Sunday, January 31, 2016

Free Printable Math Activity: Feed the Penguin Boxes

Feed The Penguin Image

I made these cute little Feed the Penguin boxes to use in math & counting games with my boys, and thought I’d share with you, my wonderful readers.

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I was a bit indecisive so there’s both a free-standing option as well as a flatter variety that’s sized just right to fit over these Dixie 10oz Paper Bowls. You only need one sheet of paper (or cardstock), a few cuts, a little folding, and a bit of tape to make each box. My 3 year-old used his for counting, My 5 year-old addition, and my 7 year-old multiplication. We fed our penguins goldfish, of course!

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I also laminated our flatter box so that I could use a dry erase marker to write on the penguin’s chest. Here my 3yo, Jet, is getting an early lesson on addition. I had him feed the penguin the two numbers from some simple addition problems, then raise the box to count (& eat!) the total. This boys LOVES his snacks, so this was a perfect activity for him.

Want to make your own Feed the Penguin Boxes?

Click on the links below to download your free printables:

Each file contains the instructions and printables necessary to make the boxes in either color or black & white. And because Valentine’s day is approaching, I also added a heart Red heart to the penguin’s chest, so you can choose to print with or without that.


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Monday, January 25, 2016

Polar Sensory Bin


Ooooooh YES, it’s messy!
(but so much fun, Mom!)


We couldn’t possibly do a polar unit study without a polar sensory bin, could we?
Above is a picture of the one I put together for my crew. I used Insta-Snow as the base material, and added metal and plastic spoons, colored flat marbles, a couple of animals from our Ocean TOOB , the globe from the top of the Toob packaging, some test tubes & mini petri dishes that we'd used before, and some small winter themed tubs.
So that was toobs, tubes, & tubs. Got it? ;)


The Insta-Snow is a bit messy, but with that comes some unique possibilities.
These southern boys got to make snowballs!


And scoop, and pour


And mold, and dig, & bury their fingers
and generally make….

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a mess themselves smile!
Which makes this mama smile.

(The Insta-Snow actually does vacuum up really easily.)

Do you enjoy sensory bins in your home?
If so, what have been some of your favorites?

Planning on sharing this post at one or more of the following places:

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Crayon Resist Penguin Science + 1 More

We may not be knee deep in snow right now, but we are knee deep in a p-p-polar unit study over here in the FTP household. As part of that we’ve spent some time studying penguins. Here are a couple of hands-on science activities that we’ve done to illustrate some of the concepts we’ve learned about penguin behavior and anatomy.

1. Crayon Resist Penguin Science


To do this activitty we used:

white paper

crayons in white & orange

water color paints in dark colors


The first step in this project is to draw a penguin outline on your white paper. For the most dramatic results, Dude did this with mostly white crayon, but you could use another light color like yellow or orange, if the white is too hard to see. Dude used the directions in our Follow the Directions & Draw It All by Yourself book as a reference for his drawing.


Next paint over the entire page with dark colored water color paints. As you do the crayon wax from your drawing will repel the water in the paint and protect the paper underneath from being colored, revealing your penguin drawing as you go.


The result is a neat combination of artistic technique and science. The crayon wax coats the paper and protects it from the moisture of the paint the same way the penguin uses a special oil it produces to coat it’s feathers and protect itself from frigid waters.

The second activity we did is an oldie, but a goodie!

2. Blubber Science


I’ve seen this project done a lot of different ways, but here’s what we used:

1 or 2 quart sized zip-lock bags

1 sandwich sized zip-lock bag

shortening (or lard)

a container of ice water

tape (optional)
We ended up not using it.


The first thing you want to do is put your “blubber” (the shortening or lard) into the quart size zip-lock bag. I used about 2 1/2 cups, but could have gotten away with less. Next, put your hand into the sandwich sized bag and push it into the middle of the “blubber” making sure to leave a thick layer on all sides.


It should look something like this.
I had originally planned on taping the tops of the two bags together at this point, but decided to skip it. (and would again if we repeated this project)


Now you’re ready to get experimenting! We decided to get out a second zip-lock bag to use as a control and the boys took turns wearing an empty bag on one hand and the “blubber mitten” on the other and dipping both hands into the container of ice water. The advantages of a layer of blubber weren’t hard to feel!

Looking for more information & activities about penguins?
We also used & would recommend the follow resources:

We used this book to make penguin masks, models, & maps showing where various types of penguins live and how they behave.

Penguins (Smithsonian) by Seymour Simon
Fabulous pictures & a great general reference book about penguins

  March of the Penguins DVD
Chronicles the harrowing journey that the emperor penguins make at the South Pole

I'll be sharing this post over at:

Tot School @ 1+1+1=1Tree Valley AcademyLearn & Play Linkup
Natural Beach LivingHip Homeschool HopLittles Learning Link Up
So Much at HomeHearts for Home Blog Hop
Everything Early Childhood

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Word(less) Wednesday- May No Good Box Be Spared!

Jet spotted this almost empty box and just couldn't let it go in the recycling.


He'd spotted an opportunity!


And the beginnings of a rocketship.

(Captain Jet & his co-pilot)
I just love watching these two play together.

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

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