Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cardboard Roll Shuttling Rocket


What can you make with some long lengths of string/ribbon and an empty cardboard toilet paper tube? A rocket, that's what!


There are a few other necessities: two people and teamwork.

Decorating your rocket is optional. We added some craft foam fins with hot glue, but the boys were too eager to see the rocket in action to really give it an authentic look.


To prepare, cut two long lengths of string. Mine were each five to six feet long. Make a loop at each end so the string has a "handle."


Note: If you tie this with a slip knot (I think that's what it's called), the loop you've created might shrink as the string slides, so don't put these around a child's wrists. Just have them hold onto them with several of their fingers threaded through the loop. To avoid any possibility of this, grab four bangle bracelets or cut the center out of round plastic lids and tie the string to them to use them as handles.

Now put the lengths through the toilet paper tube's hole and have each child stand opposite each other with the string loops in each hand.

They'll need to stand so the string is fairly taut. Have both children start with their hands together. Move the rocket tube along the string close to one child's hands. Then instruct that child to widen his/her hands/arms and watch the rocket shuttle to the other child. Can he/she send it back?


This took some real teamwork for my boys. They had to work together to figure out whose hands should be together and whose should be opening in order to send the rocket back and forth between them.

They had a blast (pun intended)!

Check out the short video we made to show you how it works. (There is some serious concentration going on here.)

video

Want to pair this with a great book? Our nearly five year old and I read Roaring Rockets from Tony Mitton's  Amazing Machines series (we LOVE these picture books).



This idea came from FamilyFun magazine.


Monday, July 28, 2014

After School Linky Party (7-28)


Welcome to the After School Linky Party!


Summer is drawing to a close. If you're desperately trying to make the most out of the last days of summer, this linky has loads of ideas to help you.

Here are a few favorites from last week's link up.













Scissor School at Doodles and Jots.


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, July 25, 2014

5 for 5: Free Printable Vertebrates Card Game


Have you ever played Phase 10? It's a rummy-type card game and it's the inspiration for this vertebrates card game that features examples from the five classes of vertebrates:
amphibians
birds
fish
mammals
reptiles


Prep
Download the free 9-page PDF from Google Drive here.
Print pages 1-8 on heavyweight white cardstock.
Print page 9 (a reference sheet) on plain office paper.
Use a paper trimmer to cut all the cards apart.
Shuffle



The Objective of the Game
Be the first player to complete all rounds of play. If all/both players complete the rounds at the same time, the player with the lowest score wins.

How to Play
Deal 10 cards to each player, who keeps their cards from opponents' view. The rest of the deck is placed in the middle of the play area and the top card is flipped over to start a discard pile.

The youngest player starts play by drawing a card either from the draw pile or the discard pile. Their turn ends when they discard one card.

Play starts with players trying to get all the cards necessary for Round 1. The rounds follow:

Round 1: 2 sets of 3
Round 2: 1 set of 3, 1 run of 4
Round 3: 7 cards of one class/color
Round 4: 1 set of 4, 1 run of 4
Round 5: 1 run of 7

Each player only makes one round per hand.

Sets are cards of all the same number. Runs are cards with consecutive numbers. And cards of one class/color are all the same type of vertebrate (e.g. all cards are reptiles).


WILD cards can be used to complete a round, in place of a missing card. For example, if a player is creating a run and has a 1, 2, and 4 card. They can use the wild card in place of a 3 card.

SKIP cards, when discarded, cause another player to lose their turn. Skip cards are never laid down as part of the round's cards.
Once a player has all the cards specified in that round, they lay them down on the table in front of them for everyone to see.  Any additional cards a player may have that go along with these cards can be added (e.g. if a player has four 3 cards, but only needs three, he/she can lay down the extra card).

The player can continue to add cards to their own displayed hand and once other players lay down their own sets/runs/all-one-color hands, opponents can play on them as well.

The goal is to get rid of all your cards, while drawing and discarding each turn.


If a player plays all their cards, opponents must tally their score based on the remaining cards in their hand.
Cards numbered 1-5 = 5 points
Cards numbered 6-10 = 10 points
Skip cards = 15 points
Wild cards = 25 points

If a player has yet to lay down all the specified cards in the round when another players goes out of cards, not only will their score be high, but the next time you shuffle and begin play again, they will need to repeat their attempt to get that round's cards again.

This means that players may be striving to make different rounds' hands.

Shuffle cards and deal 10 before each round.


Want a perfect book to go with this game? We read Animal School by Michelle Lord. It contains a description (in rhyming verse) of each of the five classes of vertebrates. It also has a great matrix toward the back of the book that identifies their characteristics (some exceptions) and species from each class. This book was the perfect complement to our activity!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Printable Lacing Cards: Numbers 0-10


Fine motor skills need practice and learning numbers takes practice, so voila. I made some number lacing cards for my little guy. 


You can download a PDF of these free 0-10 Lacing Cards from Google Drive here


I printed ours on heavyweight cardstock and laminated them for extra durability. Then I cut them apart and used my handy unconventional hole punch. 

To make the lacing strings, I cut lengths of yarn. I clipped toothpicks, added a dot of glue in the center and tied a knot around the middle. This prevented the yarn from being pulled through the first hole. 

At the other end of the yarn, I used clear tape to carefully and tightly wrap the end to prevent fraying and make threading the yarn through the holes a little easier.


Now all that was left to do was hand over the cards to my youngest son. I had him start each card at the star and end at the colored hole.

He concentrated so hard to weave the yarn in and out of the holes and was so proud to finish a card. I love the combination of math and fine motor practice he gets with these cards!

Enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2014

After School Linky Party (7-21)

Welcome to the After School Linky Party!


Summer is whizzing past. Whether you're looking for ways to get kids interested in learning again, or looking for ideas now that the bucket list is empty, you've come to the right place. 

Here are a few of my favorites from last week's party.









Inventing a Bouncy Ball Machine at Inspiration Laboratories.




Number Attack at Tiny Tots Adventures.


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!
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