All posts in Summer Learning

Minecraft with Java Online Class for Kids

Minecraft with Java Online Class for Kids

My 10-year-old son’s favorite camp is a Minecraft one which he does with his friends for the past two years. They are all serious gamers and the moms are happy with a week of really expensive computer camp because we think it will get them programming their own games. I’ve been working to take his interest in gaming into other areas like reading and science and this summer, my secret goal for him is to program on his own in Python which is a better language for gaming I’m told, and easier to use than Java.

Minecraft with Java Online Class for Kids

My son learned Scratch in third grade, and moved on the Java in fourth grade learning programming basics like boolean logic and If-then and if-else statements. He took Minecraft making Mods for the past two years at camp and this year, he will take Minecraft with Java. I’m not exactly sure what this entails but I think it involves a Minecraft server. Read more…

Very Short Science Videos for Kids

Very Short Science Videos for Kids

My son and I picked out our favorite science videos from The Kid Should Watch This. We hope you enjoy them too! Here’s our archive of favorite science videos:

The Kid Should Really See These Videos!

Amazing Videos to Share With Your Kids

My Son’s Favorite Fun and Educational Videos

The Kid Should Really See This Videos

Flu Season Science for Kids

 

Science for Kids: How to Make Fizzy Bottle Rockets

ExpeRimental from The Royal Institution: How to make fizzy bottle rockets using a plastic sports bottle, Alka Selzer tablet, warm water and a mug. Do this outdoors! Read more…

Video Games for STEM Summer Learning

Video Games for STEM Summer Learning

I have been working hard planning my son’s summer and it’s a video game themed summer but I plan to sneak in math, computer science, art and reading. He’s 10-years-old and will be a rising 5th grader.

Why video gamed learning? My son is screen obsessed. It’s not unusual to find him in front of TWO not just ONE screens at the same time! He will watching a YouTube video while playing a video game, and sometimes they are not even related. When we tell him to stop, he will quite sweetly, “You should be glad I am multi-tasking mom!”

Read more…

Volunteering at Special Surfer Night in Kennebunk

Special Surfer Night in Maine

When we were first went on a vacation in Kennebunkport, Maine, we stumbled upon a surf shop called Aquaholics. I’m from a little beach town in Southern California, so finding a surf shop in New England is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. They offered surfing lessons and Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix wanted to give it a try. Thus began their great love of surfing five years ago.

speciall surf night maineRead more…

best free ebooks for kids

Best Free eBooks for Kids

Are you reading ebooks with your kids this summer? I find that my son likes to read both paper and ebooks. Sometimes when I’m trying to get something done, an eBook that reads to him is a big convenience. But we are picky readers. A free eBook is only good for us if it’s a great book. I’m sure you are the same! It takes time and data storage to download an ebook. These are the best free eBooks for kids that passed our test.

 

1) Oxford Owl (click to right by age to find free eBooks) has 250 free ebooks. You can sort by age, book type, or series.

These are especially good!

Read more…

watersupply2

Water Supply System for Kids: A Science Unit for Home

I never really gave storm drains much thought. Occasionally, I’d notice a sign that said drain empties directly to ocean but I didn’t put the garbage piece together with the storm drain pollution piece.

storm drain sign

As for my water supply at home, I’ve only wondered what the lead content was. I had no idea where the water came from. I just take this kind of stuff for granted.

Things changed when the MWRA came to visit our elementary school. The first question is what does MWRA stand for? I would have struggled with that: Metropolitan Water Resource Authority. They are the folks who worry about our water supply including drinking water, waste water and storm drains.

In this unit on Our Water Supply, I cover:

  • The history of the reservoir where I live
  • Waste Water
  • How to measure the pH of water
  • Free Printable eBook Dwayne the Storm Drain
  • Water Supply App for Kids
  • A list of relevant books for kids

Do you know where your water comes from? Read on to learn more! Read more…

animal non fiction for kids, best non fiction for kids, best non fiction picture books, best picture books on animals,

Nature is All Around Us! Best Non Fiction Picture Books for Kids

Please welcome my guest author Maria G. We met via social media and were conversing using the comments on my blog. I always find her comments to be thoughtful and helpful. She has a vast knowledge of children’s books and with the best recommendations so I asked her to please, please, please guest post on any children’s book topic!

Today, she is writing about nature — specifically best non fiction picture books for kids — and it just so happens that she is a non-fiction children’s book author-to-be with two books to look forward to in 2015!

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Summer’s around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to learn about nature. The good news—you don’t have to journey to one of our fine National Parks to do so (though I would highly recommend it!) The answers are right in your backyard. Literally. Whether you’re a city or suburban dweller, or even if you’re lucky enough to live in the countryside, there are so many ways to observe how birds, mammals and other invertebrates have been able to adapt to urban and residential surroundings. Urban ecology is a fascinating field of study, and we can all be urban ecologists in our own neighborhoods! Read more…

Rising Kindergarten summer reading list, going into first grade reading list, 1st grade reading list,

Rising Kindergarten Summer Reading List

This is the last installment of my school’s Summer Reading 2013 list: A Collaboration of the Newton Public School Library Teachers & the Newton Free Children’s Librarians. I wanted to share my list with you since it’s likely on your library shelves. And I’ll use your list for the same reason.

The rest of the lists are here:

Rising First Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Second Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Third Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Fourth Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Fifth Grade Summer Reading List

 

Rising Kindergarten Summer Reading List

Out on the Prairie by Donna Bateman
A 1 through 10 counting book featuring prairie animals of the Badlands National Park.

Building Our House by Jonathan Bean
A young girl narrates her family’s move from the city to the country, where they have bought a piece of land and live in a new trailer while they build a house from the ground up.

Sophie’s Fish by A. E. Cannon
Jake starts to worry about everything that could go wrong when he agrees to take care of his friend Sophie’s fish for the weekend.

Read more…

science book list for kids

Great Science Books for Kids

Please welcome Erica from What Do We Do All Day?, a blog that always inspires me. There’s a big push now for non-fiction in the Common Core Curriculum and I am afraid that if we, as parents, don’t introduce non-fiction books to our kids that enchant them, they could be turned off by the onslaught of “boring” non-fiction they will be forced to read at school.

Non-fiction, however, when matched up to a child’s interest can be a great motivator in getting them to read. Erica offers up great science books for kids! I hope you find some ideas here for your child’s summer reading list.

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Do your kids love science and learning about facts? Science picture books are a lovely way for kids to explore their favorite subjects and to discover something new.

At What Do We Do All Day? I share a book list (almost) every Monday, and even though my older son loves non-fiction books, I have made very few lists featuring fact-based books. That is probably a reflection of my own interests, so I am extra excited to be able to share with Pragmatic Mom’s followers this list of science picture books my boys have really enjoyed!

This book list is a hodgepodge and mishmash of all different science topics, so I hope you will find something that is a good fit for your child’s interests. If you have any favorite science picture books, please leave a comment here on this post. We love to get recommendations!


A Seed Is Sleepy. Author/illustrator team Dianna Hutts Aston and Slyvia Long have created a series of gorgeous books about natural wonders which turn kids’ attentions to the beauty of the small miracles of nature. Also discover: A Rock Is Lively,An Egg Is Quiet and A Butterfly Is Patient.


All the Water in the World. Poetry in motion, just like rushing, trickling, dripping water, this book about the cycle of water will fascinate your kids. Lots of facts about where water comes from, where it goes and why we need it are eloquently communicated through gorgeous watercolors and poetry.

Read more…