Picture Tutorial. Ever see those colorful magazine baskets and wish you knew how to make them? This series of photographs takes you through the process step-by-step.
Video Tutorial. If you need a more detailed explanation, watch this video. The video calls for decoupage glue, which most people don’t have on hand. Try making this substitute.
Science and Math
Turned used paper into seed paper. Gather up used paper from around your house and turn it into handmade recycled paper with embedded seeds. The whole page can be planted. These make fantastic greeting cards.
The Poetry of Trash
Cast Away Young People’s Poet Laureate, Naomi Shibad, finds treasure in trash, writing poems about objects she encounters in on her walks. Download this book, and play it while you take a walk in your neighborhood. Why do YOU notice while you’re out walking?
Okay, enough with the eggs already. Easter was three days ago. What to do with all those eggs? Well, you can put them in bottles. Or transform them into beautiful vases. Or just make them disappear.
Art and Literature
Egg Vases. Use your empty eggshells to create a lovely vase. This one uses a white egg, but shells from dyed Easter Eggs would be beautiful. Consider decorating your eggshells with bows or glitter.
Science and Math
Who knew eggs could be this fascinating?
Egg in a bottle. Make a hard boiled egg drop down into a bottle without even touching it. Don’t be a spoiler! This experiment is especially fun if you don’t tell the kids what’s going to happen to the egg. The activity is extremely popular with kids. It does require close adult supervision, because it involves burning a slip of paper.
Disappearing egg. This activity was posted earlier this week on the Virginia Discovery Museum website. They are posting activities daily, with a material list for the week also provided, so visit VDM@Home for more ideas.
Neighborhood Bridge Walk. Take a walk around your neighborhood and look for bridges. You may see some bridges that have a lot of meaning to our community, like Beta Bridge, Belmont Bridge, and Free Bridge. You will surely find small bridges as well, maybe so small you never even really noticed them before. Look closely. How are they made? How old do you think they are? Do people use them in other ways besides crossing to the other side? How do they create and support communities? Take pictures, draw, or describe the bridges you see. If your bridge crosses water, play Pooh Sticks.
Now that you’ve visited neighborhood bridges, you’re nearly ready to build some bridges of your own. First, you need to figure out how to make your bridge strong.
Let’s try at least three kinds of bridges and test each with weight to see if it holds up.
Bridge #1: Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise (hot dog style). Place two cups upside down on a table about three inches apart, so that the paper “bridges” the space between the cups. Place pennies onto your bridge until it collapses. How many pennies did it hold?
Bridge #2: Cut a second piece of construction paper in half
lengthwise. Fold each strip on the long
sides. Tape the strips together. Place the paper on the cups as before and put
pennies on it until it collapses. How
many pennies would it hold this time?
Bridge #3: With your final piece of paper, fold it like an
accordion. Balance the folded paper
between the cups and place the pennies on it as before. How many pennies did it hold?
Which bridge held the most weight? Why do you think that was? Do you have any other ideas? Different folds? Different materials? Can you make a bridge strong AND beautiful? Google famous bridges and look at some of the world’s most amazing and important structures.
Video Version. Here’s a video of a very similar activity if you are the kind of person who learns by watching.
Art and Literature
Here are two stories about bridges and neighbors:
The Bridge, This is a story about two brothers who still fought, even though they were now grown. One of the brothers hired a carpenter, who solved their problem in a surprising way. Suited for all readers.
The Bridge to Terabithia. Two children, from very different backgrounds, build a bridge…and an imaginative new world. Some emotionally difficult material which some children may find upsetting.
NASA Virtual Tours of numerous facilities, many of these are truly out of this world. How about a visit to the Hubble Telescope or the International Space Station? But if you are looking for something a little more down to earth, virtual tours of several different NASA research centers can also be accessed.
Art and Literature
Gallery Hunt. If the International Space Station is a little too far from home for you, check out the tours and activities at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. This site has a virtual backpack you can fill with treasurers as you tour the museum.
Yoga Studios. By now, you’ll probably be ready to stretch and relax a little, so drop in on a yoga studio for some soothing stretching.
YMCA360: Try the kids’ yoga classes at the YMCA, and while you are there, check out some of their other on-demand classes.
Yoga For Down Syndrome: Offers some modified postures and instructions. And although the name implies it’s for a specific audience, really it is good for anyone who could benefit from some simple modifications.
Wheelchair Yoga: Move along with the instructor in these postures, adapted for people with mobility differences.
Chalk Magic. We’re continuing the sidewalk chalk theme from a couple of weeks back, because we’ve been introduced to some astounding new materials. Because it is an incredibly beautiful spring day, and many people are celebrating Easter, we are giving this a page a spring theme, with additional ideas for those who are celebrating Easter today. But first, just enjoy this video of a stunning chalk artist.
Follow the link above to get some for chalk art that you can add yourself to. Our Easter challenge for those who celebrate this holiday: hide real Easter eggs in your drawings. Send your friends pictures and see if they can find them.
Due to a power outage, this post was delayed and will cover the 10th and 11th.
Drawing Room Games.
Today’s activities link you to games that involve drawing. You don’t have to be a great artist to play, in fact, a lot of the hilarity happens when the drawings are less than perfect. We have adapted one activity for players who are non-verbal or unable to hold a pencil. We also have additional suggestions for modifying these activities. All of these games can be played using apps like Zoom or FaceTime. Please tag us at enrichmentalliance when you share your fun.
Draw my picture. Two players back to back, each is drawing the same thing. Or are they?
Drawception. A personal favorite, this hilarious game is a little like “Telephone” but with a delightful twist that makes it ten times the fun.
And the list goes on. We gave you links to two great examples. Want to keep going? Here are 15 more! But why stop there? Invent your own drawing games. Find Enrichment Alliance of Virginia on Facebook and share your rules with us.
Adapting Drawception. For non-verbal players and participants with fine motor differences, fill a basket with objects, especially small figurines, matchbox cars, and other representative items. Set up a barrier such as a trifolded piece of cardboard large enough to conceal the scenes created by the players. Put the basket behind the barrier. For this modified game, begin with the image, not the caption, Have the player pick a small number of objects and arrange them behind the barrier. They may take a picture of the scene to share later or, if playing remotely, to send to a friend.
A second player looks behind the barrier and writes down or dictates a caption on a piece of paper which is then folded in half. The figures are returned to the basket and put out in view of other players. The caption is passed to the next player, who tries to illustrate the caption either by drawing or through same method of creating a scene behind the barrier. Proceed with the above rules for Drawception using these modifications.
Other Adaptations for Differing Abilities. Here are a few more ideas for adapting these games for people with fine motor challenges:
Engage gross motor skills instead by drawing with large chalk on a sidewalk or driveway,
Or using paint and cotton-balls, draw on chart paper or other large paper.
Work in pairs drawing side-by-side, step-by-step. (Team Member One draws a circle; team member two draws the circle, etc).
Work in pairs, taking term. Team Member One draws a circle; Team Member Two draws eyes in the circle.
Work in teams and let one person dictate while the other draws.
Tape Mazes and other cool gross motor activities. Who knew a roll of tape could be so much fun? No painters tape on hand? Try masking tape, string, or yard. Or go outside and create with sticks.
Science and Math
Tangrams offer intriguing activities for people of all ages and abilities.
Tangram patterns provide mind-stretching puzzles that develop spatial relationships and problem solving skills, but the most important thing: they are super fun. Tangram pieces can also be used to create freestyle artworks while developing the same skills. We’ve linked one set of printable patterns, but it will be simple to find your own, suited to your children’s skill levels, simply by entering “tangram patterns” in your search engine.
As we continue to enjoy National Poetry Month, let’s look at out how poets and lyricists express the feeling of being uplifted.
Happy. “If you feel like a room without a roof.” Wow! What a powerful way to describe happiness. Listen to the lyrics of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” and you can’t feel anything but joy. That’s the power of writing.
“Hope is the Thing With Feathers.” Spoken.ASL With Captions. Emily Dickinson uses the same theme of being lifted up in her famous poem about hope. How do you feel when you know something wonderful is just about to happen? Like something is about to soar inside you?
Try one of these opening phrases and write your own song or poem: “Joy is_____”, “Sadness is _____”, “Anger is _____”, “Love is _____,” “Excitement is _______,” “Relief is ______.”
If you would like to further explore this pairing of “Happy” and “Hope Is the Thing With Feathers,” download our lesson plans. These plans included adaptable materials for writers in need of frameworks and visual aides.
Jump for Joy: Here are a couple of videos to inspire you.
Okay, did they inspire you? Or more like intimidate you? Here are two videos to help you get those jump rope moves down.
Home Safari at 3:00 Daily. Come on a Safari! The Cincinnati Zoo is hosting a daily tours highlighting different animals and sharing activities to do at home.
Art and Literature
The Art of Autism. Go on a gallery tour. During Autism Awareness month, Apple is offering a gallery of art works created on iPads by people with autism. These beautiful works will probably inspire you to create some art of your own.
Virtual Jam Session. And the Children’s Museum of Atlanta is offering a jam session today. Visit their website anytime for this and more daily virtual activities.