## Connect The Dots { Math Activity For Kids }

Adding in small but beneficial bits of learning into your children’s day goes a long long way. My son was in full day kindergarten this year and was really tired when he returned home. I still wanted to do fun educational activities with him but knew I had to keep them brief. A few days a week in addition to his homework ( which was optional this year ) we would do short activities like this math activity for kids. The key is that they are fun and don’t FEEL like homework. We don’t want to burn our kids out. You can find more of these Learning After School ( or summer camp) activities here.

1. Gather your materials. You will need some two sheets of paper, a pencil , markers and some painter’s tape. It’s also handy to have a window near by.
2. Draw any shape. I chose a rocket. Add dots along the shape .
3. Tape it to the window and pop the second sheet of paper on top and trace only the dots. Add in any interior lines too.
4. Add the equations at each dot. Make sure they are in order . They should start by equaling 1 ( 3-2 = 1 ) then 2( 4-2 = 2 )  and so on and so forth. Your child will connect the answers to the equations in order from 1 on. You could adapt this for other types of math like skip counting .
5. I wrote out the directions for my son to sneak in some reading too.
6. Start! This didn’t take him long but he loved it.
7. Color when you are done. My son is not a fan of coloring but I add it in with things he loves like math to try to make it more fun for him . Coloring can seem like busy work but it is great practice for writing which most kids this age need work on so don’t miss out on coloring.

For more great math activities check out my Math Is Fun Pinterest board.

## Book and Activity!

This guest post is from Amy from Media Macaroni, Amy’s blog is devoted to all things kids media and her love of books and toys are evident!  I love how they used a book as a leap pad for play and more learning!  Enjoy!

The book that I can’t help but think about constantly as I’m at toy store after toy store buying presents is David Shannon’s Too Many Toys , one of our household favorites. The other day I cleared out what can only be described as rubble out of my daughter’s room. You know what I’m talking about: the broken plastic yo-yos and noisemakers from birthday party bags, bent up pieces of paper from that origami phase, little unidentifiable pieces that will never be matched with the toy they came from. All I could think was, “I’m seriously bringing more into this room?!”

In Too Many Toys, little Spencer has way too many toys, a sight all too familiar. The toys cover the floors and spill down the hallway. They cover the yard and the bathroom. But, Spencer’s toys were becoming a household hazard. Spencer’s mom (perhaps one of the most relatable moms in a picture book ever) finally loses it when she trips on railroad tracks while carrying a load of laundry. She haggles, bribes, coaxes, and threatens Spencer to start getting rid of toys. Spencer’s mom is victorious when there’s a giant box full of toys to be banished, but when she returns from a tea break, she discovers the toys emptied all over the hall. There’s Spencer, astronaut helmet on, sitting in his new cardboard rocket. Forget all the toys – the box is the best toy EVER!

We took this to heart one day, and built our own rocket out of a gigantic cardboard box. To be authentic to the book, we taped pencils and cardboard tubes to the outside, and drew a nice assortment of planets and blinking lights. One of my favorite features was the control panel that we made on the inside. We drew a numbered keypad beside a list of planets and numbered codes. All you had to do is punch in a three-digit number and you were transported to that planet.

No wonder the cardboard box has been inducted into National Toy Hall of Fame . It’s hard to imagine a better way to spend a morning.

## Recycled Rocket Craft

This craft was not planned at all, we finished our favorite apple juice at lunch and while sitting there eating we brainstormed what we could make with the bottle. This is the first time my son and I have really brainstormed together, with a concrete focus. First of all I am taken aback by how old he is getting and 2nd he had great ideas. We thought of a garbage can, a bird feeder, a worm house and then settled on this rocket! So my challenge was what could we use to make it a rocket, here’s what we did.

1. Gather your materials. Some are missing from the picture because this craft evolved as we went, but I’ll list them all even those that aren’t pictured. You will need a clean juice bottle, 2 toilet paper rolls, some red, yellow and orange foam ( paper would do), some crayons, some recycled bottle caps, a paper grocery bag, some sparkles, a washed out applesauce container( single use), scissors, white paint and a hot glue gun and glue.
2. Start by pouring sparkles into your bottle ( totally optional) I was hoping to go for a sparkly effect and in some parts it is but it didn’t turn out as metallic as I’d hoped.
4. Pop the cap on tight and shake to cover the inside.
5. Let dry in the hottest place you can find, it can take a while.
6. While that is drying color your toilet paper rolls with crayons.
7. Next cut a small square out of a grocery bag or other scrap paper and color it.
8. Cut it into 2 triangles for wings.
9. Cut the foam into flames .
10. Tape them into the bottom of the toilet paper rolls , layer them for effect.
11. When the bottle is dry, it’s time to warm up the hot glue gun. I burn my self every time I use it so please make sure your child is not within touching distance.
12. Glue the rolls on the back.
13. Glue the bottle caps on the front.
14. Glue the wings on.
15. This was an after thought but I grabbed an applesauce container and glued it on the bottom so that the flames of the rockets ( aka the toilet paper rolls) don’t get in the way of the rocket standing up on end.
16. Play !!

Song!

Climb aboard the spaceship
we’re going to the moon,
we’re going to blast off soon,
and buckle up real tight,
cause here comes the countdown
so count with all your might!
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
Blast off!!

## Cut and Paste Rocket!

Rocket !

When I ask my son what he wants to do for art projects he has 2 answers this week – “Rockets” and “Dinosaurs” . The Dinosaur will be posted next week, this is our newest version of a rocket craft. I added in some different textures to add a layer of learning, and exploration. My son loved this craft I hope you have fun making it!
1. Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper or an old cereal box ,one sheet of construction paper, some paint or markers, a little aluminum foil, scissors , glue and cotton balls.
2. Start by cutting your cereal box open and drawing a rocket on it. Simple is fine! Also draw some circles on the side for windows.
3. Have your child paint or color the rocket. I like these paint rollers because it limited the paint for quick drying, couple that with the little hands that finger painted it after and it dried fast!
4. Cut out the rocket and the circles.
5. Cover the circles in aluminum foil.
6. Add glue to the construction paper.
8. Glue the foil windows on
9. Add the cotton ball “smoke”. Let dry.

Song!

Climb aboard the spaceship
we’re going to the moon,
we’re going to blast off soon,
and buckle up real tight,
cause here comes the countdown
so count with all your might!
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
Blast off!!

Books!

“On The Launch Pad : A Counting Book About Rockets” by Michael Dahl was a great find, my son loved counting down from 12-1 with the bright illustrations , simple text and hidden numbers on each page. Something that seems simple but was really awesome was that each page had the number written as a word, shown as a digit and as dots to count. You can take the time to count each dot, read the word or simply recognize the digit!

“The Way Back Home “ by Oliver Jeffers is a moving story about a boy , a martian and the moon they were both stuck on. Together they figure out a way to get back home even though they are so sad to say goodbye to each other. I love this author, I love his illustrations as well, they are so unique and the emotion he manages to convey is amazing. There is an illustration of the boy and martian standing awkwardly before they have to say goodbye and it embodies the emotion. Grab anything written by this author and you will be happy!

“Space Boy” by Leo Landry is a sweet book about a little boy who needs to get away from everything at home so he climbs in his rocket and blasts off. I think we can all relate to this story, having to escape from the annoying things in our life for some alone time, if only we all had rockets the moon would be a busy getaway. The book started off really simply , then a few pages in the middle had much more text which was hard for my toddler, who’s interest was lost. I rounded him back up , skipped a few lines and we finished and enjoyed the book.

## Toilet Paper Roll Rocket

1. Gather your materials. You will need an empty toilet or paper towel roll, some paint, a paint brush, some red or orange tissue paper, a piece of construction paper some glue, scissors and a little aluminum foil .
2. Paint the roll the color of your choosing, while your child is painting cut out some flames using the tissue paper.
3. While the roll is drying have your child color the piece of construction paper if they want, it will be made into the nose of the ship so let them know you will be cutting it. Sometimes young children will get really upset if you don’t give them ample warning that you are altering their masterpiece.
4. Meanwhile cut some long strips of aluminum foil.
5. The roll should be dry enough to glue the aluminum foil strips on, while your child does this, go head and cut a circle out of the construction paper and cut half way into the circle to make a cone.
6. Glue the cone on the end of the rocket. It’s easiest to put glue in the cone and then place the roll inside it. Hold it there a minute or two.
7. Glue the flames on the bottom inside.
8. Blast off!

Song!

Blast Off!

Climb aboard the spaceship
we’re going to the moon,
we’re going to blast off soon,