12 Fun Ways To Learn In The Park

Explore the trails. As you walk through the trails, look around at the wildlife and plants, and try to identify as many as you can. You may find the free app Shazam for Nature helpful for identifying local plant life. Bring a pocket microscope or a magnifying glass along with you to get a better look at things!

Count how many times it takes to swing really high. Pump your legs at various speeds and count how many times it takes to swing as high as you like to go. How much force does it take to get to a comfortable speed?

See who’s hanging out at the pond. If your park has a pond, or a body of water within it, identify who’s hanging out in it or visiting at the time. Observe, take pictures, or draw what you see. Supervision suggested.

Draw or take pictures/videos of the things you see and do. Bring your sketchbook and colored pencils or painting supplies along with you, or a camera to record what you see.

 Start a game of tag with some of the other people in the park.

Take sporting equipment with you. Bring a Frisbee, tennis equipment, a playground ball, basket ball, baseball equipment, or a kite, with you to play with and invite some other people to join you.

Find a couple of sticks and have a race with someone else. Bring a friend and a stopwatch and see how fast you can run from one stick to another. Think of some other fun games you can play with a stick or two.

Bring chalk to draw with. Make a hopscotch board and invite someone to play with you.

Bring your skates, bike, or a skate board. Ride the bike trails if the park has one or skate in the skate park. Don’t forget your safety gear!

Bring a friend or a pet to play with.

Bring some toys to play with. Consider bringing sand toys, dump trucks, dolls, action figures, etc..

Play on the playground equipment available.

People watch. Sit on a bench and observe what other people are doing.

Don’t forget to pack water and a snack or lunch to enjoy when you take a break from having fun!

What are some of the fun and interesting things you like to do when you visit the park? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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25 Fun Activities You Can Do Inside, When It’s COLD Outside!


When the temperature drops, and it gets toooo cold to play outside for long, here are some fun things you can do inside!

Below, you will find drawing activities, brain games, dice games, science experiments, paper folding projects, and other fun things that can be found on Funschooling & Recreational Learning. 


1. Learn about Fractals –  There’s a good chance that you’ll find frost on a window or a snowflake or two to look at for this activity! After you observe them, draw/make a few of your own.

2. Make your own Geometrical Designs – Draw a variety of shapes, add some lines, and grab your coloring supplies for this fun activity!

3. Try Zentangles! – If you enjoy drawing while you’re chilling out, you may find this activity de-stressing.

4. Observe Spirals – Spirals are fun to draw and there are a few different types. Find out more by visiting this page…but before you do, make a list of something of the things you can think of that are naturally shaped as a spiral…fruits, animals, plants….

5. Ten Fun Projects You Can Do With Symmetry – Make one half of a picture and give it to someone to finish off in the same way! Draw it, use building toys, Tangram pieces, or something else.

6. Play with Circles – Grab your craft supplies and find out how many cool things you can make from a simple circle.

7. Tangrams – Can you believe that over 5900 puzzles can be made with the 7 shapes offered in this puzzle-game! How many can you make? Find out with the resources on this page. Turn those puzzle pieces into a work of art too.

8. Make Folded Hand Puppet – Create a few puppets, decorate them, and make a puppet show with them.

9. Paper Airplanes – Learn how to fold some simple planes and cool stunt planes, check out the plane that won a world record, and get helpful flying tips.

10. Rainbow Code – Grab a friend and play a game where colors reveal the code.

11. Yatch – Dice Game – There are so many cool dice games out there and this is definitely one of them. Play with a friend, on your own, or on line.

12.  Make your own: Bottle Cap Stamps – Take a minute to raid the recycling bin and take all the bottle caps you can find, big and small, then put on foam sticker on it and get ready to have some fun. Stamp a story or play the brain game offered in this post.

13. Holiday and Winter Origami – Fold a sled, snowman, pine tree, penguin, or a snowflake and make a wintery scene with them.

14. Magic Square Puzzles – In the mood for a brain teaser? Try the Magic Square puzzles in this post, then make some of your own to share.


15. Roman Numerals – Spend some time learning how to add, subtract, and multiply in a fun new way.

16. Hangman/House – Use a whiteboard and colored whiteboard markers to play this old favorite…with a fun twist of course. 

17. Solitaire Challenge #1 Peg Solitaire – Whether you decide make your own game board or print one out, have fun trying to finish this puzzling game with one last piece in the middle.

18. Make Your Own What’s Missing Picture – You can use stamps, stickers, or draw something out to play this tricky observation game. 

19. Petals Around The Rose – Play this brain game on line or with a set of dice. If you figure out the pattern, don’t tell anyone, give them a set of dice and let them figure it out for themselves.

20. Snowflake Activities & Resources Learn about snowflakes in fun new ways, make some of your own, and look at some cool photographs of these elusive little wonders!  

21. Mini Marble Run This mini marble run is great for older kids who want to do something different. How long can you keep your BB from getting to the end of the run?

22. Make Your Own Tic-Tac-Toe Game Board Did you know that Tic-Tac-Toe is a strategy game? Grab your craft supplies and make your own board to play on with a friend over and over again.

23. Inspiring People Cardstacker – Make sure you have a few decks of cards ready to use after watching what this man can do! Amazing!

24. Bubblegum Find out who invented bubblegum then how big of a bubble can you make with the activity offered in this post. There’s an experiment you can do with chewing gum as well.

25. Shadow Puppets – Create your shadow puppets during the day and tell your story while you show them off at night. Perhaps a story about cold wintery night!

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Pine Trees

Pine Cones


Birds and Blooms: Make Color-Changing Pine Cones for your fireplace.

Homeschool Ideas: Homeschool Science: Colored Pine Cones

BackyardParent: Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Crafty Morning: Pine Cone Crafts for Kids


Pine Needles


Doodles & Jots: Turn a bunch of pine needles into a paint brush.

Native TechPine Needle Tea

Home Talk: Homemade Pine Needle Facial Toner &  Tartan Pine Needle Sachets

Urban Comfort: Evergreen Imprinted Clay Dishes

Survival Life5 Survival Uses of Pine Resin

Pine Needle VinegarEvergreen Scented Vinegar

Krokotak: FALL STARS from Chestnut Leaf Stalks – Pine needle star craft.


Bark & Twigs


Survival TopicsEdible Pine Bark

eHow: DIY Winter Solstice Lanterns

Trendy Tree: Lighted Pinecone Branch Centerpiece

HowStuff WorksPine Twig Trivet

Mixed Ideas

7 DIY Ways To Make Your House Smell Amazing For The-Holidays


One Acre Farm: 4 Wild Winter Teas & A Chocolate Drink

How Pine Trees Grow


Macmillan McGraw-Hill: Life Cycle Of A Pine Tree – Video and pictures.

Boundless: Life Cycle of a Conifer

Native Plants & Wildlife: Life Cycle of the Long-Leaf Pine Tree


How Lumber Is Made

DIY Sawmills: Turning Logs Into Lumber for Furniture

Videos


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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!

Orange Resources

General & Nutritional Information


WikipediaOrange (Fruit) – General information about oranges, including cultivation. 


World’s Healthier Foods: Oranges – General health information.


Nutrition and You: Orange – Fruit – Health benefits.


Purdue University: Orange – Growing and technical information.


LiveScienceOranges Nutrition Facts – Health benefits, risks and nutrition info.


Sunkist Oranges – Types of oranges.


Visual Merriam Webster: Fleshy Fruit Citrus Fruit – Labeled Diagram of an orange.


The Visual Dictionary: Orange – Parts of the orange and their function.

Care2: 13 Health Benefits of Oranges – Find out how oranges are good for your health.

Orange Diseases


CBS News: Incurable Bacteria Citrus Greening Destroying Floridas Citrus Industry


TechTimes: Greening Disease Threatens Florida Citrus Industry

Medical DailyFlorida Orange Trees Threatened by Citrus-Psyllid Asian Bugs Carrying Bacteria

Educational Activities

The Homeschool ScientistOrange Science – Does an orange float or sink?, Which rots first? and Will it rust?

Math Is Fun: Crates of Fruit Puzzle – Can you solve the puzzle without looking at the solution?

Sunkist: Recipes


Lil Snappers: Fun & Games

Momables: Homemade Orange Soda Recipe


Orange Peels


Beauty Glimpse: 13 Health Benefits of Orange Peels and 10 Magical Powers of Orange Peel Powder – Find out how orange peels benefit your health, skin and hair.


WonderHowTo: 14 Uses for Orange Peels – Illustrations and brief instructions for how to use orange peels to deter ants and garden pests, make a bird feeder, an emergency oil lamp and other cool things.

Care2: 12 Surprising Uses for Orange Peels – Household uses for orange peels…freshen and shine your sink, shine wood, as a body scrub and more.

LiveStrong: How to Extract Oils from Orange Skins – Step by step instructions for pulling the oil from orange peels.

Trash Backwards: What To Do With Orange Peels – Site offers a list of things that can be done with peels and links for many of those things.

The Sprouting Seed: 30 Ways to Use Orange Peels – How to use peels in foods, around the house, as a medicine and a few other ways.

Penny-wise Women: Many Uses of Orange Peels – Site recommends ways to dry and store orange peels and some ways to use it.

Strangers & Pilgrims: Uses For and How to Dry Orange Peel – Offers ways you can make your own seasoning, extract, grilling salt, and custom tea blends with your own orange peels.


YouTube Videos




Name/Time

How Orange Juice Is Made 6:40

How to peel mandarin oranges. Vol.2 A Caterpillar Orange 3:02

Orange Grove in Florida – REAL USA Ep. 28 6:04

How oranges are grown, harvested and shipped by Curiosity Quest 25:34

Citrus harvesting in Australia with a Nelson Harvester 11:44

How To Grow Orange Trees From Seed – The EASY Way!!!! 12:21 

Mandarin & Orange Growing Backyard Walk Through 1:05
  
Easy Orange Science Experiment 1:34

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If you have a resource to share or find a broken link, please leave me a comment. Thank you!


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!

Snowman Activities

Snowman by Becka V.

SNOWMAN LANGUAGE SKILLS

Classroom Jr.: Snowman Mad Libs – Printable activity.

Super Word Search Puzzles: Frosty The Snowman – printable word search.


SNOWMAN HISTORY


WikipediaSnowman – History of the snowman.


SNOWMAN ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

First School: Snow and Snowman Activities


SNOWMAN CRAFTS

About: Family CraftsSnow People Projects


DLTK: Snowman Crafts


Enchanted Learning: Snowman Crafts


About: Pop Bottle Snowman Craft


Artists Helping Children: Snowman Crafts

SNOWMAN TREATS

AboutCrispy Rice Snowman
Taste of Home: 19 Ways to Build a Snowman Treat

SNOWMAN ONLINE ACTIVITIES & PRINTABLES

Santa Times: Make a Funny Snowman – Online activity.
Activity Village:  Snowman Printables
First Palette: Snowman Coloring Pages


How to Draw a Snowman! Video 8:31



Related Activities on Fran’s World of Discovery:

Snowflake Activities and Resources – 
Circles – Learn about circles and make pictures with them.

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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!

Snowflake Activities and Resources

Snowflake Activities by Fran W


SNOWFLAKE SCIENCE


How a snowflake forms, why it forms the way it does, photos of snowflakes, snowflake physics, experiments, read an article about snow crystals, and watch a video about snowflakes.


SNOWFLAKE MATH

Snowflake math naturally includes geometry, symmetry, patterns, angles, basic shapes, and fractals. Learn more about snowflake symmetry and fractals and make some snowflakes of your own.

SNOWFLAKE LANGUAGE, SOCIAL STUDIES, HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY SKILLS

Language: Printable word searches, word puzzles, stories and other things to read about snowflakes. SS/H/Geo: Learn about ‘Snowflake’ Bentley, find out what snowflakes symbolize and what frost flowers are, and do some other snowflake related activities.

SNOWFLAKE SNACKS
SNOWFLAKE CRAFTS & ACTIVITIES
(Outside links)

Art for Kids: How To Paint A Snowflake With Symmetry

DLTK: Snowflake Craft for Kids


Craft Jr.: Snowflake Crafts – The photos on this page will take you other sites for instructions for each craft.


Danielle’s Place: How to Make Winter Crafts Including Snowmen and Snowflakes – Scroll down to get to the snowflake activities.


Disney Family: Disney Princess Snowflake MobileMickey Paper SnowflakeFairy Snowflakes, I See a Sea of Snowflakes matching game, Frozen Snowflake Maze, Elsa Snowflake Ornament, and a Frozen Olaf and Marshmallow Maze

SNOWFLAKE ONLINE ACTIVITIES AND PRINTABLES
(Outside links)

Make a FlakeMake a virtual snowflake here.

Activity Village: Snowflakes – Colouring pages, snowflake crafts and printables


National Geographic Kids: Snowflake Puzzle – Choose between making a jigsaw puzzle or a sliding puzzle.


Firstpalette: Offers 5 printable snowflake pages that can be used as coloring sheets and/or patterns for craft projects. 



Snowflakes for Christmas – Offers a variety of free printable papers with snowflakes on them. There are a lot of other free snowflake activities and clip art.


SNOWFLAKE VIDEOS


 


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Snowflake Language, Social Studies, History and Geography Skills

SNOWFLAKE LANGUAGE SKILLS


Activity Village: Snowflake Word Search


The Holiday Zone: Printable word search puzzle with words that begin with ‘snow’. There is a crossword puzzle on the same site with snow related clues.

Purple Kitty Yarns: Printable cross-word puzzle shaped like a snowflake.

Classroom Jr.: Printable Snowstorm Mad-lib

Words within Words: Word suggestions to play with: Snowflake, Snow Crystal, Snow Day, Snow Storm, Winter Wonderland

PuzzlemakerCriss-cross puzzle maker – Add your own snow-related words, and a clue to each one, to create your own criss-cross puzzle.

Story Lovers World: Offers a variety of stories, folktales, folklore, fairy tales, legends, myths, and more based on snow and snowflakes. There are book suggestions, links that will take you to other sites, and things to read on the site. Some of the stories may not be for all audiences, parental guidance is suggested when viewing this resource.


How do you feel about snowflakes?

Draw, write or talk about the way you feel about snowflakes. If you know what they look and feel like, then you have first hand knowledge about them, but if you have never felt or experienced snow, you may need to use your imagination to understand what they feel like based on what you have seen or read about them. Would you like to experience what a snowflake looks like and see them for yourself? Where would you have to go and how would you get there? What would it be like?


SNOWFLAKE SOCIAL STUDIES, HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY

Wilson Snowflake Bentley

Smithsonian Institute Archives: Wilson Alwyn ‘Snowflake’ Bentley – Learn about the man who is believed to be the first to photograph snowflakes. Look for learning resources on the bottom of the page.


WikipediaSnowflakes – Explains what a snowflake is, how it is formed and what it symbolizes for some countries.

Frost Flowers in Finland – There is an phenomenon that occurs when conditions are just right. Find out what it is and how it happens.

What do snowflakes symbolize? – Scroll down the page for more snow related info. 

What do snowflakes mean to you?

Write, draw or talk about what snowflakes mean to you. Create a poem, a story, or express your feelings/thoughts in some way. Consider using an audio/video recording device to do this activity.

How much does it snow in your area?

Here’s your chance to do some research to find out how much snow your area gets on average or has gotten in the past. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, find out what month and year had the most and least amount of snow, and in what year it happened. If you live in an area that gets little to no snow, find out when it last snowed, how much it has snowed at any given time and when it happened.

Find out where it snows the most in the world too!

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 Math – Learn more about snowflake symmetry and fractals and make some snowflakes of your own.
Snowflake Resources and Activities – All the links to the resources can be found here, plus snowflake snack ideas, printables, and videos.

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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!

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!

Snowflake Science

Borax Snowflake by Fran W
Snow Crystals: – This site has a lot of information about snowflakes and snow crystals including how they are formed, photos, physics and other interesting information. Read an interview about “Snowflake Science” with Kenneth Libbrecht, the creator of site, ‘Snow Crystals’, on RadioLab.

Home Science Tools: Snowflake Activities – This site has three science based activities to do: 1 – Collect snowflakes 2 – Make Borax snowflakes and 3 – Preserve snowflakes.

BrainPOP: Snowflakes – Offers a video about how snowflakes form and how they become the shape they do. A membership may be required for more interaction with this site.

Livescience: Snowflake Science: How it Snows for Days in the Artic – Researchers are making new discoveries about ice crystals; read about what they are learning.

Make Fake Snow: To make fake snow, you will need: a clean disposable diaper, a bowl and water.
Cut a diaper open in the middle and shake the contents into a bowl, add water a little at a time until you get the desired consistency for your snow. The diaper material will expand as it absorbs the water. If you want a slushy snow, add more water. If you want drier snow, add a little salt. Put the “snow” in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes to help it feel more like real snow. Food coloring can also be added. When the fun is over, throw the contents into the garbage, never down the drain.

Observation Activity: If you live in an area that snows, collect some snowflakes on black paper to see what they look as they fall. Bring a magnifying glass or a pocket microscope with you so you can take a closer look. While you’re outside, use your senses to observe what’s going on while it’s snowing. What do you hear, see, smell, taste and feel? Try to make as many observations as possible and write them down, draw them out or make a video log of your experience. Go outside before and after it snows and observe what the weather is like and document that as well.



Related posts on Fran’s World of Discovery:

Snowflake Math – Learn about snowflake symmetry and fractals.

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!


Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

One of our favorite winter treats is a steamy hot cup of cocoa and to meet the needs and tastes of everyone in the house, we make our own hot cocoa base and add the items we like the most. 

1/2 c Powdered cocoa
3/4 c Natural sugar
1/2 c Real semi-sweet chocolate chips
Bowl
Spoon
Jars or air-tight container


What to do…

Mix cocoa, sugar and chips in a bowl, then put it into an air-tight container, and add a label. Use 2 tablespoons per 1 cup of boiling water or hot milk. 

Note: Double or triple the recipe if needed.

Tip: Alternative milks go really well with this cocoa.

Turn an ordinary cup of cocoa into a special treat…

We think the best part of hot cocoa is turning each cup into our own special treat! Here are some of the fun combinations we enjoy…

Marshmallow Cream: Mini-marshmallows or marshmallow cream topped with whipped cream.

Candy Cane Swirl: Mini-marshmallows and whipped cream, stir and enjoy with a peppermint candy cane.

Cocoa Caramel: Caramel chips, candy or Nips and mini-marshmallows, topped with fresh whipped cream and sprinkled with a little fresh cocoa.

Mocha Cocoa: Add a little instant or fresh coffee to a cup of hot cocoa, top with fresh whipped cream and sprinkle with finely ground coffee.

Super Chocolaty Cocoa: Add a piece or two of your favorite chocolate bar or a tablespoon or two of chocolate morsels to a cup of hot cocoa, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

Coconut Cocoa: 1 tsp of extra virgin coconut oil or coconut creme added to a cup of hot cocoa, topped with fresh whipped cream and toasted coconut.

Toffee Cocoa: Toffee or Heath bits mixed in a cup of hot cocoa and topped with whipped cream.

Other suggestions: Peppermint or other hard candies, vanilla, almond or peppermint extract, candy bits, your favorite chocolate candy, non-dairy creamer, non-dairy whipped topping, coconut milk, almond milk, cinnamon, eggnog, etc..

I invite you to experiment with various items until you find the cocoa combo you like the most, then write down your recipe. Share it with us in comments too!

Gift giving…

After making the base, put your mix in an air-tight container, add a label and directions and give it as a gift.

Label making items: Paper, markers/crayons, double-stick tape and yarn.


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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!