Dreamcatchers

Overview When hung above the bed, dreamcatchers are said to catch the bad dreams and allow the good dreams to come through.   Read the Legend of the Dream Catcher. Materials Paper plates scissors single hole puncher ribbon, twine, tool, or pipe cleaners feathers, rocks, shells, sticks, leaves, acorns or other natural items hot glue…

Phase 2 of the Rube Goldberg Event: Planning & Organization

Does the planning process seem too daunting? While the idea of planning for a Rube Goldberg Engineering Event might seem daunting, I hope this post will encourage you to take on this challenge. Additionally, in this post, I will break down the planning process and outline some manageable phases so that you will feel comfortable…

Cultivating Imagination ~ Fantasy Flutes

Overview Sometimes, activities are spontaneously created by children themselves. Ventura’s New Parent Resource Center tells new mothers that children need nothing more than a piece of string to stimulate their imaginations and entertain themselves for hours. Travelling families, who live for months in foreign countries, often bring a soccer ball with them so their children…

Gordian Knot

Overview The Gordian Knot is a group challenge requiring participants to work together to solve a puzzle and to be physically close.  Both demands of this exercise are tricky for any group.  A group leader will naturally emerge, and participants will learn that, for the group to be successful, they will need to be patient,…

Camouflage

Oveview This activity is a new take on Hide & Go Seek, and a favorite with all ages.  The game of Camouflage teaches participants about the predator/prey relationship and highlights how animals make themselves invisible to predators and how bright colors, or movement, can give them away.  This activity was my go-to when I worked…

Worms + Compost Box

Overview Teachings kids about worms & composting complements lessons on soil science, animal habitat, and environmental studies.  Composting with worms is called vermicomposting. Worms will break down plant materials as they eat it, pass it through their body, and turn it into rich soil for a garden.  This process provides nutrients for other plants, and…

Lolly Stick Puzzle

Overview Preschool and Kindergarten participants will make their own puzzles by stamping or drawing on flat lolly sticks when they are arranged together, then pull them apart to reconstruct as a puzzle.  In this activity, participants use visualization, artistic, and problem solving skills. Materials Eight large, flat lolly sticks per participant Baggies to keep each…

Spider’s Web

Overview Participants of any age will use teamwork to accomplish this group building exercise.  Additionally, this exercise may be used to discuss how spiders create webs and use them to catch their food. Materials one skein of yarn two trees or posts a few feet apart Set Up Choosing one the two trees, or posts,…

Bird Nests

Overview Preschool and Kinder participants learn how animals, specifically birds, create their homes.  This activity emphasizes how animals use the natural world to create shelter for themselves and for their young.  Fine motor skills and observation skills are used. Materials modeling clay craft feathers and recycled materials natural items, like sticks & leaves Teaching Directions…

Totems & Face Painting

Overview This lesson consists of two activities in which participants make connections between people, the earth, and animals.  Participants will use fine motor skills, practice art, learn how art represents real life, and make connections between past life and present day. Totem poles were a way for Native Americans living in the Pacific Northwest of…

Seed Comparisons + Germination

Overview As individuals and as a class, observe and document a variety of seed sizes and characteristics.  Student groups “plant” seeds in baggie “greenhouses.”  Skills include size comparison, describing & comparing objects, taking turns, charting, writing, working in a small group, plants, scientific process, observation skills, scientific method, inquiry. Materials Variety of seeds sorted by…

Levers & Catapults

Objectives Levers, Class 1. Learn about simple machines specifically levers. Learn about and practice the scientific method (i.e, hypothesizing, control, independent variable and dependent variable & testing). Apply learning to a real-world catapult challenge. Ages – 6 and up Supplies Levers made of wood paint stirrers, cups and corks. The levels will vary in their…