Guest post by Ruchika Bhartiya
Looking for at-home learning activities for the 3-5 set, something you can do that’s offline, stimulates their brains and has an easy set up?. Here are five learning through play ideas for kids that integrate with technology, arts, math and literacy.
Science: Milk, food colouring and dish soap experiment
- Full fat milk
- Food colours
- Cotton tip
- Liquid dish soap
How to play
Pour milk in a shallow bowl. Add 5-6 drops of different colors all over the milk. Dip the cotton tip in the liquid dish soap and tap the color drops with it. The colors start spreading and beautiful patterns are formed. Swirl the tip around to create unique patterns.
I used blue, green and yellow colors. For me it turned into an Earth-like appearance.
Science behind this
Milk has high surface tension. When food color is added it remains centralized and does not spread much. When soap is added, it reduces the surface tension, hence the fat and protein molecules of the milk start moving freely and you see the swirly patterns.
Technology: Teaching conditional/ logical statements used in technology
- Card stock sheets or paper plate
- Colors or coloured pens
- A sheet of paper
How to play
Cut the paper plate into two sets of items for the omelette. Each set will have onions, bell-pepper, cheese, eggs, chillies and salt-pepper. Make two omelettes with these cutouts based on what each omelette has.On a sheet of paper note 1 and 0 or True(T) and False(F) for things present and not present in each omelette respectively. Create a Venn diagram to depict AND and OR logic for the two omelettes.
Finally make the real omelette in the kitchen (the last pic)
You can use the physical objects in the kitchen instead of the paper cutouts for this play.
The win-win situation was when my kid realised her omelette had less items than mine, she let me add bell-peppers to hers.
Art: Mini cloth hanger to make a work desk craft.
- Popsicle sticks
- Small clothespins
- Hot glue
- Paper and colors to create small cards
How to Play
As per the collage photo above, glue the popsicle sticks. Glue the clothespin around a the cloth rack. Make small cards or take photo prints to hang on the rack. Put it on your work desk as a memory. We made it as Dad’s birthday gift.
Letters and Math: Shadow play with tracing
- Random items at home (we used school supplies)
- Pen and Paper
How to play
Make shadow images of all the items. Make a tracing sheet of all the names of the items. Place the items in a tray. Ask your child to match the items to the shadow and then trace the word. You can talk about phonics when finding the words.
My kid was amused to see two ‘s’ together in scissors and compasses. For her ‘ruler’ was the most funny as it starts and ends in ‘r’.
Math: Let’s fly and learn math
- Toy planes
- Blocks to make the Airplane hangar
- Popsicle Sticks
- Paper plate / cardboard cut out
- Colored pens and paper
- Country / World map printout
- Dot stickers
How to play
Make a clock with the cardboard/paper plate. Make the airport hangar with blocks.Put all the planes in the hangar. On the popsicle stick write down some time-color-destination combinations. Ask the kid to pick a stick and turn the clock to time on the stick. Then fly the plane of the color on the stick to the destination on the stick. Plot the destinations flown using dot stickers on a paper. Classify these destinations under east-central-west coast. Plot the time of the flight under morning-afternoon-evening using dot stickers. After all the planes are flown talk to the kid about
- Which time of the day was the busiest?
- Which is the furthest destination?
- Which is the closest destination?
We created a timeline of different flights departing from Seattle to different destinations in the US.
Ruchika who is mom to a 3.5 year old moved to Vancouver in January 2020. Due to the pandemic, she has been doing of play based learning at home involving STEAM based learning.
>> Find her on Instagram @alearningcarnival