Exploratorium is by far one of our favorite programs to do. The element of surprise each week as kids walk in the room, the different hands-on experiences we are able to provide, and more importantly the connections we get to make with parents and their kiddos makes it as enriching for us as it is for them. This S.T.E.A.M.-based program is one we offer each week when our school district has early release and it is one many families have come to look forward to because there is always something different and exciting. We cover it all (even Math…gulp)!
For me though, I love the science and art side of it. These areas collide more often than people realize… or at least they can if you allow for it. The activity we are doing this week was a really fun example of that. We are talking about friction and movement so I decided to make these Rocket Bottles propelled by friction with strings that run through the rocket. There is plenty of time for kids to turn their rockets into a piece of art before they take it for a test drive so we get to feed their creative side as well. Take a peek to see how to make a Rocket bottle of your own!
Our 1st-3rd grade book club read No Dogs Allowed! by Stephanie Calmenson and Joanna Cole for the month of August. This delightful book is about two dog loving best friends, Kate and Lucie, who live in an apartment building that doesn’t allow dogs. When they visit a local thrift store, they find matching dog bone necklaces that gives them the power to become dogs whenever they would like. A dream come true for these canine-obsessed girls!
To go along with our book discussion, we made our own dog bone necklaces using air dry modelling clay. These cute (but fragile) creations would make a great at-home or classroom craft to accompany a fun story. Below, I’ve outlined how I created the dog bone charm. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!
Parents often ask where we get ideas for story times and programs, and we’re quick to say, “PINTEREST!” And while it is true, we also do our fair share of thinking up crafts and activities on our own or as a department. To be honest, our programs are a pretty even mixture of inspiration (from Pinterest, teacher and librarian blogs, and parenting sites) and imagination. That was definitely the case for the Dump Truck flannel board (sometimes called a felt board) that I created for this week’s Wee Wigglers!