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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Learn Physics with Dominoes

Learn Physics with Dominoes // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // STEM // science // physics // laws of motion // chain reactions


For Christmas, my kids received a Domino Junior play set.  The Jr dominoes are slightly wider on the bottom than the top so they're a bit easier to set up.  Since they are particularly destructive, setting up dominoes runs is both fulfilling and challenging for them.  It's a great activity for them to all do together as well, encouraging communication, cooperation, and sometimes separation.


We've been enjoying some domino sequence videos on Youtube, too, which has greatly inspired their play time.  I wouldn't be surprised if they don't try other types of chain reactions soon.  Here's one of our favorite videos:



What the kids don't know is how much physics they're learning as they watch these chain reactions!  Each domino is potential kinetic energy stored inside of it and waiting for a force to act on it.  When the child touches it with his finger, he sets off a sequence where one domino affects the other and the next one and the next one until the last one falls.


The line of dominoes is an excellent example of Newton's 1st law.  The law of motion says that an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by another force. The dominoes will stay on their edge forever as long as nothing disturbs them.  However, if someone stomps too hard next to the line, blow on them, or touches it, one or more dominoes will begin falling and will create a chain reaction.  Once the dominoes start falling, they won't stop.


Dominoes aren't the only way for kids to study chain reactions and physics.

Check out these cool toys and click on the links to see them on Amazon.


Learn Physics with Dominoes // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // STEM // science // physics // laws of motion // chain reactions // gift guide // birthday // christmas // toys










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Learn Physics with Dominoes // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Sneak in some awesome STEM learning with a set of dominoes junior colorful and irresistible tiles and dinosaurs.  Explore the laws of motion and see some other great chain reaction toys.Learn Physics with Dominoes // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // STEM // science // physics // laws of motion // chain reactions


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Sunday, January 13, 2019

A Parade of Penguins


Did you know that January 20th is World Penguin Awareness Day?  I'm not sure how anyone could forget these adorable, flightless marine birds, but I'm glad we have a day to celebrate them just the same.  They even have a second day, April 25th, which is World Penguin Day.  Anything with two international celebrations deserves a giant round-up of fun crafts, educational printables, creative activities, and more.



- if they're in the water, they're a RAFT

- if they're on land, they're a WADDLE

- if they're nesting, they're a ROOKERY

- if they're babies, they're a CRECHE

- if they're mating, they're a COLONY

- if they're nesting an egg, they're called a HUDDLE




A Parade of Penguins // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Food // Party Ideas // Crafts // Unit Study Ideas















A Parade of Penguins // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Huge round-up of homeschooling ideas- crafts, food, printables, sensory ideas, and more












A Parade of Penguins // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Mega round-up of all things penguins for the ultimate penguin homeschool or school learning unit.  Crafts, recipes, printables, sensory bins, books, and more.












A Parade of Penguins // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Unit study ideas // Penguin books // penguin crafts // penguin food // party ideas












A Parade of Penguins // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Mr Poppers Penguins Literature based theme unit // recipes // crafts // printables // sensory bins












A Parade of Penguins // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Mega round-up of all things penguins for the ultimate penguin homeschool or school learning unit.  Crafts, recipes, printables, sensory bins, books, and more.












A Parade of Penguins // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // round-up of homeschool ideas for kids













MORE COMING SOON!

Shape Igloos // JDaniel 4's Mom

Hatching Penguin // Kids Craft Room

Penguin Heart String Art // Non Toy Gifts

365 Penguins // Adventures and Play









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A Parade of Penguins // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Crafts // recipes // printables // sensory bins // booksA Parade of Penguins // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Mega round-up of all things penguins for the ultimate penguin homeschool or school learning unit.  Crafts, recipes, printables, sensory bins, books, and more.



Friday, January 11, 2019

Rubber Duck Grid Game

Rubber Duck Grid Game // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Battleship for Beginners // Coordinates for Kindergartners // free printable for math class // 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle

Have you heard the story of the 28,000 Rubber Ducks that fell off a shipping container in 1992 and got free in the ocean?  Their story is recorded whimsically in Eric Carle's book "10 Little Rubber Ducks."  The story also inspired my latest printable- a duck grid game!


Rubber Duck Grid Game // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Battleship for Beginners // Coordinates for Kindergartners // free printable for math class // 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle


Help your opponent capture the lost duckies by calling out the coordinates of where the ducks might be hiding.  To play the game, set up the board like battleship by printing off 4 copies of the grid and gluing them to some file folders.  I prefer to laminate the boards so we can use a white board marker to mark out the hits and misses on the top grid.  If you don't laminate them, the players can write lightly with pencil and then erase them when the game is done.


Cut out the rubber duckies and laminate them.  Use as they are or glue them onto 1" wood disks for added durability and playability.  Miniature rubber ducks could also be used, especially if you can find Safari Ltd Good Luck mini ducks (that would be the ultimate).  Each player should put 5-10 ducks on their board however they desire.  Then, they take turns naming a coordinate to guess where the other person's ducks are hiding.


Play until all the ducks are caught or only play to the first three or so.  Don't be surprised if your kids ask you to play this game often.  They love the one-on-one time with their parents and the challenge of keeping track of two things (their own ducks and their opponents) at one time.






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Rubber Duck Grid Game // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Help your opponent capture the lost duckies by calling out the coordinates of where the ducks might be hiding.  Play this battleship for beginners and help your young elementary child practice math coordinates and taking turns.  Folder game is easy to store flat and the mini rubber ducks can go in an Altoid tin.  Fun for the whole family!













Thursday, January 10, 2019

Recycling Altoid Tins for Organization



I'm obsessed with Altoid Tins!  They're such a useful, tiny container, and completely free after you eat all the candies inside.  We usually have piles of them around the house because my husband loves to eat them, so they're always available for my next crafting or organization project.  I don't blog about every instance that I use them, but here are several options.


I usually laminate my tin labels and then hot glue them to the tops of the tins.  You can also cover it in adhesive backed felt (I like to do the inside sometimes too) or modge podge the paper onto the tin.  Do you have a better method?  Comment below!

Also, these posts are from my two blogs, so there's a bit of repetition in the lists.






These travel games came from my road trip blog- Party Through the USA








These posts come from my homeschooling blog- Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids








Your turn!  Add your Altoid Tin Craft, Hack, or Organization Idea!








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Recycling Altoid Tins for Organization // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Altoids are a curiously strong mint, and their tins are great for organization and crafting.  See lots of ideas and grab printable games for travel and learning.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Penguin Grid Game- Coordinates for Kindergartners

Penguin Grid Game for Early Elementary // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // math fun for everyone!

I was playing around with Pinterest today, organizing things differently and moving things from one board to another.  I ran into an idea that had inspired me almost a year ago, but I had never managed to actually get done.  Planning Playtime has an awesome Hide and Seek dinosaur grid game with the specific focus for working on letters and numbers.


I really liked her idea, but I didn't want to be confined by the A-G letters in order, and instead wanted to work on letter recognition in a more natural way.  I originally did the entire printable with the word "penguin" since I'm working on a few penguin printables right now.  The problem with penguin didn't present itself until the kids and I were playing the game.  Oops!  Penguin has 2 Ns!


I went back to the drawing board to come up with my next word- seabirds.  Although it's a bit of a stretch for most kids, I like that seabird encourages more discussion about penguins as marine birds.  They can't fly, but they do swim every well.  Plus, no repeat letters!


Penguin Grid Game // Coordinates for Kindergartners  // Battleship for Beginners // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // math game // geometry // STEM


As you can see, the printable game is very easy to set up.  Simply download the printable and print 4 grid pages, and one of the other two pages (fish and labels).  I recommend laminating the pictures so the hits and misses can be recorded with a dry erase marker.  If you decide to use them without lamination, you can have the child write lightly in pencil and erase after each round.


Next, glue two game boards onto each file folder as shown in the picture above.  I used glue stick for the plain paper, but double sided tape would work better for laminated papers.  The two folders can be glued to each other or kept separately.  Glue a label onto one or both folders.


For game time, the two folders can be clipped at the top with paper clips (if they're not already glued together) and clothespins can be clipped to the bottom to make a stand.  The game is a bit floppy, but laminating the game boards should help add some strength.


Penguin Grid Game // Coordinates for Kindergartners  // Battleship for Beginners // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // math game // geometry // STEM // file folder game


To make the fish pieces, cut out the circles and laminate them.  I like to hot glue the fish to wood disks to make them stand out more and make them easier to move around.  They can also double as math counters!  The game pieces can be stored in an altoid tin, and I included a label for the tin as part of the bundle.


To play the game, have each player sit opposite each other with the game board between them.  Each person gets five fish pieces to place anywhere they'd like on the lower part of the board.  Once the pieces are put down, care must be take not to move the pieces.  For younger kids, a few pieces of "teacher tack" could help keep them in place.  More game pieces can be added to the board to make the game more exciting for smaller players.


Players then take turns calling out a coordinate by naming it with the letter and number (for example B2).  If the player guesses correctly, they mark the win with a circle on their upright board, and the other player removes their piece from that spot on the board and sets it aside.  If the player is wrong, they record the miss with an X on their board.  Each player takes one guess at a time until one person has found all the fish.




When I tested this game with my kids (7, 6, and 5), they struggled with the concept of coordinates.  Additional practice in the math concept would be helpful before attempting the game.  Each child could have a game board in front of them, laid out so that everyone else can see it.  Then, the teacher could call out coordinates like Bingo for them to lay their counter upon.  After each announcement, the parent/teacher could check the kids' work and correct any misunderstandings.


My kids pointed out that goldfish crackers could be used instead of the fish game pieces to make the game more fun.  All this coordinate practice will be a great asset when the kids start working on geometry!




After the rampant success of my multiplication battleship post (it's my #1 pin too), I know grid games are something people want to see.  I'm excited to do a whole bunch of themes in the near future.  What would you like?  Leave your suggestion in the comments below!



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Penguin Grid Game // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Battleship is a classic game for elementary age kids that teaches the use of x and y coordinates in a sneaky way.  Introduce the concepts even earlier with this simplified version.  Help the penguins catch their fish in this cute game for kindergarten or first grade kids.  Free printable for homeschool, family, or classroom use.








Saturday, January 5, 2019

Hands-On STEM Ideas to Learn About Snow


We live in a normally snowy part of the country, but it's been a very warm winter with very little snow.  My kids are anxious to play in it, which prompted me to put together this Kid Blogger Network list of ways you can learn about snow.  Most of them can be accomplished even if you don't have access to snow, and focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM).  These ideas and printables are great for hands-on and nontraditional learning for a variety of ages.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Cookie Baking Math Games

Cookie Baking Math Games // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // number sense, addition, subtraction, adding 3 numbers, 10-frame math, 20-frame math, multiplication, division, elementary math, kindergarten math, pretend play disguised as learning

It's officially the end of holiday season (well, if you don't count the 12 days until Epiphany), and I feel like I'm allowed to post a non-Christmas printable.  The crazy thing is that I fought really hard for this not to be a "Christmas Cookie" game, because I feel like there are SO MANY Christmas printables on the web and not enough activities for after Christmas.  It was very hard to not use fun gingerbread graphics, so I'm sure I'll do a Christmas one next year.  I'll probably do several varieties over the next year.

This printable was inspired by Dragonfly, who has been working through a Horizons 1st Grade Math book.  In the curriculum, she has run up against addition with three numbers and it's messing her up.  Her confidence had taken a hit, and she's frequently getting the wrong answer, which is unusual.  I needed to make a math manipulative to help her see that addition was the same concept no matter how many numbers you were adding together.

I really wanted this printable to appeal to my 7 year old girl.  After spending way too many hours browsing for graphics and brainstorming, I finally settled on these heart-shaped sugar cookies.  Originally, I was thinking about using a cookie sheet for grouping the cookies, which is why I called it "baking."  In the end, I decided that the 10 and 20 frames had more universal use and were more standard for math lessons.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

5 Reasons I'm Changing My Blog Name




1- IN OUR POND WAS MORE CUTE THAN PRACTICAL
When I started blogging almost six years ago, I also had three kids under three!  I was majorly sleep deprived and chose my new blog name based on what sounded cute.  I thought about a preschool or day care center and had the idea that my kids would sit on handmade lily pad rugs for read aloud stories and schoolwork.  It seems absolutely ridiculous to me now.

Because we were "in our pond," my family all has pond-themed nicknames.  The husband is "Bullfrog," I'm "Hummingbird," and the kids are "Dragonfly, Skimmer, and Tadpole."  For continuity, I'll be keeping their names.  They still match those personalities even though we're not in a pond anymore.


2- MY KIDS ARE ENERGETIC
The reason why quiet learning on lily pads is so funny to me now is that my kids are very energetic!  Right now, as I write, they're running around our kitchen island and alternating that with wresting.  Sitting still for lessons is not their natural bent and can only be expected in short bursts.  Of course, we're working with them to increase their amount of quiet and still time, but I also know we need to follow their leading.


3- HANDS-ON AND CREATIVE HOMESCHOOLING
When I called the blog "In Our Pond," I had many encounters with people who were confused about the subject of the site.  I got asked many times if this was a pond supply or pond hobby site.  I fought that misconception for five years, and it was effecting my motivation to blog (notice how many posts I've put out in the last 6 months after starting Party Through the USA).  For a while, I even contemplated starting completely over.  I finally decided to just rebrand after realizing that I wanted to keep most of the old content.

My first title idea was "Raising My Wild Child."  I really liked it, but my marketing research revealed that my audience didn't like it that they had a different idea of "wild child" than I did.  I did a bunch of brainstorming with several groups of bloggers and moms to come up with the new concept.  "Kinetic" is a synonym of wild, but also relates to energy, potential, and motion.  It also has the same root word as "kinesthetic," which is often used to talk about a hands-on learning style.  Since my passion is creative and non-traditional homeschooling, it seemed like a good fit.


4- MORE FREE PRINTABLES
Part of my homeschooling method is creative and hands-on learning, which will translate into more free printables for you!  I already have several lined up to put out throughout the year.  I'm also hoping to continue to update the old ones and make them even better for all of you.  Check back often for all the awesome offerings.


5- MORE FOCUSED
When I first started the blog, I wanted to create a place to record our homeschooling journey and share my free printables.  Over the years, I've gotten interested and side-tracked by many other things and lost my focus.  I'm excited about the rebranding, because it gets me back to my blog roots and should help provide focus.




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