

Source(s): 100 Game Activities for Kids (activity G1)


Check out the full February calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February 24: Tortilla Chip Day

February 24: Tortilla Chip Day


Nacho Cheese Dip

Materials/Ingredients:

  • Cream cheese, 1 8-ounce package
  • Sour cream, 1 16-ounce package
  • Taco mix seasoning, 1 envelope
  • Bowl
  • Beater
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Green pepper
  • Tomato
  • Knife
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Shredded cheese, 8 ounces
  • 9” x 13” pan
  • Chips for dipping

Directions:

  1. Beat sour cream, cream cheese, and taco mix well.
  2. Chop celery, onion, green pepper, and tomato.
  3. Stir in chopped vegetables into the cheese mixture.
  4. Spread in pan.
  5. Top with shredded lettuce.
  6. Serve with chips.
Source(s): From cooks.com; featured in Toolbox Training book 100 Cooking Activities for Kids (activity E9).


Check out the full February calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February 23: Tennis Day

image from batestennis.com


Group Tennis

Materials:

  • One coat hanger per player
  • One leg of panty hose per player
  • One tennis ball for every four kids
  • Chalk or other means for marking boundaries

Directions:

  1. Have each child use his coat hanger and panty hose to make a tennis racket. This will take some extra preparation time outside of the actual game.
  2. Kids divide into two teams, one for each side of a designated “court” area.
  3. The court should be no larger than an actual tennis court, preferably much smaller. Courts must have marked boundaries and a center line.
  4. Regular rules of tennis apply - only one bounce per side, but this game allows for teams larger than doubles.
  5. Have teams play to a set number of points (ten is good) and then mix up the players.

Variations:

  • Use a playground ball and no rackets.
  • If you have several games going, vary the size of the court for each.
  • Change the number of points needed to win each round.
  • If you have four or more teams, set up a mini-tournament.
  • Vary the number of team players per round.

Source(s): 100 Game Activities for Kids (activity C13)


Check out the full February calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 21: Home for Birds Week (3rd week of February)

image from portersonline.com


Paper Mache Bird Houses

Materials:

  • Smocks
  • Newspaper
  • Water
  • Flour
  • Large pot
  • Clean medium-sized milk carton
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Tear newspaper into shreds and place in pot. Fill with water and boil for 30 minutes until paper turns to pulp.
  2. Cool the pulp and squeeze out the water. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well.
  3. Seal the top of the carton with masking tape and cut a hole larger than desired for finished product.
  4. Cover whole carton (make sure pulp is on inside of hole as well) with paper mache pulp and leave to dry in sun.
  5. When dry, add second layer and any desired decorations. Whole process may take a couple days.
  6. Paint and add a coat of varnish for protection from the elements if desired.
Source(s): From kidzworld.com; featured in Toolbox Training book 100 Nature Activities for Kids (activity H11)


Check out the full February calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

February 20: Paper bag manufacturing machine patented (1872)

image from brownpaperbagsmall.blogspot.com


Bag Bricks

Materials:

  • brown paper grocery bags
  • brown paper lunch bags
  • newspaper
  • stapler and staples
  • masking tape

Directions:

  1. Stuff paper bags with newspaper.
  2. Bags should take on a brick-type shape.
  3. Fasten end of bag with staples or tape. Kids can experiment to see which holds bags together better.
  4. Kids can now use the bricks to build structures as they wish.
  5. It is also possible to make the blocks without newspaper, but they won’t be as sturdy.

Source(s): 100 Construction Activities for Kids (activity B6).


Check out the full February calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

February 20: John Glenn Becomes First Man to Orbit Moon (1962)

image from Wikipedia.org

To celebrate the day, kids can play this space-themed game:


Satellite

Materials:

  • A chair

Directions:

  1. The astronaut begins in the middle of the play area touching a chair (a spaceship).
  2. The astronaut can leave the spaceship for only ten seconds at a time before he/she must go back for air.
  3. During the ten seconds, the astronaut tries to capture as many satellites (other players) as possible.
  4. Any satellite tagged by the astronaut goes to the chair and becomes another astronaut.
  5. If an astronaut fails to make it back to the ship in ten seconds, then one satellite must be given up.
  6. Play continues untl only one satellite remains. This person becomes the new astronaut.
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s book 100 Game Activities for Kids (activity A14)


Check out the full February calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

February 18: Pluto discovered (1925)

image from sciencefiction.com

Pluto was discovered in 1925. When it was still considered a planet, it was the farthest from the sun. This is a good day to explore just how far from the sun each planet is!


Planets Distances from the Sun

Materials:

  • Measuring tape
  • String
  • Ruler
  • Objects to represent planets
  • Masking tape
  • Marker

Directions:

  1. What is the average distance from the sun for each planet in our Solar System? Check out EnchantedLearning.com to see how far each planet is from the sun.
  2. You can experiment with scale in different ways depending on space allowed, but to offer some perspective if 1 inch equals 10 million miles, Mercury will be less than six inches from the sun while Pluto would be over 300 feet away!
  3. Kids can measure strings to certain lengths to make it easier to quickly figure distances. For example, they can measure out lengths of string to 10 inches, 100 inches, etc. Then they can use a ruler for distances under 10 inches.
  4. Use an object to mark each planet. You may opt to just put down a piece of masking tape with the name of the planet written on it.
  5. What do kids think once it is done? Did they think the planets would be closer together? Farther apart?
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s book 100 Science Activities for Kids (activity F9).


Check out the full February calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.