Cinco de Mayo Fun at Home

Come 5th May every year and it’s time for a gala celebration for Cinco de Mayo. Why should this year be any different? Here are a couple of ways to have a good time at home and also instill some learning into your little ones regarding the significance of the festive occasion.
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Cinco de Mayo” by uroesch is licensed under CC by 2.0

Make Paper Bag Pinatas: Definitely one of the best parts of the celebration, homemade paper bag pinatas (especially those that burst open by breaking it open with a stick) are a treat to behold. All the more fun to involve your kids in stuffing them up with confetti and candy.

Whip Up Some Margaritas: Kiddie non-alcoholic ones, of course, with a dash of lime! Just holding the much coveted glass and taking a sip like adults is sure to be exciting for the children.

Adorn Walls in Red & Green: The colors of the Mexican flag should be all around you to get you in the true spirit of Cinco de Mayo.

Here’s wishing a ton of pinatas, margaritas and laughter to all you folks out there!

Eggs-citing Easter Egg Activities for Kids

Think Easter and the first thing that comes to mind is delectable and gaily colored Easter eggs (with a chocolatey center!). Hence, on the occasion of Easter, here are three eggs-citing Easter egg activities your kids will love doing.

Easter Eggs with Missing Halves

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Easter Egg Yellow” by skarg is licensed under CC by 2.0

This is a number learning activity that is suitable for younger kids. Begin by asking your child to draw 10 eggs on construction paper or cardboard. It does not matter if the eggs aren’t exactly identical in shape. Next, ask her to cut them out using a blunt pair of scissors. Now divide each egg into two halves by drawing a zig-zag line through their middles. Assign each egg with a number in the top halves from 1 to 10.

In the bottom halves, use a marker to draw small stars to correspond with the number on each egg. Finally, cut out each egg across the zig-zag line such that the numbers get separated from the bottom halves containing the stars. Now you’ll have half cracked eggs, some with numbers and the others with stars. Ask your little ones to match the corresponding cracked missing halves with each other.

Easter Egg Bunny

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Easter Egg Bunny” by hextrust is licensed under CC by 2.0

What could be a better craft for Easter than an Easter egg and an Easter bunny rolled into one? Take a hardboiled egg and allow your little one to draw a bunny’s face on to it with a black marker – two eyes, a round nose, and a toothy smile. Now draw out two ears on construction paper or cardboard with a pencil, color them pink and stick them to the back side of the face. Use a pink marker to color the bunny’s nose for a more cheerful looking guy. Finally, take some cotton and make two round balls to stick on to the opposite end of the ears, at the bottom of the egg. After all, a bunny needs to hop, skip and jump on his own little feet, doesn’t he? Prop up the grinning guy on your mantelpiece or dining table or study table and spread some Easter cheer all around!

Easter Egg Maze

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Easter Egg Maze” by mvolz is licensed under CC by 2.0

This worksheet activity is a tried and tested fun maze printable that can be downloaded and printed from various sources. It can assume different storylines – a hen trying to find her way to her chick which is stuck at the center of the maze and can’t find its way out, an Easter bunny trying to reach carrots or simply your child being stuck in a maze herself and needing to find a way out. The common factor amongst all these is that the maze is in the shape of an Easter egg and has a back story with a hint of Easter to it. This is just one of the many Easter activities for kids that are available online.

May your Easter be as colorful as the eggs you find in your basket!



About Kids & Santa Claus

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Santa Claus” by Isacvale is licensed under CC by 2.0

Literally speaking, Santa Claus(es) are quite omnipresent as Christmas and New Year draw near. You find a whole lot of them everywhere, albeit in similar red outfits and white beards and twinkling eyes. As a kid, for a considerable number of years I was of the firm conviction that Santa actually exists. I remember it was fascinating to imagine the magical man descending to our warm homes all the way from North Pole, bearing gifts that we found under the Xmas tree. And then one fine day, I ended up asking my grandmother if Santa is for real; much to my mother’s chagrin, her mother decided to spill the beans as I was ‘a big girl’ by then.

The other day I chanced upon an article which talked about Santa-related research and the science (yes, science) of why kids have such firmly rooted beliefs which wane with time about Saint Nicholas. Apparently, there is some psychology behind it. To quote from the study:
‘The influential child psychologist Jean Piaget proposed that around age 8 children enter the “concrete operational stage” of thinking- a critical, observant phase of questioning impossible things. Is the North Pole cold? How do you fit inside a chimney?”

Surprisingly enough, researchers observed that it was parents who ended up being more woebegone than their kids, once their kids knew the sad truth about Santa. I can pretty much imagine myself feeling the same, which seems to be evident in the near future. No wonder my mother felt the way she did back then!

2 Simple DIY Science Experiments for Home

Science is everywhere around us. It is in the airplanes that fly, in the colors we see around us, in the storms that occur every now and then, in the music we enjoy and in the trees whistling through the winds. Explaining certain fundamental aspects of science to children becomes simpler in the form of simple science experiments for kids which can be carried out with everyday objects around us.

Here are two such examples of easy DIY science activities that talk about the concepts of bubbles in water and eggs, raw versus hardboiled.

The Bubbly Experiment
Why does water splash and form bubbles in a tub or bucket when it flows into it from a height in the form of a stream?

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Water” by brainralien is licensed under CC by 2.0

Requirements:
A wide-mouthed bowl, a glass tumbler, some water.

Procedure & Observations:
• Pour water both into the wide-mouthed bowl and the glass tumbler upto the halfway mark in each.
• Holding the tumbler at a slightly higher level above the bowl, start pouring water from the tumbler into the bowl.
• You will see bubbles forming on the surface on the water.
• Now hold the tumbler lower (nearer to the bowl) and start pouring water again from the tumbler into the bowl from a lesser height than in the previous step.
• This time around, you will not see any bubbles forming on the surface of the water.

Explanation:
The answer lies in the formation of air pockets which cause bubbles to form when the water is poured into the bowl from a considerable height. While falling, air gets trapped in the stream of water and forms a number of pockets of air. When the stream of water strikes the surface of water with force (since it is from a height), it breaks through the upper surface or skin of water, forcing the pockets of air to come out as bubbles back on to the surface. On the other hand, when water falls into the bowl from a considerably lesser height (close to the surface of water), no air pockets are formed, it does not break through the upper surface of water and hence no bubble formation occurs.

The Eggy Experiment
You have two eggs. One is raw and the other is boiled. How would you find out which one is which, since both appear the same from the outside?

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Egg” by WerbeFabrik is licensed under CC by 2.0

Requirements:
A raw (unboiled) egg, a boiled egg, a flat table top.

Procedure & Observations:
• On a flat table top, place the first egg. Spin it like a top gently.
• Do the same with the second egg and allow it to spin too.
• Next, gently stop each egg from spinning.
• One egg will stop spinning as soon as you apply force with your fingers.
• The other egg will also eventually stop, but will roll around a bit unsteadily even after you’ve applied gentle force with your fingers to stop its motion.

Explanation:
The egg which stops spinning altogether as soon as force is applied to it is the hard-boiled egg. This particular egg will also start spinning the instant you apply force to it in the right direction. This is because it has solidified from within and behaves like a single solid body. On the other hand, the raw egg wobbles a bit unsteadily when you try to stop it from spinning and does not come to rest immediately. This is because inside it there is liquid yolk and egg white which resist the force of motion. As a result of inertia, the shell outside is spun but the liquid part inside is still at rest and does not start moving instantaneously. It is the same inertia which prevents it from stopping altogether once force is applied against it. Inertia can be defined as ‘the property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.

Have you carried out any interesting science experiments with your kids at home? Feel free to add to this list.

2 Fun Back to School Activities for Kids

September means it’s back to school time. Although the phrase ‘back to School’ does not seem to fit along with ‘fun’ or ‘games’, here are two fun ideas related to both of the above.

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Back To School” by stux is licensed under CC by 2.0

Liven it up: Needless to say, a majority of the kids would still be in the holiday mood when they trudge back to school. In order to liven them up before getting down to books and other serious stuff, here’s a simple activity that can prep them up. Clap in a certain pattern and add a funny sound to it (say it aloud) intermittently. Ask the students to do the same along with you. In no time at all, the kids will all be giggling and clapping their way to become wide awake, minus any lethargy.

A Holiday Questionnaire: If a teacher asks kids to write out an essay about their holidays, it may not warrant the same interest as that of a questionnaire/worksheet with specific questions. For instance, ‘3 things that you enjoyed the most during your holidays’, or ‘What got you bored during the holidays?’ or ‘Name and describe a game that you played in your holidays’ etc. When everyone is done, the kids could come and read out their answers in front of the class. This could make it a fun exercise for every child.

The basic underlying goal is to get the kids opened up and active after a couple of months hiatus, and have fun in the process before getting down to homework and schoolwork.
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brionnasimpson

Author:brionnasimpson
I am an assistant teacher and my aim is to curate unique learning tips and techniques customized towards kids.

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