Tag Archives: discovery

Celebrating the Seasons of our Lives

First the Photo: Can you locate all of the areas on a globe that get snow?  How many of those areas are located north of the equator and how many are south?  Did it surprise you to learn the differences in the seasons for each hemisphere?

Second the Question:  Spend some time brainstorming all of the things that make you think of winter.  Make sure to include aspects from all of your senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and the way it makes you feel.  When you think of winter do you think of a time of harshness?  Do you tend to spend time inside or outside during this season?   What sorts of things do you do during the wintertime?

Third Next Steps:  What is your favorite season?  Ask the members of your family what their favorite season is.   Spend some time thinking about each season of the year.  Make lists of the things you associate with each season.  What activities do you do during each season of the year? If we think of spring as a season of new beginnings, summer as a season of growth, autumn as a season of gathering in and winter as a season of hardship. Do you see how this reflects the stages of your life?  Are there similar seasons throughout your life?  Does it make you feel better to see that our lives are ever-changing?  They flow through seasons as well.  Nothing will stay the same forever. A wonderful way to begin a conversation about the Seasons of Change is to share the sixth book in our Explore Galore Series as a family.  To order one of your own..follow this http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/. Or visit the Make it Your Own section of our website.

A-Maizing Corn

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First the Picture: Can you locate on a map where corn is grown in the United States?  Can you name all of the different types of corn that is grown? From feed corn, to sweet corn to a corn that you snack on in movies! Corn is the #1 crop grown in America.

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Second the Questions: Did you know that corn is called maize in many other countries and was called that by the culture native to the Americans. What is your favorite way to eat corn? Do you know who..or what eats the most corn here in America? (Hint it isn’t humans!) Did you know that an ear of corn is actually part of the flower of the plant and each kernel is a seed?  Can you guess how many average kernels there are on each ear? (800) Corn will always have an even number of kernels on each row. Corn is native to our country..do you know what that means?

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Third Next Steps: Corn makes a wonderful sensory experience for kids of all ages.  Find a place that sells dried cobs meant to put out for squirrels and deer to nibble on.  Then put a few in a large Tupperware tub.  You will be amazed by how relaxing it is to pick the kernels off of the cob.  It is fun to count the kernels and investigate the structure of the cob as you work.  Once your cobs are clean and your tub is full..add some funnels, scoops and small bins. Scooping, measuring and weighing the corn as you run it through your fingers. It is a fun sensory experience.  You can even try adding toy tractors into your bin and drive them through the mounds..pretending to harvest your crop!  Once you have spend days enjoying your sensory bin..bring your bin of corn to a nature area and spread out your kernels for your animals friends to enjoy!

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun..try one of our books: https://www.createspace.com/6092513

 

Water You Up To??

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First The Photo:   Instead of our usual scavenger hunt to find the place this photo was taken..Everyone: find the closest water source to your house.

Second The Question:    Is it a lake, river, or the ocean?  Is there a beach with sand or a dock to fish off of?  What is your favorite way to enjoy water on a warm summer day?  Do you run through the hose?  Play in a pool?  Fish for dinner or paddle a canoe?  There is nothing like cool refreshing water on a hot day.  Cools the body and relaxes the mind. Helps to wash away your troubles and infuses the day with a burst of refreshing energy that was sapped away by the sun.

Third Next Steps:  Here are some creative things to do with water:

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  • Fill some balloons with water, tie them to a string and play pinata!  Or have people try to hit them with a dart to pop them while someone else gets splashed!
  • Draw a large crayon bulls-eye on a driveway or parking lot and give everyone a different colored  sponge.  Dip the sponge in a bucket of water aim for the bulls-eye.  Everyone has to stand in a circle around the target so you get to feel the splash!
  • Put golf tees into styrofoam then place ping pong balls on top.  Have everyone stand in a circle around the block..the same distance away and see who can dislodge the balls just with their stream of water.
  • Go wading in a pond and observe the tadpoles and fish swimming past your footsies!

Make a Splash!!

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

Sibling: Growing Together

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First The Photo: What kind of animals are these?  List all of the things you know about them: what noises do they make, what do they like to eat, where do they live, what do they have in common with you, what things are different?

Second The Question: Did you know that goats are typically born in sets of 2?  An instant sibling, two peas in a pod.  Who are your siblings?  How old are they?  What do you have in common?  How do you differ from one another?  What things do you like to do together?  What is good about having a sibling?  What would be good things about being an only child?  What would be different if your sibling was a different gender?  Or a different age? What do you like about your birth order?  What do you wish was different?

Third Next Step:  Siblings have a profound impact on the person we become.  As a child we often forget about how our parent’s sibling relationships effected the person that they grew to become.  Did they have the same fights that we have with our siblings? Talk with your parents and your grandparents about their sibling experiences.  Start by drawing a family tree.  Include your parent’s siblings(your aunts and uncles) and your grandparent’s siblings( your great aunts and uncles) add in their spouses and their children.  Can you also add in birthdates, marriage dates and dates of any deaths.  Now you are building your family genealogy. Where do each of your parents and grandparents fit in the birth order of their siblings?  How did their upbringing differ if they were the first born, the middle child or the youngest child?  Compare your experiences with anyone who shares your same birth order.  Do you have some similar personality traits?  Do you think it has anything to do with the order of your birth?  Ask each person about the memories they have with their siblings. Do they have one sibling that they were closest to?  Was that sibling close in age?  Where they the same gender?  Learn about how their relationships grew and changed as they became adults.  How do they view their siblings now?  What evolved in their relationships as they grew and started families of their own?  This is a fun conversation to video tape.  It can be fun to hear family memories and save them on tape to enjoy again later.  Your history makes you who you are.  Storing those memories creates a treasure trove of family folklore.

Looking for more ways to share family history?  Purchase our newest Explore Galore Kids Book:  Family Love.  This book is designed so that even the youngest family member can share and explore.  To order your copy: Click Here

How Mistakes Help Us Learn

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First The Picture: Does this look familiar to you?  Can you find this on a map?  What country is this from?  What city?  What makes this building memorable.  Do you know what it was originally built for?  It was a bell tower for a cathedral.

 

Second The Question:  What does this building teach us about the beauty of mistakes?  We can often learn more from what went wrong, then from what went right.  Have you ever made a mistake that ended up teaching you a valuable lesson? Try to list as many as you can remember. Think of the millions of buildings in the world, most are not as famous as this one, and I am sure the builders didn’t originally intend for it to lean.  It was a mistake that made it famous.  The next time something fails, can you try to it as a teaching moment?  There is a wonderful quote to remember: If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

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Third Next Steps: Using only recycled items, try to build a tower that leans, but doesn’t fall.  Not as easy as it seems, is it?  Try to measure the angle from the table of your tower.  Who can build a tower with the steepest lean, before it collapses.  Why do you think the Leaning Tower hasn’t fallen?  Look on line and see if you can discover the angle of the Tower.  Were you able to make a tower that had a steeper angle and still remained standing?  Try to list other famous “mistakes”.  Countless famous people failed many times in their lives before they finally reached success.  Celebrate your failures..It means you had the courage to try!

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids Fun, try one of our books:

One of a Kind: Snowflakes and You

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First the Picture:  Pull out a map and draw a line with your finger around all of the areas in the United States that get snow in the winter.  What do these areas have in common?  Now look at a world map and do the same.  What do these areas have in common?  These areas are no longer just at the top of the map..Why do you think snow comes to only those areas?  Why do the other areas on the map seldom get snow?  Are there frosts and snowfalls by where you live? Find where you live on a map, is it within the boundaries of your snow region?

Second the Question:  Snow is made up of millions of tiny snowflakes. Have you ever seen a snowflake up close?  Have you seen how beautiful the snowflake design is?  Did you know that every snowflake is unique?    If you live in an area with snow, wait until the next flurry and go outside with a piece of black material.  Hold the material flat and allow the snowflakes to gently land on it.  Then take a moment and observe the snow up close.  Do it quickly, before it melts.  Note the shapes and patterns that make each flake.  Every snowflake has its very own one-of-a-kind shape just like your finger print.  No other person has a finger print just like yours.  Why do you think each snowflake is different?  Why do you think people are unique?

Next Steps:  Make a finger print of everyone in your family.  If you don’t have an ink pad, you can color each person’s finger with a washable marker and then press it onto a sheet of paper.  Look closely at each print.  If you have a magnifying glass, even better!  What do you see?  Who has the largest swirl in the center of their finger print?  Do any two fingerprints look similar?  Are your fingerprints as beautiful and different as the snowflakes you found?  Stack three finger prints on top of each other and doodle on it too look like a snowman.  There are lots of ways to doodle on fingerprints to make different shapes and animals.  Enjoy creating fun images using your entire families’ finger prints!

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

A Journey of Wonder

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First the Photo:  The wonder of the Christmas season knows no specific place. Every town has its share of touching holiday displays. It is so amazing to drive through the neighborhoods in a hushed car and enjoy the holiday lights before coming home to hot cocoa and Christmas cookies.  However, this image is taken of a chapel that is a reproduction of one in Germany.  It is lite year round at the largest Christmas store in the Nation. (or so they advertise)  Can you guess the name of the town or the store?

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Second The Question: Christmas is a time of journeys..Some begun by a message sent from an angel urging Mary on a path that would change the world forever.  Or others that started with the Wise Men, venturing off into the blackness searching for an elusive star that they hoped would guide them to a ruler of men.  We are all on a journey every day. Sometimes our journey is from dark to light.  Sometimes we start new friendships. Sometimes we embark on learning new skills or sometimes we grow our family.  Many times we are pulled along our path, not wanting to follow a road of challenge or strife. Do you remember the last journey you embarked upon?  Can you imagine wondering through the dessert in search of a promised child, led by a message you received in a dream?  What would be your response if you were 9 months pregnant and you were told to pack up, perch yourself on a donkey and travel to a bustling city, with no money, away from your family and friends, to register for taxes?  Would you go?  What feelings would you have?  Can you imagine a time when you are stripped bare of every luxury that provides you comfort?  You don’t have warmth, a bed, food, medical care, or security?  Can you think of a time when you were journeying and you were lost or your plans fell through?  Sometimes when all of the expect things are far from reach you open yourself up to wonder.  Imagine Mary getting ready for the birth of her baby, when nothing is certain, sometimes EVERYTHNG becomes possible.  We open ourselves to the wonder of things falling into place, or of strangers offering comfort.  We then glory in amazement of the simple things: health, kindness, safety and being together.

Third Next Steps:  Become intentional about sharing this holiday season.  Gather many slips of paper and write on them messages like:  Share your favorite holiday tradition, Share a memory from seasons past, Describe the holiday keepsake that has the most meaning to you, What is your favorite food of Christmas, Where would you be on Christmas morning if you could choose, Who would you bring back to sit around the table with us one more time this year, Which was your favorite Holiday Season, How old were you when you received a gift you still remember, What has been your favorite holiday play or concert you have seen, What do you dream about on Christmas Eve night, What is your favorite weather for the Holidays, What is your favorite holiday movie, What is your favorite Christmas Carol?  Add more questions and spend some time gathered around the tree picking slips from the jar and sharing of yourselves this holiday season.  Keep replacing the slips back into the jar so that everyone from, youngest to oldest, gets a chance to share their special memories of the Christmas Season.

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

Fall Scavenger Hunt

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First The Photo: Find where fall shows her colors. Lay out a map of the world and point to the places on the map where fall shows her colors the most. Once you find those regions, figure out what those places have in common. Are all of those places close to the equator or far from it? Are they next to the oceans or more inland? What type of climate do those areas share? What is autumn getting ready for? Many animals and plants have developed their own ways to get ready for what is next. Can you name a few?

 

Second The Question: What is your favorite sign of fall? Can you name each of the signs I included in the photo collage? I have one insect, one animal, two trees and one plant..but there are many other things that change during the fall season. Why do these changes happen? Does our family have special traditions they do to celebrate the months of autumn? How does your family celebrate the harvest? How do you prepare to tuck yourself in for a long winter?

 

Third Next Steps: Last week we talked about Look and Finds, this week we are going to take those to the next level: Scavenger Hunts! Fall is a wonderful time to get outdoors and go on a scavenger hunt. It can be as simple as going for a stroll and calling out all of the sites of fall that you see. Or if you are looking for a really fun afternoon, invite over your friends and go to the Next Steps link at Explore Galore Kids to print off our Fun Fall Scavenger Hunt sheets. Then; Let The Games Begin! It is great fun to see which group can bring back the most signs of fall in 20 minutes. All abilities and all age groups can join the fun. Then have some warm apple cider and caramel apples waiting when the groups come back. Fall is also a great time to sit around a bonfire and enjoy some s’mores!

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

Scavenger Hunt Photos

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First The Photo: In this post, the picture IS the scavenger hunt, no need to look further. This was a fun project my kids and I did by just collecting items and taking pictures. I then laminated them into a book to take on car rides. After you laminate the photos you can use crayons to circle found items and then the crayon wipes right off so the next person can start fresh.

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Second The Questions: Are you 20 Question fans? We love playing 20 Questions on long car rides and these photos add to the fun. Especially if you are driving in the dark and don’t have the outside world to ask questions about. Can you find: a 2 butterflies, a bumble bee, a carrot and 3 “B”s? Can you think of other games that make long car rides go faster? What is your favorite thing to do to pass the time?

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Third Next Steps: Think of your own things that you could use to create customize look and find photos. Walk around your room, home and yard to see what you could use for look and find pictures. Pull together toys, craft supplies, tools, or food items to make your own scavenger hunt photos. Noticed I even included some pictures of the kids in the photos to add to the fun! Once you print off the photos, laminate some and clip them together for a fun party favor or gift. Enjoy creating your own adventure!

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Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

History Comes Alive

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First The Photo:  Where was this taken?  Hint: It was once the main residence of the infamous King Henry VIII….

Second The Question: History comes alive through stories, movies and visits to famous places that allow you to see and experience the sights, sounds and smells of civilizations that once inhabited our world.  It is fascinating to learn about the past, both good and bad.  We come away with a deeper understanding of what shaped us into the people we are today.  What is your favorite time of history?  Do you have a favorite historical story?  Do you like to learn about the times of inspiration or do you lean towards hearing about times of strife?

Third Next Steps:  Take a trip to your local public library.  Venture into the nonfiction sections, either in the children’s department or in the adult sections.  Check out a book, story book or nonfiction video tape about a time in history.  Choose a historical event that is relevant to youf or your family.  Share some background with your child before you begin watching the video or reading the book. Spend time after debriefing about what you learned.  It can also be fun to watch videos that are fictional stories set in specific times in history.  Examples are: Sound of Music set in Austria during WWII, or The King and I set in the Far East while England was still a major power there.  These are both fun family friendly versions that bring history to life.

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/