Refraction & Light Experiments: Easy Science for Kids

Learn about refraction of light with this easy science experiment that can be done at home or in the classroom.

Our easy science experiments are back and this week, we're adding a touch of 'magic'!

In my experience, you can AMAZE kids with two types of science activities -- the first type are those that show some behind-the-scenes phenomenon like this How Does a Leaf Breathe? experiment and the second type are those that seem to work like magic.

Today we're going to play with that sense of wonder and highlight the science behind light refraction as we bend a pencil without breaking it!

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14 Creative DIY Valentine Boxes

Fun ideas for DIY Valentine Boxes that are the perfect way to collect all those love notes!

Sometimes I think it's the minor holidays that might put me under as a Mom!

Take February for example, either I'm trying to find 100 items for the kids to bring for the 100th day of school or I'm wondering how it is that EVERY set of boxed valentines includes 24 cards when my kids ALWAYS have 26 kids in their class.

I solved that last challenge by finding a great selection of Free Valentine Cards that you can print yourself -- as many as you'll need :)

Now for the next challenge -- coming up with a great idea for the Valentine Box! 

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How to Start & Organize a Nature Collection

If you've been around these parts, you'll know that we have a fondness for nature activities ;) 

Most rooms in our house host some type of nature collection -- shells, rocks, tree seeds, leaves in the Fall, etc.

And many of these were started on the fly -- a trip to the beach, a vacation in the mountains -- kids are just drawn to natural items.

Collecting is such a great STEM activity & teaches kids so much about categorizing, sorting and observing -- I try to allow as much of it as possible.  But as the items accumulate, sooner or later you have to give it a little 'structure'.

Since "small is the new black" for kids, it's always fun to find a creative way for them to carry around their collection (they love to show it to friends and family ;) 

So today's activity is a frugal upcycle that will help to organize that nature collection!

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Easy Science Experiments: Shadow Activities

I know it might be hard to believe but making shadows is actually a simple science experiment!

Yep, all those shadow puppets you tried as a child or those evening walks with the kids when they're trying to step on your shadow to see if it hurts (does anyone else's kids do this or just mine?!) = Easy Science Experiment :)

And with Groundhog's Day right around the corner, it's a great time of year to play with shadows!

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30 FREE Printable Winter Games & Activities

A great list of free printable indoor games & activities for those days when you can't get outside!

Today's round-up of FREE printable Winter games & activities is not only a resource for the next few months but also one of those posts that came about as the result of desperate times.

I'm currently sitting on our couch looking out the window at the GORGEOUS snow fallling. 

The flakes are those big, soft ones that float down and make everything look like a winter wonderland.

And it's so quiet and peaceful ...

... right now, that is.

Because I know this is the calm before the storm (literally!) -- the coming weeks will be full of more indoor time than outdoor time for so many of us. 

Which means it's time to get prepared -- and I've got your back!

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Reading Tips & the Best Books for Kids

In our home, helping the kids learn to read was what we called 'a full contact sport'. 

Constant movement.

Non-stop questions.

Continuous encouragement (and honestly, even some arguing).

It was not an easy task. 

Both of our kids have always loved books (as you can probably tell with the number of book lists we share) but let me tell you, LEARNING to read can be challenging for both kids and parents too!

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Arctic Animals & Forest Animals: Comparing Animal Habitats

Animal habitats are a fascinating topic to discuss with kids! 

I'm sure you've been peppered with questions about where animals live and why --

"Where do all the animals go in winter?"

or

"Why can't we have rainforest animals live near us like Diego does?"

My kids are big fans of all the animals they would see in books and some of the favorite tv shows (one of the best kids' TV shows about habitats is the Wild Kratts!).  They both love going out to the backyard or park to do animal observations.  And once we started traveling to National Parks, there were even more amazing habitats to explore!

Today's project is a fun way to create some of your favorite animal habitats and then compare their similiarites and differences. 

And I LOVE the versitility of this project because it will work with ANY habitat!

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Learn the Water Cycle with LEGOs: An Easy Science Project for Kids

Learn the Water Cycle with LEGOs: An Easy Science Project for Kids

Explore science by building a model of the water cycle with LEGOs®!

I love taking a not-so-easy-to-explain topic like The Water Cycle and turning it into a hands-on learning activity where you can see their eyes light up as they begin to grasp the concept! 

And hands-on science is fun -- but add in a LEGO® challenge and kids will enjoy it even more!

The water cycle might seem like a complex topic but it's really very simple -- only 3 main parts -- and I always love to explain that the water we drink is the SAME water that the dinosaurs drank too (for some reason the idea of dinosaurs drooling in their water is appealing to kids, who knew?! :) 

But explaining how that's possible can be a little complicated which is why we're going to BUILD a water cycle project to help take a detailed topic and break it into simple learning steps.

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18 Paper Airplanes, Plane Crafts & Books about Flying

Planes have been a long-standing thing at our house -- paper airplanes, plane games & flying with kids.

My son was BIG into paper airplanes as a kid and both of our kids became proficient travelers by the time they were five.

But I think my fondest airplane memory will be one that happened when my daughter was young -- she had this special family game she would ask use to play -- Going on a Plane!

She would set up 2 chairs next to each other and pretend we were flying off to Disney World (we visited there a number of times as my parents live about an hour from the park) or some other far off place from a book we read. 

It's one of those adorable moments that I'll remember because she & her "flying companion" would have these elaborate conversations about places they would visit and things to do.  Sometimes she would take Nani or her older brother; other times, her favorite stuffed animal would go with her.

So today's book & activity collection is All Things Planes -- for kids who enjoy traveling, flying or wanna-be pilots!

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10 Best Kids Activities & Family Organizational Tips

One of my favorite posts to curate each year is the list of our BEST kids activities and organizational tips that were most loved & read by our readers!

I love knowing that what we do at Edventures with Kids inspires families to reduce chaos, learn together and explore new places.

In case you missed one or two of these great kids activities & organizing ideas during the past year or if you've recently found us and want to dive in to some new edventures, see what's been popular with our readers as we head into a new year!

 

best kids activities and organization tips for families

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33 Winter Fun Things to Do: Indoor & Outdoor Activities for Kids

The kids are out of school -- time for a master list of fun things do in Winter to keep them busy!

Whether you're looking for indoor activities, fun things to do outside or a few unique ideas for your winter vacation -- these ideas are sure to please, easy to do and will keep your kids thinking & creating on those long winter days.

We even have some fun ways the kids can pitch in and help kick-start some organizing for the New Year!

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Where to Send Your Letter to Santa (& how to get a letter back!)

It's definitely that time of the year when I'm sure someone in your house wants to mail a letter to Santa!

Maybe it's your 4-year-old who wants to ask Santa about his favorite cookies.

Or the somewhat doubting 9-year-old who wants to confirm the big guy's existance.

And maybe -- just maybe -- it's Mom or Dad who need to get a letter to Santa to let him know that bringing a pet monkey is probably not such a good idea this year ;)

No matter who wants to send Santa a letter, we've got all the details you'll need (along with some FREE ways you can get a reply back too)!  PLUS, we also have a free printable Letter to Santa paper for the kids to print & use too.

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Healthy Gingerbread House Ideas

Let's talk Gingerbread Houses today!

Tis the season for family-friendly activities and building a gingerbread house is a time-honored tradition for so many families. 

Not to mention, it's a SUPER fun lesson in engineering principles for kids!  Testing out how to balance the walls, construct a roof and put together a fun little structure is the perfect intro to some of those basic physics principles.

And while I love all the building, learning & family connecting -- I'm not a fan of all the sugar icing and candy add-ons when the kids are already coming home telling me about those 'surprise' cookie and candy treats at school.

But there has to be a healthier option for these adorable little abodes, right?

YES!  We found some amazing edibel items to use as you construct a gingerbread house that's also a super healthy snack option too!

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Tips for Helping Kids Meet New Friends

Do you know how every kid has some special talent -- a skill that just makes you go "Wow!  Where did they learn that?!" 

It's that thing about your child that impresses you, makes you proud and causes you to stop and think how it will help them in life.

For my daughter, her amazing talent is meeting new people.

She's always the first one to volunteer to sit next to the new student at school.  And every year she goes to a summer camp, she'll come home on the first day and tell us about her new friend.  Granted, sometimes she doesn't know this 'new friend's' name ;) but she's always knows something about them and is excited to see them the next day.

When we saw the trailer for the NEW Peanuts movie that's out in theaters, I was reminded that meeting new people doesn't come naturally for everyone.  As Charlie Brown finds out (and some of us have experienced), meeting people can be a little awkward whether you're the new person at school or the one who wants to welcome a new neighbor.

But my daughter has shared with me that there are some super easy ways to meet new people and help kids to begin those new friendships that could last a lifetime!

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25+ Free Printable Christmas Games & Activities for Kids

A great collection of free printable Christmas games & activities to keep your kids entertained the whole month of December!

The holiday season is upon us!  It's time to enjoy counting down the days to Christmas and finding ways to slow down and enjoy the season together.

It's also time to get ready to keep the kids from snooping in the closets or under the tree :)

Do you have a snooper? 

My oldest was great - he never wanted to know what gifts he would get on Christmas morning.  My youngest -- a whole different story!  She's one of those 'I'm going to pretend I'm not snooping while I try to gather clues about both my gifts AND everyone else's'.  She keeps us on our toes during the holidays.

It's hard for kids to contain all that excitement -- wrapped gifts in arms' reach, the promise of a school holiday party, family coming -- I totally understand.  Which is why having some fun activities for them to do each day helps them to enjoy the weeks leading up to Christmas.

These totally fun & free printable Christmas games and activities are perfect for kids of all ages!  You can even wrap them so the kids have something to unwrap each day (hopefully it keeps them busy enough that they won't have time to snoop ;)

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