Homeschooling - Christian Parent

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Fall Activity: Candy Corn Math

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My 5-year-old son and I have been having fun doing some fall activities during the weeks counting down to Thanksgiving. I saw this fun candy corn counting activity on Pinterest and thought my son would like it. The activity I saw was a little too easy for him so I decided to change it up a bit to make it harder.

candy corn countingFor this activity you will need:

  • Green construction paper
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Sharpie marker
  • Candy corn
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

Cut out the yellow and green construction paper in the shapes of ears of corn (see photo). You can use a pattern to trace them, or just cut them out free hand. They don’t have to look perfect. Glue the pieces together to look like ears of corn.

The object of this activity is for your child to count candy corns. There is a couple of ways you can have your child do this activity, depending on their math skills.

For preschoolers, you can use the Sharpie to write a number on each ear of corn and then have your child count out that many pieces of candy corn to place on the ear on corn.

My son is a little past that stage, so I decided to use the “+” and “-” signs between the ears of corn so that he could practice adding and subtracting.

If you have an older child who is learning multiplication and division, you can also add those signs. I love how this activity is so versatile for different ages.

My son had a lot of fun playing with the candy corn, and of course eating them when he was done.

I also saw this other cute idea for a similar activity placing turkey feathers on a turkey. We will have to try that one next year.

Copyright 2014, Christian-Parent.com. This article may not be reprinted.

Follow my Thanksgiving / Fall and preschool boards on Pinterest.

How to Make Moon Sand

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Moon sand is really fun to play with. It has a fun texture that kids love. My kids always wanted me to buy it for them when they saw commercials for it on TV. It turns out that moon sand is super easy to make. I didn’t even have to buy anything for this project. My husband just happened to have some clean sand stored in our garage.

Supplies Needed:

  • 8 cups sand
  • 4 cups cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Empty plastic container

You will need some kind of plastic container to put the moon sand in. Note: you can easily cut this recipe in half if you don’t need very much of it. I had to split ours among three children so I decided to make a larger amount.

moon sand

If you don’t have access to clean sand, you can buy a small bag of it very inexpensively at your local hardware store.

The food coloring is optional. You can color the sand if you like, or just leave it as is.

Pour the sand, corn starch, and food coloring in the empty plastic container and stir together. Slowly add water until it reaches the desired consistency. The sand should be slightly damp but not dripping wet.

When the moon sand is the consistency you are looking for, give your child the container with a big spoon and some measuring cups to play with. This activity is best done outside on a nice day or maybe on the kitchen floor with newspapers underneath.

When your kids are done playing with it just set it aside until they are ready to play with it again. No need to cover it up or it might get moldy. Just add a little water next time if it dries out.

Copyright 2014, Christian-Parent.com. This article may not be reprinted.

Follow my preschool and homeschooling boards on Pinterest.

Homeschool Science: Milk and Soap Magic

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My boys have been wanting to try this experiment for awhile. They first saw it on YouTube when they were watching science videos made by Doctor Mad Science. This experiment involves the reaction between milk and dish soap.

For this experiment you will need:

  • Pie pan
  • Milk
  • Food coloring
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Q-tip

The key to this experiment is the reaction between the milk and the dish soap, however, you will need food coloring to see this reaction in action.

milk and soap magic

Have your child pour some milk into a pie pan, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Wait until the bubbles in the milk pop before proceeding.

Next place several drops of food coloring in the milk. Several different colors work best. Next take a q-tip and dip it in liquid dish soap.

Have your child slowly dip the q-tip into the food coloring in the pie pan. The dish soap on the q-tip will react with the milk, causing the food coloring to disperse through the milk. The food coloring will go in all directions, making really cool swirled patterns in the milk. One of my boys thought his looked like the Death Star from Star Wars.

If you want a more scientific description of the chemical reaction that is occurring, then check out this more detailed explanation.

Make sure to check out the YouTube video my boys made to demonstrate this fun experiment.

Copyright 2014, Christian-Parent.com

Follow my homeschooling board on Pinterest.

Homeschool Science: Are Sounds Louder Under Water?

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My boys and I recently watched Bill Nye the Science Guy’s video about Marine Animals. We learned a lot of great facts, such as how a whale or dolphin’s blubber keeps it warm.

water and soundWe have actually performed that experiment by coating a thermometer with vaseline and placing the thermometer in cold water. The vaseline acts as a protective or “blubber” layer, keeping the temperature of the thermometer lower than it would be otherwise.

Bill Nye showed another fun marine animal experiment to try. This one was about how sound travels underwater. In the experiment there were two drinking glasses, one filled with water, and one empty.

Supplies Needed:

  • Two drinking glasses
  • Table knife

Have your child put their ear inside the top of the empty drinking glass. Have them gently tap the side of the empty glass (the glass needs to be made of glass, not plastic) with the table knife.

Make sure the glass with the water in it is full all the way to the top of the glass. Have your child put their ear in that glass, with their ear fully in the water.

Next have them tap the side of the glass with the table knife.

Have them compare the sounds they hear in the two glasses. The sound inside the glass filled with water should be much louder.

Explain to your child that sounds are louder in water than out of water because water is denser than air, making water a better conductor of sound. Sound also travels through water faster than through air.

Here is another fun fact. Did you know that sound has to have a medium to pass through? Sound has to pass through a solid, liquid, or gas in order to be heard. In outer space these things don’t exist, everything exists in a vacuum, therefore sounds cannot be heard in outer space. Interesting!

If you want more technical information on this topic, check out: http://www.dosits.org/science/soundsinthesea/airwater/

Copyright 2014, Christian-Parent.com. This article may not be reprinted.

Follow my homeschooling board on Pinterest.

Science for Kids: How to Make an Egg Float in Water

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This is a fun, easy science experiment for kids. Have your child place an egg in a glass of water and see what happens. The egg will sink (if it is a fresh egg it will sink, a “bad” egg will actually float in water!).

egg experimentIn this experiment you will show your child that you can actually make an egg float in water by adding salt to the water. For this experiment you will need:

  • Tall glass
  • Egg
  • Table salt

Have your child place about 6 tablespoons of table salt in the bottom of a glass. Gently pour at least a cup (depending on the size of the glass) of hot water into the glass. Don’t stir it.

Next place the egg in the glass and watch it float! If the egg is not floating, just add some more salt to the glass. If the salt stays at the bottom of the glass the egg will actually float in the middle of the glass. If you stir the salt into the water, the egg will float at the top of the water.

Why does this work? Salt water is more dense or “heavier” than regular tap water, which makes it easier for the egg to float in the water. Did you know that you can actually float more easily in salty ocean water than in a lake?

To further experiment, try placing another object in the glass, such as a marble. Discuss why the egg is floating and the marble does not, even with the salt in the glass.

Copyright 2014, Christian-Parent.com. This article may not be reprinted.

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