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February 2018

DIY Mega Blocks Multiplication 1️⃣✖ with LEGO DUPLO Friends

After observing Julia doing multiplication exercises, Adrian expressed an interest, so we have been doing some multiplication work this past month. To illustrate the process concretely, we are using these mega building blocks to introduce the simplest concept ✖ 1️⃣~ one times. 

DSC_0084"Times" ✖ means how many times you repeat ~ add~ that number. E.g. 1 x 3 =1+1+1

DSC_0084I have written simple multiplication equations on pieces of paper as well as their products (answers). Single mega building blocks illustrated 🙌🏻hands-on how to convert 🤔confusing multiplication into simple➕addition work, which is very familiar to Adrian.

DSC_0084In English to "commute" means to travel or to change location. Similarly, in math, the commutative property of multiplication means that two numbers can be multiplied in either order, allowing us to change the places of factors in a product. This means that 1 x 3 = 3 x 1 ~ The product remains the same, despite the factors changing places.

DSC_0084 Our LEGO DUPLO friends help us multiply. (Buy similar figures here.)

DSC_0076Introducing terminology: Factor x Factor = Product

DSC_0084Adrian placed the correct "product" sticker (answer) on its LEGO friend's head. 

DSC_0005-2For more on math & LEGO, see here 🔢Math Simple ➕Addition & ➖Subtractions with LEGO.

DSC_0002For fractions work, see here Learning Fractions with LEGO.

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🌈Rainbow Alphabet 🔡Lower to 🔠Upper Case Matching

To continue with our rainbow theme, I made this DIY Alphabet matching activity. First, I drew a rainbow using these pastels. Then I laminated the rainbow painting since the pastels do transfer to hands. 

DSC_0093I wrote with this Sharpie upper and lower case alphabet on these dot sticker sheets. 

I then arranged twenty-six of these self-adhesive magnets on the rainbow to represent the upper case letters, securing them to the rainbow by removing the backs.
DSC_0093To make sure that the upper and lower case magnets attack, stick the upper case dot sticker to the "face" of the magnet already secured to the rainbow.

DSC_0093With lower case letter magnets you will NOT be removing the backs, but rather placing a lower case letter sticker ON the back, which is white and will remain on the magnet. This will ensure that lower and upper case magnets will attack.
DSC_0100Offer your child to match the loose lower case magnets to the upper case magnets already adhered to the rainbow.
DSC_0100This language matching activity is also a great fine motor and hand-eye coordination exercise.

DSC_0100  In the process, the child also practices color recognition and rainbow color sequencing since the upper and lower case of the same letter will have matching colors.
DSC_0100Once the child completes the activity, offer to "run" on the rainbow singing the ABC song. 
DSC_0100Magnets are great since this assures you will not have tiny dot letters all around the house!.

For more on rainbows, see here our ☘️St Patrick's Day Kids Activities.

For some hands-on fun science experiments on "walking water" and capillary action, see links below:

DSC_0067See here 💛💙❤️Primary Colors, 💦Water & Paper Capillary Action ⌛️Timelapse ⚗️ Kids Science Experiment (🌈 Rainbow Walking Water).


IMG_0549Also, see here 🖌Markers ☕Coffee Filters 🌈Rainbow Walking 💦Water ⌛️Timelapse Kids ⚗️Science Capillary Action.

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🖌Markers ☕Coffee Filters 🌈Rainbow Walking 💦Water ⌛️Timelapse Kids ⚗️Science Capillary Action

Today, we are using materials you probably have at your home such as ☕️coffee filters and markers to conduct this amazing chromatography tie-dye color mixing walking 🌈 rainbow experiment! 


What you will need:

  • white coffee filters,
  • little glass jars, shot glasses or small drinking cups,
  • markers in rainbow colors (do not use Sharpies, crayons, pencils, solid tempera paint ~ trust me, we tried it all! only these type worked for us),
  • water (see tips 👇🏻 below). 

DSC_0001Invite your child to draw a large circle at a base of a coffee filter. 
DSC_0001Do the tracing over scrap paper or a newspaper as the markers bleed through.
DSC_0001By tracing just the base-circle,  your marker will not bleed too fast otherwise turning the whole filter one color instead of tie-dye!   DSC_0017Fill glasses with a little bit of water (about an inch).
DSC_0017 The way you fold is important❗️Fold your coffee filters in half. 
DSC_0017Fold them in half again.
DSC_0017Fold each filter for the third time ~this will expose the white un-markered center at the point.DSC_0024Insert folded filters into jars/shot glasses.DSC_0028For tie-dye effect, make sure that only the tip of filters is touching the water ❗️DSC_0028
The water travels fast ~ within few minutes, you will be seeing the result of the process called capillary action!DSC_0028 
Capillary action is a process during which liquid, like water, moves up into a material with a lot of small holes (like paper ~ coffee filter).

DSC_0051Capillary action happens when three forces called cohesion, adhesion, and surface tension work together.


In other words, capillary action occurs because water molecules bond together due to forces of cohesion and adhesion as well as stick to other substances such as paper (coffee filters). 

DSC_0051The surface tension acts to hold the surface intact. Capillary action occurs when the adhesion to the surface material is stronger than the cohesive forces between the water molecules.  DSC_0069 Adhesion of water to the surface of the material (coffee filters) will cause an upward force on the liquid (water). Notice, that the remaining (non-absorbed) water in glass jars remains clear! 

DSC_0074   A voila! A beautiful 🌈rainbow! DSC_0074  ⌛️30 minutes later ~ do you see the tie-dye effect!
DSC_0074Purple was Julia's favorite, while blue was Adrian's choice! DSC_0074

Once the capillary action is completed (30-40 minutes), take the filters out of the water and let them dry.
DSC_0074I suggest air drying filters first until the colors settle (clothespins do the trick!). Otherwise, the color from filters will transfer to the drying surface. After about ten minutes, we had rainbow coffee filters to create a craft with!

DSC_0097What to do with these beautiful rainbow filters? What about a rainbow flower! Just fold each filter from the center, crinkle it individually and hold all the filters together!

DSC_0074Or, insert a green pipe cleaner at the center of a filter, threading it through, then thread the next filter, till all filters are on a pipe cleaner ~ tie the tip of the pipe cleaner in the center and crinkle the filters up.
Rainbow flower! This can make a perfect💐Mother's Day🎁Gift too!

DSC_0028 We did a similar flower craft when Adrian, as a tribute to Van Gogh's Birthday, made 12 🌻Sunflowers Tissue Paper Recycled Cardboard Roll Paper-Mache Craft (see 📽️ a video of him making it here).

For more on capillary action, see here 💛💙❤️Primary Colors, 💦Water & Paper Capillary Action ⌛️Timelapse ⚗️ Kids Science Experiment (🌈 Rainbow Walking Water).

For more on color-mixing, please see here "🎨Painting with 🌈Colored Vinegar on Baking Soda Science Experiment 🔬 💡⚖️ 101 🎥 Series 🎇," and here " 👔 Father's Day🎈Balloon Color-mixing DIY Craft (Sensorial 🖐️👀👂👅👃 Activities 101 🎥 Series 🎇)."

For more on science experiments, see here a video-post "Float or Sink❓Tangerine 🍊 Science Experiment (Science 🔬 💡⚖️ 101 🎥 Series 🎇)."

Also, see here "Walnut Shell ⛵Sailboats 💦Water Science Experiment (Science 🔬 💡⚖️ 101 🎥 Series 🎇)."

And here a video 🌋 Erupting Volcano Science Experiment 🔬 💡⚖️ 101 🎥 Series 🎇.

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❤️Valentines ✨Glitter Sensory 🎁Bottle ~ Calming Jar

This glitter sensory calming bottle can make a perfect Valentine's 💝gift! It is sensorily therapeutical and can be used as a mindful meditational tool for children. This Valentine's DIY craft is super easy to make, and the best part is that children can personalize their Sensory ~ Discovery bottles with a certain glitter color combination or the objects they choose to place inside. 


What you need to make this ❤️Valentines ✨Glitter Sensory Bottle:

  • a  bottle ~ make sure it does not leak (ideally, you would want something tall),
  • clear glue (buy here),
  • glitter (buy here),
  • we are using plastic hearts from a craft store; 
  • a glue gun to secure the cap to the bottle.

DSC_0030Fill the bottle with clear glue about 3/4. Add glitter and hearts.
DSC_0030Make sure you leave space to add water, otherwise, the substance will be too thick.

Note: we originally filled the bottle 3/4 with glue, and although right after we made it, it worked fine, the next day, the substance was too thick. I suggest the best ratio is: fill 1/2 glue + 1/2 water.
DSC_0038Fill the rest of the bottle with hot water (hot will help dissolve the glue). The higher the water to glue ratio, the more freely would the objects/hearts float in the glue/water substance. 

DSC_0039Shake ~ observe ~foocus! "As the bottle clears, so does the mind."

A DIY Calm Down Sensory bottle can help children with sensory sensitivities or can help calm a child when the emotions become overwhelming. Focusing on the objects in the calm down jar helps a child focus the attention and calm down, being an excellent meditation technique for children. 

DSC_0039Besides this red ❤️Valentine's sensory bottle we made as a🎁gift for Daddy, we ended up with two more bottles: Adrian decided to make one for Julia (pink) and one for himself (blue) as Valentine's💝gifts.

DSC_0043I painted tops of jars: Adrian's in blue & Julia's in pink, sprinkling some glitter on top. 


Besides stimulating the child sensorily, these Glitter Jars are a great meditational tool to quiet the mind, gather thoughts, find peace and inner balance, while watching the glitter swirl around and around. 

DSC_0004These sensory bottles can also make a perfect ❤️Valentine 's🎁gift.

DSC_0043-3Using a glue gun, I secured ribbon & a bow to the top of the bottle, making it a complete gift.
DSC_0043-3Happy ❤️Valentine's Day! Let your days be filled with ❤️LOVE!

We made a similar jar ~ see here a post DIY ☮️ Mindful ✨Glitter Calming Jar •Meditation 📿Tool for Kids.

For more on Valentines Day activities, see here ❤️Valentine's Inspired Unit Study.

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DIY ❤️Valentines Heart Stickers ✂️ Scissors 🎥Cutting Activity for Kids

Fine motor skills involve the coordination of small muscles in hands and fingers and are advanced by frequent practice. Strong fine motor control is essential in completing tasks such as writing, cutting with scissors or a knife, manipulating puzzle pieces, threading beads, zipping, buttoning, and many more. Without well-developed fine motor skills, a child may have difficulty learning other critical tasks presented in the preschool and kindergarten classrooms.

Below is a super easy ❤️Valentines Inspired DIY ✂️ Scissors Cutting Activity, which took about⏱two minutes to set up. 

DSC_0014-2You will need ~ strips of paper, stickers, a Sharpie, and scissors.

DSC_0016-3 Use stickers and draw various kinds of lines in between the stickers.

DSC_0019Adrian is used to cutting straight across, so curves and zig-zags will hopefully provide him with some challenge, spiking an interest.

DSC_0002Just like the proper pencil grip, the proper scissors grip must be actively taught since it is completely unlike any other grip your child likely used. Most children explore with their hands outstretched and their palms facing downward or hold small items with their thumb and pointer finger ~ the pincer grip.

DSC_0004The proper scissors grip, on the other hand, requires a child to rotate the hand so that the thumb faces upward and the pinky finger points at the floor. Then the child must spread his/her thumb and pointer finger as far apart as possible while using his palm to help stabilize the scissors.

DSC_0006Your child must also rely on his/her non-dominant hand to stabilize the paper while his dominant hand uses the scissors. 

DSC_0006When learning to use the scissors, the non-dominant hand will simply hold the paper in a stable position as the dominant hand moves the scissors forward. 
DSC_0006But, as your child begins cutting more complex designs such as zig-zags or curves, his/her non-dominant hand will be responsible for twisting and turning the paper as the dominant hand operates the scissors.

DSC_0015Asymmetrical bilateral integration is the ability to simultaneously move both hands in different motions to complete a single task. Nearly all fine motor activities, including cutting and writing, require a dominant hand (being left-handed or right-handed) and a non-dominant hand. Hand dominance can be seen as early as age two, although it may not be firmly established until a later time. Once a child becomes comfortable with one hand as the dominant hand, the remaining hand becomes the non-dominant hand by default, and while the dominant hand performs tasks such as using a pen or scissors, the non-dominant hand acts as the “stabilizer” by holding and moving the paper while the dominant hand holds the scissors during the cutting.

A Trick to Learning The Correct Scissors Grip: Ask your child to shake your hand, and while shaking, your child will naturally rotate his/her hand so that the thumb goes top and the fingers extend below (pinky finger is closest to the floor). After shaking hands, pick up a pair of scissors by the closed metal blade and place the end of the scissors with the finger holes into his outstretched palm. Help the child put his/her thumb in a large circular loop on top and one or two fingers in the larger loop on the bottom. (Ideally, you would want your child to place the middle finger in the larger bottom loop and the index finger be a "helper" in closing the scissors.) ~ “Nice to meet you, Mr. Scissors!” ~

DSC_0015Most children become interested in using scissors around age two and a half or three. When you notice your child’s interest, direct your child to spread his index finger and thumb as widely as possible, explaining how this motion makes the blades of the scissors open really wide. Then encourage him/her to close the scissors in one smooth motion. This will help make long, smooth and efficient cuts rather than short, choppy ~inefficient ones. 

For more on ✂️scissor practice, see below:

DSC_0065See here a fun scissor activity ~ ✂️Scissors 🎥•DIY 🚗Car Wash. 

DSC_0069.JPG   A trick to learn a proper scissor grip~ offer a child to shake someone’s hand! 

For more scissor practice, see here a lesson on simple strip-cutting on my blog Proper ✂️Scissors Grip 2 Yo.

DSC_0077Also, see here ✂️Scissors • Primary Colors 🍝Pasta Cutting.


Once the pasta dries out and can not be cut anymore, put those little 🙌🏻hands to use while practicing fine motor skills by threading! For more on Valentines Inspired activities, see here ❤️Valentine's Inspired Activities for Kids. 

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW