Learning shouldn’t stop when school is over!
Christmas is over and the New Year is still a few days away. This means that the children are still at home because school is not in progress.
If you’ve watched all the cartoons your brain can handle, maybe it’s time to try something new. Luckily Emily Donovan, a teacher from Virginia, shared four fun ideas with us and we’re happy to pass this knowledge on to you. She teaches Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 at Mount Daniel Elementary School in Falls Church City.
As a bonus, each of these activities promotes learning using science, technology, engineering, art and / or math. When these five elements meet, you’ve probably heard the city called by a different name: “STEAM.”
So let’s go with some fun learning opportunities to end the year!
1. Code a friend
Beep bop! Robot passing. This STEAM activity will definitely be a hit with budding home coders.
- The encoder and the “robot” take turns. Have the coder give the robot step-by-step instructions for performing different activities.
- The coder must remember to be very precise when giving instructions. Your “robot” doesn’t know what “cross the room” means. You have to code your “robot” step by step!
- Now change roles and make the coder become the “robot”.
2. Treasure hunt
Arr! It’s time to walk the plank, folks. There is a buried treasure on the ground! And on the floor we hear somewhere in the house. But with a little imagination and creativity, the whole family can venture out to the Caribbean over the winter vacation with this fun activity.
- A person hides a “treasure”. It can be anything, even a picture they draw.
- That person then writes step-by-step instructions on how to find the “treasure”.
Take six steps to the kitchen table.
Make three jumps to the backdoor.
Take a giant step into the dining room and lift the rug to your feet.
- If your treasure hunter can’t find the treasure, go back and see where your code needs to be fixed. Debug your code and try again!
3. What can I do with a box?
With Christmas happening just a few days ago, it’s very likely that you have one box after another in the house right now. Before you put the cardboard in the recycling bin, think about ways to turn the packaging into extra toys.
- Ask an adult to help you find boxes that are ready to be recycled.
- How can you transform them? A rocket ? A mouse house?
- How high can you stack the boxes? Do stacking them in different ways change the height of your tower?
4. The science of the candy cane
We have to admit. At Dogwood, we like to learn best when there is food. Especially if that food is candy. For this science activity, you will need a few items that you can probably find in your home at this time of year.
- Ask an adult to help you get three candy canes.
- Place a candy cane in a glass of water.
- Place a candy cane in a glass of vinegar.
- Place a candy cane in a glass of oil.
- Which sugar cane dissolved first? Why do you think this happened? Is there another liquid you want to try?
What activity are you most excited to try? Send us pictures of the fun you have while learning this week! Who knows, you might be featured in an upcoming social media post.