Monday, June 27, 2011


Well, "partay" might be kind of a stretch, but math is fun, right?!?

Actually, I think this could be a really fun way to entertain one night.  No stress of having people over and you have to worry about making a full-on dinner...have friends over for an Ice Cream "Partay" this summer...ColdStone style. 

Display all the fixins in fun glasses and jars out on the patio table.  Then, BRING OUT THE ICE CREAM!
Everyone gets to choose their favorite candies, cookie crumbles, fruit and toppings to add into the ice cream.  Have your guest add their add-ins right into a large ceramic bowl and mix it up with two large spoons, then dish into waffle cones.

Okay, now for the math.  Have your kiddos answer math questions to earn candies and  add-ins.

"4 + 6= the number of chocolate chips you can add into your ice cream"
"50% of 12 is the number of gummy bears you can add to your ice cream"
"Count 7 lemonheads and put them into your ice cream...good counting!"

I suppose you could even touch on a little geometry...cone shape of the icecream cone, sphere shape of the malted milk balls, are there any cube-shaped or pyramid-shaped candies?

Cool summer fun! Thanks to my sister, Leslie for the perfect way to spend a SMMART Math summer night!

Friday, June 17, 2011


I brought out two Fourth of July pinwheels from storage in anticipation of the big parade next month.  My girls had fun with the toys they only see for about a month each year...blowing them and waving them around so the shiny foil would spin and spin.  This started me thinking about other "machines" we could make that use air power (
Air Powered Pinwheels
These little pinwheels brought hours (no exaggeration) of fun discovery and entertainment for my girls.  They loved blowing up the balloon and watching it deflate over and over and over and over.  I'm surprised the balloons lasted as long as they did.  The pinwheels didn't work so well after the first few trials, but they still provided plenty of fun. 

You will need:
Bendy straw
Stick pin
pencil with an eraser

Tape the open end of the balloon onto the long end of the bendy straw and create a seal.  Make sure the straw is bent into a perpendicular position.  In the straw (closer to the balloon), pin the straw onto the top of a pencil eraser.  You want the straw to be horizontal with the floor.  Now let your child blow up the balloon by blowing through the straw.  When your child releases the straw from her mouth, the force of the air leaving the balloon and pushing on the existing air should push the pinwheel around in a horizontal direction. 
Air Power Hover Craft
You will need:
Water bottle top that opens and closes (spout)
CD (old one you don't need and can be scratched up)
Hot glue gun

You will also need a smooth surface for your hover craft to glide over (table, counter top).  Hot glue the bottom of the water bottle cap over the hole in the CD.  Slip the opening of a balloon over the open water bottle top.  Blow up the balloon by putting your mouth over the hole on the bottom of the CD.  When the balloon is full enough, twist the balloon to hold in the air.  Place the CD hover craft over the counter top in gliding position.  Untwist the balloon to release the air and tap the CD slightly.  Observe the CD glide down the counter, as the air released from the balloon pushes against the counter. 

Newton's Law III "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction".  In both of these activities, the air released from the balloon is pushing against something (existing air particles or the countertop that pushes the air back up against the CD).  The other object "pushes back".

Monday, June 13, 2011

Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational
Write Like An Egyptian

Hi, I’m Jana from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational. I’m thrilled to share this fun activity with you on Lisa’s blog!!

When my son and I got to the sixth chapter of Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House book, “Mummies in the Morning,” a light bulb went off in my head.
The third book in the Magic Tree House series takes Jack and Annie back to ancient Egypt where a ghost-queen asks for their help translating some hieroglyphs.

With a big plastic tub of card-making stamps collecting dust in our basement, I seized an opportunity to put them to use. First I picked 26 small stamps, one for each letter of the alphabet and stamped a key.
Then I stamped a “hieroglyphic” message for my son. Just like in Pope’s book when the code led the two young children to the Book of the Dead, the message my son decoded would reveal a hidden treasure under his bed (an inexpensive toy concealed in a brown lunch sack). I also made a blank sheet so he could stamp his own “hieroglyphic message” for his Dad to decode.
Before my son started to read and write like an Egyptian, though, we read the First Facts book “Hieroglyphs” by Kremena Spengler.

To check out more ideas and activities, stop by my blog at Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational.

Monday, June 6, 2011

SMMART READING: Tracing Shadows

Finally some sunshine comin' our way...get out there and chalk up the sidewalk!

Break out the chalk and have your child trace your shadow as you stand in some fun, crazy position.  After your child traces your shadow, he can label it  "Mom".
Trace different family members and various objects you find around the house or yard...a ball, a flower, a stick or a bike...and have your child practice handwriting and spelling by labeling each item he traces.


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