Category Archives: Learning

Halloween STEAM Acitivity: Skeletons Bones

Halloween is a great time to do fun activities and crafts, but it is also a great time to try and weave in some interesting learning activities as well. Mystery Science has an incredibly interesting Halloween skeleton themed learning activity for children grades K-5. It deals with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mechanics) and uses the skeleton theme to get kids interested in how the bones in our body hep us to function and what would our bodies be like without bones?

Mystery Science has an entirely interactive experience set up for you and your kids. You get to watch videos, create experiments, hypothesize, conduct research, and find the results. It is an incredible online journey using art, engineering, and mechanics to learn more about our own skeletal systems.

This fun Halloween themed activity with not only entertain your kids it will also educate them and give them the opportunity to try something they may never have tried before. Head on over to Mystery Science for the full tutorial.

Best Books: Who Was Charles Darwin

We recently discovered a new to us series, the “Who Was” series. We love to read about history and learn about new people and places. My kids love when they can read a book by themselves and not need me, and with non-fiction that can sometimes be difficult because the language used is often lofty and advanced. The “Who Was” series is great because their target audience is early readers. The language is simple and straight-forward and they are meant to act as a beginners guide to early learners.

There are so many different books available in this incredible series. Biographies range from Jane Goodall to Martin Luther King, and include others such as George Washington, Genghis Khan, and William Shakespeare. Each book allows the reader to get an introductory look in to an historical figure.

This month we chose Charles Darwin because our kids are interested in exploration, animals, and how the animals change. This book gives a great introduction to Survival of the Fittest, looks at Darwin’s expedition to the Galapagos Islands, and gives some details in to his personal life. If you have a child that is interested in learning about adaptation and how species change or disappear this is a great book to start with. Many schools will even give extra credit at the beginning of the school year for students that read and log their reading or create book reports during the holidays. This is an excellent book for a book report, so check it out.

Talking to Your Kids: Ways to Open up Conversation

Do you ever feel like you know very little about your kids? I spend more time with my kids than I spend doing anything else in my life. Yet, I don’t always feel as if I know them deeply enough. What are they feeling, what are they thinking? How was their day at school? I mean I ask them this everyday, but I get those blah-blah answers that get us nowhere.

I have done a lot of reading on the subject and have discovered other ways to get my kids to open up, by using open-ended questions and asking them leading questions I have discovered so much more about their day and what they are feeling and thinking.

I joined a 5-day parenting challenge with Nina at Sleeping Should Be Easy, and we did a lot of research and practiced using special questions that helped to open conversations with our kids. She even has an ebook that helps stressed parents manage their time.

We are enjoying learning more about talking with our kids — instead of to our kids — and it has been helpful to find ways to be more productive as a family. Be sure to check out her ebook and try some of the open-ended questions with your kids. Even just using a few of them on the way home from school pick-up has changed the openness between my oldest and myself. I now know more about the first grade than I ever knew before!