Gingerbread Activities

Picture by Becka Hons

History


Wikipedia: Gingerbread House  – Gingerbread house history, modern times, Guinness World records, and Gingerbread houses.

PBS: History Gingerbread – Article talks a bit about the history of ginger, and where the first gingerbread recipe came from and the inspiration to decorate gingerbread.


Fun Activities


DLTK Site:
Kidzone: Gingerbread Man Theme Unit – 5 Day Theme Unit and Resource List
Felt Gingerbread Man – Links to the poem and a mini-book version as well.
Gingerbread Man Dot Page – Printable activity page.
Gingerbread Man Activities – Clip art, coloring pages, recipes, and craft ideas.
Gingerbread House – Online Jigsaw Puzzle

Enchanted Learning: Gingerbread Man –  Site offers a picture story about the Gingerbread Man and craft ideas. Some activities may need a membership to print.


Mathwire: Winter Math Activities: Gingerbread House – Scroll down to the ginger bread house activities.


ABCya!: Gingerbread House – This site offers people a chance to build a virtual gingerbread house. Choose from an array of items to help you build and design a one of a kind house. Flash Player required to play.


Make Your Own House

Martha Stewart: Swedish Gingerbread House How-To – Scroll through the pictures to see how to construction this house using caramel syrup as the glue!

King Arthur Flour: Construction Gingerbread for Gingerbread Houses and Gingerbread House Cakes – Recipes

Food Network: Gingerbread House – Recipe

PBS: Zoom: Graham Cracker Gingerbread House – An easy to make house made from Graham crackers.

Little Red Window: Tiny Cardboard Gingerbread House – Instructions for making a gingerbread house from recycled cardboard.


Funschooling & Recreational Learning: Christmas/Holiday House – Make a holiday house from a milk carton!

YouTube: Gingerbread Playlist – Make an origami house, learn how gingerbread house kits are made, and watch an gingerbread house competition.

Here’s one of the videos in the list…
History: Holiday Foods-Gingerbread Houses


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Fall Activities

The following activities can be found on Funschooling & Recreational Learning for the fall season. You will find posts for many fall related activities, holidays, events, and foods that can be found on this blog.

Fall


Fall Holidays & Events


Fall leaves


Fall & Leaf Activities



Autumn/Fall


Fall Equinox


Fall Holidays and Events


Leaf Identification Activities

Leaf Prints & Stencils

Colorful Leaf Rubbings


Leaf People & Creatures


Experiment: Chromatograph of Leaves


Leaf Hunting Activities


Halloween Related Activities



Halloween Activities

Halloween Resources

Scavenger Hunt

Trick or Treating

Jack ‘O Lantern

Trick or Treat Bag

Create Spooky Sound Story

Grave Stones

Masquerade Masks

Haunted House

Pumpkin Luminary

Ghosts:
Ghost Pops 

Paper Bag Ghost 

Ghost in the Graveyard Game

Balloon Ghost 

Recycled Ghost

Super Easy Ghost

Animals

Bats

Bat Resource Page

Black cats

Frog Research Project

Lizard Resource Page

Owls

Spiders

Wild Turkeys

Wolf Resources

Thanksgiving Related Activities

Thanksgiving

Balloon twist turkey

An Introduction to the Three Sisters

Three Sisters: Corn

Three Sisters: Beans

Three Sisters: Pumpkin

A Brand New World

Fall Cut-Outs

Harvest/Thanksgiving Lantern

Turkey Game and Activities

History of Thanksgiving

The Mayflower

Cornucopias

Seasonal & Fun Foods


Apple Resources


Apple Research Project

Sweet Potatoes

Cabbage

Peanuts

Oranges

Corn

Beans

Bean Resources

Three Sisters: Pumpkin

Peas

Corn Dogs

Popcorn Project

Marshmallows

Chocolate

Halloween Themed Pizza

Trick or Treating – Soul Cakes

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Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Labor Day Resources

Fun Activity Ideas
  • Talk about some of the things your kids what to be and do when they grow up.
  • Adults, talk about the jobs you’ve had and what you liked or disliked about them. Talk about some of the things you wanted to do, but haven’t had the chance to do….yet. Include your dreams.
  • Discuss the jobs family members have had and currently have.
  • Talk about jobs that already exist, ones that no longer exist, and jobs of the future. Talk about why these jobs no longer exist or why they will be needed.
  • Discuss labor unions.
  • *Challenge yourselves to create an A-Z list of jobs. Take turns writing down family jobs or the jobs your kids can think of. (Even the “silly” ones.) Futuristic jobs should be added to the list as well. Encourage creativity and keep it fun.
  • Research Project: Look up jobs that no longer exist and what happened to them.

* Use a lined piece of paper for this activity or download and print the free
A-Z Brainstorming Page from The Notebooking Fairy

How To Record This Activity


These activities cover: 
Social Studies: Community helpers, careers, and holidays.
History: Researching jobs that no longer exist.
Language Skills Include: Speaking, listening, spelling and writing skills when applicable.

Research Project: Research skills, historical information, social studies or cultural changes, and perhaps writing.

Online Resources


Crayola: Labor Day Coloring Pages

Wikipedia: Labor Day – Info includes: History, celebration, unofficial ed of summer, and more.

Education.com: Labor Day Activities – Offers a list of ideas for different ages. 

Enchanted Learning: Labor Day Crafts, Activities and Worksheets: Some printables may require a membership to access.

US Dept of Labor: History of Labor Day: What it means, Legislation, Founder info and more.

Student Handouts: Labor Day Word Search Puzzle – Free printable puzzle.

BigActivities: Labor Day – Word Searches – Site offers a variety of puzzles with different levels of difficulty.

Labor Day Facts for Kids | Learning Video


History of the Holidays: Labor Day | History

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Note: Has this or another post on Funschooling & Recreational Learning 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!

Father’s Day Resources

DLTK: Dad – Gift and card ideas, printable certificates, songs and more.

The Holiday Spot: Father’s Day – Learn the history of father’s day, get gift ideas and more.

Enchanted Learning: Father’s Day – Craft and homemade gift ideas.

Parent: Activities to make Father’s Day more special – Eleven activities to do with kids on Father’s Day.

Reader’s Digest: 17 Father’s Day Activities Your Dad Will Appreciate – Activities for all kinds of dads: Camping dads, Paintball dads, Golf dads and many others!

YouTube: Father’s Day Gift Ideas Playlist – Gift and card ideas.

Here’s one of the videos you can find in the playlist:


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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!

Mother’s Day Resources

Dltk: Mom – Poems, crafts, printables and more.

Enchanted Learning: Mother’s Day – Cards, crafts, picture frames, and puzzles.

Danielles Place: Mother’s Day – Mother’s Day craft ideas.

Better Homes and Garden: Mother’s Day Crafts – Crafts kids can make.

Country Living: 55 Easy Mother’s Day Crafts That She’ll Treasure – Craft ideas all ages can make for Mom.

Activity Village: Mother’s Day – Coloring pages, craft ideas, colouring cards, bookmarks, mats, paper and more.

Canva: Mother’s Day Card Templates – Send Mom, or that special lady in your life, a personalized e-card! Sign-up is required for this site.

Craft Videos

Please check out my YouTube Playlist for Mother’s Day Crafts. This list contains craft projects for very young children and adults.
Here’s one of the great videos you’ll find in the list… 


Thank you for stopping by!
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If you find a broken link please let me know by leaving a comment!

Note: If this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery has inspired you or someone else in a positive way or if you have 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!

Easter Activities

Information


Wikipedia: Easter – Info about the Christian Feast.

History Channel: Easter – The origins of Easter.

Huffington Post: Easter Eggs: History, Origin, Symbolism And Traditions – Learn about Easter eggs and look through a picture gallery of beautifully decorated eggs.

Crafts

Mother Earth News: Natural Egg Dye – Learn how to make your own egg dye from beets, blueberries and onion skins.

DLTK: Easter – Crafts and activities.

About.com Family Crafts: Easter – Lots of Easter ideas! Coloring pages, craft ideas and curriculum planning just to name a few of the many things this site has to offer!

Pam’s Place: Easter Craft ideas for all ages!

Enchanted Learning: Easter Crafts – Bunny crafts, flower crafts and much more!

Fran’s World of Discovery: Spark of the Day: Make an Easter Egg with a Surprise Inside – An open ended egg craft that allows the creator to use their imagination and language skills. Also, Eggshell Art – Save your colored eggshells to make fun scenes such as rainbows and flowers.

Across The Curriculum


Lesson Plans Page: Easter – Lesson’s that reach across the curriculum

Dltk: Holidays-Easter – Easter puzzles, games, craft ideas, about Easter (history), dying eggs


Thank you for stopping by!
Connect with Funschooling & Recreational Learning!


If you find a broken link please let me know by leaving a comment!

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!

St Patrick’s Day Activities

The following sites will take you off Funschooling & Recreational Learning, unless noted.

Crafts

Enchanted Learning: St. Patrick’s Day – Activities and crafts for children to make and do.

DLTK: St Patrick’s Day – Crafts and Activities for all ages. Check out the other St. Patrick’s Day links area located on the bottom of the page.

First School: St. Patrick’s Day Activities – Activities and crafts for children 2-5

About.com: How Do You Catch A Leprechaun? – About.com’s Sherri Osborn has a fun way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day…. Build a leprechaun trap! Scroll down for more St. Patrick’s Day links.

Funschooling & Recreational Learning: Fun Putty – How to make fun putty and fun things to do with it.
Across The Curriculum

Lesson Plans Page: St. Patrick’s Day – Lessons that reach across the curriculum


Ethemes: St. Patrick’s Day – Theme Unit for grades 1-6


Universal Preschool: St. Patrick’s Day – Fun activities you can do with your preschooler, written by: Diane Flynn Keith


Homefires: St. Patty’s Day Activities: Rainbows, Shamrocks and Leprechauns – For young children up to grade 3. Theme related article.


eThemes: Holiday: St. Patrick’s Day – From the site: These sites about St. Patrick’s Day include games, crafts, poems, e-cards, and clip art. Learn about the history of this holiday. Tune into a Webcam on March 17 to spy on a leprechaun. Play online games or print out word searches and coloring pages. There is a link to an eThemes Resource on Ireland.

Funschooling & Recreational LearningIreland – Resources include: Links to Geographical, historical, and cultural information. Videos have been included as well.

Funschooling & Recreational Learning: Cabbage – Cabbage experiment suggestions, recipe for homemade coleslaw, links to cabbage information.


Videos

I hope you’ll take the time to check out my St. Patrick’s Day playlist on YouTube. It offers videos about the history of St. Patrick’s Day and craft ideas related to the holiday!



Thank you for stopping by!
Connect with Funschooling & Recreational Learning!

If you find a broken link please let me know by leaving a comment!

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!

Hot Dogs

Hot Dog

July is National Hot Dog month!

You’ll find an assortment of hot dog activities ranging from fun facts, to coloring pages, puzzles, and more below.

Hot dogs are made a variety of ways these days to satisfy many different diet choices and needs, and are versatile enough to be cooked a lot of different ways. One fun way to cook a hot dog is to put it in a homemade solar oven.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has a website for you to explore, and a free, downloadable brochure called, “Hot Dog Facts, Figures and Folklore that you may enjoy reading online.

Holiday Hot Spot has a special Hot Dog page filled with information about hot dogs, recipes, quizzes, and activities.

If you like to color, the Twisty Noodle has a hot dog coloring page you can print out. Super Coloring has a hot dog with toppings to print and color as well.

While you’re waiting for your hot dog to cook, do a word find or two.
Free Word Searches has a National Hot Dog Month word search you can do online or print. Free Holiday Word Search has a Pdf version you can print too.

Play Cool Math Games’: Papa’s Hot Doggeria. In this game you need to fulfill orders to gain points. The better the order looks, the more points you get. Requires Flash Player.

Have you ever mummified a hot dog? Science Buddies has instructions for a hot dog mummification experiment that you may find interesting.

Ever wonder how hot dogs are made? Watch the video below to find out!



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Sweet and Spicy Nuts

Sweet and Spicy Peanuts are a BIG favorite in my family, and my kids and I often make large batches to give to family and friends. 
I hope your family and friends enjoy them as well!

To make them, you will need…


2 T Melted Butter
1/4 c Honey
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 lb Raw Spanish Peanuts or Almonds
Mixing bowl
Spoon or spatula
9×13 Pan
Optional: Parchment paper


What to do…

Mix the butter, honey, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt together in a bowl, then add nuts and mix until they are thoroughly coated. Pour onto parchment paper, place pan a 325 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to mix the nuts every 10 minutes with a heat-proof spatula.
Leave them on the pan until cooled, then store in an air-tight container.

Helpful tips…

Use parchment paper.

As the honey cools, it creates a delicious candy-like coating. Parchment paper not only makes the nuts much easier to remove, it makes clean-up faster and easier too!

Store nuts in an air-tight container.

An air-tight container keeps the nuts fresh and crunchy for up to 2 weeks….if they last that long!

Adjust the recipe to taste.

Quite a few of my family members LOVE really spicy nuts, so I’ll add much as a tablespoon+ of cayenne pepper to their batch. If you want to kick-up the heat, add an extra 1/8 tsp at a time until you get to the heat level your family enjoys.

If you have family members that don’t like garlic, then leave it out. The sweet, spicy flavor can hold its own! Consider adding a bit more salt instead.

Adjust the salt level to fit the needs of family and friends.

If peanuts are a problem, then use another kind of nut. I’ve made these these with raw almonds and the results are just as delicious, if not more so!

A great gift or party snack!

I’ve been known to put these nuts in jars or festive containers and add them to my gift baskets as a sweet and spicy treat, but they make a great party snack too!

My kids enjoy making their own labels and gift wrap for an extra special touch when gifting them to friends and family members!



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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

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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!