6 Easy Ways to Encourage Learning over the Summer Holidays
The summer holidays are here; time for fun in the sun! How do you encourage learning during summer break? I had to do some research for this one but I found some pretty cool ways to encourage learning while still having fun!
The Water Movement Experiment
-Get some celery or cabbage (make sure it’s stiff)
-Take two clear jars and place them near each other
-Add a few drops of food coloring to each jar
-Add water to the jars (about 2 inches deep)
-Place the celery in the jars, one piece of each cut end in the jar
-Wait about 8 hours
Plants use tiny tubes to move the water from where they find it (the ground usually) to where they need it (in the leaves) where it is aired out through tiny pores called stomata.
Who doesn’t love a homemade volcano?
-Food Coloring (Yellow isn’t the best choice)
-An empty plastic bottle
-A shallow tray (baking pans from the thrift store work)
Step 1 – Place your bottle in the shallow tray
Step 2 – Fill the bottle with warm water, leaving a bit of space towards the top
Step 3 – Add a few drops of food coloring
Step 4 – Add 6 drops of dishwashing liquid to the bottle
Step 5 – Use the funnel to add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the bottle
Step 6 – Clean the funnel so there isn’t any baking soda on it and pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into the bottle
Step 7 – Stand back and watch your volcano come to life!
This is what happens when you do chemistry.
Balloon – Powered Rocket
Ever wonder how airplanes, birds, and rockets propel themselves? This experiment will help you understand.
-A long piece of string or fishing wire
-One balloon ( or a few if you want to repeat the experiment)
Step 1 – Thread your string/fishing wire through the straw
Step 2 – Tie each end of the string to 2 fixed points (trees, chairs, etc)
Step 3 – Blow up the balloon but do not tie the end
Step 4 – Tape the balloon to the straw carefully without letting any air escape. Make sure the balloon’s mouth piece is parallel to the string
Step 5 – Once your balloon is anchored to the straw, let the balloon go and watch your rocket fly!
This is a fun “experiment” for your kids.
-The perfect bubble solution (5 gallons of water and 10 cups of dish soap, regular not antibacterial)
-A hard plastic kiddie pool (soft ones work but not as well)
-A hula hoop
– Let the solution sit overnight (for best results)
– The less foam you make, the better the bubbles
– Fill the pool with the solution and have someone stand in the middle of the pool
– One person puts the hula hoop on the bottom of the pool and lift up gently so as the bubble can catch the hoop
See how the molecules of water reacts when you add a chemical compound.
Hop Counting Game
This is a quick and easy to make and do counting game that is great for toddlers and one-on-one teaching.
-Small plastic figure (GI Joe, Littlest Pet Shop)
-Container or tub
-Number cube (optional)
To set this up, you place about 3/4 inches of water in the bottom of the clear plastic container and add your food coloring (blue is a great color for this). Then, place the bin on a towel to catch the splashing water, unless your doing this outside. Set up the figurine and the number cube on the side of the bin.
When your child is ready to play, add some ice cubes to the bin.
To get started, you ask your child how many times the figure has to hop to get all the way across the bin. Your child will eagerly help the figure “hop” away and across to the other side.
Vowel Sounding Cup Game
This is a great game for kids who are learning to prounce their words.
-3 plastic cups
-Pom Poms, fake gems, or what ever you want to use
To get in some extra practice, write 3 of the vowels on the cups and set up a simple phonics game.
Your children can take turns hiding the token under a cup and them you switch the cup around like the old shell game. The other child then guesses which cup the token is under by saying the vowel on the cup they think it is under.