for Kids Creative Chaos (Activities)

5 Earth Day Activities for Adults

5 Adult Activities for Earth Day

Looking for something to do around the office to celebrate Earth Day? These 5 Earth Day activities for adults will help you have a fun and enriching celebration. Enjoy!

Earth Day Activities for Adults
Happy Earth Day! Earth Day Activities for Adults.


  • In the Fall of every year, Indianapolis, Indiana has a day of community service. Indy Do Day is a mini vacation from the office. We think incorporating something like this into an Earth Day celebration would make an awesome experience. Get the whole office on board. Plant a community garden or better yet, make it personal. Find local senior citizens in need, and do some yard work, gardening, or recycling for them. Find a way to give back to your community that will have an impact on the environment.


Earth Day Activities for Adults
Indy Do Day activities are perfect for Earth Day. Photo from Indydoday.com
  • Another, simple way for adult co-workers to celebrate Earth Day is to go on hike! Sure, you'll get some complaints. Plan ahead, and make it a field trip of sorts. Make sure everyone comes prepared with water, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, and bags to collect any trash you find along your journey. 
Everyone needs the fresh air. It is a great way to bond with your office mates. You'll feel like you are playing hooky, but use the time to brainstorm ideas to make the office more green.

simple way for adults to celebrate Earth Day
A hike is a simple way for adults to celebrate Earth Day.

  • Have you ever been to a recycling plant? We have. It is a very interesting experience. Most people are surprised to discover all of the different things that can be recycled. Find an incentive (maybe a gift card) and then ask your co-workers to bring in some recyclable items- not trash! Think real recyclables like an old, broken, bronze lamp, metal scrap, old appliances... Collect all the aluminum cans from the office and take them with you (rather than letting the recycling truck pick them up as usual).

Now, take a caravan to your local recycling plant! We go on Saturdays and have to wait in a long line. They pay with a receipt that you cash out at an ATM like machine. After you go, you'll understand why so many people offer free pick up of old appliances. You might even want to become a dumpster diver.

The cash for junk is pretty impressive, especially when you think about it being trash that you saved from going into a landfill!


Get Cash for recycling metal.
Get cash for metal at Ray's Recycling plant.

What about that gift card? Award it to the co-worker whose junk brought the most coin! What? You think they don't deserve it because they already got a big payoff? Use the money you earn from recycling to donate to a save the earth cause.




  • Get a group of adults involved in Earth Day activities by volunteering in a preschool, shelter, or nursing home. Find some fun Earth Day crafts like the ones below, and take the day off while you educate and enrich the lives of others. 

Help children grow an indoor garden.

Make an Earth Day Pin Craft.

Whatever you choose to do, have fun, and make a difference!


Recommended:

Christmas Games for the Office Party

Ways for Kids to Celebrate Earth Day

Visit a Nature Park

When Rivers Burned: The Earth Day Story *

Earth Day - Go Green Adult Organic T-Shirt*



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English Verb Conjugation Practice Lesson for Homeschool

English Lesson: Verb Conjugation Practice with focus on Irregular Verbs

Verbs. In American English, they are confounding! We learn that words end in "ed" and the we go changing it. How many times have you heard a child say, "He hitted me!". We teach to add "ed" and then we make so many exceptions! This lesson for homeschoolers (or anyone interested in learning the nuances of American English) focuses on irregular verbs. Scroll down for videos, practice lessons, and free online games to help with learning proper verb conjugation. Enjoy!


English Verb Conjugation Practice Lesson for Homeschool
English Verb Conjugation Practice Lesson for Homeschool.
What is a verb? A verb is a word that describes action. How do verbs change to tell when the action happens? Did it happen in the past, present, or future? How do you know? 


Start with this game about verbs. It makes practicing verbs fun!

Game about Verbs

The best way to learn verb forms is to practice. What better way to practice than to play a game. The next online lesson for kids is suited for grade 3: Subject Verb Agreement by Turtle Diary.

Have you learned anything yet? Test your knowledge with this Google Doc: Verb Conjugation Practice Worksheet.



This VIDEO on Irregular Verb Tenses is very helpful. Grab your daily journal. As you watch, pause the video at the first word and practice writing all the tenses. Press play to see how you did! It is a fun way to test yourself.





If you are a BrainPOP subscriber, watch this video on Irregular Verbs. Not a subscriber? Try these free lessons on verbs.

Now, test yourself with this verb tense online worksheet. Check your answers at the bottom of the page.

Find more verb games at FunBrain.com



Recommended:

208 Irregular Verbs Playing Cards with Secret Decoder*

Online Poetry Lesson



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Country Study Lesson India

8 Creative Ways To Teach Your Child About The Indian Culture

In this country study lesson, our guest blogger, Aradhana, shares about the homeschooling experience in India. Scroll down to learn creative ways to learn about Indian Culture and to watch some Indian videos. Enjoy!


Country Study Lesson on India includes dress up time!
Country Study Lesson on India includes dress up time!

Long before the arrival of our little one, my husband and I had decided that we’d homeschool our child. Having understood all the pros and cons of homeschooling, we made this choice for our child to be able to shape up his future in the best way possible. In India, the concept of homeschooling is still in its nascent stages, and unsurprisingly, our decision wasn't received well within our community. Even today, we battle people’s preconceived notions about our choice. 

We know, however, that homeschooling is the best way to ingrain the importance of culture and values in our child along with training him on various academic concepts. Being so artistically 
inclined myself, I always opt for fun and creative means to train my child on various subjects, especially cultures. Not only does this improve his grasping power, but it also makes learning a lot of fun. 


Here are eight creative ways you can teach your child about the Indian culture:


1. Traditional Dress Up – Whenever I begin teaching my son a lesson about a particular Indian state, I always team it up with a fun traditional dress-up activity. My little one looks forward to the exotic costumes that he gets to wear each time. I also hold group learning sessions where both, little boys and girls can understand what the respective male and female costumes of each Indian state look like. We end the session by taking lots of pictures and making memories for a lifetime!

2. Exploring Local Cuisines – I am lucky to be a part of a family that loves food! My son (thankfully) has no qualms about trying out new cuisines, which makes my life a lot simpler! 

Every Sunday, we as a family go out to try authentic Indian meals where I also share fun facts about that particular cuisine with my child. After the dining session, I organize a quiz for him by including questions about a region’s cuisine, the dining style of people there, their cultural and religious symbolism, etc. For example, in many South Indian states of India, people eat with their hands because according to ancient Vedic wisdom, doing so benefits the mind, body and spirit.


Authentic Indian meal.
Authentic Indian meal.

3. A Trip To The Houses Of Worship – I have been brought up with the belief that all religions are equal, and there is something beautiful to learn from every caste and creed. Though my husband and I follow two different religious beliefs, we have given our child the freedom to practice whichever religion wants. Along with imparting him the knowledge about all religions, I also take him on regular visits to places of worship, so he gains a better understanding on what every religion practiced in India stands for.




4. Dance and Drama – Me along with my group of friends, organize a monthly dance show put up by the kids in our locality. Since the locality we live in has families from different parts of the country, each month we follow a new theme focused on regional dances from different Indian states. This gives the kids abundant cultural exposure while it also promises the audience a visual treat!


Indian dances and culture.
Indian dances and culture.

5. Handmade Cultural Keepsakes – My little one thoroughly enjoys craft activities! He insists that each of his lessons have at least one craft activity. He loves to decorate his room with the outcomes of his artistic endeavors. Given his fondness for art and craft, I try to teach my child as many Indian crafts as I can. Diyas for Diwali, Indian flag for Independence day, rangoli for auspicious occasions and collages and coloring activities inspired by the Indian ancestry are a few of his favorites! 


Handmade Indian crafts and  Cultural Keepsakes.
Handmade Indian crafts and  Cultural Keepsakes for Diwali.

6. Historic Storytelling Sessions – One of the most amazing things about India is its glorious heritage and history. It has a marvelous collection of folklores that can be dated back to many centuries together. My son loves hearing fanciful stories from the Mahabharata, Ramayana,  Panchatantra, Puranas, Hitopadesha and Jatakas. I also read to him about our struggle for independence and the notable personalities whose sacrifice and patriotic fervor got the country where it is. He is always intrigued about India’s history and refuses to sleep until I read out at least one tale to him.





 Panchatantra Stories in English.
 Panchatantra Stories in English.

Here's a video for The Monkey and the Wedge.



7. Cultural Movie Marathon – Thank God for technology to have sparked kids’ imagination by leaps and bounds! Whenever I teach my little one any lesson on Indian culture, I try to end it with a movie. Doing this helps him remember even the little details about a subject, better. Especially while teaching my son about Indian mythology, films work the best! He is better able to connect with the characters, visually. My Friend Ganesha and Chhota Bheem are his favorite films. 



8. Travel – I have always been fond of traveling and adventure, and I think it’s from me that my child gets it too! In about every three months, we plan a trip to a new part of the country we haven’t seen before. The diversity of India can never cease to amaze you. There’s something new to see and learn from each and every city, town or village of the country. My son carries a travel journal where he makes a note of all the places he has visited and the stories behind each of those places. He also loves to stick a “memory’ of each place in his travel journal.

I love the concept of homeschooling for the very fact that my child gets a lot of first-hand and practical exposure than mere bookish knowledge. It helps widen his horizons and makes learning a memorable and enriching process! You could try these activities to teach your child about other cultures as well. 



 Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.



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Afghanistan Country Study and Lesson Plan


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Things to do in Tampa with Kids: Lowry Park Zoo

Have you taken your kids to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa?

The Lowry Park Zoo is the perfect thing to do in Tampa with kids. The zoo is consistently voted the #1 zoo in America. We were lucky enough to visit the zoo during Zoominations. Admission to the zoo is all inclusive. That means, buy one ticket and ride as many rides as you want! 

Tampa Zoo African Safari Ride
Don't miss the African safari ride.
We loved Zoominations so much, that it wasn't until we returned home that we realized we hadn't taken any pictures of the animals! Rest assured, the animals are the highlight! Scroll down to learn more about them and other activities at the Lowry Park Zoo. Enjoy!

Things to do in Tampa with Kids: Lowry Park Zoo
Things to do in Tampa with Kids: Lowry Park Zoo.
Zoominations at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.
Zoominations at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.
Sure, every zoo is similar. Every zoo has animals, but the way they live at the Lowry Park Zoo is special. The Aviary is amazing. You walk down a path where birds walk next to you or fly over your head- they aren't afraid. So many beautiful species call this aviary home. The parrot aviary at Busch Gardens (which is near the zoo) was nice, but if you wanted a bird to come see you, you had to buy special food to feed them. 

Chinese dragon picture
Chinese dragon lantern at the Lowry Park Zoo.

What is the meaning of the Chinese Dragon?
What is the meaning of the Chinese Dragon?
Beautiful elephant, Chinese lanterns.
Beautiful elephant, Chinese lanterns.

Cool dude enjoying the food at Wallaby Station.
My kids enjoyed the cafeteria just as much as the rest of the zoo! We have a membership to the Indianapolis Zoo, so we spend a lot of time there. Usually, we pack a lunch. At the Lowry Park Zoo, the food is in a room. Chefs are behind a wall. They have the most popular items ready to grab and go! If you want something else, they will quickly prepare it for you.

Once you've grabbed your main course, you walk to other windows and grab fruit, vegetables, water, drinks, and sides. The cash register is outside the room. There is very little wait time.

During our trip, the kids had their own money to budget. They were thrilled to be able to choose whatever they wanted and pay themselves! Jake didn't want to spend too much. He had a large slice of pizza, fries, and a soft drink for about $8. Mayhem... well, if you are a regular reader, you know how it goes. Mayhem spent about $20! She had the pizza, some fruit, chips, dessert, and drinks. The point is, you don't have to spend a lot of money, but you can if you go crazy! Self-serve isn't for everyone.  :)


Panda lanterns in front of the carousel at the zoo.
Panda lanterns in front of the carousel at the zoo.
Parade Chinese Dragon.
Chinese Dragon.



The elephant lanterns were right outside the Zoo Safari. This is the best safari ride we've ever taken. It is worth the wait. The safari area is enclosed with netting and gates that separate the animals. Many times, the safari vehicle stopped to wait for animals to pass. The guides are excellent! The information is interesting and informative. Feel free to ask questions.

Coy pond lantern sculptures.
Coy pond lantern sculptures.

Dinosaurs at the zoo.
These dinosaurs are Chinese lanterns too!
The primates are fun to watch. Just don't be like Jake! While watching the chimpanzees, he decided to climb a nearby tree. Oh my! I was busy chasing Mayhem, when I realized he wasn't with me. The grandparents found him in the tree. I thought they were joking! Not Jake. Yes, Jake.

While relaxing in a branch, he lost his sandal down the box that surrounded the tree. Yep, it looked like a scary place to go. I kept thinking about snakes, scorpions, and fire ants. Unhappily, (and forced by Mom) he jumped down into the sandy pit and got it. Life has consequences. Luckily, the chimpanzees didn't notice.

Beautiful peacock lanterns.
Beautiful peacock lanterns.

More peacock lanterns.
Koalas, tigers, rhinos, elephants, primates of all sorts, birds of all kinds, ponies, llamas, wolves, black bears, oh my! These are just some of the animals you'll see. There's a log ride, a carousel, train, bumper boats, mini-coaster and more! Shows and talks, and even a manatee hospital! The zoo has lots of vegetation, so it doesn't get too hot. Everyone will find something they enjoy.


Traditional Chinese Lanterns.
Traditional Chinese Lanterns.


Want discount admission? Enjoy the zoo for free on your birthday! If you are a member of your local zoo, you might get discounts or be admitted free with the zoo's reciprocal program.


Recommended:

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National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia: 2,500 Animals with Photos, Maps, and More!*

Visit the nearby Manatee Viewing Center

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Zoo by Gail Gibbons*




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Make a Chicken Puppet and Chicken Craft Ideas

How to Make a Hen Puppet with a Paper Bag

Looking for chicken craft ideas for a Minecraft birthday party? These chicken crafts do double duty. These paperbag puppets are also silly and fun for a The Little Red Hen puppet show. To make a chicken or rooster puppet, you'll need paper bags, balloons, crepe paper, and construction paper. It is easy when you follow these instructions: how to make a chicken puppet. We made a video for Chili's and since we were camera shy, we made puppets! Enjoy!

Printable PDF: 


Make a Chicken Puppet
Make a Chicken Puppet.

These paper bag puppet chicken crafts can be modified as a Minecraft chicken craft, just start with a white paper bag and copy the pixelated features of the Minecraft chicken.


Minecraft chicken craft ideas.
Minecraft chicken craft ideas.




Chili paper bag puppet.
Chili paper bag puppet. He's spicy!

make a rooster craft
Make a rooster craft.

To make our chicken and rooster paper bag puppet craft, grab some colorful, small gift bags, red balloons, construction paper, and tissue paper. We cut the tissue paper in the shape of a flower and then folded it a few times to make the rooster's comb. The balloon makes a nice chicken wattles. The nice thing about a gift bag is the handle. Use the handle to hang and store your chicken puppets for safe keeping or easy access during your puppet show.

Here is our "puppet show" for the Chili's jingle 40th anniversary.





This chicken finger puppet from Do Small Things with Love blog is adorable and easy to make! Paperbag chicken puppet template.


How to make a chicken finger puppet
How to make a chicken finger puppet.

Make a rooster craft for Easter! This rooster Easter basket is silly and fun to fill with Easter goodies or to use as storage for your favorite toys!


Make a rooster craft
Make a rooster craft for Easter or to store toys.


Recommended:

The Chicken Problem*

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Paperbag puppets for kindergarten

Paperbag puppet templates for preschool

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What's the name of that cartoon chicken?

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Tips for Working with a Child with Autism

Tips for Playing and Working with an Autistic Child

Tips for Working with a child with Autism.
Tips for Working with a child with Autism.

We are sharing some tips for working with a child with autism. I know, I know, you  don't want to use the words Autistic child, but these words help those who aren't as in the know find this information when searching the web. After several years working with children of all ages, races, and denominations, I have tips for playing and interacting with an autistic child, and all types of childhood disorders, diseases, or states of mind. Let's face it, there is no such thing as normal!

Social Interaction is a key concern for parents with a child who has Autism. Remember, play is the work of children. Does your child engage with you or with other children while playing? If your child has been diagnosed with Autism, the answer is more than likely no. 

As parents or caregivers you can adjust your style of play to make playing with a child with a sensory processing disorder more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Making small adaptations to the environment will help parents to observe and begin to understand how their child’s mind works. Forget how you remember playing as a child; be open to a new way of playing and a different kind of interaction.

All children like to make their own decisions and choices. If you set up several stations with various types of play opportunities, your child may be drawn to one or more of them. Don’t jump in or show too much excitement. Sit back and become a silent observer doing research while your child explores his new environment. At first, it may be interesting but intimidating for the child. Let them explore or simply observe the invitations you have provided for play.

Perhaps, you have ordinary cardboard boxes in varying sizes. Leave some empty to let your child explore his imagination.  Fill others with different types of toys. Depending on the age of the child, make appropriate “toy” choices. A box filled with pots, pans, and wooden spoons is a scientific experiment. Contain your desire to show your child how to bang on the pots or wear one as a hat. 

Let your child teach you how they want to play. A simple thump on the pot could frighten the child and ruin the experience for everyone. The idea of wearing the pan as a hat could also discourage the child. 

In the coming days or weeks, as your child becomes more comfortable observing or playing with the toys, you can slowly introduce your style of play. Sit across from the child; don’t worry if they are not watching you. Just play.Gently, put the pan on your head. Pretend to stir soup in a pot. What happens if you scrape the bowl? Observe how your child reacts, but don’t force or ask them to play yet. 

Be patient; if your child isn’t interested today, move on to a new toy. By playing by yourself, you are demonstrating how to play, how you play, and letting your child know it is okay to play alone. 

Remember, it is okay to play alone! All children learn through play, so never discourage them.

In time, your child may begin to feel less threatened.They may do what you do, or they may choose a toy and hand it to you to see what you will do with it. If they don’t, keep trying with quiet encouragement. Keep experimenting with new ideas, but always watch your child’s facial expression and body language. If they don’t like what you are doing, change it.  

Hopefully, one day your child will accept your invitation to play. 

Need some more ideas? Here are ten sensory play activities for kids.



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Earth's Water Supply Lesson Plans for Elementary

Elementary Lesson Plan on Earth's Water Supply for World Water Day

Earth's Water Supply Lesson Plans for Elementary Homeschooling
Earth's Water Supply Lesson Plans for Elementary.
Where do we get water? How does it get to our faucet or in our water bottles? This lesson and curriculum on the water supply and water cycle will answer these questions. Scroll down for quizzes, science experiments, companion art projects, and more Earth's Water Supply Lesson Plans for Elementary students. Enjoy!


Earth's Water Supply Lesson Plans for Elementary
Where do you get your water?

First things first,  watch this short video on clean water. We recommend "Flow" and "Tapped". Here is a very good, free excerpt from Tapped. "The Story of Bottled Water" is also good and free to watch. Netflix has a similar film about the Nestle Corporation Water

the story of bottled water
The Story of Bottled Water.

Now, watch this video on how water is cleaned and used via the sewage treatment plant. This excerpt from, "Big River" teaches how water is filtered for nitrates. 


The Nitrogen Cycle from PBS is an interactive learning chart. Also, print and read this downloadable Nitrogen Cycle brochure from Stem Sims. It has quizzes and articles to help you learn more indepth about the cycle of Nitrogen!

If you want to learn more about big business watch GMO vs. NON-GMO. This is a full length documentary.

We have a Brainpop subscription, if you go in as an individual you can pay monthly, but you have to commit to a full year. You can also get a Brainpop Jr. subscription for children in K-3. No affiliate here, we just love Brainpop.

video on the water cycle
There are free lesson plans and activities on Brainpop.

If you subscribe to Brainpop, you can watch a video on the Water Cycle and this video on Water Supply. Brainpop has a daily free video, so click over either way and learn something new. While you are there, read the info about the Water Cycle in the left sidebar. For younger kids (K-3), watch this version of the water cycle.

Lesson Plans for Earth's Water Supply


Water Cycle infographic
The Water Cycle infographic.
Review the Water Cycle infographic above. Grab some paper and markers and draw your own version of the Water Cycle. When completed, share it with classmates or family and hang it for display. To show what you have learned, draw a Water Supply infographic without the help of a cheat sheet! :)

After all you've learned, visit this water supply quiz from the EPA or this (Brainpop) quiz on the water supply. If you have a Brainpop subscription, also do the activities and fyi for water supply.

Free Water Cycle Worksheet Printable PDF.

Learn about the Scientific Method (from Brainpop) so you can start an experiment about Science Projects.


Water Science Experiments:




Just for Fun:

Need a break from all of this school work? 

Play a free online game about Water or do a Water Word Scramble



Arts and Crafts Component:



Recycle Water Bottles into flowers
Water bottle recycling craft.



Recommended Reading:



The Water Cycle: Evaporation, Condensation & Erosion (Earth's Processes)*

The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor*

The Magic School Bus Wet All Over: A Book About The Water Cycle*






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