Friday, June 22, 2012

Integrating Seasons: Summer Bubbles

Summer is here and if your children are like mine, they love to blow bubbles. We have already been through many jars of bubbles and it reminded me of a favorite unit that I did teaching first and second grades. At the end of year, to tie in writing, reading, and fun, I taught a bubble unit. The information and ideas are from a Teaching Guide called "Bubbles, bubbles everywhere." It was originally published by Macmillian and has tons of activities, ideas, and reproducibles. The rest of the ideas have developed since I have had a child that could be entertain for hours with bubbles. To make sure you will successfully entertain your children, first, make sure you have bubbles! A cheap way to create bubbles in a sink is with dishwashing liquid. You can also buy some jars at the dollar tree. While you are at the dollar store look for various wands, blowers, and items to blow the bubbles with. Or you can make your own: Pipe-cleaner wand: Form a loop at the end of a pipe cleaner. Dip and use. Paper cup: Use a pencil to poke a hole in the bottom of a paper cup. DIp the open end of the cup into the bubble mix. Blow gently through the hole. Funnel: Dip the large end of the funnel into the solution. Blow gently through the small end. Six pack holder: Grasp the holder at a corner. Dip it into the bubble mix. Gently wave the holder through the air. I googled a few images to give you an idea. If you buy these crayola bubbles, I recommend you do these in the tub. They are a bit messy. This bubble gun is a lot of fun. It was a gift this season. It is a light up bubble gun. I saw that you can purchase it on amazon for a great price. This is a great bubble wand I purchased at Gymboree Play and Music. I even bought the bubbles. There is something they are made of because they last a long time and do not create residue so are perfect for indoor rainy play. Here is something that I can save you from buying. I wish I read the reviews, but I saw this in the store and thought, "WOW! Thousand of bubbles in minutes!?? Bubbles 30 feet into the air!?" So I bought it. In front of my child and four neighborhood kids, we filled it, read the directions and waited with great anticipation for bubbles. We waited the said 2 minutes and there were still no bubbles. We even kept it going for 10 minutes and it looked pitiful. A few bubbles here and there. Sad. The kids walked away disappointed. So did I. That evening, I dumped the solution out and cleaned it with water, just like the directions state. My husband turned the machine on and there were more bubbles coming out of that machine just like we wanted earlier. I will try it again tomorrow. But be warned if you purchase it. Some fun books to read after an afternoon of blowing bubble are below: I had to throw this book in, there is a cartoon on the Disney Channel called "Bubble Guppies." Really has nothing to do with bubbles, but the title. And the songs are catchy. And to keep the summer fun going, have your kiddos write things down to become a "bubbleologist." Observations such as: What is inside a bubble? What colors are seen in a bubble? What shapes do the different wands make with the bubbles? Are all the bubbles the same size? How do you touch a bubble without breaking it? For the older kids, have them explore what bubble films are, how rainbows are created in or on the bubbles, and how they can create bubble domes. They can write their findings in their journals.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Integrating Celebrations: Flag Day, June 14th, 2012

According to Wikipedia, "In the United States Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.[1] The United States Army also celebrates the Army Birthday on this date; Congress adopted "the American continental army" after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775." By now, your child has been exposed to Memorial Day and will soon be exposed to the 4th of July. So to a young child, this all could be very confusing as the flag is present in every Holiday. I explain to my child that Memorial Day is to remember all those people that fight for us, 4th of July is America's birthday, and Flag Day is well, the flag's birthday. All represent America. Here are some books you can read to your child. I find that even for my older children, they love to hear a quick story, especially in the summer. Pictures books are great for all ages. w a Afterwards, have some fun making a yummy flag treat. I find there are so many places to find recipes, but my favorite is What You Need: **3cups boiling water, **2pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin **2cups ice cubes, **2pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened **1/4 cup sugar **1tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, **2pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin, or any red flavor **2cups halved strawberries **1/2cup blueberries Make It: STIR 1-1/2 cups of the boiling water into dry blue gelatin in medium bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add 1 cup of the ice cubes; stir until ice is completely melted. Pour into 13x9-inch dish. Refrigerate 20 min. or until gelatin is set but not firm. PLACE cream cheese, sugar and half of the whipped topping in large bowl; beat until well blended. Spoon over blue gelatin layer in dish; spread carefully to evenly cover gelatin layer. Stir remaining 1-1/2 cups boiling water into strawberry gelatin in separate bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add remaining 1 cup ice cubes; stir until ice is completely melted. Let stand at room temperature 5 min. or until slightly thickened. Spoon over cream cheese layer in dish. Refrigerate 3 hours or until set. SPREAD remaining whipped topping over dessert just before serving. Decorate with strawberries and blueberries to resemble a flag. Store leftover dessert in refrigerator