Today's Play

March 17-20, 2020

 

March 17, 2020

Spark Discovery

SPARK Discovery - Science: Shamrock Chromatography

Let's make a colorful Shamrock! Explore how colors are separated as we experiment with Chromatography.

This activity will help your student to:

  • Understand Color Mixing
  • Hone Fine Motor Skills
  • Expand Vocabulary
  • Explore Science Based Techniques
  • Encourage Scientific Exploration

Chromatography is a set of lab techniques used to separate mixtures. Different parts of the mixtures will travel at different speeds causing them to separate.

To start, gather your materials. You will need: a coffee filter (or white paper towel), markers, a cup of water, pipe cleaner (or a green string)

Now let’s get learning! Begin by folding your coffee filter in half and put 6-8 colored dots (black works the best but try some other colors to test your results). Once you have placed your dots around the middle of your filter fold it 2 more times until it looks like a piece of pizza.

Next, place the folded filter, tip down, into the beaker. You should only have about a cm of water at the bottom. We don’t want to soak our filter but have just enough to soak up.

Watch the filter and the water. What is happening? The water is traveling through the filter and spreading the colors. Watch what happens for a few minutes. This effect is called capillary action, or the ability of a liquid to flow into narrow spaces without the help of extra forces (like gravity).

After the water has reached the top of your filter, pull it out and lay it on a paper towel. What changed about your colors? Why did the colors do this? It’s all about molecule size. Everything around you is made of molecules. Molecules are tiny shapes that squish together to make up everything on earth – even things you can’t see like the air! These molecules can be big or small depending on what materials make them up. Different molecules of the same stuff – marker ink – can be very different sizes. So, the reason you see some colors move quicker than others is because of the size of the molecules of that color. Which colors have big molecules and which have small ones?

Did you say that red has big molecules and blue has small ones? That is the case! The blue molecules are so small and fast moving that they get to the top of the water. Yellow is a little bigger and slower, and red is so big that it lags behind.

Now that we know the science let’s finish our shamrock. After it has dried lay your filter on a flat surface. Take your fingers and create 3 pinches around the circle and pull to the middle to create your

shamrock shape. After you have your 3-leaf clover shape wrap the pipe cleaner around each leaf and voila, you have your own colorful shamrock. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Spark Imagination

SPARK Imagination - Leprechaun Trap

Have you ever wanted to catch a leprechaun so you can get his pot of gold? Today is the day! Your child will love creating their own unique trap(s) from objects in your home. You will love all the learning that comes from this STEAM based play. There is no right way to catch a leprechaun, so get your creativity going.

This activity will help your student to:

  • Hone Fine Motor Skills
  • Improve Problem-Solving Skil
  • Expand Imagination
  • Teach Focus and Patience
  • Encourage Cooperative Play
  • Boost Confidence

Leprechaun Trap Ideas: To make your own leprechaun trap, here are some elements you may want to include.

  • Decorations – use green construction paper to cut out Shamrocks, decorate signs saying “free gold,” or color a rainbow leading to the trap. Decoration can be ued to attract your leprechaun or camouflage the trap.
  • Bait – lucky charms, gold coins or fake gold can be your bait for the leprechaun!
  • A Trapping Mechanism (or how you will trap the leprechaun) – Will you use a trap door, a falling cage, or something even better? Brainstorm different ways you can make the trap. This is where you can develop a love for engineering.
  • An Alarm - don’t give the leprechaun time to get away. Create an alert so you know when the trap has sprung.

How to Get Started

1. Gather Supplies.

Some Suggestions

  • Empty tissue paper box or other items in your recycle bin.
  • String, Yarn or Ribbon
  • Popsicle sticks or real sticks from trees
  • Jars, pots and pans or plastic food storage containers
  • Toys
  • Hats (they make a good cage)
  • Construction Paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors

2. Make A Plan. Kids can have fun planning and designing their trap beforehand. Have your child first draw out a design or two and have them walk you through it. Ask questions to help them think about their design and how it can be built.

3. Build It. Practice scissor skills, how to use the “right” amount of tape, and much more.

4. Test It. There is only one way to see if it works. Act out with your child what the leprechaun might do and see if your trap is ready.

5. Improve It. The best engineers don’t give-up but improve upon their work until they get to the desired result. Get back to the drawing board or make a few tweaks to get it just right.

Spark Curiosity

SPARK Curiosity - Math: The Lucky 3

As St. Patrick was teaching in Ireland, he looked to the objects around him for things in groups of 3. He found the 3-leaf clover. So, the 3 leaf clover came to represent St. Patrick’s day. Look around your house to see how many groups of 3 you can find. What other number of objects can you find? How many chairs around your table, or how many books on your shelf?

This activity will help your student to:

  • Practice Counting
  • Compare and Contrast Objects
  • Correlate Number Words to Physical Amounts
  • Locate Patterns


Additional Activities & Resources

Additional Activity Ideas

As the saying goes, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day. But how many Americans are actually of Irish descent? According to the 2018 U.S. Census, about 32 million Americans, or about 10 percent of the population, claim to have Irish heritage. Whether or not your family can trace roots to the Emerald Isle, St. Patrick's Day is a great time to talk about or look up your family history.

Additional St. Patrick’s Day Resources

Learn More About St. Patrick’s Day

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/celebrations/st-patricks-day/

Print Free Worksheets for Each Grade Level

https://www.education.com/resources/?q=st.%20patrick%27s%20day


March 18, 2020

Spark Imagination

SPARK Imagination – Literacy: Dino Story time with Simon

Join us for Story Time with our Paleontologists Kendal and Simon as we venture through Dino land! Watch our video below to explore with us on Dino Day.

This activity will help your student to:

  • Develop Their Imagination
  • Expand Vocabulary
  • Improve Concentration Skills
  • Exercises Their Brain
  • Progress Language Development

Spark Discovery

SPARK Discovery - Science: Dinosaur Bones

Explore like a Paleontologist on our Dinosaur Day EdVenture!

This activity will help your student to:

  • Hone Fine Motor Skills
  • Expand Vocabulary
  • Understand the World Around Them
  • Explore Science Based Techniques
  • Encourage Scientific Exploration

A Paleontologist is a scientist who studies fossils, or the preserved remains of animals or plants that were once living. Fossils can be found deep within the Earth. Paleontologists dig them up and analyze their contents. These scientists also examine different parts of a fossil to understand the lifestyle, diet, growth, and movement of a plant or animal when it was alive. Dinosaurs are one type animal that Paleontologists study. These giants have fascinated us for hundreds of years, from the ferocious T-Rex, to the gentle Apatosaurus, we are always looking for more clues into their mysterious world.

Today let’s explore like a Paleontologist with dinosaur bones! Dinosaur fossils are rarely fully intact so scientists must use the information they have to create what they think the missing pieces looked like. Sometimes they will combine different fossils into one to create a full skeleton. Let’s see if we can complete a whole dinosaur skeleton, like a puzzle.

Materials Needed: dried pasta, glue, dinosaur skeleton template (download here).

Here is a guideline for various types of noodles to use for different parts of your dinosaur skeleton. If you don’t have all of them feel free to swap for any other kinds as well.

Shell: for the skull

Elbow (Macaroni): for the neck, backbone, and tail

Fettucini: for the ribs

Rigatoni: for the legs

Once you have your template ready to go, begin by placing your noodles where you want them before adding your glue. When all your bones have been placed, start at the head and add a line of glue for each of your bones to hold them in place. Then step back and let it dry while you observe your very own dinosaur skeletons. Paleontologists would be proud of your hard work.

Spark Creativity

SPARK Creativity - Art: Playdough Dinosaurs

Use playdough and items from around your home to create your very own dinosaur. You can use noodles, beads, cupcake holders, googly eyes, etc. to create your version of your favorite dinosaur. Take a picture and share it with us on Facebook! #TodaysPlay #EdVenture

This activity will help your student to:

  • Explore their Imagination
  • Boost Creativity
  • Invent new purposes for objects
  • Enhance Love of Learning
  • Develop Fine Motor Skills

Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Play some fun dinosaur games with Dinosaur Train

https://pbskids.org/games/dinosaur/

Learn more about your favorite types of dinosaurs

https://www.dkfindout.com/uk/dinosaurs-and-prehistoric-life/dinosaurs/

Explore Dino themed coloring sheets and printable family games

http://www.busybeekidsprintables.com/Dinosaur-Printables.html


March 19, 2020

Spark Exploration

SPARK Exploration - Engineering: Build Your Own Vehicle

Explore with Simon as we speed along to Vehicle Day! Watch our video below to hear about our zippy activity of the day exploring force and motion. Take a picture and share it with us on Facebook! #TodaysPlay #EdVenture

Definitions

Vehicle: an object used for transporting people or goods, especially on land, such as a car, truck, or train.

Axel: A rod or spindle either fixed or rotating passing through the center of a wheel or group of wheels.

Friction: the force exchanged between 2 surfaces rubbing against each other, like tires on a road.

This activity will help your student to:

  • Understand Engineering Concepts
  • Encourage Maker Skills
  • Practice Using Tools
  • Create Predictions through Observations
  • Follow Directions

Materials needed: cardboard, straw, skewer (or toothpick), 4 bottle caps, tape, scissors, screwdriver, hammer, possible materials to experiment with friction

Add-On: Use the created vehicle from the video as a base to design your own race car. With paper or other found objects in your home, add volume to the body of your vehicle. See how the shape and weight distribution effects the ramp experiment.

Variation: You can also use toy cars to conduct the ramp experiment by running them across several surfaces to see how the friction changes. Also, test your ramp at different levels to see how it effects the results.

Spark Discovery

SPARK Discovery – Science of Motion

Discover what makes things move. Let’s take a trip around our homes to see what things move! Can you find something easy to move? What about something hard to move? What makes them different?

Collect some different items to try out on your ramp. What happens when you try different sizes and weights of objects? What about different shapes? Can you change the friction on your ramp by changing the surface or height? Consider writing down your findings to compare later.

This activity will help your student to:

  • Explore Physical Forces
  • Explore Properties of Motion
  • Improve Concentration Skills
  • Exercises Their Brain
  • Progress Language Development

Spark Creativity

SPARK Creativity - Art: Tire Tracks

The invention of the wheel spurred a lot of developments in our world. Today we will use wheels to spark our own growth.

Option 1: Use toy vehicles as stamps. Place a thin amount of paint on a flat surface. Then allow your child to dip the tires of toy cars in paint and roll it across their paper to make tire track art.

Option 2: Flatten out play dough and roll toy cars and trucks on it to make tire tracks. Feel the friction as you work your car through the dough. Examine the tracks differences.

This activity will help your student to:

  • Boost Creativity
  • Invent new purposes for objects
  • Develop Fine Motor Skills

Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Explore Force and Motion with some of your favorite friends

https://www.sesamestreet.org/toolkits/stem/force

Learn more about the force of friction

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zsxxsbk/articles/zxqrdxs

Fun printables for grades Pre-K to 2

https://www.education.com/resources/vehicles/


March 20, 2020

Spark Imagination

SPARK Imagination - Get Playing

Mr. Rogers once said, “Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning”. So, we encourage you to set aside time today to head to your own Land of Make Believe with your child today.

This activity will help your student to:

  • Understand and care about peers and the external environment
  • Develop confidence and self-esteem
  • Develop physical coordination
  • Develop focus, creativity and independence
  • Prepare themselves for adulthood
  • Communicate their feelings
  • Make decisions on their own

This activity will help you:

  • Understand the interests, feelings and thoughts of your student
  • Impart values that influences your child’s attitude at home, school and with friends
  • Communicate with your child
  • Learn how your child reacts to success, failures and obstacles
  • Determine the learning style that works best with your child
  • Develop a special bond with your children

Spark Development

SPARK Development - Get Dancing

Fred Rogers was an accomplished musician and loved to express himself through playing the piano. If you play and instrument, share your music with your child. If not, put on some music and have a dance party with your kids. Dance is a fun activity for kids (and you) that exercises both the body and mind.

  • This activity will help your student to:
  • Increase physical development
  • Increase brain development
  • Improve balance and flexibility
  • Reduce stress, depression, and anxiety

Spark Discovery

SPARK Discovery - Get Exploring

Fred Rogers loved to take his neighbors on trips to factories to see how things worked. Explore this same idea yourself by helping your child to take-a-part an old or broken toy. Look at the components and how they fit and work together.

This activity will help your student to:

  • Improve motor skills
  • Inspire carrier development
  • Understand cause and effect

March 23-27, 2020

 

March 23, 2020


March 24, 2020

Spark Exploration

SPARK Exploration – Science: Parts of a Plant

Watch Today’s Play Video featuring Ms. Taylor and Simon as we explore the Parts of a Flowering Plant!

This activity will help your student to:

  • Understand the World Around Them
  • Identify where food comes from
  • Learn Benefits of Plants
  • Explore Science Vocabulary

Importance of the Parts of the flowering Plant:

  • Roots absorb water and nutrients from the ground and into the plant, as well as hold the plant in the soil. Ex. Carrots
  • Stems transport the water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the plant. They also hold up the leaves, flowers, and fruits. Ex. Celery
  • Leaves provide food and air so the plant can grow and be healthy. They use a process called “photosynthesis” to turn light energy into food. Ex. Lettuce
  • Flowers are usually at the top of the plant that blossoms and produces pollen an eventually turns into the fruit. Ex. Broccoli
  • Fruits contain the seeds of the flowering plant and develop from the plant’s flowers. These seeds will eventually grow into new plants. Ex. Orange

Can you complete this fun coloring handout to help Simon ID the 4 main parts of the flowering plant? Use the 4-parts Simon learned in our video to complete your very own flower diagram: roots, stem, leaf, flower.

Download HERE.

Spark Discovery

SPARK Discovery

Let’s explore our homes and the world around us to see what we can find. Now that we have learned the 4 parts of the plant let’s identify each one.

Open your fridge and see how many plants you can find! Can you find each plant part inside? Look at the video if you need a reminder of different examples of each type.

Go on an adventure! In your backyard or on a small walk with your family, can you point out different plants? Can you find different types of trees? What looks different about them? Size, shape, leaves, colors? Can you find flowers? Do they look different? Colors, number of petals, how many?

Take a picture of your favorite plant you found and share it with us on social media! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

This activity will help your student to:

  • Engage with Nature
  • Identify Natural Objects
  • Encourage Scientific Exploration
  • Exploring their Own Environment

Additional Resources

Additional Resources:

Test your knowledge of the plant parts with this mystery quiz:

https://web.extension.illinois.edu/gpe/case1/c1m1a.html

Try some of these Gardening Activities:

https://kidsgardening.org/garden-activities/

Why is gardening good for your child?

https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/gardening-with-kids-how-it-affects-your-childs-brain-body-and-soul


March 25, 2020

Spark Discovery

SPARK Discovery – Engineering: Static Electricity

Watch Today’s Play Video featuring Ms. Kendal and Simon as we explore Static Electricity! Create your own dancing animal!

This activity will help your student to:

  • Comprehend Invisible Forces
  • Understand the Basics of Electricity
  • Conduct Engineering Inquiry
  • Inspire Creativity

Definitions:

Static Electricity – the buildup of electrons in one object, which move to another object in ONE jump.

Atom – the smallest part of matter.

Electron – the negative particle in the atom.

Materials for this activity: balloon, tissue paper (or thin paper), scissors, markers, tape

Spark Curiosity

SPARK Curiosity

Now that we understand how static electricity works let explore our homes for more examples. Look around your home to see if you can find other ways to conduct static electricity. Check your closet and bathroom for different items to create a static charge.

Share with us what items you found that create a strong static charge! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

This activity will help your student to:

  • Observe Scientific Phenomenon
  • Predict and Test Hypotheses
  • Encourage Scientific Exploration

Spark Inspiration

SPARK Inspiration – Science: Leaping Electricity

Try this experiment at home with materials straight from the kitchen! What likes to jump: Salt or Pepper?

This activity will help your student to:

  • Demonstrate Engineering Principles
  • Conduct an Experiment
  • Encourage Scientific Exploration
  • Repurposing everyday objects

To get started blow up your balloon and tie it closed. Pour a few pinches of salt and pepper onto your baking sheet. Mix it together using a spoon to separate it around the sheet. Rub the balloon on a wool sock or your head to create a static charge. Slowly lower the balloon over the baking sheet until you are about 1 inch from touching the bottom. What happens? You should start to see pepper jump from the tray and onto the balloon.

What is happening? When you rub the balloon with your head or wool, negative charges jump to the balloon. The pepper has a positive charge, so when the balloon gets close the pepper is attracted to the negative charge on the balloon and leaps up. Remember OPPOSITES ATTRACT! Salt also has a positive charge, but it is heavier than the pepper, so the pepper is the first to jump. What are some other opposites you can think of? How are they different?

Can you take a video of your experiment and share it with us on social media? #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

Materials for this activity: balloon, wool sock (or use your hair), salt, pepper, baking sheet

Additional Resources

Additional Resources:

Try this shockingly fun science experiment!

https://www.education.com/download-pdf/science-fair/80802/

Unlock Everyday Mysteries about Electricity

https://www.loc.gov/everyday-mysteries/item/how-does-static-electricity-work/

All Charged Up with National Geographic Experiments!

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/science/all-charged-up-wiggly-water/


March 26, 2020

Spark Discovery

SPARK  Discovery –  Mathematics:  2D Shapes

Watch Today’s Play Video featuring Ms. Kendal and Simon as we  learn all about 2D shapes! See how many shapes you recognize!  

This activity will help your student to: 

  1. Identify 2D Shapes
  1. Draw 2D Shapes
  1. Recognize Combinations of 2D Shapes 
  1. Inspire Creativity 

Definitions:  

2D Shape – the flat outline of a 3D shape.  

Circle – a round shape with no edges, with all edges equal distance from the center point.

Rectangle – a 4-sided shape with two sets of parallel sides and four right angles. 

Square – a 4-sided shape with equal length sides and four right angles.

Triangle – a 3-sided shape.

Rhombus – a 4-sided shape with equal length sides (diamond).

Trapezoid – a 4-sided shape with one set of parallel sides.

Hexagon – a 6-sided polygon with equal length sides and equal angled corners.

Materials  for this activity: paper and markers or crayons

Spark Curiosity

SPARK  Curiosity  - Mathematics: Out of the Box

Now that we’ve learned all about 2D shapes let’s create some at home.

Use the attached worksheet to practice creating some of the 2D shapes we learned about today. What could you use around your house to create the straight lines around the shapes? Try different objects from sticks, pencils, yarn, etc. to create your shapes. Use markers to trace the names and outlines of the shape names. Pay attention to how many sides each shape has. Look for similarities and differences between them. With a little practice you’ll master the design of 2D shapes! Download your worksheet here.

Make sure to share your completed shapes with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay 

This activity will help your student to: 

  1. Identify 2D Shapes   
  1. Create 2D Shapes
  1. Practice Fine Motor Skills

Materials for this activity: Out of the Box worksheet, pencil, household objects

Spark Inspiration

SPARK  Inspiration – Mathematics: Taking Shape

Shapes make up everything around us. Take a look around, what do you see? How many different shapes can you recognize?

The activity below will help you see shapes all around you.

This activity will help your student to: 

  1. Recognize Familiar 2D Shapes
  1. Design Art with 2D Shapes
  1. Encourage Creativity

Use the attached worksheet to make your own set of 2D shapes. Color them in, cut them out, and see how many different pictures you can create. Can you use all of them in one design? Download your worksheet here.

Show us your fantastic shape designs by sharing with us on social media! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay 

Materials for this activity: worksheet, marker or crayons, scissors

Additional Resources

Additional Resources: 

Go on a 2D shape hunt!

https://www.playdoughtoplato.com/shape-hunt/

Learn a fun song about 2D shapes!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/clips/zhnvcdm

2D shape exploration!

https://pocketofpreschool.com/2d-shape-activities

Suggestions for Older Students

Make your own Tangram shapes and try to replicate the puzzle silhouettes.

https://www.auntannie.com/Geometric/Tangrams/

Have some Cardboard lying around, make a giant Tangram

http://ohhappyday.com/2016/06/diy-giant-tangram/

SC School Standards addressed in this video:

K.G.2. – Identify and describe a given shape and shapes of objects in everyday situations to include two-dimensional shapes (i.e., triangle, square, rectangle, hexagon, and circle) and three-dimensional shapes (i.e., cone, cube, cylinder, and sphere).

K.G.5. - Draw two-dimensional shapes (i.e., square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, and circle) and create models of three-dimensional shapes (i.e., cone, cube, cylinder, and sphere).

1.G.2. - Combine two-dimensional shapes (i.e., square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, rhombus, and trapezoid) or three-dimensional shapes (i.e., cube, rectangular prism, cone, and cylinder) in more than one way to form a composite shape.

1.G.4 – Identify and name two-dimensional shapes (i.e., square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, rhombus, trapezoid, and circle).


March 27, 2020

Spark Discovery

SPARK Discovery – Health & Nutrition: My Plate

Watch Today’s Play Video featuring Ms. Kendal and Simon as we learn how to stay healthy by eating foods from each of the 5 food groups!

Now that you’ve learned all about the foods groups and how they are important to maintaining a healthy diet, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test! Head to your kitchen and match the foods you find to the food group they are from. Make sure to match all 5 and fill up your plate!

This activity will help your student to:

  • Name the 5 Food Groups
  • Recognize Food from Food Groups
  • Recall Health Benefits
  • Make Healthy Food Choices

Definitions:

Food Groups are the way we sort the different foods we eat.

Proteins come from plants and animals. They help keep our muscles strong. Ex: meat, eggs, beans

Grains come from plants. They contain carbohydrates which give us energy. Ex: pasta, rice, cereal

Vegetables come from plants. They give us vitamins and minerals. Ex: broccoli, potatoes, beans

Fruits come from plants. They give us vitamins and minerals. Ex: apples, grapes, strawberries

Dairy comes from milk. It contains calcium which is good for strong bones. Ex: cheese, yogurt, soymilk

Spark Curiosity

SPARK Curiosity – Math: Favorite Foods

Everyone has preferences and today we will see what they are. Your student will contact at least 10 friends or family by phone or other method. Then, using the worksheet provided, collect data about their preferred foods. When the data is complete, help your student to interpret what it means by answering the questions at the bottom of the page.

Materials Needed: “Favorite Foods” worksheet, pen or pencil

Your student will probably come up with variations to the lesson or ways to expand upon it. Encourage them to explore this and make their own questions and graphs after completing the worksheet.

Older students can take this activity a step farther by turning the data into percentages or a pie chart.

This activity will help your student to:

  • Collect Data
  • Make a Graph
  • Interpret the Data
  • Improve Social Engagement

Make sure to share your results with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

Download "Favorite Foods" worksheet HERE.

Spark Inspiration

SPARK Inspiration – Health & Nutrition: Kitchen Bingo

It’s important to eat a variety of foods from each of the 5 food groups to ensure we’re keeping our bodies healthy and strong. Can you find foods from all of the different food groups in your kitchen at home? Use the attached worksheet to search your kitchen for tasty food until you strike “bingo”!

Materials Needed: “Kitchen Bingo” worksheet, pen or pencil

  • This activity will help your student to:
  • Sort Healthy Foods
  • Explore Their Surrounds
  • ID & Match Foods

Take a picture and share your completed “Kitchen Bingo” with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

Download Kitchen Bingo HERE.

Additional Resources

March 29 - April 3, 2020

 

March 29, 2020

Germ Warriors with Simon: Handwashing


March 30, 2020

Spark Exploration

SPARK Exploration – Science: Clouds – Making it Rain

Watch Today’s Play Video featuring Ms. Taylor and Simon as we explore clouds! We’ll learn how you can create your very own colorful rain cloud.

Share with us how your experiment turned out! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

This activity will help your student to:

1. Learn about Weather

2. Understand the Natural World

3. Explain Common Phenomena

Definitions:

Weather – the combination of sunlight, precipitation, wind, and temperature in a certain place and time.

Meteorologist – a scientist who studies weather

Clouds – made up of large groups of tiny water droplets or ice crystals that form when air cools.

Precipitation – any form of water that comes from the sky. Ex: rain, sleet, or snow,

Materials for this activity: clear cup, water, shaving cream, coloring, spoon or eye dropper

Spark Discovery

SPARK Discovery – Science: Cloud in a Jar

Now that we understand how clouds make it rain, let’s look at how clouds form!

This activity will help your student to:

1. Observe Scientific Phenomenon

2. Conduct an Experiment

3. Encourage Scientific Exploration

To get started grab the materials needed for this experiment. Using hot water from the sink, fill a clear jar a ¼ full. Swirl it around to heat up the inside of the jar. Place the lid upside down on top of the jar so it forms a little cup. Let the jar sit for about 10 seconds. Then lift the lid off and spray 1 or 2 sprays of hairspray into the jar. Replace the lid immediately so the vapor doesn’t escape. Place a few ice cubes on top of the lid and let sit for 1 min. Watch the inside of the jar to see what happens. After 1 min lift the lid to watch as your cloud escapes.

What’s happening here? As the hot water turns to vapor in the jar it will begin to condense once it reaches the colder lid. But you cannot see anything because there is nothing for the water droplets to stick to yet. Enter the hairspray. Clouds form around dust and other very tiny particles in the sky. The hairspray represents these particles giving the water vapor somewhere to collect so your cloud can be visible!

Materials for this activity: mason jar or clear jar with lid, hot water, ice, hairspray

Spark Creativity

SPARK Creativity – Art: Create a Cloud

Clouds come in all shapes and sizes. Let’s use some household materials to create our very own cloud. Use your imagination to create shapes you might see in the sky.

This activity will help your student to:

1. Understand Cloud Types

2. Inspire Creativity

3. Combine Science and Art

Think about a cloud you have seen before. Was it puffy, tall, wide, grey, or wispy? Clouds can look very different. The three main types of clouds are cumulus, cirrus, and stratus.

Cumulus clouds are the puffy cotton candy like clouds. Cirrus are the wispy high clouds. Stratus clouds are like a blanket across the sky.

Use your cotton balls to see how you could make these 3 types of clouds. Try pulling the cotton balls apart to make wispy cirrus clouds, lumping them together to create cumulus, or pulling them apart and laying them across the paper in lines to create stratus clouds. How else could you create clouds? Use your creativity to create some other cloud formations as well.

Share your finished fluffy clouds with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

Materials for this activity: colored paper, cotton balls or white material, glue

Spark Curiosity

SPARK Curiosity – Science: Weather Tracker

Meteorologists collect data daily to track weather patterns. It is important for everyone to be prepared for the weather and it is a Meteorologists job to keep them ready for what lies ahead. Try your hand at being a meteorologist by collecting your very own weather data. Use the sheet below as your daily weather tracker. See if you can predict what tomorrow’s weather has in store!

This activity will help your student to:

1. Observe Weather Patterns

2. Data Collection Skills

Materials for this activity: Weather Tracker handout (download here) and writing utensil

Additional Resources & Standards

Additional Resources:

Check this out for more information on Cloud Formation

https://climatekids.nasa.gov/cloud-formation/

Play these fun weather games and more!

https://www.brainpop.com/games/game-finder/?game_keyword=topic:%20Clouds&topic_id=fae91d5dac5d5191

Clouds are all around! Take a look at the main types we see in the skies.

https://web.extension.illinois.edu/treehouse/clouds.cfm?Slide=5 https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/corefour

Explore the Water cycle

https://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle-kids-beg.html


Standards covered in today’s activities:

2.E.2A.1 Analyze and interpret data from observations and measurements to describe local weather conditions

2.E.2A.2 Analyze local weather data to predict daily and seasonal patterns over time.

4.E.2A. Conceptual Understanding: Earth’s atmosphere is a mixture of gases, including water vapor and oxygen. The movement of water, which is found almost everywhere on Earth including the atmosphere, changes form and cycles between Earth’s surface and the air and back again. This cycling of water is driven by energy from the Sun. The movement of water in the water cycle is a major pattern that influences weather conditions. Clouds form during this cycle and various types of precipitation result.

4.E.2A.2 Develop and use models to explain how water changes as it moves between the atmosphere and Earth’s surface during each phase of the water cycle (in part).


March 31, 2020

Spark Creativity

SPARK Creativity – Art: Watercolor Resist

Watch Today’s Play Video featuring Ms. Kendal and Simon as we create a watercolor resist! Follow along and learn how to make your own!

This activity will help your student to:

1. Learn Watercolor Techniques

2. Explore Wax Resists

3. Design an Art Project

4. Inspire Creativity

Definitions:

Watercolor – a type of paint that is mixed with water to create colors on paper.

Resist – to push away or prevent something.

Design – an arrangement of different parts in a work of art.

Materials for this activity: paper (watercolor or cardstock works best), white crayon or oil pastel, watercolor paints (or watered-down tempera or food coloring diluted in water), paint brush

Spark Curiosity

SPARK Curiosity – Art: Watercolor Rubbings

Now that you’ve gotten the hang of using watercolors and creating resists let’s put those skills to work!

A rubbing is a design created by placing a piece of paper over an object and using a crayon to “rub” over the paper to reveal the texture. Use your white crayon to create a rubbing of an object. A coin, a leaf, or a paper doily all work well. After you’ve finished your rubbing use your watercolor paints to revel your design! How many different types of designs can you create?

Make sure to share your completed projects with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

This activity will help your student to:

1. Identify Objects with Texture

2. Create Patterns

3. Practice Fine Motor Skills

4. Inspire Creativity

Materials for this activity: paper, white crayon or oil pastel, watercolor paints (or watered-down tempera or food coloring diluted in water), paint brush, texture objects


Spark Inspiration

SPARK Inspiration – Art: Watercolor Recall

Take a walk outside. Look at all the beautiful things that surround you. Pick something to focus on. Perhaps a tree, a passing cloud, or some flowers. Study them closely. Notice their size, shape, color, etc. After you’ve studied them for a few minutes go back inside. Now, with your paints, can you recall what the object looked like? Paint it from memory. Close your eyes and see if you can remember details about it. When your painting is dry take it outside and compare it, if possible, to the original. How close did you come? Don’t be scared to be artistic, have fun!

This activity will help your student to:

1. Recall Objects from Memory

2. Practice Life Drawing

3. Encourage Creativity

Make sure to share your wonderful watercolors with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

Materials for this activity: paper, paint, paint brushes

Additional Resources

Additional Resources:

Try your hand at Watercolor Rainbows

https://kinderart.com/art-lessons/painting/watercolor-rainbows/

Dive into the Art of Texture with the National Gallery of Art

https://www.nga.gov/education/teachers/lessons-activities/elements-of-art/texture.html

Color with Patterns

http://scrapcoloring.com/


April 1, 2020

Spark Innovation

SPARK Innovation – Engineering: Toilet Paper Challenge

Watch Today’s Play Video with Simon as he tackles the Toilet Paper Challenge! What creative ways can you use everyday objects, like toilet paper rolls, at home? Give it a try! #ToiletPaperChallenge

This activity will help your student to:

1. Problem Solve

2. Develop Engineering Skills

3. Understand the Engineering Process

4. Think Creatively

Definitions:

Engineering – a process of building and creating new things.

Maker – a person who makes, designs, and builds things.

Reuse – finding a new way to use old things instead of throwing them out.

Materials for this activity: toilet paper rolls

Spark Curiosity

SPARK Curiosity – Engineering: Backyard Binoculars

Here’s a simple activity that will help channel your inner explorer! Using two toilet paper rolls (or one paper towel roll cut in half) create a pair of binoculars by placing them side by side and taping them together. Make sure to decorate them using crayons or makers and don’t forget to add a strap using a piece of yarn or string!

Take your finished creation out into your backyard and see what kind of things you can spy. Look for birds, squirrels, trees, cloud shapes, and all sorts of amazing things. For an extra challenge, have one person hide several items around your home or outdoor space (balls, stuffed animals, trucks, etc) and then use your binoculars to see if you can find them!

Materials needed for this activity: toilet paper or paper towel rolls, tape, markers or crayons, string

Make sure to share your finished binoculars with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

This activity will help your student to:

1. Develop Maker Skills

2. Create a Project

3. Explore their Surroundings

4. Inspire Creativity

Spark Inspiration

SPARK Inspiration – Engineering: Maker Madness

Makers are people who create things from everyday objects. Just like you did with your binoculars! Are you up for another challenge? Let’s go! Using everyday objects around your house, especially those that might be destined for the trash, can you create the following: an animal, a vehicle, and a person? Some awesome materials you might use: toilet paper or paper towel rolls, egg cartons, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, paper clips, aluminum foil, newspaper, etc. Put your creativity to the test and turn trash into treasure by becoming a master maker!

This activity will help your student to:

1. Exercise Critical Thinking

2. Develop Engineering Skills

3. Encourage Creativity

4. Use Materials in New Ways

Be sure to share your creations with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

Materials for this activity: scissors, tape, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, egg carton, milk jugs, pipe cleaners, newspaper, aluminum foil, etc.

Additional Resources


April 2, 2020

Spark Exploration

SPARK Exploration – Math: Money Matters

Watch Today’s Play Video featuring Simon and friends as we learn all about money!

This activity will help your student to:

1. Develop Math Skills

2. Understand the Value of Money

3. Practice Using Money

Definitions:

Currency/Money - is a unit of exchange used to buy goods and services. Every country has its own type of currency.

Value - how much a certain good or service is worth.

Materials for this activity: play money/real money, objects from your house to “purchase”.

Spark Invention

SPARK Invention – Create Your Own Currency

Currency is what we use to buy the things we want and need. We use the US currency, the dollar, in our daily lives. But do you think you can create your own form of currency?

Money needs to have 5 things to be a good form of currency:

1. Divisible – break it into smaller amounts

2. Portable – you can carry it around

3. Durable – it will last a long time

4. Recognizable – everyone knows what it is

5. Scarce – there is a limited amount of it

Brainstorm and think about what around your home could be used to create your very own form of currency. What is its value? Try to trade with your family to use your form of currency that fits the 5 criteria above. What can you buy with your currency? Would it work if you took it to a store to buy a toy? Why or why not?

This activity will help your student to:

1. Invent new purposes for objects

2. Develop Economic Understanding

3. Encourage Creativity

Materials for this activity: objects from around your home

Spark Discovery

SPARK Discovery – Math: Money Tree

Look around your house to see if you can find each of the coins we use as our currency: penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar. Find each of these and see if you can match them to the sizes on the paper. What is the value of each one? Can you fill the paper with your coins to figure out how to complete your very own Money Tree?

This activity will help your student to:

1. Identify US currency

2. Learn Values of Money

3. Practice Addition Equations

4. Use Math in Real Life.

Materials for this activity: worksheet (download here), pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters, 1 dollar

Additional Resources & Standards

Additional Resources:

Play these fun games all about Money!

https://www.usmint.gov/learn/kids

Which one can buy more? Compare the money with these worksheets:

https://www.education.com/slideshow/comparing-money-amounts/

See if you can design your own money while learning about the history of paper money in the US.

https://amhistory.si.edu/ourstory/pdf/money/money_design.pdf


Standards covered in today’s activities:

Math

1.MDA.6 Identify a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter and write the coil value using a ¢ symbol.

2.MDA.7 Solve real-world/story problems involving dollar bills using the $ symbol or involving quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies using the ¢ symbol.

4.MDA.2 Solve real-world problems involving distance/length, intervals of time within 12 hours, liquid volume, mass, and money using the four operations.

Social Studies:

2.E.1 Examine the purpose of currency and how income, savings, and spending are parts of a budget.

3.4.2.HS Investigate the economic and land use characteristics of places and regions around the world.


April 3, 2020

Spark Imagination

SPARK Imagination – Literacy: Storytelling

What kind of stories can you create and tell at home? Spend time letting your student develop their own story. Guide them using the definitions listed below.

This activity will hep your student to:

  • Learn the Elements of Storytelling
  • Create a Narrative
  • Develop Emotional Literacy
  • Think Creatively

Definitions:

Story – a description of people, places, and events.

Plot – the series of events in a story.

Characters – the people (or animals) the story revolves around.

Materials for this activity: your imagination, paper, pencil

Spark Creativity

SPARK Creativity – Literacy: Creating a Character

Think of all the stories you’ve ever read. In all of them one thing always stands out, the characters. Characters create the action of the story and they move the plot along. Sometimes characters are good. We call these characters protagonists. Sometimes characters are bad. We call those characters antagonists. No matter what sort of story you decide to tell, it will need characters.

Here’s a fun activity to try to get you ready to write your story! Grab some paper and a pen and close your eyes and begin to imagine a character. Is it a girl or a boy? Do they have superpowers? Are they brave? Good at math? Really try to picture it. Now, open your eyes and begin to draw. Don’t worry if you’re not very good at art, this is just for you! Try to capture as much detail as possible. What kind of clothes do they wear? Long hair or short? Do they have wings? Anything you can imagine. This is your character. Finally, make sure to give your character a name.

Now you’re ready to write your story. You’re already off to a great start. Visualizing people and their relationships to one another helps tell an engaging story. Have fun!

Materials for this activity: paper, pencil, markers or crayons

Make sure to share your finished characters with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

This activity will help your student to:

  • Develop a Character
  • Use their Imaginations
  • Consider Relationships
  • Inspire Creativity

Spark Inspiration

SPARK Inspiration – Literacy: Problem Solving Storytime

Alright storytellers, it’s time to write! You’ve already got your most important part… your character! Every story needs conflict, or a problem for your character to solve. This is usually presented halfway through the story. When the character comes up with a solution to the problem that is called the resolution which is how the story ends. Use the prompts below to write a story of your own!

1. Introduce your character. (Name, age, interests)

2. Give your character something to do. (Ex: go to school)

3. Have your character encounter a problem. (bully, villain, etc)

4. How does that problem make your character feel? (Sad, worried, etc)

5. Come up with a solution for your character’s problem. (courage)

6. Wrap up your story. (The End!)

You can find the worksheet here.

Directions: Follow the prompts in each square to create your story. You can use words and/or pictures!

This activity will help your student to:

  • Develop a Story
  • Create Characters
  • Encourage Creativity
  • Understand Plot

Make sure to share your fantastic stories with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

Materials for this activity: paper and pencil

April 5, 2020

 

April 5, 2020

Germ Warriors with Simon: Social Distancing


April 6, 2020

April 6, 2020

SPARK Discovery – Science of Flight!

The Force of Lift Watch Today’s Play Video featuring Ms. Taylor and Simon as we explore one of the forces of FLIGHT: Lift! We’ll learn how airplanes and rockets fly through the sky. What objects can you use to create lift?

This activity will help your student to:

1. Apply Scientific Principles

2. Explore Properties of Motion

3. Explain Engineering Models

Definitions:

Lift – the force created by the motion of an airplane moving through the air generated by the shape of the wing or the force that acts at a right angle to the direction of motion through the air.

Air Pressure – the weight of the air molecules in a certain area.

Airplane wings have an “airfoil” shape which makes the air move faster over the top of the wing. When air moves faster, it creates a Low Air Pressure system. Because of this the air pressure on top of the wing is lower than on the bottom of the wing. The difference in pressure creates a force on the wing that lifts the wing up into the air. Simply, Lift is generated by the low pressure on top of the wings and the high pressure under the wings.

Materials for this activity: hair dryer, ping pong ball (or other small ball), small tube (paper towel), sheet of paper

 

SPARK Curiosity – Engineering: Create a Cup Glider

Now that we have seen lift in action let’s make something fly! Create your own flying contraction.

This activity will help your student to:

1. Explore Physical Forces

2. Teach Focus and Patience

3. Encourage Scientific Exploration

To begin take the rubber bands and loop them through each other to create one long rubber band. Pull 1 rubber band around the other and pull one side through the other to connect them. This will give you a long enough strand to wrap around the cups. To create the flying contraption take 2 plastic, styrofoam, or any non-breakable cup and place the closed ends together. Then take the tape and wrap it around the middle where the cups meet. This should create a V shape with the open ends of the cup facing outward.

Now you are ready to get started! Tightly wrap the rubber band over the middle section where the two cups connect. Extend the end of the rubber band with your thumb 4-5 inches away and under the cups. This will be our Thrust force. Use the other hand to hold the cups horizontally. Pull on the rubber band and let go of the cups (like a sling-shot). If done correctly the cups should spin and hover nicely through the air. Most likely you have accomplished to 1) hit your thumb with the cups or 2) drop the cups on the floor...no gliding, bummer! Or the worst 3) break the rubber band! Don’t despair...you will get the “hang” of it. Check out the video in the Additional Resources section if you want to watch an example of the cup glider.

Materials for this activity: 4-5 rubber bands, 2 cups (same size), tape

 

Additional Resources:

Jump inside the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum!

https://airandspace.si.edu/sites/default/files/images/panoramas/files/360/exhibit/museumdc/museum-dc-2018-vr.html

Women in Aviation experiment

https://www.wai.org/sites/default/files/assets/EducationKit/4%20fourforces%20lift.pdf

For more information about Flight Check out Nasa at:

https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/UEET/StudentSite/dynamicsofflight.html#forces

Cup glider example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNoldt21xVA

 

Standards covered in today’s activities:

Science Standard 2.P.4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the effects of pushes, pulls, and friction of the motion of objects.

Science Standard 5.P.5: the student will demonstrate an understanding of the factors that affect the motion of an object.

April 7, 2020

April 7, 2020

SPARK Discovery – Art: Salt Dough Sculpture

Watch Today’s Play Video with Simon as he learns how to build simple pottery using salt dough! Create your own salt dough at home to see what you can create!

 

This activity will help your student to:

  • Learn Basic Pottery
  • Explore 3D Objects
  •  Design an Art Project
  • Inspire Creativity

 

Definitions:

Sculpture – 3D art made from clay, wood, metal, or stone.

Pottery – bowls, plates, vases, etc, made mostly from clay.

Clay – a natural material made mostly from rock that is mixed with water to create pottery or sculpture.

 

Materials for this activity: playdoh or salt dough

 

SPARK Imagination – Art: DIY Salt Dough

Playdoh is a popular sculpting clay but, did you know, that it’s easy to create your own salt dough at home? Follow the simple recipe below to make your own sculpting dough. All you need are a few simple ingredients and, it’s a lot of fun to make! Blend a few different colors and see what kind of creations you can build. Roll it out and use cookie cutters to make shapes. Press different objects into it to make impression and give it texture. Or sculpt it into people or animals. Your imagination is the limit so get to mixing and make a masterpiece!

 

Salt Dough Recipe

- 1 cup salt

- 1 cup flour

- ½ cup water

- 3-4 drops of food coloring

 

Mix ingredients together in a bowl. If it is too runny, add more flour. If it is too tough, add more water.

 

Make sure to share your completed projects with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

 

This activity will help your student to:

  • Measure Ingredients
  • Create a New Material
  • Practice Fine Motor Skills
  • Inspire Creativity

 

SPARK Inspiration – Art: Sculpture I-Spy

Art museums are wonderful places filled with art from around the world. They show us art from the past as well as modern art. They are magical collections of human creativity. Since some art museums are very far away, today we will be going on a virtual tour. In the links below you will find tours to some of the best art museums in the entire world. Pick the one and let’s play a game of I-Spy! In all of these tours you will see various types of sculpture.

 

Can you spot each of the following? (Hint: You might have to go on more than one tour to find them all.)

1. A sculpture with more than one person

2. A sculpture with an animal in it

3. A sculpture with a body but no head

4. A sculpture with a sword

5. Bonus points if you can recreate one of these sculptures using your salt dough and post online! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay

 

Art Museum Virtual Tours:

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The British Museum

National Gallery, London​​​​​​​

 

This activity will help your student to: 

1. Recognize Sculpture 

2. Pay Attention to Detail 

3. Recreate Shapes 

 

Make sure to share your super sculptures with us! #EdVenture #TodaysPlay 

 

Materials for this activity: salt dough 

 

Additional Resources: 

TATE Modern: Top 5 Sculptures

https://www.tate.org.uk/kids/explore/top-5/top-5-sculptures 

History of Sculpture

https://kids.britannica.com/kids/article/sculpture/353751 

What is Sculpture?

https://kids.britannica.com/kids/article/sculpture/353751


SPARK Your Taste Buds!

A new segment of Today's Play, SPARK Your Taste Buds! is a compilation of food history, recipes, cooking tips and tricks, and all sorts of information relating to healthy eating, brought to you by our talented EdVenture Cooking Lab Chefs!


History of Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding, a Southern Staple!

This dish rose to popularity after the Civil War, after improved steamships were able to start bringing larger quantities of bananas to the U.S. from the Caribbean and Central America. Recipes for the dish began appearing in magazines and newspapers as early as 1888, in an issue of Good Housekeeping. The recipe called for a pint of chilled custard, sponge cake and (of course) bananas.

In the 1890s, various versions of the recipe flooded the nation. Some called for ladyfingers instead of sponge cake. Others used tapioca in place of custard. One even called for gelatin to make the dish molded rather than layered.

One of the most lasting alterations to the dish came in the 1920s when recipes started using vanilla wafers as a base instead of sponge cake. Nabisco capitalized on the trend by beginning to print a banana pudding recipe on their Vanilla Wafers box as early as the 1940s.

By the 1960s, Jell-O had begun selling banana cream flavored pudding and pie filling. Combined with pre-made wafers, this made the dessert almost comically easy to make and thus solidified it as a favorite in most kitchens.

What Makes Banana Pudding “Southern”?

There is no obvious answer as to why banana pudding is a quintessential Southern dessert. The South is, of course, closer geographically to the source of bananas, but railroad transport made it no more difficult to get bananas in the North.

It seems the Southern association is due to a multitude of factors. For one, the dish requires no oven (at least in most recipes), so cooks could make it even in the sweltering summer heat. It’s also an extremely sweet dessert, and Southerners are known for their sweet tooths.

One article suggests that the dish is easily produced in large batches, making it the perfect addition to church picnics, family gatherings, tailgates, and other key Southern social events.

Banana Pudding Trifle Recipe

Banana Pudding Trifle

Ingredients

  • 2 (3.4 ounce) boxes instant French vanilla pudding
  • 2½ cups cold lowfat milk
  • 16 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) package ⅓ less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Approx. 16 ounces of vanilla wafers cookies (about 1 and ⅓ boxes of cookies)
  • 6 to 8 ripe bananas, sliced

Instructions

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the instant pudding and the milk until well combined. Set aside to thicken. In another bowl, beat the cream until medium to stiff peaks form. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla into the whipped cream. In a third bowl, add the softened cream cheese and the sweetened condensed milk and beat until well combined. Fold ⅔ of the whipped cream into the cream cheese/sweetened condensed milk mixture. Then, fold that mixture into the pudding and stir until well combined.

Line the bottom of a trifle dish with some of the cookies. Top with sliced bananas and then ⅓ of the pudding mixture. Add another layer of cookies topped with bananas and then another ⅓ of the pudding mixture. Add a third layer of cookies topped with bananas and then the final ⅓ of the pudding mixture. Add one last layer of cookies, topped with banana slices. Top with remaining whipped cream and a few vanilla wafers for garnish. Refrigerate for at least five hours (or overnight) before serving. Use any extra ingredients that will not fit in the trifle dish to make small individual-sized servings.

Layering from top to bottom should look like whipped cream, bananas, cookies, ⅓ of pudding, bananas, cookies, ⅓ of pudding, bananas, cookies, ⅓ of pudding, bananas, and cookies.