Balloon Rockets and Bouncing Planets

R was 18 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

The Magic School Bus – Inside the Earth by Joanna Cole & Bruce Degen – We read another magic school bus book today called “Inside the Earth”.  R’s favourite thing to do now while reading is closing the book and saying “the end”.  This book, as is the case with all the Magic School Bus books, has tons and tons of information with added text features such as speech bubbles that make the book enjoyable for older kids.

Activity:

1.  Bouncing Planet

IMG_1106I attached an elastic to the paper mache planet we made yesterday and R practiced bouncing it!  This is a fun and easy way to help kids develop hand-eye coordination and motor skills.  To find out the details for making the paper mache planet, see the details here.

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Bubble Rockets and Slimy Paper Mache

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R was 18 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

See Inside Space by Usborne – See Inside Space is another awesome Usborne Book!! Have I told you how much I love this series?! Well I do! :). R flipped some flaps, looked at pictures, repeated names of objects and then informed me that she was “all none” (all done), closed the book and trotted off!  These books will be wonderful for R as she grows.  The stunning photos and flaps engage her now and as she starts to read, the information will continue to engage her as she grows.

Activity:

1.  Bubble Rockets

IMG_1042I had seen playdough2plato do this activity on Instagram and had to try it!  It only took a quick demonstration to get R to understand how to make the bubbles come out since she has had practice with blowing in the past.

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Spying Glowing, Bubbly Space

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R was 18 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

The Magic School Bus – Lost in the Solar System by Joanna Cole & Bruce Degen – The length of this story was too much for R, but she enjoyed flipping through the pictures. This is a great book for older kids and was often a favourite choice for my kindergarten and grade one students. There are also lots of text features, such as thought bubbles and speech bubbles that are particularly enjoyable for older kids.

Activity:

1. I Spy Space Bag

IMG_0967 IMG_0962Initially, R wasn’t sure what to do with the I Spy bag.  She shook the bag and tried to pull it a part to get at the objects hidden inside.  I showed her how to shake the bag and reveal different objects.  Together, we spotted and pointed to the stars, the moon, an astronaut and a rocket.  R especially loved the bag when I showed her that it glowed in the dark.  Her reaction upon seeing the objects glow was, “wow’! Continue reading

Felt and Food Rockets

R was 18 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

The Moon by Melanie Chrismer – The Moon is a book that is part of a series of books about the solar system.  R was not interested in me reading the book to her, so we just explored the pictures. Now and again, I read bits and pieces of the information on the page.

Song:

I practiced a new poem with R called Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! I recited it while she played and she loved saying “moon” and “zoom” with me!  She thoroughly enjoys songs and poems and loves to sing along, even if she doesn’t know the words.  She will often scurry about and dance in circles while she sings.

Activity:

1. Space Small World in a Bin

IMG_0863As R gets older, she is beginning to play imaginatively more and more.  Open-ended activities such as these are perfect for stimulating imaginative play.   Find out more about open-ended activities here.  While she plays, she often recreates familiar scenes and sounds and is beginning to tell a story with her play.  Other times, she enjoys pointing to and naming objects she has encountered before. Continue reading

Scooping Snow

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R was 17 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons – Gail Gibbons writes many informative books on scientific topics and this is another great one!  R liked to point at different pictures and would say stuff to me in her baby talk.  I would name the object she was pointing at for her.

Activity:

1. A Cup of Rain

IMG_0193I used two simple ingredients to make the snow!  I used one box (4 lbs) of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda from my fridge and slowly added vegetable oil to it until the baking soda started holding form.  I then stored it in the fridge until R was ready to play with it.  I gave her an ice cream scoop and rubber spatula to explore with and promote motor skills.  She loved scooping the snow from one bowl to the other and squishing it between her fingers!  After the child is done playing, store the snow in a ziplock bag to use again and again!

Extension Activities:
a. Encourage Imaginative Play.  Set up an ice shop with the child.  Ask the child the following open-ended question: What do you need to start an ice cream shop?  Have him/her add appropriate items and then use the snow as a part of the ice cream store.
b. Develop Literacy and Numeracy Skills.  With the ice cream shop, encourage the child to label different flavours of ice cream with their names and add a price as well.  Continue reading

Raining Indoors

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R was 17 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

The Rain Came Down by David Shannon – The rain came down is a wonderfully illustrated story about the quarrels of a small community during a rainstorm and how they lend each other a hand once the sun comes out.

Activity:

1. A Cup of Rain

IMG_0209I topped a glass of water with shaving foam to represent clouds. R then dropped water, coloured with blue food colouring, into the glass to make it look like rain. She enjoyed adding water droplets and then swirling the mixture around using the dropper.

Extension Activities:
a.  Scientific Testing.  Set up four cups of water: two with hot water, two with cold.  To one cup of hot water and one cup of cold water, have the child drop in hot water coloured with blue food colouring.  To the other cup of hot water and the other cup of cold water, have the child drop in cold water coloured with food colouring.  Ask the child to observe and record the differences in how the different experiments behave.   With older children, have them come up with their own hypothesis to test. Continue reading

Discovering Wind

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R was 17 months old at the time of this activity

Book: 

Weather! by Justin McCory Martin – R enjoyed listening to me read, “Weather!” It is a nonfiction book that includes information about all kinds of weather.

Activity:

1. Blowing Clouds

IMG_0163R worked on her coordination and lung strength as she attempted to blow cotton balls with and without a straw.  The way she curled her lips as she practiced blowing without a straw was just the cutest!!  It was a lot more difficult for her to blow with the straw since she had to aim the straw correctly.

Extension Activities:
a.  Have cloud blowing races with multiple kids.  If the kids are different ages, adapt the game for each one so that it is a fair race.  For example, the youngest child may blow without a straw, an older child with a straw and an even older child blind folded and no straw. Continue reading