A World To Discover: December Volume 2


Deer – Resources include: Sites and videos about deer, and how to draw them. Deer activity pages too.

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – Resources include: Links to the poem, information about it, and activities that related to this classic poem.


Pine Trees – Things you can do with pine cones, needles, bark, and resin. Videos and links.


Christmas Stockings – Resources Include: Links to explain the legend of the Christmas stocking and videos about the history of the Christmas stocking.


Candy Canes – Resources include: Links to candy cane history and legend. Videos include the history of candy canes, how they are made and how to make them yourself.


Holiday Songs – Traditional Christmas Songs Playlist 2016 & 
Ultimate Christmas Songs Playlist – YouTube playlists of popular Christmas songs. (Off site)

Days and Events


Christmas

    More fun activities can be found in the December Activities post!


    Seasonal Foods

    Oranges: General and nutritional information, diseases, educational resources, ideas for orange peels and videos.

    Pumpkin – Information about pumpkins and squash, recipe instructions for “Original Pumpkin Pie” aka pumpkin pie cooked right in its own pie shell with a modern twist.


    Beans – Bean soup recipe, bean science projects, links to other bean resources.


    Cabbage – Cabbage experiment suggestions, recipe for homemade coleslaw, links to cabbage information.

    Apple Research Project – Facts, leading questions, Information, videos, recipes, and links to other resources.


    Apple Research Resource – Apple resources including links to lesson plans, history, nutritional info, health info, activities, science experiments, and recipes.

    Sweet Potato Resources – Nutrition facts, educational info, and recipes.

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    Christmas Stockings

    Smithsonian: The Legend of the Christmas Stocking – The history behind the tradition of hanging stockings.

    Wikipedia: Christmas Stockings – The history of stockings and information about the world’s biggest Christmas stocking.


    Altogether Christmas: Christmas Stockings – An article about the legends behind Christmas stockings.

    First Palette: Paper Christmas Stocking – Instructions for craft.

    DLTK: Christmas Lacing Crafts – Instructions for craft.

    Activity Village: Christmas Stocking Theme – Printable stocking templates, games, colouring pages, crafts, and more.

    Videos



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    History of the Candy Cane

    Why Christmas: Christmas Candy Canes – Brief information about candy canes.

    Spangler: Candy Cane History and Legends – Historical and religious information about candy canes.

    WikipediaCandy Cane – Origins of the candy cane/peppermint stick and the production of this holiday treat.


    Today I Found Out: The Origins of the Candy Cane – An article about the history of the candy cane.

    DLTK:
    Candy Cane Poem – Printable pages.
    Candy Cane Reindeer – Craft idea.
    Coloringws.com: Candy Cane coloring pages.

    About Family Crafts.com: 26 Candy Cane Crafts – All made with real candy canes!

    Fun-A-Day!: 50 Candy Cane Activities For Kids – Ornaments, experiments, crafts, recipes, treats, and more! Links take you to other sites.

    From ABC’s to ACT’s: 25+ Candy Cane Crafts, Snacks, and Activities for Kids –  Links to you to other sites.


    Videos



    If you would like to connect with me so you don’t miss out any of the activities being posted, please follow me via:

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    Clipart from Clker.com

    ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

    Poetry Foundation: A Visit from St. Nicholas
    Poem by Clement Clark Moore

    Wikipedia: A Visit from St. Nicholas
    Information includes: The poem, plot, the history of the author and more.

    Activity Village: ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – Printable poem. 

    DLTK: ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – Printable mini book.

    Messy Little Monster: Twas The Night Before Christmas Footprint Craft – Use your child’s footprint for this activity.

    Videos

    If you would like to connect with me so you don’t miss out any of the activities being posted, please follow me via:

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    A World To Discover December Volume 1

    A.C. Gilbert – Resource page for A. C. Gilbert, the man who invented the erector set and other activities.

    Christmas/Holiday Cards – Family style holiday card making ideas on a budget. Links and videos.


    Homemade Pet Treats and Toys – Treat and toy ideas for dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils and rabbits.


    Silent Night– Resources for the song Silent Night. Includes links and videos.


    Charles Dickens – Information about Dickens’ life and writings, articles and videos.


    Christmas Trees – History of the Christmas Tree, and Christmas Tree activities and crafts. Links and Videos available.


    Seasonal Foods

    Oranges: General and nutritional information, diseases, educational resources, ideas for orange peels and videos.

    Pumpkin – Information about pumpkins and squash, recipe instructions for “Original Pumpkin Pie” aka pumpkin pie cooked right in its own pie shell with a modern twist.


    Beans – Bean soup recipe, bean science projects, links to other bean resources.


    Cabbage – Cabbage experiment suggestions, recipe for homemade coleslaw, links to cabbage information.

    Apple Research Project – Facts, leading questions, Information, videos, recipes, and links to other resources.


    Apple Research Resource – Apple resources including links to lesson plans, history, nutritional info, health info, activities, science experiments, and recipes.

    Sweet Potato Resources – Nutrition facts, educational info, and recipes.

    More December activities can be found here.

    Connect with Funschooling & Recreational Learning!

    Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way, or have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

    Snowflake Math


    Snowflake math naturally includes geometry, symmetry, patterns, angles, basic shapes, and fractals.


    SYMMETRY

    Scientific America: Why are snowflakes symmetrical? – This is where science and math come together! Read about the science behind the symmetry of snowflakes. 
    Symmetry of Snowflakes offers another explanation of how a snowflake is formed.

    Bridges in Mathematics: Snowflake Symmetry – This site offers a video link that helps make learning about symmetry more interesting with Lego bricks, and information about different types of symmetry: rotational symmetry and reflection symmetry. Plus it offers a few links for learning more about symmetry online and how to make snowflakes from paper.

    FRACTALS
    Mudd Math Fun Fact: Koch Snowflake – Features the, ‘Koch Snowflake’ and offers a way to learn about fractals. This pdf can be used to better understand the Koch Snowflake, while this Koch Snowflake game offers players a chance to use triangles to make a geometric shape. 

    Here is another fractal that is not the Koch Snowflake. 


    PAPER SNOWFLAKES

    Paper Snowflakes – This site is filled with a wide variety of paper snowflake activities for the beginner and for anyone looking to challenge their paper snowflake making skills. Classic snowflakes, animal snowflakes, 3-D snowflakes and much more can be found on this site.


    Related posts on Fran’s World of Discovery:

    Snowflake Science – How snowflakes form, why they form the way they do, and science experiment suggestions. 

    Snowflake Language, Social Studies, History and Geography Skills – Snowflake stories, word puzzles, interesting phenomenon, symbolic meaning of and other activities.
    Snowflake Resources and Activities – All the links to the resources can be found here, plus snowflake snack ideas, printables, and videos.

    Connect with Funschooling & Recreational Learning!
    Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

    3-D Ornaments

    3-D Ornaments by Fran W

    When it comes to learning math, we enjoy exploring it in fun and challenging ways and do our best to turn simple items into cool, useful things. Making 3-D ornaments from paper and/or recycled cardboard is a great way to do this.

    3-D Geometric Shapes


    3-D Geometric shapes make really nice tree ornaments. When I did craft programs for kids and families, the kids really enjoyed the challenge of making these and had a lot of fun decorating them.


    Octahedrons have 8 equilateral triangles, they look like two pyramids put together. 
    Enchanted learning has a printable octahedron that can be used to make this 3-D shape. Just follow the directions on the page to put it together. Decorate the triangles before or after folding and gluing it. 

    Sphericons are an unusual 3-D shape, and a bit of challenge to make, but look really nice once you get them together. Print these sphericon templates to make them.


    Print out, make and decorate a cube, dodecahedron and a tetrahedron too.

    We made ours by printing out a template, making a pattern out of it by gluing it to a piece of cardboard, cutting that out carefully and tracing it onto construction paper or a piece of festive paper. Once we cut out our pattern, we carefully folded the edges, glued it together, decorated them with stickers, and put ribbons on them.


    3-D Basic Shapes

    3-D Star by Fran W

    Another way to make 3-D ornaments is to take two identical shapes, that are the same size, and put them together by cutting one shape from the bottom to the middle and the other from the top to the middle, then sliding them together. A small amount of tape may be needed to keep them in place. 

    We cut our shapes from cardboard, covered them with festive paper, put them together and added ribbon. We used our own stencils to do this project, but if you don’t have any, you can use the suggested templates below, or trace around cookie cutters.

    Hang these on the tree, in corners or along the tops of door jams. 
    Tip: 3-D ornaments can be made from construction paper, card stock, and recycled cards as well.

    Suggested templates…


    Tree, star, bell, round ornaments, gingerbread man and snowman

    Origami Projects

    Some origami projects make really nice tree ornaments as well.

    We made our origami ornaments with foil origami paper that we purchased in a craft store, but copy paper can be decorated and used and so can wrapping paper, if it is cut into even squares. 
    A sticker or a picture can be put in the middle of the star box and the paper balloon can be wrapped like a present.

    Suggests for origami ornaments…


    Crane, star box, paper balloon, star and stocking
    Click here for more holiday origami projects.

    3-D ornaments make great gifts and additions to holiday gift wrap too!


    More holiday activities can be found here on Fran’s World of Discovery.


    Connect with Fran’s World of Discovery!

    Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!


    Reindeer Games and Activities

    Diorama from Reindeer/Caribou

    Reindeer Games on Funschooling & Recreational Learning


    Are you interested in learning about reindeer a.k.a caribou? Click on this link and learn about these beautiful creatures, make a diorama with the information learned about them, play some games and watch a short video of them in action!

    Santa is taking applications so he can find a new reindeer to help pull his sleigh! Maybe the reindeer you create will qualify to help! What will your reindeer need to know? Be able to do? Find out!


    Reindeer Games & Activities Off Site

    Word Searches, a Crossword  Puzzle and Mazes
    Activity Village: Santa’s Reindeer Word Search Puzzle
    A colorful printable version.

    Print Activities: Santa’s Reindeer Word Search Puzzle
    Right click to print.

    A Kid’s Heart: Printable Word Search Puzzle: Reindeer
    Please read and follow print directions.

    Crossword Puzzles: Santa’s Reindeer Crossword Puzzle
    Can be played online or downloaded and printed.
    Santa Times: Reindeer Maze
    Reindeer shaped maze.

    Print Activities: Santa Maze
    Help Santa find his reindeer. Great for beginners.

    Printable Mazes for Kids: Santa & Reindeer Maze
    A bit harder.

    Crafts and Learning Activities

    Easy Child Crafts: Reindeer Paper Chain

    Santa Times: Reindeer Mask

    Offers reindeer based coloring pages, crafts, recipes, and a reindeer jigsaw puzzle that can be done online.


    First School: Reindeer Craft 
    Featuring ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’ 

    Reindeer Barn
    Take a minute to visit Raymond, who lives in the Reindeer Barn, if you click on certain areas of the barn (they “swell” as you pass them), you will be able to listen to or read one of four stories that features Raymond. If you look on the bottom of the page, click on the area that says, “Hidden Story Hints” to see where the stories are hidden.

    Activity Village: Grid Copy ReindeerReindeer Template, Learn How to Draw a Reindeer, Printable Reindeer PuzzleReindeer Poster, Colouring Pages, Reindeer Crafts, and Reindeer Printables including printable lined writing paper. This site has a few other things to offer, so please check it out! 

    Enchanted Learning: Reindeer Crafts and Activities
    Offers a paper bag reindeer craft, hand and foot craft idea, a reindeer anatomy chart which includes a small amount of info about reindeer, a printable reindeer that can be labeled, and a printable quiz.

    Christmas Decoration Crafts links to a variety of reindeer activities including food related items, yarn crafts, nature crafts, wood crafts and much more.

    About offers reindeer crafts for kids including reindeer made from candy canes, light bulbs, craft sticks, pine cones, and beads.

    DragoArt: How to draw an anime Rudolph – Site offers step by step instructions for drawing an anime Rudolph.

    Learning Resources and Lesson Plans/Unit Studies

    National Geographic Kids: Caribou
    NGK offers ‘Creature Feature’ slides to read and a short video about caribou.

    Being Caribou: 
    Caribou Migration
    This site offers information about caribou migration.

    Located here on Fran’s World of Discovery, this post offers a few fun and educational links to other reindeer resources, a diorama activity and suggested topics to study along with resources.

    Wikipedia: Reindeer
    Wikipedia offers general information about caribou, their environment, habitat, antlers, diet, migration, history and more.

    This is the fourth lesson of a serious on Arctic Animals.

    Learn what it takes to graze reindeer in Alaska and learn some facts.
    What can be done with this information?

    I hope you find the info I’ve offered above and in the videos below helpful for learning about and having fun with reindeer. I’d like to offer a few more suggestions on how the information can be used and what you can do to have a real-life experience with a reindeer. 

    Make a Reindeer Book, Diorama, a 3-D Model or a Drawing – Make a shape book, lapbook, or any kind of book that contains the information that you and/or your family find the most interesting about reindeer. Add pictures of any experiences you may have and drawings that have been made as well. Consider creating a diorama featuring the information you learned or a 3-D model of a caribou.

    Visit a Place that has Reindeer – Some zoos or churches bring in reindeer to celebrate the winter season. If you get the chance, go and visit one. You may be able to touch one! If you are lucky enough to live in an area that’s home to these beautiful creatures, see if you can observe them, at a safe distance, in the wild.

    Reindeer Videos!


    Video/Time

    1. Santa’s Reindeer Cam 7:06
    2. Fooled by Nature – Caribou Migration 2:01
    3. The Oregon Zoo’s Flying Reindeer 1:48
    4. Reindeer Races: A Freezing Adventure (RT Documentary) 25:47
    5. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge-Porcupine Caribou Migration 4:01
    6. Baby Reindeer first steps PART 1 20 05 11 :55
    7. Baby Reindeer first steps part 2 20 05 11 1:05
    8. Reindeer finds his feet :38
    9. Easy and FAST Reindeer Balloon Animal 6:07
    10. Balloon Art Christmas Reindeer, Ballon Weihnachten Rentier, Modellie 23:15
    11. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Song 3:07

    Connect with Funschooling & Recreational Learning!

    Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

    Word Games – December

    I hear a lot parents say that they would like to use a more relaxed approach when it comes to educating their kids, and the month of December is a great time to begin doing that. With all the festive things to do around town and fun activities being offered on-line, there are a lot of wonderful resources available to help parents lighten-up during the holiday season.


    Instead of using workbooks, textbooks and worksheets to learn how words work, I recommend games and as many real-world experiences as possible, because important concepts and skills can be learned more easily through activities that matter to a person.

    I‘ve learned through experience that forcing kids to do things they aren’t ready to do is a big waste of time and energy, so I make sure my kids have all the time they need to learn in ways that work for them, when they are ready to learn it. I’ve noticed that by doing this, they are much more willing to challenge themselves and they tend to get to the next level quickly.

    I used to use a very strict, formal approach to educate. Once I made the decision to lighten-up, I changed one subject, or subject area, a month until there was nothing left to switch out. The concept of making learning fun, and working with my kids’ readiness and needs, was so effective from the start, that it’s the only way my kids learn these days.

    Every family needs to find their own learning path. I invite you to give these word building activities a try and fine tune them to your suit your needs.

    Words within Words

    Finding words within another word or phrase is a game you can never outgrow and it’s a lot of fun to play alone or as a family. If you need to learn how to play, click on the title above, you will be taken to the page that offers instructions and alternative ways to play. Here are some of the words we may decide to use this month. I encourage my kids to choose the words or phrases they want to play with, when they want to play.

    Winter Time, Happy Holidays, Snowflake, Christmas Night, Season’s Greetings, Winter Solstice, Yule Tide, Santa’s Reindeer, Sleigh Ride


    All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil to play. Other items such as a dictionary or spell checker may be helpful, along with index cards with letters on them or letter tiles. The letters can be moved around more easily and a new perspective given to the letters. 
    This link will take you to one that you can print out. 
    The site Wordles can help you find all the words within your chosen word or phrase.

    Holiday Codes

    Design your own holiday or seasonal code from dingbats *downloaded from the web, or make your own icons by drawing them, using stamps or stickers. You will need one holiday/seasonal icon per letter of the alphabet and, if you want, add commas, periods, exclamation points and question marks.
    Here is another site you can *download fonts from.

    *Note: Use caution when downloading from the web.

    Once your code has been made, create your message with your icons and give the key and the message to someone to solve. Ask them to give you one to solve as well!
    Here is a winter themed Cryptogram that uses numbers and can be printed.

    Seasonal Word List

    Create a seasonal word list and turn it into puzzles! 
    What do you think about during the holiday season? What stands out the most for you? Is it: Snow, winter, presents, elves, reindeer, winter solstice, snowmen, Santa, cookies, snowflakes, icicles or something else? Come up with 20 or more words that come to mind when you think about the holidays or the season, write or draw them, then turn them into puzzles. The puzzles can be given away as gifts, solved by friends and family members, or by yourself. Allowing the puzzle to rest for a day or two after you create your own may make it more challenging.

    Make your own puzzles by hand, or use this puzzlemaker that will allow you to use your own words to generate your own puzzles.
    DLTK has a winter themed crossword puzzle, word search, and anagram that can be printed and solved.

    Graph paper can be used to make criss-cross, crossword and word search puzzles, and lined paper can be used to make anagrams. The clues for a homemade crossword, criss-cross and word search puzzles can be made from pictures. Create a solution page too.
    Once you have all of your puzzles created, make a book out of them, or put them in a pocket folder and give them as a gift to a puzzle enthusiast. Make multiple copies of each puzzle and save one for yourself in addition to giving them to other people. Consider decorating the front of the book or folder in a holiday or seasonal way.


    Holiday or Seasonal Rebus Story

    Create a holiday or seasonal story where pictures take the place of words!
    A rebus story is a story made with pictures and words. The pictures can be made with stamps, stickers, hand drawn, clipped from a magazine or printed off a graphics program. Here is an example of a rebus story made from a the song: Twelve Days of Christmas, it may help offer an idea of how one can be made. More pictures than words can be used…it’s your story, make it your way. Words can be handwritten, cut from a magazine, junk mail, etc. 
    If the story is typed or dictated into a word processing program, graphics or dingbats can be used in place of words.

    Make a Seasonal/Holiday Memory Book

    My kids enjoy making a memory book of their own to remember what the holiday or season meant to them that year and to share it with others. The book can be made with colored construction paper that represents the season/holiday, cut into quarters, with holes popped in the side, and filled with drawings, pictures and clippings from magazines and written or cut-out words. Then when the pages dry and have been put in the desired order, they sew or tie the sides up with ribbon, yarn or something else.

    Related holiday and season activities on Fran’s World of Discovery:

    December Activities

    Connect with Fran’s World of Discovery!

    Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way, or have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

    Christmas/Holiday House

    Turn a recycled milk or juice carton into a Christmas or seasonally themed house!

    To make one you will need:

    A clean 1/2 gallon carton (milk, juice, tea, etc.), construction paper, scissors, Christmas or winter themed stickers, glue, and markers 
    Optional: Craft knife, yellow tissue paper, glow stick or battery powered candle, old magazines, clip-art, stencils, paper punches, ruler, paint and a paintbrush


    Directions:

    Cover the house

    Cut four pieces of construction paper the width and length of your carton and glue each panel on well. Leave the paper the way it is, or make it look like brick, stone, logs or some another pattern with a markers.

    Cover the roof

    Cut two panels of paper that will cover each side the way you want it or create a roof of your choice by making shingles, peppermint drops, or something else and glue it in place. If your carton has a twist top cap, cover it up with paper to make a chimney, paint it the same color as the roof, or figure out a creative way to use the space.

    Final touches

    Add windows and doors to your house and decorate with stickers, cut out construction paper silhouettes, pictures cut from magazines, and/or add clip art pictures – try to be as creative as possible.

    Here are some suggestions:

    Make your windows and doors different shapes, angles and sizes.

    Windows: Add candles, a sill, panes, shutters, curtains, double windows, round windows, etc. 

    Doors: Make double doors, a front and back door, and maybe a side door.

    Who or what lives in and around your house?

    Add them!

    Animals: Reindeer, deer, cardinals, raccoon, mouse, bear, etc.

    People: Gingerbread people, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Snow people, children, a family, etc.

    Objects: Candles, lights, trees, lollipops, candy canes, candy pieces, fence, chimney, snow, snowflakes, border, sleigh, etc.


    Variation for a house that glows:

    Cut a 1/4″ off the bottom of the carton before you begin, when your house has been completely covered with construction paper, and patterns have been added to the house (brick, stone, etc), cut out windows and doors and cover the holes from the inside with yellow tissue paper and glue. Then decorate your house any way you want. When the glue dries, put a glow stick or a battery operated candle in the bottom and shut the lights off!


    Looking for more fun Christmas or Winter Activities?

    Christmas Activities
    Winter Activities

    Connect with Fran’s World of Discovery!

    Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way, or have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post
    can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!