Friday, August 1, 2014

Friendship 101 for Smart Kids

It’s time again for Hoagies Gifted blog hop. The topic for this month is Gifted Friendships, and in this post I am going to focus on whether we should help our smart kids to make friends, when to worry and where to learn more about gifted kids reaching for connection.
Friendships for Smart Kids
Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!

Is Making Friends Harder for Gifted Kids?

This is an interesting question. A popular image of a gifted kid is an image of a nerd obsessed with his or her pet passions, an outsider for a popular crowd, sometimes a victim of bullying. From my observation, it’s partially true, and sometimes smart kids, especially younger ones, are somewhat responsible for their isolation. My 7 year old daughter, for example, has zero interest in being “popular” and has this tendency not to notice the world around her when she is thinking about something. However, she is able to reach out and join the group if she chooses to do so. In other words, she is not an outcast, but a drifter, only joining activities and games that interest her.
In addition to being choosy about which activities to join, she is also choosy about her partners. A magical “click” happens only with certain type of kids – mostly with those who are a little dreamy and goofy at the same time. Not surprisingly, her best friends are also intelligent, articulate, and willing to engage in negotiations when deciding on what to do together. She strongly prefers 1:1 time with either of her three best friends rather than playing in a group (not easy when one of them has a twin sister that Smarty doesn’t care for). When she picks a friend she likes, she does make some effort to make their friendship work. As an example, one of her friends was not up for playing just with Smarty, so she developed a schedule where she “graciously” offered this girl two days a week to play with other kids on the condition that the rest of the time they play together. Apparently, Smarty was an engaging companion, since eventually the other girl entered “an exclusive friendship” relationship with Smarty, at least in school.

Do Our Children Need Our Help?

49-picture-books-about-friendship-the-measured-mom
A simple answer is – it depends. An introverted child under 5 might need some gentle encouragement, and a depressed adolescent without friends certainly needs help. Children can learn a lot of “friendship theory” from terrific books about friendship pulled into a roundup by The Measured Mom and from watching how we interact with our adult friends. But I also  happen to believe that kids between ages 5 and 10 should be able to “practice” and negotiate the turbulent seas of their first friendships without adults constantly hovering over them, picking their friends and supervising their playdates. Our daughter decides whether she wants to have a playdate and with whom, our role is simply to see where this playdate might fit into our schedule and arrange logistics for it.

When Should You Be Worried?

Smart Parenting Smarter Kids
Do I wish Smarty were more outgoing or worry about her reluctance to be “part of the team” in group situations? Not really, but Smart Parenting for Smart Kids is a great resource to go to if you are worried about your child’s struggles in making friends. There is a chapter in this book devoted to establishing meaningful connections with others. Authors Eileen Kennedy Moore and Mark S. Lowenthal explain that while many intelligent children are very outgoing with adults, they are still introverted by nature and might need a lot of time alone. They are saying that your child is OK if:
  • He or she can interact happily with other kids under some circumstances, when he or she wants to do so.
  • He or she has at least one relationship in which he or she likes and is liked by another child.
  • He or she has someone to sit and chat with at lunch.
If something in the list above raises your red flag or your child is clearly unhappy about his or her ability to make friends, this book offers practical advice for different problems – from being too judgmental to being too shy. In general, I found it very useful, and I hope that you will too.

Your Turn

Are your children social butterflies or introverts? Do you let them be or work to draw them out?

More on Gifted Children From This Blog

Follow my Pinterest board Resources for Gifted Children

Check out Hoagies Gifted Friendships blog hop and follow Hoagies Gifted on Facebook.

More Parenting Books Recommended by Moms

Parenting Books Recommendations


I am joining with other blogger Moms from Kid Blogger Network to share our love of good parenting books. I am looking forward to checking out some of the recommendations:

  • The Explosive Child (B-Inspired Mama)
  • Wiring Kids for Success in Life (Trilingual Mama)
  • Discipline Without Distress (One Time Through)
  • Real Boys (The Jenny Evolution)
  • Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids (Dirt & Boogers)
  • Smart Parenting for Smart Kids (Planet Smarty Pants)
  • Potty Training in a Weekend (Words n Needles)
  • 12 MORE Books for Moms (Teach Beside Me)

  • Do you have a favorite parenting book? Do let me know in the comment section!

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Engineer This: Build a Pirate Ship

    Every month bloggers of Poppins Book Nook bring you books and activities for the theme of the month. July theme was Ye Old Pirates!
    Child Led Project - Building a Life Size Pirate Ship
    Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!

    So Your Kid Is Not Into Pirates?

    I will be honest – my daughter has never been interested in pirates and pirate books. It’s her second least favorite topic, right after mummies. I thought that we would skip this month of Poppins Book Nook altogether, but then the perfect book presented itself.
    Captain No Beard
    Captain No Beard is a lovely new series from Carole P. Roman. We received the first book for review some time ago, and since then Carole was very generous sending us other books in these series. Each book follows a journey of a pretend pirate crew over oceans of imagination while solving some real problems of friendship, responsibility or resolving arguments. Smarty especially loved the latest book that was sent to us - The Treasure of Snake Island. In this book there is no conflict between characters, but together they are looking for a treasure. There is a hint in the book which allowed Smarty to predict correctly what they would find, and she was delighted to see that she was right.

    A Pirate Ship Engineering Challenge

    When we read The Treasure of Snake Island, I proposed a challenge to Smarty to build a pirate ship. I envisioned something like this (that’s what I built), but Smarty was not interested in mini-versions.
    Pirate Lego Ship
    She set out to build a “life-sized” pirate ship, just like characters in the book who use a bed as a ship and stuffed animals as crewmates. My own challenge was to hold all the “helpful advice” and let it be a completely child-led project. It was fun to watch how things unfolded in her imagination. It took her all morning to build and equip her ship, and she already made several imaginary voyages in it. Hopefully she finds crewmates to join her on her trips before the ship will have to come apart.
    Pirate Ship

    Solving Engineering Problems

    Pirate Ship Engineering Challenges
    Smarty had to solve several engineering problems while constructing her ship. Again, I had to bite my tongue really hard not to offer her help. I broke down on helm, but she didn’t listen to my advice anyway.
    1. How to keep your mast up – a lot of masking tape and scotch tape was used.
    2. Securing a sail – Smarty surprised me here, her sail can even move up and down.
    3. Making a helm. It turned out not quite in scale of the rest of the ship and hanging by a thread… well, by a toothpick, but she is quite proud of it.

    Letting Your Children Take a Lead

    While Smarty’s pirate ship was not at all what I had in mind, I am glad that I didn’t take over this project. I feel that as she is growing up, I am also growing as a parent in my ability to let go and to accept her vision of her work, to be an observer or even a student, not a teacher. We are both happier when we approach projects this way, and she learns a lot more from her mistakes and experiments than she could have learned from a guided project.

    More Engineering Ideas?

    Follow my Pinterest Board For Future Engineers

    Join Poppins Book Nook Giveaway


    Poppins Book Nook Pirate Plunder Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month we are partnering with Jennifer Altman an Usborne consultant to bring one lucky entrant a chance to win a copy of either the Pirate's Handbook (recommended for 8 years old and up) or Pirate Stories for Little Children (recommended for ages under 8 years old)books. One of these books is sure to add to your pirate fun!
    The winner will be randomly picked by Rafflecopter and will be notified by Enchanted Homeschooling Mom via email and posted here. Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside within the United States. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Prizes will be issued by Jennifer Altman who is an Usborne consultant. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's (disclosures found here). Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Share With Poppins Book Nook

    Mother with children read book
    I am sharing the joy of Poppins Book Nook with my terrific co-hosts:
    Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Dreaming Without Guilt

    We continue here on Planet Smarty Pants with our summer approach of enjoying summer slump instead of fighting it. Unstructured days give our children a chance to access the biggest power at their disposal, the power of imagination, without feeling pressured to do something else.

    Dreaming-Without-Guilt

    Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!

    Dreamers and Real Life

    Our daughter is a dreamer. Quite often she can be found just sitting there with a faraway look on her face, lost in the world of her own. She can “go away” in the middle of having breakfast, getting ready for school, and I saw her daydream during school hours too when I volunteered last year in a classroom.

    Smart But Scattered

    Some time ago I stumbled upon the book Smart but Scattered in the library. It talks about children similar to Smarty, and I recommend it to other parents of dreamers and parents of children who are intelligent but lack practical organizational skills – these skills are called executive skills in the book. Authors Peg Dawson and Richard Guare give some practical advice on how to help children strengthen their executive skills, but also caution that for children younger than 9 parents sometimes have to step up and serve as their “executive brain function” in important situations while these executive skills are taking hold.

    And, as responsible parents we do that. During a school year we are “mitigating” her trips to other worlds, usually to the worlds of her favorite books. We set an alarm earlier, we say, “hurry up”, “Earth to Smarty”, sometimes we lose it and raise our voices. We have consequences for her leaving things in school, we have set times for cleaning up and packing her bag. We remind her to focus and pay attention when she is on task. There is this constant cloud of “must”, “hurry”, “do” hanging over our heads.

    Freedom to Dream

    Redwood Stump

    In summer there is freedom. The burden of expectations has not disappeared entirely as we don’t believe in permissive parenting, but greatly reduced to routines and a few chores. She has freedom to be who she is. Sometimes I worry that my daughter is not creative, but then I remind myself that I shouldn’t judge her creativity by “measurable output”. She has a hard time getting started on something, so a lot of her projects remain firmly in her head. But I think that dreaming without guilt gives her a gentle push that she needs to get some of her dreams out into real world. Stay tuned as tomorrow I share her take on a pirate ship for this edition of Poppins Book Nook.

    Poppins Book Nook

    Poppins Book Nook - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

    Every last Monday of the month bloggers of Poppins Book Nook are bringing you books and activities about pirates this month. I will be sharing ours tomorrow, but you can check out my co-hosts today.

    Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

    2014 After School Link Up Hosts

    Share Your Summer Learning Week

    School might be over, but lifelong learning never stops. We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your summer learning including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives. When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board or feature on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks! Don't forget to follow along and join our After School Enrichment Community.

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

    The Week In Review–July 26, 2014

    Highlights of the Week

    Mystery Project

    • Smarty is enjoying her two weeks of “staycation”. My husband is staying home with her, so she can attend 2 weeks of a swim class. They both slipped into a “wake up late, start the day slowly” mood, and enjoy their unstructured days.
    • Smarty’s Papa planned a big project for them to do, and you can try to guess from this picture what that might be.
    • I was very busy at work, but my highlight of the week was meeting several of my bloggy friends from Kid Blogger Network who were in town for a big blogging conference BlogHer.

    What My Child Is Reading

    Reading on the Table

    Smarty loves to read in unusual places. She is a “bathroom reader”, but she also loves reading sitting on top of tables. I don’t think she read anything new this week, still rereading yethttp://www.planetsmarty.com/201the-week-in-review-july again Percy Jackson and her favorite parts of Harry Potter.

    Places We Are Going

    Redwood Forest Ranger Walk

    Last Sunday we went to one of our local state parks, and we were there just in time for a guided ranger walk. It was very interesting to learn more facts about California pride – redwood trees. Smarty asked one thousand questions during this walk, and everyone kept telling her how smart she is. I always feel awkward in these situations – on one hand, I know that every child needs positive feedback, but, on the other hand, she already has a somewhat inflated opinion of herself, and this positive feedback just adds fuel to this fire.

    Most Popular Post

    My very popular post 12 Amazing Engineering Projects for Kids has finally lost its lead this week to August Books for 2 and 3 Year Olds. It’s my third month of doing this series, and it’s enlightening to see that people are most interested in book picks for that age and then for 5 year olds.

    August-Books-3-Year-Olds

    Your Turn

    How was your week?

    Friday, July 25, 2014

    6 August Books for 4 Year Olds

    This post is part of the series in Book Recommendations by Age and Month of the Year. This post has August book recommendations for children who are about 4 years old. Each book is paired up with additional resources that you can use to extend the story further.
    August Books for 4 Year Olds with Extension Activities
    My daughter is now 7 year old and a very fluent reader. Very often I hear the same question, What did you do with her when she was little? Well, we read a lot, and I maintained a diary of our reading activities in weekly What My Child Is Reading entries in my blog. I decided to make these reading diaries more useful and create a new series on my blog where I will share our best books for each month for ages 3, 4, 5, and 6. Moreover, I will pair each book with an extension activity – sometimes with ours and sometimes with activities from my creative friends from Kid Blogger Network. In this post I am featuring books that we read when Smarty was 3.5 years old.
    Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!

    1. Get Busy, Beaver!

    Get Busy Beaver
    Smarty saw the Hoover Dam in our landmarks collection and was very fascinated by it. We learned more about how dams are made, which also led to learning more about beavers and their homes. We read several fiction and non-fiction books about beavers including Get Busy, Beaver! by Carolyn Crimi. It’s a charming story about a dreamer who doesn’t respond well to Fast, fast, fast! and Chop, chop, chop! requests from his family. I know one beaver like that in my own family! We tried (not very successfully) make a dam in our sand and water table outside, but Adventures in Mommydom had a better idea in her homeschool science study of beavers – her kids built a dam inside out of pillows and blankets.
    build-a-beaver-dam-activity

    2. The Brother Grimm’s Fairy Tales

    Brothers Grimm
    We were stopping in Germany on our virtual journey around the world during that August 2010. Smarty’s Papa is from Germany, so she enjoyed learning a little more about it. Since we couldn’t find a good book about modern Germany or a non-seasonal book about Germany, we were reading through some of milder fairy tales of the Brothers’ Grimm and did other hands-on activities to go with Germany mini country-study.
    PVC German Castle

    3. The Greedy Triangle

    The Greedy Triangle
    Whether your preschoolers have already mastered their shape or still learning them, they will enjoy The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns illustrated by Gordon Silveria. Marilyn Burns masterfully weaved together a math lesson and a character building story about wanting to be someone who you are not and eventually discovering your strengths. At the beginning Smarty was spooked by a Shape Shifter character in the story, but he was not doing anything evil, so she eventually warmed up to the book, especially since it introduced several new shape vocabulary words to her. I tried to do an art project with her for this book, but she was feeling very minimalistic that day. Teaching Mama’s son, on the other hand, created this fun triangle character out of pre-cut shapes:
    Greedy Triangle

    4. The Kissing Hand

    The Kissing Hand
    Many children start preschool in August or early September. They might have natural worries about leaving the world they know and separating from their loved ones. I could have chosen any number of excellent books dealing with the first day jitters, but The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is my favorite. This book is so well known that I won’t summarize it here. We still have a nightly kissing hand ritual with my 7 year old, and you can give your child a kiss to take with them by making this fun Kissing Hand Craft from No Time for Flashcards.
    Kissing-Hand-craft

    5. Rabbit Food

    Rabbit Food
    Do you have a picky eater? I was one myself and have one now. Smarty does NOT like most vegetables, just like Bunny John in this funny tale of picky eating. It does get better with age – now I eat everything, and Smarty is expanding her diet as well. But in this story Uncle Bunny gets a picky eater to dig into veggies by making sure he is properly hungry. How does he do it? Read the book to find out. You can also try to lure your picky eaters by beautifully prepared food – for example, this Tulip Garden from Kiddie Foodies looks harder to make that it actually is (the post offers a tutorial on how to make it).
    Tulip_garden_main

    6. Ruby Bakes a Cake

    Ruby Bakes a Cake
    By August 2010 Smarty was able to read early readers by herself. She was 3 years 9 months old then and she really enjoyed Ruby Bakes a Cake by Susan Hill. In the book Ruby Racoon consults with her friends on her cake recipe. Smarty giggled excitedly imagining how this cake would taste. I recently found a perfect extension activity for this book – a tasty science activity from Inspiration Laboratories – making a cup cake in the microwave and then trying to change the recipe and see how the results are affected by the changes.
    microwave-cake1

    More August Books Recommendations

    More Booklists For Kids?

    Follow my Pinterest board Best Children Books Booklists.

    Your Turn

    What is a favorite book of your preschoolers right now?

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Helping Children Know Their Heritage

    I’m very excited to be a part of the Read Around the World Summer Reading Series from the Multicultural Kid Blogs. You can travel around the world through different books and explore different countries and cultures. I chose a book to share that really appealed to me as a first generation immigrant – a book about remembering and honoring your heritage.
    Books to Talk About Your Roots
    Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!

    The Blessing Cup by Patricia Polacco

    The Blessing Cup
    Patricia Polacco is one of my favorite picture book authors, especially for older kids. She is not afraid to tackle very difficult themes in her books, and her illustrations have an amazing level of details. We read several seasonal books by Patricia Polacco that are set in Russia – I especially want to recommend Uncle Vova’s Tree for Russian Christmas and Rechenka’s Eggs for Easter. The Blessing Cup book and its sister The Keeping Quilt explain Patricia Polacco’s interest in Russian culture. Her family on her mother’s side came over from Russia somewhere in the early 20th century. The story of The Blessing Cup gives an account of this personal Exodus.
    Read-Around-the-World-Russia
    Patricia’s ancestors lived poor but content in a small Jewish village in mainland Russia enduring occasional pogroms fully supported by Russian tsar and his government. The book basically starts with one of those events and with burning of Jewish synagogue which prompted my 7 year old to think that the book is set in times of Holocaust and the Nazis (she learned about Holocaust from The Story of the World). Alas, anti-semitism in Russia and in the rest of Europe did not start or end with Holocaust, and it’s very disturbing to see it raising its ugly head now in the “enlightened” countries such as France. But… I digress. The good part about The Blessing Cup that it’s not a story of horror and suffering, but a story of hope and friendship that came from an unexpected place. Patricia describes how a Russian doctor helped her family, gave them shelter, nursed her father back to health and eventually sold his own heirloom to pay for their passage to America. This story reminds us how connected we are and how small miracles can happen every day, especially if we reach to others for help.
    What about the Blessing Cup itself? You will learn about it when you read the book! Despite some scary moments, it is also OK to read as a read-aloud to younger children, but it will be better understood by kids age 6 and higher.

    The Blessing Cup Story Extension

    Some time ago I won Horizon Pottery Wheel set in a giveaway at P is for Preschooler. The reviews at Amazon for this product are pretty damning, but it isn’t as bad as they would lead you to believe. This pottery wheel is now for sale on Amazon for only $10, and it’s a good price to get it. I do agree with review statements that clay that came with a set was of poor quality – it was dried to brick consistency when we opened the box – luckily we had some Crayola Air Dry clay left to try our wheel out. Once we had workable clay, the wheel worked fine. It has an A/C outlet, but comes without an A/C adapter or batteries – again, luckily, we had an extra A/C adapter available. Smarty was really excited to try her hand at real pottery and did reasonably well for the first try.
    Pottery Wheel
    Some of the reviewers said that the age range for this toy needs to be bumped up, but I think even older kids would need a lot of practice to produce better pottery on any wheel. Pottery is a tricky business, as we now found out, but Smarty loved the experience, so we will watch some YouTube videos and try it again soon.

    Family Heirlooms

    Heirloom
    Reading The Blessing Cup story made me think about our own journey to America, since my husband and I are both first generation immigrants. He came here from Germany to work with an intention to go back in a couple of years (that was more than 10 years ago!) and still has family and possessions in Germany. My parents and I came here as refugees with a couple of suitcases. My biggest hairloom is this set of earrings that belonged to my grandmother. She was a Russian marrying a Jew (and her aunt who raised her approved the marriage, by the way). I am hoping that my daughter will eventually inherit these earrings from me with a story about her roots in Russia and Belarus and a story of my journey to America.

    Your Turn

    Do you have a family heirloom? What is it?

    More Countries and Culture Posts?

    Follow my Geography Pinterest board and Hands-On Geography series
    Check out the rest of Read Around the World Summer Series at Multicultural Kids Blogs.Read Around the World Summer Reading Series - Multicultural Kid Blogs

    Monday, July 21, 2014

    July Science Ideas for Kids

    Do you have a child who is more interested in science than in arts and crafts? In this post I am sharing several great science and engineering ideas that will delight your kids.
    Planet Smarty Pants: July Science Ideas

    Science at Planet Smarty Pants

    Making a bouncing ball
    Smarty had a “science week” in her Y camp last week. She loved her field trip to California Academy of Science in San Francisco and to local The Round Pizza where kids could see how pizza is made. Camp counselors also showed kids several science experiments including homemade bouncing balls. Smarty came home and begged me to make one with her. First she wanted to just randomly mix the materials and see what happens, but I explained to her that for this experiment it is actually quite important to know how much of what you need.
    Silly Putty
    Honestly, this experiment looks a lot messier in real life than it does on other people’s blogs! It also seems that you need to get ratios exactly right. At least we ended up with silly putty and not with slime, and Smarty had a lot of fun with this chemistry experiment for kids.

    Science From After School Participants

    Now let’s see what others did this week:

    1. Ashley from Life with Moore Babies was a guest on Enchanted Homeschooling Mom where she gave a tutorial on making sun catchers from gelatin. I’d say that this takes messiness level a notch higher than bouncing balls and is definitely a parent-led project, but kids can help with making their DIY sun catchers (also known as window clings) colorful and glittery and deciding where to put them up.
    Gelatin Sun Catcher
    2. Mary Warner, a guest at In the Playroom contributed a tutorial on making classic plastic wrap parachutes.
    Parachutes from In the Playroom
    3. Navigating by Joy introduceds a complex matter of atom composition through food. These atomic pancakes look like so much fun!
    Water-molecule-pancakes
    4. My co-host The Measured Mom shared a great post about planning science activities for children 3-7 years of age and introducing scientific method.
    how-to-plan-science-activities-for-kids-ages-3-7
    5. There’s Just One Mommy made a DIY water wall with her kids. I tried to talk Smarty into making one, but she said that this is “for little ones” Open-mouthed smileI think it’s so much fun for kids of any age, especially if they play together.
    DIY Water Wall from There's Just One Mommy
    6. I love child-led projects. Inspiration Laboratories described how her son wanted to invent a bouncing ball dropping machine and how she met him halfway in this creative challenge. That’s really what it means to encourage your child thinking without taking over an entire thing. Definitely recommend checking this post out.
    Inventing a Bouncy Ball Machine

    More  Science for Elementary School?

    Follow my Pinterest board Science

    2014 After School Link Up Hosts

    Share Your Summer Learning Week

    School might be over, but lifelong learning never stops. We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your summer learning including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives. When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board or feature on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks! Don't forget to follow along and join our After School Enrichment Community.

    Follow me