DIY meteor and crater activity

meteor crater activity for kidsHave you ever wondered why the moon looks like Swiss cheese, all covered with huge holes? These holes are called craters, and they are formed when a meteorite impacts a planet or moon. Meteorite is just a fancy name that scientists give to meteors that crash into something!

There are many impact craters on the Earth and the moon that scientists can look at to study meteorites. By studying the size and shape of the crater, these scientists are able to determine how big the meteorite that made it was! This is something that you can learn to do yourself!

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Observing the Perseid meteor shower

Perseid meteor shower viewingWatching a meteor shower is a great way to get started in astronomy. The only thing you need is a clear sky, though a dark sky is also helpful.

The Perseid meteor shower in August is one of the best ones to watch. It is a fairly active shower, and the August nights are some of the warmest, though you are still going to want a coat or sleeping bag.

Meteors tend to travel long distances across the sky, so using something like a telescope is actually a bad idea. Telescopes limit you to only a tiny piece of the sky, and you want to see as much as possible.

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Relay races, with a twist!

relay race activities for kidsRelay races are a camp classic – a fun activity most everyone enjoys. And, the great thing about relay races is that the variations are endless!

If you have more than five or six people together, you can divide into teams, otherwise you can work together as one team to complete the relay in the quickest amount of time. Enthusiasm and involvement from the adults/parents will set the tone for the kids’ participation, so don’t be afraid to play and be goofy with this!

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Backyard campout tips

backyard camping tipsGetting into the spirit of summer doesn’t require months of planning or have to cost a small fortune. Memories can be made in the comfort of your home and camping can be done right in your backyard (or living room)!

Have the kids help with the planning and let them choose some fun activities. A great way to commit to the idea of camping, while still at home, is to limit or eliminate the use of technology devices. I’m not talking about roughing it and not using indoor plumbing, but make a rule (one that all members of the family can abide by) that phones/TVs/iPads/etc. are not to be used during the campout.

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Swimming pool scrabble

mott blog - clv 2015 - swimming scrabbleSchool’s out for summer, but that doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Summer gives us an opportunity to put extra focus on the fun in learning. Here are some great word games you can play in the pool. These work with both large pools and small kiddie pools. So have fun and get wet!

Letter jumble

For this fun activity, you just need some simple kitchen-sized sponges, scissors and a permanent marker. Cut the sponges in half. On each sponge, write a letter (you can write a letter on one side and leave the other blank or write different letters on each side). Choose letters that can be easily assembled to create words (vowels and consonants like B, D, G, H, L, M, N, S, T, R).

Now for the fun. Toss the sponges into the pool. Have your kids swim and collect the sponges. You can start by having each person collect 5 sponges to see if they can create a word from their letters.  Each person can draw more letters as needed to create a word, similar to how you’d play Scrabble.

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Build your own (breakfast) taco!

Breakfast tacosKids love tacos, and kids love hands-on activities.  This recipe combines both for a fun way to tackle the most important meal of the day – breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Eggs – one per person
  • Shredded spinach leaves
  • Shredded cheese
  • Guacamole or sliced avocado
  • Salsa or pico de gallo
  • Other toppings, such as pineapple, mushrooms, diced red onion, diced peppers, etc.

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