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Saturday, December 3, 2016

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Science Christmas Tree

My 3-year old actually started our science Christmas tree when we were unpacking a new set of spring scales.


I ordered a set of physics supplies like spring scales and pulleys, and they happened to arrive between the time when we had put lights on the tree and pulled out our regular ornaments.  Everyone was so excited about the new science supplies that I secretly thought we should have saved them to use as Christmas presents (I'm sure I'm not the only homeschool mom who has thoughtd like that)! Anyway, less than 5 minutes after they came out of the box, my daughter hung one on the tree.

At first I made her take it off...after all, we have ornaments! But as the day went on I changed my mind. Why not?!! I invited the kids to pick out science supplies to decorate the Christmas tree with...and we had a blast!



The kids did 90% of the decorating...they strung and hung magnets, magnifying glasses, pulleys, spring scales, a ruler, tape, a motor, flashlight, graduated cylinders, beakers, bolts, and more. They even put a flower on the top because "nature is science too!"

It was truly a work of art! I totally wished I had thought of it back when I was teaching...a science Christmas tree in a science classroom would have been so cool!



We had so much fun making our science themed Christmas tree that we just might start a themed Christmas tree tradition. I would love to make a scrapbook with a different themed tree every year! We'll have to see how next year goes!


Happy Educating,
Carla









I may share at any of these parties!




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{FREE} Preschool Christmas Printable Dot-to-Dot & Color

Today's free preschool printable is stocking themed!



This is perfect if you need a preschool Christmas printable, something to practice counting, number recognition, or patterns with, or just a fancy schmancy coloring page!

It also pairs great with hanging up stockings and reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas!


Here are a few ideas of things you can do with this free preschool Christmas printable:


* Count the dots and connect them as you go (of course! I had to put this out there, lol!)

* Color the page in with crayons, colored pencils, markers, or paints!

* Smear glue in one section at a time and fill in the glue with colored beans or beads!

* Glue cut yarn or fabric to the stocking!

* Color it with a pattern!

* Cut out the stocking when you're done and glue it onto a homemade card!

* Use a poking tool to poke holes in each dot before or after you connect them!



Click HERE to download a FREE stocking dot-to-dot and color picture!!

Stocking clipart is by Growing Smart Readers and used with permission.

This is part of my HUGE series of holiday and winter printables that I am offering this month...It's my Christmas present to you! I'll be putting up a new printable every day until Christmas -- you can find them all HERE! They are all a little different -- some are only one page, some are more, some focus on math skills, some focus on reading skills, some are holiday themed, some are Christmas themed, etc! But, they are all FREE and I hope you love them!!







Happy Educating,
Carla












I may share at any of these parties!




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Christmas Supplies STEM Investigation: Tape Fingerprints

You've been wrapping presents. You have tape everywhere. Your kids want something fun to do. Grab the tape. It's time for a little fingerprint STEM investigation!



There are actually LOTS of ways to "capture" fingerprints! The method I'm sharing today works great for all ages...young preschoolers included! Check out how well it made this fingerprint:



And while we had loads of fun investigating our fingerprints today with tape we bought for wrapping presents (lol!), it occurred to me that you could actually do this STEM investigation any time of the year...as long as you have lots of tape sitting around. (This is me warning you...your kiddos will want to do this over and over and over. With every finger. More than once. But they will love it. And now you are warned!)

Simple Supplies: 

* scotch tape
* #2 pencil (this is important...#3 is much harder to work with!)
* white paper (you could use wrapping paper if you wanted...)
* optional: magnifying glass

Easy How To:

1- Rub the pencil on the paper until you have a nice black spot.

2- Roll your finger in the graphite.



3- Carefully press a piece of tape onto your blackened finger.


4- Carefully stick the tape to a white sheet of paper so you can examine your fingerprint!


Once your kiddos know one way to make fingerprints, they will want to explore their own fingers and prints in amazing detail. This is wonderful! This kind of investigation is at the heart of STEM. As my children tested their own fingerprints, here are some of the things they discovered:

1- Each person has unique fingerprints.

2- Each finger on each hand has unique fingerprints.  (The kids had fun comparing their own fingers, each others' fingers, and famous people's fingerprints like Walt Disney and Malcom X!)

3- There are three main patterns in the prints. (You can learn more about arches, loops, and whorls here.)

4- Fingerprints are made by wrinkles in the skin.

5- When you take a long bath your fingerprints will look a little different. (Fingerprints actually come from folds in your skin during months of growing in utero!)

6- The kids also talked about designing different ways to "capture" and store fingerprints, but they were detailed enough that they deserve a post of their own.  :)

7- Each time you take fingerprints, you should make a new "pile" of graphite...using one "drawing" twice or drawing in the same spot twice doesn't work as well as drawing a new pile of graphite every time.


You could also extend this into a lab where you provide a "mystery" fingerprint and your kids need to figure out who left it...perhaps you "caught" a cookie thief fingerprint!


This week I've been joining up with Sarah at Little Bins for Little Hands and sharing STEM activities you can do with Christmas supplies like wrapping paper, cookie cutters, and tape!



Click HERE to see our BIG collection of *easy* STEM ideas you can do with Christmas supplies!!













Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!




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Friday, December 2, 2016

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My Present to You: 25 {FREE} Preschool Winter & Christmas Printables!!

The holidays are here!! I would love to give each and every one of my readers a present, so I decided to share a {FREE} preschool printable each day until Christmas! Starting...today!!




I'll be linking each day's {FREE} preschool printable to   the calendar below. Simply click on the block to be taken to the printable for that day!   For example, for today's freebie, click on the first block with ornaments and a #1. Tomorrow, come back and click on the stocking/2! 

You may want to bookmark or pin this page so you can get each day's preschool printable easily!

What are the printables about? You'll have to come back and see! Each day is a little different! There will be dot pages, shadow matching, memory cards, patterns, and much more!

Some of the printables are winter themed, and some are Christmas themed. If you don't celebrate Christmas, please don't be offended...just come back for the winter pages! There will be many of each!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!



Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Day 18 Day 19 Day 20 Day 21 Day 22 Day 23 Day 24 Day 25


Happy Educating,
Carla









I may share at any of these parties!




Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!




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{FREE} Preschool Printable Which One is Different Ornament Page!

Today's preschool freebie is all about visual discrimination and ornaments...the perfect free preschool Christmas or holiday printable!



You can use these adorable ornaments in so many ways! Here are a few ideas, or try one of your own!

* Circle the different ornament in each box with a crayon, pencil, paintbrush, etc.

* Stamp the different ornament with stamps or dot markers.

* Cut out the boxes and give one to each child. After they find the different ornament, let them tell you or a friend why it's different.

* Cut out the boxes and use a magnet to cover the different ornament while sticking it to a metal door or fridge.

* Make your own "fingerprint ornaments" with paint on another paper. Let your kiddos find ways to make one different from a group!




Ornament Clipart is by CollaborationCuties and used with permission.

This is the first free printable in a HUGE series of holiday and winter printables that I am offering this month...It's my Christmas present to you! I'll be putting up a new printable every day until Christmas -- you can find them all HERE! They are all a little different -- some are only one page, some are more, some focus on math skills, some focus on reading skills, some are holiday themed, some are Christmas themed, etc! But, they are all FREE and I hope you love them!!







Happy Educating,
Carla








I may share at any of these parties!




Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!




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Thursday, December 1, 2016

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Wrapping Paper Cardboard Tube Marble Run STEM Challenge

You know that moment when you get to the end of a wrapping paper roll and you think, "I'm sure there's something I should do with this giant cardboard tube before I throw it away..."? Wait, that doesn't happen to you?!!  ;)  Well, that's okay...you'll still love this Christmas-y STEM challenge!



I've been brainstorming ideas for STEM activities (like this ribbon & bell chime STEM challenge) for this Christmas Supplies STEM Projects series with Sarah from Little Bins for Little Hands, and when I mentioned this project to my oldest, she dropped what she was doing and came over to get involved. 



In full disclosure, I actually turned my 9-year old loose on this project...and she loved it! She's always been passionate about recycling, so creating a marble run with something that was on its way to the recycle bin really spoke to her. Plus, she loves creating things, especially a cool marble run. You could very easily do the same project with your preschool aged kiddos--you just have to help them more. In fact, we have done very similar things with kids 3-6 years old.  :) 

Usually, when I introduce a STEM challenge to my kids, I present it as just that: "Today, I have a challenge for you!" And they usually love it! This time, though, I actually set out the supplies and started working on it myself. I thought of the similar projects we'd done in the past and how they required a dexterity that my preschoolers just hadn't developed. I figured they would see me doing something awesome and join in. Well...they did! 

But first, my 9-year old saw me setting up and asked what I was doing. I told her, "Building a marble run out of the cardboard tube at the end of the Christmas wrapping paper roll. I might use a jingle bell too." And that was literally all the invitation she needed! She came over, sat next to me, and started offering suggestions and helping any way she could. After I taped the first section to the wall, I offered to let her work on the project. She very happily took over!



When she finished, my preschoolers were all over it! They wanted to run both the marble and the jingle bell down the path over and over and over...

The supplies were SO simple...truly just left-overs from Christmas wrapping paper (which is why we called it a Christmas STEM challenge)! We used one wrapping paper cardboard tube cut into four sections and tape. And a marble and jingle bell, of course! And yes, I will totally admit to covering the roll in wrapping paper. It totally made it prettier, and since I have three girls, "pretty" is important!

Fun Fact: One Christmas wrapping paper cardboard tube is the same length as two paper towel cardboard tubes and two toilet paper cardboard tubes! You could do this project any time of the year using paper towel and toilet paper cardboard tubes before you recycle them!!

The "Short Version":

1- Gather your supplies: a wrapping paper cardboard tube, scissors, and tape. (I was actually tempted to unwrap a second roll of paper, but I resisted...we can add to our jingle bell "marble" run later!)

2- Cut the cardboard tube open by cutting along its length once. This makes it easier to work with. Then cut the tube into 3-4 sections. 


3- Use tape to position the tube pieces along a wall to make a marble run! Test each piece before you secure it with tape! Make sure all your preschoolers get to help with this part!!




I would love to know if you make a Christmas wrapping paper cardboard tube marble run!! Feel free to send me a message, leave a comment, or stop by my Preschool Powol Packets FB page!



This week I am joining up with Sarah at Little Bins for Little Hands to share STEM activities you can do with your kiddos and Christmas supplies like ribbons, wrapping paper, tape, etc.!






Happy Educating,
Carla









I may share at any of these parties!




Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!




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