Celebrate The Season of Spring!

What is Spring?

Wikipedia: Spring (Season) – Information about the season of spring and natural and cultural events celebrated by different countries.

Living Science: Spring: Season of New Beginnings – Information about the spring equinox and how it works in each hemisphere.

Fun Spring Activities


eThemes: Spring –  Information is geared toward grades 1-5


Universal Preschool: Dandelion Fun & Springtime Learning  – Fun learning activities for preschool aged children.


First School: Spring – For preschool aged children.

About.com Spring – Spring Learning Activities for Kids and Families

A to Z Teacherstuff Themes: Spring – Printables, crafts, and projects

Activity Village: Spring – Colouring Pages, crafts, puzzles, worksheets, and more!

ABCteach: Spring – Ideas for studying spring across the curriculum.

Real Simple: Fun Spring Activities Checklist – Site offers about 50 great activity ideas you can do during in springtime.

Today’s Parent: 50 fun, free spring activities – Use the arrows to scroll through the pictures to see the suggestions.

DLTK: Spring Crafts and Children’s Activities – Bulletin board ideas, crafts, coloring pages, games and puzzles, spring poems, recipes, and more.

Spring Related Videos

Please visit the YouTube playlist that I’ve created for spring related information.

Thank you for stopping by!
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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!
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When To Plant

Tomatoes

Anytime of the Year


Urban Farmer: What to Plant Now

Almanac: Gardening 
Click on ‘Personalized Planting Calendar‘, type in your zip code to find out what and when to grow, and when to harvest.

Spring & Summer
Articles & Information

About: Organic Gardening: Vegetable & Herbs To Plant In August


Radish


Fall & Winter
Articles & Information

Mother Nature Network: Fall Vegetable Garden


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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!


SUMMERTIME ACTIVITIES



If you are looking for fun ways to celebrate the season of Summer, try a few of the following activities that can be found on Fran’s World of Discovery…

*Celebrate Summer! – What do you do to celebrate the summer season? Use the activity suggestion to help make the summer a little more fun.

*Bubble Solution – Experiment to find out what ingredients make the biggest and best bubbles.

*Nature Backpack – Before your next outing, pack up a few items that will help make exploring nature a little more fun and informative. 

*Child Friendly First-Aid Kit – Make a small chemical and medicine free first-aid kit that kids can take with them and use for minor scrapes and bites.


*Hula Hoop – Activities that can be done with a hula hoop, a link to the history of hoops, and videos about how to hula hoop and some of the amazing things people can do with them.


*Outdoor Charades – Make being outside a little more fun with a game of outdoor charades.

*Bottle Toss – Make a bottle toss game from recycled items.

*Bottle Cap Stamps – Make stamps from recycled caps and lids. Suggestions for use and instructions for the game, Code-Breaker included.

*Tic-Tac-Toe Game – Make a tic-tac-toe game from recycled items and learn about the history of the game.

*Ghost In The Graveyard – A fun game that can be played at night.


*Glow In The Dark Putty – Recipe for making a homemade putty that glows.


4th of July Activities – Activities that make America’s Independence Day a little more fun! Includes: The US Flag, The Declaration of Independence, The Star Spangled Banner, Fireworks, recipes, crafts and more!



Animals on Fran’s World of Discovery


Bats – There are two different bat posts here on Fran’s World of Discovery: Bats and a Bat Resource page.
Bats has 2 sound game suggestions in addition to a few extra links and a research question and the Bat Resource page has over 30 links that relate to bats on it.

Butterflies – A long list of research resources, questions, and hands-on activity suggestions. 

Dolphins – A long list of dolphin resources, including cams, information pages and videos.

Fireflies – Resource page. Links to firefly activities and information.

Glow-Worms – Resource page/research project. Links to glowworm activities, information and videos.

Lizards – Resource page. Lots of links to information and activities for lizards.

Owls – Resource page. Links to owl related sites, fun facts and activity suggestions. 


Fun Foods on Fran’s World of Discovery

*Solar Cooking – Harness the power of the sun to cook up a meal or a snack and find out more about solar ovens.

*Blueberries – July is National Blueberry Month! Resources to find out more about this fruit and recipes, such as homemade blueberry topping, can be found here.


*Watermelon Day – Watermelon Day is August 3rd but this yummy fruit can be eaten all summer long. I offer links and an activity in this post.


*Strawberry Craze – This mini strawberry research project is filled with questions to explore, experiments such as extracting DNA from a strawberry, a recipe for a strawberry breakfast sundae, plus links and videos.


*Chocolate – Learn about the history of chocolate, make an old fashioned chocolate egg cream, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate bath soap, and chocolate lip balm.


*Ice Cream – Make ice cream in a bag, find out why you get a “Brain Freeze” and the history of this frozen treat.


*Marshmallows – This post features S’mores with a twist, information about marshmallows, and lots of resources.


Resources Outside of Fran’s World of Discovery


Still Learning Something New puts out a monthly calendar with monthly food themes, birthdays, events, holidays and much more. Check out the June, July and August calendars for more info.

DLTK: Summer: Coloring pages, crafts, poems, printables, recipes, puzzles, and other links.


Enchanted Learning: Summer –  Activities, crafts and worksheets for summer.


Spoonful: Summer – Activities for summer, crafts, games, recipes and rainy day ideas. Check out their rainy day page as well with 25 activities.


Kids’ Turn Central: Beach Day – Tips for enjoying a beach day on and off line and sea related activities.

Kids Party Fun: Beach Party!!! –  Great ideas for a day on the beach or for planning a beach party!


A-Z Kid Stuff: Rainy Day Ideas – Games and crafts for rainy days.


EEK!Rainy Day Activities – You will find things to create, brain teasers, things to read, experiments to do and coloring pages.



Wishing you a summer full of fun!

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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!

* Indicates that the activity can be found in the Summer Fun Volume 1 Activity ebook by Fran Wisniewski. Check out the ebook store for more info and or click on the button below to purchase this ebook. Summer Fun Volume 1, not only has all the activities indicated in one convenient publication, it contains templates and bonus activities that can not be found on Fran’s World of Discovery! 


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!

Fall Cut-Outs

Fall Cut-Out by Fran W.


Fall cut-outs are a fun and creative way to accent a window or a wall.

To make a cut-out, you will need: 

Construction paper, a craft knife, pencil, tissue paper, glue and tape

What to do… 

Draw a picture on one side of your construction paper and use a craft knife to cut it out. Glue tissue paper on the same side. When the glue dries, hang it up! If you want, you can create a stained glass effect by layering other colors behind one color tissue paper, or use multiple colors to get a different look. 

Note of Warning: Child supervision may be needed when using a craft knife.

Use this activity for any season or holiday! Here are a couple of other suggestions for use:


Turkey Cut-out by Fran W.
Halloween Cut-out by Fran W.
















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Fall Leaves

Did you know…

Chlorophyll gives leaves their green color, carotenoid gives them an orange color, xanthophylls give a yellow color, anthocyanin gives a red color and tannin gives a brown color.


Question…


During the summer we see green leaves. Leaves change colors in the fall…or do they? How and why do leaves change colors in the fall? Watch this 3:11 minute video to find out.


Take a deeper look:


Collect some leaves and look at them with a magnifying glass or a microscope.


Learn more:



Fall by Fran W.

Enchanted Learning: Leaves and Leaf Anatomy
Learn about leaf function and structure and leaf terms.

Maine Foliage: How leaves reveal their fall colors
Animation of how leaves change colors.

Science Made Simple: Why do autumn leaves change colors in the fall?
This site explains what leaves are, why they change color, and offers a few leaf projects and word scrambles.


EEK! Why Do Leaves Change Color?
Why do leaves change color? Where do leaf colors come from? Does weather effect leaf color? Find the answers to these questions here!

Leaf activities on Funschooling and Recreational Learning

Experiment: Chromatography of Leaves

Leaf People and Creatures


Colorful Leaf Rubbings


Leaf Identification Activities


Leaf Prints & Leaf Stencils


Leaf Hunting


Fall Holidays and Events


Fall Activities that can be found on 
Funschooling & Recreational Learning

September


October

November
 1  Day of the Dead
 1  All Saints Day 
 2  All Souls Day
6 Election Day
Learn about Voting, Victoria Woodhull, Women’s Suffrage Movement
22 Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving activities

December
7 Pearl Harbor Day
Fall activities on Funschooling & Recreational Learning

Leaf activities

Fall activities on other sites…

Still Learning Something New
This site has an excellent list of “special” days every month, check out the September, OctoberNovember & December Special Days Calendars

Homefires
This site offers learning calendars that feature DVD suggests for September, October,  November & December



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Autumn/Fall

Fall Leaves by Fran W.

Autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere between September 22nd and 24th each year, and as the green leaves fade away, we are left with the beautifully colored leaves of fall. 
The weather will grow colder, signs for seasonal festivals and celebrations will pop-up around town, and before you know it, the fun fall holidays will be here!


Here are some of the questions we will be asking:

  • What is the fall equinox and why does it happen?
  • If it’s the beginning of autumn in the Northern hemisphere, what’s happening in the Southern hemisphere?
  • Why do the leaves show off their true colors in the fall?
  • What holidays and fun-filled events are celebrated during the fall season?
  • What kind of fall-related activities can be enjoyed during the season?


Fall and Leaf activities on Fran’s World of Discovery

Fall Equinox                                      Fall Holidays and Events

Fall Leaves                                        
Leaf Hunting

Leaf Prints & Stencils                      Leaf People and Creatures

Colorful Leaf Rubbings                    Leaf Identification Activities 

                     
Experiment: Chromatography of Leaves 

Fall Equinox



Learn More…

PBS: Seasons
PBS offers a video about the seasons.

Wikipedia: September Equinox
Information about the September Equinox

eTheme: Equinox
This site offers a few different educational sites related to the equinox.


Fall activities on Fran’s World of Discovery

Autumn/Fall 
Mini Research Project

Leaf Activities
Leaf experiments, information and activities.

Apple Research Project
Apple facts, leading questions, links to sites, videos, and activities.

Fall Holidays and Events
List of basic holidays and links to activities and information.


Winter Solstice

Luminaries by Fran W.

Did you know…

The winter solstice is the shortest day and the longest night of the year and marks the first day of winter!

Activity: Make a luminary

Help light your way during the longest night of the year!

You will need…

  • A clean plastic milk or water jug any size – see through works best
  • Serrated kitchen knife – parental supervision suggested
  • Scissors
  • Black construction paper
  • Glue
  • Rice or sand (for use with a tealight with a flame)
  • A tealight candle flame-lit or battery powered, or a glow stick

Optional items: Foam stickers with a winter or Christmas theme, stencils, paper punches


What to do…

  • Starting from the bottom of the handle of your container, cut the top off with a scissor, or a serrated kitchen knife, and trim any jagged edges.
  • Cut out winter related icons from black construction paper and glue them to the outside of a plastic jug, or put foam stickers around the container.
  • Add your light source and turn out the lights or put the luminary outside.

Note: Put about an inch or two of sand or rice on the bottom of your container if you decide to use a flame-lit tealight candle and keep out of children’s reach. If your flame is not bright enough, pop small holes in discrete places around the edge of the rice/sand to give the flame oxygen.
Here are some ideas…
Winter icons

Snowmen, snowballs, sled, candle, pine tree, snowflake, sleigh, holly, ice skates, penguin, mittens, cup of hot cocoa, hat/cap, cardinal, wreath, pine cone, gingerbread cookies, a bare tree, yule log, stag, a cabin with smoke coming from the chimney
Christmas icons
Santa, present, candy canes, reindeer, poinsettia, star, tree, Christmas ball, stocking, angel, bell  



Question of the day:


What is winter solstice?

Learn more:


The Winter Solstice

Explains the winter solstice

Sue Ellen’s Scrapbook: Solstice

Read Sue Ellen’s scrapbook to learn about solstice and the Yule celebration

Artists Helping Children: Winter Solstice

Crafts to celebrate the Winter Solstice

eThemes: Winter

This site provides educational links to other sites about the winter season


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