Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Educational ideas!

I have only tried about half of these (many of these we're not ready for yet!), but some of them were too good not to pass on to someone!

1) Take a vinyl shower curtain and draw a big calculator on it. Let the kids jump around on it to practice their math facts. We may try this out with sidewalk chalk on our porch before I invest in the $5 curtain...

2) Check out this idea. Thought it looked really cool as a fun project to make; a geodesic dome out of rolled newspapers (no, I do not know what geodesic means. Maybe I should ask my kindergartener). http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/geodesic-dome-785150/There’s a video on it, too, at http://familyfun.go.com/.

3) A guessing game: Hold a handful of change behind your back and reveal both the number of coins and the total sum: “I’ve got six coins that equal $.54.”

4) Let them “order” an food from a restaurant’s menu (find them online) with a fictional amount of money. Or take it a step further, with philanthropy: Look at World Vision or Heifer’s online giving catalogs, give them an amount of money to spend, and see how different groups of kids would choose to designate their money to give away! Could be some of their first introductions to kids who are poorer than themselves, the idea of giving charitably, and the idea that if we give to certain projects, those projects keep giving—like a cow to a family who has to give its calf to another needy family.

5) Halloween candy science: soak various candies In water and heat them to see how they’re affected by moisture and temperature: http://www.candyexperiments.com/. Can also make bar graphs and use other methods to record observations.

6) Try http://www.funbrain.com/ and http://www.mathplayground.com/ for some math and language games.

7) Have you ever heard of the game Equate? http://www.amazon.com/Equate-The-Equation-Thinking-Game/dp/B00004U1RA It's an equation-building game that's a lot like Scrabble for numbers. Looks cool.

8) Roll dice, and have the kids get coins equivalent to what they’ve rolled (Put 4 quarters, 3 dimes, 2 nickels, and five pennies per person in the middle). As players amass money, they must trade in smaller coins for bigger ones. Race to $1. Once they get good, add a rule that says players lose a nickel for a missed trading-up opportunity. We play a simpler version: get the coins equivalent to what you've rolled; keep score by writing on your "writing to 100" placemat. Builds skills in counting money, adding numbers on dice, adding two-column numbers, and writing numbers.

9) Have them pick a place in your state or the U.S. they want to go, and research a) what roads to take to get there, b) things to do when they get there, c) a place to stop and see along the way, etc.

10) Label the bottoms of plastic Easter eggs with the parts of speech, then label the tops with words that apply. (It's harder than it looks to think of words that aren't both nouns and verbs!) Student matches the bottoms with the correct tops.

11) Label popsicle sticks with the names of a geometric shape: 4 sticks in one color that say "square", 3 in another color that say "triangle", etc.; work up to dodecagon! Have them make the correct shape. For preliterate kids, just put dots on the end (three popsicle sticks with purple dots on both ends, for example, could be put together to make a triangle).

12) We like to practice math facts with the addition version of this: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=math+gear+fast+facts. I actually alternate between these and Brain Quest questions, and my son can build up to certain rewards.

13) I have him go "shopping" by labeling your pantry goods with "prices". We work on counting money and addition. Not there yet with subtraction!

14) Here's a couple that posted on MomBlog.

I actually found most of these in Family Fun magazines someone gave me; $10 for a year’s subscription. I think I might end up subscribing just for the educational ideas!

1 comment:

Loralee said...

Glad you liked the candy experiment idea, and I really enjoyed reading all your other suggestions. Maybe I'll try some of them with my kids.

We also played adding games with our Halloween candy, with people putting Skittles in the middle to reach a certain number. With two people it was pretty easy; with three it started getting complicated!

Good luck with your educational activities.