Mud + Mess + Math = Educational Fun!

Young children seem naturally attracted to activities that end up messy. Sometimes, though, creating the messy fun with them can be educational, especially if you think of ways to control the mess. Select an outside area that can easily be hosed down, put on old clothes, and you are ready to create your own Messy Mud Pie Café!

 

Select an outside area that can easily be hosed down, put on old clothes, and you are ready to create your own Messy Mud Pie Café!

Materials

  • dirt
  • large basin of water
  • measuring tools – teaspoons, tablespoons, measuring cups, liquid measures, kitchen scale, bathroom scale
  • old pie pans, muffin tins, or small flat containers
  • rolling pin (optional)
  • natural “decorations”, such as flowers or twigs (optional)

 

To create your mud pies, combine approximately 75% mud and 25% sand in a large container. Slowly add the water until it is moist and moldable. Use the rolling pin or just your hands to roll out the mud into pies. Form the “pies” in a muffin tin, old pie pans, or small flat containers. Decorate them with items from your backyard such as flowers, twigs, pine cones, or stones. Put them in the sun to “bake.”

 

Talk about the time it will take for the mud pie to “bake”  (or dry out). (Parents, you might consider creating your own mud pie ahead time and letting it dry to show an example of a baked pie.) Record the guesses. Then check back in at regular intervals, such as 30 minutes, 1 hour, and half a day. Take a picture at different intervals to record how the mud pies are baking.

 

While the pies are “baking”, consider the following activities:

 

  1. Measuring mud. Use the remaining mud to explore different weights and measures. Have your child measure specific amounts of mud. For example, ask your child to measure 1/4 cup of mud and place it in a container. Help your child fully fill the measuring cup and level it to obtain the exact measurement. Then ask your child, “Can you measure ¾ cup of mud?” Place the two containers next to each other and compare the amounts of mud. Which container of mud is more? Which is less?
  2. Weighing mud. Next, try weighing some mud. First have your child estimate the weight of a particular amount of mud. Then use a scale to weigh the mud. Was your child correct? Next select two different amounts of mud and estimate their weight based on your first measurement; then find the actual weights. Was your estimate more or less than the actual amount?
  3. Measuring water. Use the remaining water to find volume with different-sized containers. Pour the water into the containers and estimate which container holds more water. Next pour each container into the liquid measure. Was your estimate correct?

 

Be sure to allow lots of time for free play in addition to your education time with your child. Enjoy the messy fun together!

 

Related Blog Post:
10 Items from the Dollar Store for the Sandbox

 

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Summer Creativity

My daughter loves to paint. She wants to paint every day, and paint supplies can become expensive. Learn about how to enjoy art and spend less in this blog post.

Paper Bag Painting

Learn how to use a paper bag to keep art supply costs down.

My daughter loves to paint. She wants to paint every day, and paint supplies can become expensive. Today, I had a brown paper bag around, and it turned out to be the perfect canvas for paint because it is extra thick and stands up to the paint well. We used regular and glitter paints and different size brushes. She decided to paint a nature scene. This is a great way to spend a summer day!

 
 
 
 

Lazoo Art Box

Lazoo Art Box (iOS)

Lazoo Art Box is a fabulously creative digital coloring book for children ages 3-5. The app presents a child with a starting place for adding creativity to an existing scene or page in the coloring book. When your child is finished, watch the page come alive as the objects perform short animations. The app is extremely easy to use and kid-friendly. There are 3 interactive areas; Let’s Squiggle, Let’s Color, and Let’s Draw. For each area your child is prompted to draw with their finger and then press the Play button to view the animation. The app does a nice job of providing directions and vocabulary to accompany the picture. There are a variety of coloring tools provided at the bottom of the screen including stickers, markers, spray paint, and paint rollers for a variety of effects. There is also a blank page where children can create their own pictures. This would be a great app to keep on your phone to use when you are on the go this summer! Lazoo Art Box is $1.99 and available for iPhone and iPad.

 

Related Blog Post:
3 Creative and Educational Apps for Kids

 

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Summer-Themed Apps

Anticipating summer? Get in the mood with these summer-themed apps.

 

Anticipating summer? Get in the mood with these summer-themed apps.

 

Summer-Themed Apps

Camping with Grandpa iOS only

Camping with Grandpa app review.

This app features a theme of camping and has nature and adventure lovers in mind. KinderTown loves the Grandma and Grandpa characters created by Fairlady media; this app focuses particularly on lovable Grandpa. Grandpa invites your children on a hike through the woods where they choose a trail and identify plant and tree species with his help. In the app, children have to drag forest animals to the food they eat and identify coordinating shapes of common tools used when camping, such a pocket knife or hatchet. Another feature of the app is a word find, which may be more challenging for beginning readers interested in the app and who may need the assistance of a parent. Kids love going on a hike with Grandpa, picking special stuffed animals to sleep with, and roasting marshmallows and hot dogs over the virtual campfire. As with other Grandpa apps, when children get the answers correct, Grandpa offers a high five that children get to slap (gently). Camping with Grandpa is a great way to get in the mood for summer camping. Camping with Grandpa costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-8.

 

Related Blog Post:
Top 4 Childhood Adventure Apps

 

Bug Art iOS only

Bug Art app review.

Bug Art provides an informal environment for children to learn and play with bugs. The free paint area allows children to paint and use stickers to depict a bug scene. The bug designer area allows children to choose a basic stencil and then design a unique bug around the stencil. Pictures can be saved in the app and shared with friends. The app also has free play areas where children can race bugs or use the iPad to make them fly through pathways. This app is a fun creative experience with bugs. Bug Art costs $2.49 and is appropriate for children ages 3-5.

 

Related Blog Post:
Creepy Crawly Apps

 

Park Math HD iOS only

Park Math HD app review.

Park Math HD by Duck Duck Moose works on a variety of math concepts. Park Math HD is a thoughtful app that moves users seamlessly through counting, addition, subtraction, sequencing, patterning, and comparing while being developmentally appropriate for early learners. Unlike many of the math apps in the app store, Park Math HD does not simply have children answering questions or tapping on objects; Park Math HD integrates three levels of learning into a park concept to practice and investigate math concepts in a meaningful way. Addition and subtraction are practiced in a story problem format. Park Math HD costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-6.

 

Related Blog Post:
Spring Math Activities & Apps (Demme Learning)

 

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From Doodles, to Drawing, to Writing!

Foster your young author and illustrator with the activities in this week’s Power Pack.

 

In this week’s Power Pack you’ll find activities and apps that support your inventive author and illustrator.

Drawing PowerPack

At this beginning level of storytelling, children can begin to combine their drawing and writing skills to show meaning. Apps included in this Power Pack are:

Sago Mini Doodlecast for Kids

Read KinderTown's review of Sago Mini Doodlecast

Drawing Together!

Read KinderTown's review of Drawing Together!

Handwriting without Tears

Read KinderTown's review of Handwriting without Tears

To find the Power Pack, download KinderTown onto your iOS device.

 

Then:
-Select the Power Pack icon from the menu at the bottom

-At the top left, select the level PreK

-Choose “Experiencing Language” from the list of skills.

-Login and View the Power Pack

 

We think this is a great opportunity for the world to see the power of the iPad for early childhood learning. Access the Power Pack through the KinderTown app (remember, you must be signed in),  and select the Power Packs icon from the bottom menu to check them out!



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Enrich Your Child’s Language Experience with Power Pack Ideas!

Check out our latest Power Pack, Experiencing Language PreK, for ages 4-5.

 

This Power Pack will help your preschooler prepare to read well by encouraging critical thinking and reflective questioning.

This Power Pack will help your preschooler prepare to read well by encouraging critical thinking and reflective questioning. These are the building blocks for reading comprehension.

 

Apps in the Power Pack include:

 

The Land of Me – Story Time

Read KinderTown's review of The Land of Me

 

Stella and Sam Story Pack

Read KinderTown's review of Stella and Sam

 

Pixel and Parker

Read KinderTown's review of Pixel and Parker

To find the Power Pack, download KinderTown onto your iOS device. Then:

-Select the Power Pack icon from the menu at the bottom

-At the top left, select the level PreK

-Choose “Experiencing Language” from the list of skills.

-Login and View the Power Pack

 

We think this is a great opportunity for the world to see the power of the iPad for early childhood learning. Access the Power Pack through the KinderTown app (remember, you must be signed in),  and select the Power Packs icon from the bottom menu to check them out!











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Vocabulary Power Pack for 2nd Grade Ages 7-8

Do you have a second grader at home? If so, then your child’s homework probably consists of some combination of sight words and phonics to bolster and train their minds in one of the most grueling efforts they’ll ever experience in academics: learning to read.

 

Use the techniques in this Vocabulary Power Pack to support your more independent learner.

Use the techniques in the Vocabulary Power Pack to support your learner at this level. They won’t stay in the trenches for long! Believe it or not, they are on the path to using their growing reading skills to learn about more sophisticated topics.

 

Access the Power Pack through the KinderTown app (remember, you must be signed in!) to read the full review. Below are some of the apps included in the Power Pack:

 

The Opposites

Read KinderTown's review of The Opposites

Bluster! Deluxe

Read KinderTown's review of Bluster! Deluxe

Word Games for Kids Futuba

Read KinderTown's review of Word Games for Kids



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Power Pack: Letters and Sounds Ages 5-6

Do you have a kindergartner, or budding learner, who is investigating letters and sounds? This Power Pack is for you!

 

Do you have a kindergarten or budding learner who investigating letters and sounds? This Power Pack is for you!

Check out the apps we recommend for learning letters and sounds, and a few offline activities you can explore with your child, like Letter Jump, and Letter Stories. Access the Power Pack through the KinderTown app (remember, you must be signed in)! 

 

This Power Pack features the apps:

 

abc PocketPhonics

Read KinderTown's review of abc PocketPhonics

My A-Z

Read KinderTown's review of My A-Z

Starfall ABC’s

Read KinderTown's review of Starfall ABC's

 



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Power Pack: Storytelling

This week’s Power Pack focuses on Storytelling for children ages 5-6.

 

In this Power Pack, you’ll find activities and app recommendations that support your child by translating all their creative stories into print.

Children of this age frequently tell stories aloud that you probably wish were in print. Their creations are often humorous and fantastic. In this Power Pack, you’ll find activities and app recommendations that support your child by translating all their creative stories into print. As you spend the next weeks and months focused in this area, your child will develop stronger oral storytelling abilities with more experiences seeing how stories can be communicated with text and images.

 

Apps featured in this Power Pack include:

 

Pirate Scribblebeard’s Treasure

Read KinderTown's review of Pirate Scribblebeard's Treasure

Story Wheel

Read KinderTown's review of Story Wheel

 

Toontastic 

Read KinderTown's review of Toontastic

 

Access the Power Pack through the KinderTown app (remember, you must be signed in)!

 


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Vocabulary 3K Power Pack

At KinderTown, we’re excited to share with you our next updated Power Pack, Vocabulary 3K.

 

In this Power Pack you will find activities and app recommendations that support your child’s rapidly increasing vocabulary.

In this Power Pack, you will find activities and app recommendations that support your child’s rapidly increasing vocabulary. As you spend the next weeks and months focused in this area, your child will develop a greater familiarity with rich language through songs, stories, asking questions, and talking. We weave the activities into the natural time you would spend with your child at home.

 

Apps recommended in this Power Pack include: Boats by Byron Barton, Wheels on the Bus, and Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App.

 

Access the Power Pack through the KinderTown app (remember, you must be signed in)! Then:

-Select the Power Pack icon from the menu at the bottom

-At the top, select the level 3K

-Choose Vocabulary from the list of skills.

-Sign in and View/Print the Power Pack


 


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Books for Kids Power Pack Ages 3-4

Check out our next Power Pack within the KinderTown app, called Books for Kids Ages 3-4.

 

Learn about how to incorporate select apps into your child’s play time, and learn new offline activities to expand their knowledge of books.

Apps recommended within the Books for Kids Power Pack include: But Not the Hippopotamus, The Monster at the End of the Book…starring Grover!, and Goodnight Safari.

 

Learn about how to incorporate these apps into your child’s play time, and learn new offline activities to expand their knowledge of books. Access the Power Pack through the KinderTown app (remember, you must be signed in)!

Then:

-Select the Power Pack icon from the menu at the bottom

-At the top, select the level 3K

-Choose Books for Kids from the list of skills.

-Sign In and view the Power Pack.


 


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