First the Photo: This fountain is in a large city on the east coast.. Do you know where it was taken? Notice the water in the fountain is dyed pink. Can you guess why? For a hint look at the color of the trees in the background. What month do you think we took this picture? Does that help you know why it is pink?
Second the Question: October is breast cancer awareness month. All over America we celebrate the people who have battled this disease. These people are heroes. Not because they got cancer, but because of the way they choice to fight it. Do you know anyone in your life who has been touched by breast cancer?Or any kind of cancer? It is a life changing event to battle an illness of any kind. Have you ever been to a hospital? Had a surgery? How did you feel when you were sick? This is the time when you need courage and support. Those two things are the most important medicine in the world.
Third Next Steps: How can we help share our support for people struggling with an illness? There are simple ways to show people that we are thinking of them as they battle to overcome the challenges of a disease. Stories of support are everywhere look for ideas on line or at the library. You can do outdoor work for someone who is home bound with an illness, or help with indoor chores. There are stories of groups who shave their heads to show their support of someone who is losing their hair to chemo. Simple things like bringing a home cooked meal to someone or offering to help take their kids out for a day of fun. Or even just listening to them talk about their battle. Celebrate the strength that they have to deal with these trials. Show them how much you honor their courage. Heroes come in all ages, shapes and sizes. Help someone walk their road and find the hero inside of you!
First the Picture(s): Can you locate the place where each of these pictures was taken and can you name the type of civilization each of these communities once represented?
Second The Question: There are as many different ways to rule a group of people as there are civilizations to rule. You could be President of a Democracy or King/Queen of a monarchy. You could be a Pirate ruling the seas or a Dictator commanding an Empire. If you were in charge..what rules would you make? What things would you forbid? What would you make mandatory? Would you allow others to give input or would you demand that everyone do as you say?
Third Next Steps: After you dream of all the crazy rules you would make..try to think of the problems that come with being in charge? Can you see any down sides to ruling a group of people? What happens if the people you govern don’t like your ideas? What steps would you put in place if someone disagrees? What are things that rulers provide for the people they govern? Safety, structure, input, education, food, jobs? What would you provide?
Think of small communities and the people who rule them..Like a Family. Try letting each person be in charge for a day. Write down the rules you would set and then try to list the consequences of that rule. If you let everyone sleep as long as they want..what would happen? Or if each person ate whatever they wanted at every meal. Who would pay for all of that food? It is challenging to maintain balance within a small group of people imagine how hard it would be to run a country. You can see that it helps if the people that live in a country have the ability to give feedback and input to the rulers in charge?
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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.
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!
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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!
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.
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?
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!
First The Photo: Where can you have the opportunity to sit right next to Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Can you guess where this picture was taken? If you know the city, can you google a map of the city and find the specific monument? It is a wonderful way to teach the difference between country, state, and city, with their various scopes and scales.
Second The Question: Do you think that FDR or Anne Frank or Abraham Lincoln knew that they were capturing history by keeping a personal journal? Most people don’t think about the fact that each time in history is unique and right now we are all living history. Last week we talked about our favorite time in history, this week talk about the person from history you would be most interested in meeting. Would you like to hear a firsthand account of the New Deal from FDR himself? Or would you rather talk to Julia Caesar and learn about what Rome was like back in the days when the Colosseum was used for more than just tourist visits? Would you like to hear about Lewis and Clarks adventures as they explored the unsettled West? Or would you enjoy hearing the gruesome tales of battles fought and won from Joan of Arc? Without personal accounts, journals or biographers we would not have the ability to share the rich history that we now cherish.
Third Next Steps: You could be part of that process. Begin capturing your own history. There are several simple ways to start. For really young children have them draw a picture each day of their favorite memory from the day’s events. This can be a nice part of the bedtime routine. A way to calm down and sum up the day’s experiences. It can also be a fun way for you to find out what they remember the most. For older children the easiest way to begin journaling is to get a calendar with fairly large squares for each day. Then at the end of the day have your child simply fill the day’s square with notes about what happened during their day, or how they felt about what happened. It can be a great way for them to practice their descriptive writing and an easy way to begin feeling sharing from the day. As children get older buying them a nice covered journal at the beginning of each New Year can be a great tradition. It will be an amazing keepsake for them, later in life, to see first-hand their own memories in their own words.
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.
First The Photo: The location of this photo could be almost anywhere that has 4 seasons to enjoy. So instead of locating it on a map, can you determine what type of tree this leaf came from?
Second The Questions: Autumn is a time for changes: changing leaves, changing temperatures, changing coats on animals (and people too) and changing amounts of light each day. Many people enjoy the changes and embrace the beauty of fall. As you contemplate the changes outside, think of yourself, if you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? Would you change your eye color, your shoe size, where you live or the length of your hair? Would you live somewhere without seasons or do you like the changing world around you?
Third Next Steps: Go for a scavenger hunt outside and try to find as many different shapes of leaves as possible. Collect on of each leaf and bring them home to make texture rubbings. To do this all you needs is: paper, chalk or crayons(these work best if you take the paper label off them so you can lay them horizontally while you rub them, and finally you need leaves. Lay the leaf on the table first, try to make it lay flat. Place the paper loosely over the top and then using the chalk or color crayon begin to gently color over the leaf. Soon you will begin to see the shape of the leaf and then you will notice the texture of the leaf as well. Texture rubbings are fun to do and can be done with all sorts of items from the natural world like shells, evergreen needles, flower pedals etc. Explore the many textures of fall!
First The Photo: Do you recognize where this lighthouse is from? Hint number one: It is located in the state that has the most lighthouses in the country. Hint number two: It is not on an ocean shore. Have you figured it out?
Second The Questions: Do you have a person that serves as a guiding light in your life? Someone who guides you in your decisions? Talk to an adult and learn about the mentors in their life. Most people have learned from someone else along the way. Mentors can be very important people who support and encourage us along life’s path.
Third Next Steps: Our third Explore Galore Kids Book: The Guiding Light of Others available here, is a wonderful, in-depth exploration of the mentors in our lives. It helps children of all ages begin to talk about the people in their lives who love and support them. This book is a moving journey for parents to take with their children as they begin to explore how mentors can serve as guiding lights throughout our entire life.
Discuss: Look up where lighthouses are located. Talk about why they exist. They were meant to show weary travelers that land was close by, but navigate with care. What do you think people on ships were feeling when they finally saw the light of land? What do you think life was like living for many weeks and months in the close quarters of a ship? Can you imagine the important role that lighthouses served back in the day of ocean travel? What do you think it was like to live in a lighthouse? How was there light in the tower before electricity was discovered? Don’t know the answers to these questions? Look them up? Go deeper, learn together. Find the closest lighthouse to your home and plan a road trip.
First the Question: Do you recognize this famous home? It was designed by the renowned architect; Frank Lloyd Wright. Can you find where it is located? What large city is it near?
Second The Question: When you look at the picture what is unique about the house? Would you like to have a river running through your house? Would you live in a house on a cliff? Where would you build your perfect home? High up in a tree? In a crater on the moon? In a ship sailing on the high seas? Would you live in a tent or a library or a mall?? What things are necessary to make your house a home? What things would you make sure to include? Would you build it in a particular place? What things do you love about your current home? How would you incorporate those pieces?
Third Next Steps: Do you have some old magazines or catalogues around the house? Pull some out and have some fun cutting out your favorite room designs. Create some interior and exterior looks for your house by cutting images from the magazine. Next try to creating a floor plan. Try searching for home plans on-line. First look at the outside structure of the house then look at corresponding floor plan. Are you able to see where doors and windows are located from looking at the plans? Find some graph paper and create a floor plan for your own home. What rooms would you include? Where would you put windows? Why not ad in some fun items..a pool, a stables, a library! What would you include?
Finally did you enjoy doing the interior design or the floor plan better? Do you like the art piece or the scale drawing better? Do you see yourself designing with colors or planning to build better? These are all great things to think about as you grow and begin to imagine your career path.