## Sunday, November 21, 2010

SMMART MATH: Cornucopia Catches

Another game for your kiddos to play while you are creaming the sweet potatoes and basting the turkey...

Help your child create his own cornucopia by forming a paper plate into a funnel shape and securing the edges with tape or staples.

Let your child experiment with tossing cottonballs, toy balls, or wads of paper.  You can even let your child experiment by seeing if one cottonball or a few taped together work better in this activity.

Just one person can flick the cottonball out of the cornucopia and up into the air.  Catch the cottonball inside the paper plate cornucopia.  Encourage your child to count out loud and declare each catch.  See how many catches he can complete in a row.  Two children can have a contest to see who catches the most in a row.

Two children can attempt to toss the cottonball back and forth between two cornucopias, counting out loud to keep track.

Advanced:  Each time you catch the cottonball, you can count by twos, fives, tens or hundreds.

## Sunday, November 14, 2010

SMMART MATH: Cranberry Creations

"Fun Geometry?"you say..."Is that possible?"
Expose your children to 3D shapes AND use edible constructibles...it doesn't get much better!  Using the term "3D" when you discuss spheres, cubes and pyramids might remind them of the recent "Toy Story III" movie.  Show your child a 2D square made of toothpicks and cranberries and then build onto it to create its 3D counterpart, the cube!

We like to use grapes, and marshmallows as the "glue" for the toothpicks.  Recently I picked up a bag of cranberries and they worked GREAT!  They really held up through multiple pokes-most durable yet, but not so edible.

My girls really enjoyed creating with the cranberries...This would be a great activity for your kids on Thanksgiving Day when you're busy in the kitchen!

## Thursday, November 11, 2010

SMMART MUSIC: Ukaleles-Lilo and Stitch Style

I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a promotional event for Disney on Ice: Mickey and Minnie's Magical Adventure.  Their wonderful promotions manager invited children from Shriner's Hospital to come and experience the magical adventure up close!

The room was creatively decorated to depict the four lands of Disney on Ice- The Sahara (Lion King), Under the Sea (Little Mermaid-complete with continual bubbles), Neverland (Peter Pan) and Hawaii(Lilo and Stitch).

Jana, a Disney performer from Finland, helped me to show the children how to make Lilo and Stitch ukaleles.  They turned out super cute!  The kids were so darling and it was fun to meet their parents too!

You'll need:
An Empty Tissue Box
Paper bag, butcher paper or construction paper
Ruler or Stick (can even be a wooden spoon)
Duct Tape
Markers, Stickers, Stamps to decorate

1) Wrap the empty tissue box with paper.  Leave the hole exposed.
2)Tape the stick onto the back of the tissue box.
3) Wrap the rubber bands around the box so that it stretches to cover the hole (like an ukalele)
4) Let your child decorate the tissue box with stickers, stamps and markers.

Simple, but the kids really liked playing with the ukaleles. Check out a video on how to make these at:

The best part was watching their eyes pop when Mickey and Minnie walked in!  They posed for pictures with their families and left with some fun Disney memories.  So glad I could be a part of this great event!

As for the actual Disny on Ice show...spectacular and magical fun!  My girls wouldn't take their eyes off the ice!  Even my 16 month old little girl was clapping her hands and dancing throughout the program.  My little 3 year old exclaimed "Look! Ariel waved at me!"  I loved how interactive the "Peter Pan" story was told.  The girls clapped to show that they believed in "make believe" and saved Tinkerbell, and "tick-tocked" along with Peter Pan to trick Captain Hook into thinking the crocadile was after him.  It was a wonderful show!

## Monday, November 8, 2010

I've been receiving the Scholastic Newsletter for a while now.  It's nice to see topics that interest me coming to my inbox.  You can sign up for it here (scroll down and it's in the right column with a green header)
These were a few recent tips Scholastic shared with parents:

5 Ways to Pique Your Child’s Interest in Science
Explore the science that surrounds you—from the science programs in your community, to museums, to nature walks.

1.Follow his interests and encourage him to explore subjects he likes. If he's a sci-fi fan, give him materials about space exploration, or try a paleontology book on your dinosaur buff.

2.Make time for everyday experimentation, like observing changes in weather or the chemical reactions in cooking.

3.Put scientific concepts in real-world terms. If she's studying states of matter at school, for example, take some water and freeze, boil, and melt it so she can see the scientific processes at work.

4.Listen to his questions and try to find the answers together. Simply telling him the answer won't be as helpful or as empowering as conducting his own research.

5.Explore the science that surrounds you — from the science programs in your community, to museums, to nature walks. Take trips together that pique her curiosity and keep her asking "why?"