Welcome Back! It's another rainy day and we have some great activities to go with it!
We've got a food taste test perfect for snack or lunch time, spring time paper art, building your own city, and five minute mindfulness to keep you centered.
Food Taste Test Experiment
Expertly Tested By Brendan
Grade Level: K-3
Individual or multiple people: Individual or multiple people
Theme: To show that your senses work together, and isolating just one of them can demonstrate how hard it can be to only use one sense at a time (in this case, taste).
Materials: At least 5 different types of food (snack food works best, but really whatever you have lying around the house works), individual bowls to put food in, rubber gloves.
Location: Kitchen or dining room
Instructions: Kids love to do this activity - they are often amazed at how hard it is to discern the exact type of food they are tasting when they don’t have other senses such as sight or smell! This experiment is good for demonstrating how the senses work together to create a whole picture for us of the food we are putting into our bodies.
Prep: Have 3-5 different foods to taste test, whatever you can find in the kitchen (some good ones are snacks such as cheese, pears, yogurt, pretzel and chocolate chips) for sampling.
Step 1: Blindfold whoever is doing the experiment and have them hold their nose so they can't smell the food.
Step 2: Have them predict what each food is as they taste it. Write down their answer.
Step 3: Take off the blindfold and compare the results.
Your child may be surprised at their results! Your senses work together. You use both your sense of smell alongside your vision when tasting different foods and flavors. So when you can't see the food or smell it, oftentimes it becomes difficult to guess what you are eating. This is why when you have a cold or you are sick foods often taste different.
Further instructions or accommodations: Try to use as many different types of food as possible to give the child a full range of flavors and textures. For example, if you already have two things that are sweet, try adding some other snacks that are salty, sour, or bitter. This will show the full spectrum of taste when smell and sight are absent from the picture.
Spring Crafts With Meg
Grade Level: K-5, but younger kids may need help.
Individual or multiple people: Both!
Location: Anywhere in your house
Links and resources: https://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-and-experiments/craft-spring-y-flowers
To make the spring:
cut two long strips of green construction paper (or any color, really) lengthwise down the paper.
Form a right angle with ends of each strip and glue the ends together
Fold one strip over the next, and then the next strip on top, over the other-keep doing this until an accordion-style spring has formed
Snip off the ends and then add some glue to stick the last folded pieces together
To make the flower:
Draw a flower shape
Now draw a tiny round center on the flower and decorate it with a marker
Now cut out your flower!
Glue your flower to the top of the spring you just made
Built By Tyler
Grade Level: K-5
Individual or multiple people: 1+
Theme: Engineering, fine motor skills
Additional art supplies and recycled materials
Location: Anywhere that there is a enough floor space
This is a fantastic opportunity to use some recycled materials around the house. In this fun activity, that can be revisited for several days, you and your kids should collect cardboard boxes, old bottles, and other recycled materials to eventually construct a city with roads, buildings, trees, and whatever else you wish.
-Begin by breaking down several cardboard boxes laying them flat to create the base of your city.
-Tape the boxes together to whatever size your room will accommodate.
-Then build all your roads, buildings, and additional city elements on this base. Roads can be drawn out with markers to lay the groundwork for the rest of the city. Other boxes can be taken apart and re-tapped inside out to leave a blank canvas for markers and paint.
-Once you have several buildings in place you can use Hot Wheels Cars or Lego’s to populate the city.
At Home Meditation (5-8 minutes)
Chill With Zack
Meditation is a very broad topic I studied in college many months ago, hopefully this quick step by step process is able to guide you in the right direction!
I also find background music to be a helpful foundation for relaxing. The following “activity”. (or practice more formally) is what I do at home with my parents.
Here is a youtube video I like to use as background music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OEL4P1Rz04
Goal: to relax yourself, live in the moment, in your body, and focus on breathing.
Description: This is the dialogue I use when guiding a meditation.
Find a space on the floor or seat in which you can comfortably hold good posture.
If you’re on the floor, try sitting on a firm pillow or big rolled up towel, criss-cross.
You can place your hands together in your lap or on your knees, whatever is most comfortable.
You may choose to close your eyes or let them calmly focus on something in front of you.
Begin by breathing in calmly and slowly for the count of four or so, feeling your chest and belly fill up with air before beginning to exhale gently and slowly. (you may count in your head or have someone guiding count softly)
Keeping your focus on your breathing, continue to breathe slowly both in . . . and out. . . (“something we don’t do often is actively think about our breathing, practicing this can help us find calmness”)
(If you’re guiding your child in a meditation you may gracefully remind them) “if your mind starts to wander, just let those thoughts drift by and bring your focus back to your breathing”.
(Another good guiding reminder can be) “remember you can make yourself comfortable or move at any time if you need to, and slowly bring your attention back to your breathing”.
Closing: Sit in this moment for as long as you feel comfortable, usually about 5-10 minutes is an excellent ballpark to start! Make it fun and reassure your child they can think about anything they’d like (that’s positive) like friends and movies!
I hope this guide is helpful, wishing everyone wellness!
See you back here tomorrow for more games and activities!