Wild Versus Domestic Animals: How Animals Live

Science related activities and school curriculums for young children commonly cover life science topics related to animals. Most children tend to be naturally fascinated by animals of all sorts and these lessons capitalize on their deep interest. Plus conversations about animals open up opportunities to explore several basic tenets of biology. The goal of lessons about animals is helping children understand the characteristics and structures of living things, how they live, and how things interact with each other (including [...]

2018-11-05T14:11:03+00:00October 29th, 2018|Kids Activities|

Fun Life Science Activities: Exploring Feet

My last post described a concept that is the foundation of the physical sciences, or materials and their properties. Similar core concepts are advanced in relation to studying the life sciences. For example, in discussions of plants or animals, or our bodies and our health, it is typical to ask what something, say a beak or a tail, looks like, or what is its form. But an important follow-up question is what does it do? That is, what is [...]

2018-10-05T15:10:51+00:00June 18th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Learning about Wild Things: Squirrels and Chipmunks

You have probably noticed us all winter, as we scampered over the snow. We did our best to survive the cold. But now that it is spring and warmer, we are beside ourselves with work, gathering food, building nests and preparing for or tending to the new additions to our families. Explore these animals that can make us laugh with the following suggestions for activities.  Questions What do squirrels and chipmunks eat? Where or how do they live? How [...]

2018-10-05T15:31:05+00:00May 13th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Flying Insects I: Butterflies and Moths

I saved many of my children’s drawings and artwork from when they were little. Among these, the family, our house, and pets are well represented. There are also numerous drawings or paintings of butterflies. My girls were not alone in their interest in depicting butterflies, as this a common subject in the art of young children, both boys and girls. Perhaps this focus can be attributed to Eric Carle and the popularity of his book The Hungry Caterpillar; a [...]

2018-10-05T15:41:06+00:00April 16th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Backyard Birds

As I write this, a hummingbird flits outside the window of my office. She pauses, seemingly peering in, checking me out. I am lucky to live in Arizona where about 13 species of hummingbirds can be spotted at various times throughout the year. If you live east of the Mississippi, you have one species or the ruby-throated hummingbird. One species, but they are always a special treat to see. On a tree branch close to my back door, I [...]

2018-10-05T16:43:05+00:00January 9th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Holiday Plants II

In a previous post you and your child were invited to search for, identify and explore evergreen plants included in holiday decorations. Many holiday traditions include other plant-based products. So let the treasure hunt continue! Can your child see, smell, taste, or feel other organic components in holiday-related activities? Decorations for trees, wreaths, and garlands can include popcorn, cranberries, and other plant-based food items (dried citrus fruit slices). What can your child find when looking closely? Look for the [...]

2018-10-05T19:39:23+00:00December 18th, 2014|Kids Activities|

Amidst the Clutter: Identify Holiday Plants

The holidays are upon us and with them the garish decorations, obnoxious music, and enticements to spend money. Don’t get me wrong. I love many aspects of the holidays, just not the hype. I also worry that instead of the “magic” we hope young children will experience, all of the excesses can be over stimulating. So parents need to find a way to assist their youngest family members in focusing their attention and discovering aspects of the season that [...]

2018-10-05T19:26:56+00:00December 8th, 2014|Kids Activities|

Thinking Turkeys

It's turkey time! As you prepare to enjoy holiday meals with your family, consider including your child in the preparation of various dishes. Your kitchen is most likely a hectic place this time of year, nerves are already frazzled, and the kids are wound up. Still, in the spirit of the “family” in family holidays, include your kids in planning and doing when you can. It allows them to make contributions to and feel invested in family traditions. Furthermore, [...]

2018-10-05T19:55:20+00:00November 27th, 2014|Kids Activities|

Mounds and Pounds of Pumpkins

The mounds of orange in front of roadside farm stands or the grocery store are hard to miss this time of year. It’s Fall and pumpkins are in season.   If you buy pumpkins to carve into Jack O Lanterns, or even if you don’t carve them for decorative purposes, think of all the great questions and learning opportunities pumpkins present. They are bigger than most fruit and vegetables (pumpkins are a fruit) and can be great fun to [...]

2018-10-05T20:28:26+00:00October 21st, 2014|Kids Activities|

Sink Your Teeth Into Learning

Is brushing teeth in your household a fun and routine activity or is it a struggle? Either way, teeth brushing is an essential habit to develop among young children, and if your child resists, I hope you can persist. Discussions of teeth, beyond the question of "did you brush?", can also be routine. Teeth are fascinating to young children. Unlike some aspects of children’s bodies, their teeth can be readily seen and felt, their function, or chewing food, is [...]

2018-10-05T21:12:55+00:00September 30th, 2014|Kids Activities|