Halloween Science Experiments

Get ready for some fun, hands-on Halloween science experiments! These are perfect for elementary aged kids. Some are spooky, some are gross and some are just plain fun. There’s something for everyone here. And each one explains the science behind the activity. Get ready to learn in a spooky way!

Halloween Science Experiments for Kids

I’m so excited to also be part of the big Kid Blogger Network Fall/Halloween Round-Up. We are giving away four $500 cash prizes. Yes, you heard that correctly. This is BIG, people.  More about that in a moment.

Ok, here we go. Halloween Science!

Experiments With Pumpkins

Ghosts, Bats and Other Spooky Things

Spooky Ingredients

Halloween  Linky Party 

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The Mega Cash Giveaway

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Win one of FOUR $500 cash prizes directly in your paypal account! This giveaway is open internationally. You must be 18+ years old to enter. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please see detailed terms and conditions below the giveaway for more info.

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Learning How to Tell Time

Learning how to tell time comes with practice.  Set up an easy time telling station at kid-eye level. This one is in our kitchen near the stairs. We all walk by it a hundred times a day. It’s been great practice for the kids and an easy way for me to point out times we need to keep track of throughout the day. We are learning how to tell time while we are on the go.

Telling Time Station for learning how to tell time throughout the day 

The clock station can be used in many ways, for all levels of learning how to tell time. Right now, my 5-year-old is learning to tell time by the hour and half-hour while my 8-year-old is learning more precise times.

See the one that says “Screen Time 4:00″? That is the super motivating one in our house right now. 

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What You Will Need

  • Face clock Choose one that is easy to read. I chose this one because it also has the time in 5 to 60 minute increments.

learning how to tell time at home

  • Digital wall clock Battery operated and about the same size as the face clock (these clocks are 10 inches).
  • Moveable teaching clocks. Package of 6. I got these at a local teacher supply store and I wish I could find a link for you, but I haven’t been able to locate one yet. 
  • Laminator  This is optional of course, but this is what makes the moveable teaching clocks have the dry-erase capability so we can work on various times.
  • Circle Punch
    (also optional). I just like the uniform look of a space to write the times underneath the moveable teaching clocks. There are a million uses for the circle punch.
  •  Command Hooks and Strips
    For hanging everything on painted surfaces and not leaving a mark when you remove them. How did we live before Command Strips existed? I truly don’t know. I use these for everything. I used the Velcro Picture Hanging Strips to secure the two big clocks to the wall. Even though they are hung with nails, being at kid level, I thought they may get knocked down so I used the velcro for extra attachment.

learning how to tell time

 

For more hands-on math learning, you may also like:

Follow along on Facebook for more ideas.

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25 Healthy and Easy Homeschool Lunch Ideas


I’m on a mission to make homeschool lunches easier this year. To not have lunch be an afterthought.  To not have the same thing over and over again. To have a list I can pull from for days we are at home and days we are out and about.  To make a healthy lunch every day for my kids. Healthy and easy homeschool lunch ideas. Are you with me? 25 Healthy and Easy Homeschool Lunch Ideas | Creekside Learning

Lunch Ideas for Days When You Are At Home 

These ideas involve some cooking.  These are all main dishes. My kids can grab fresh fruit and/or fresh cut-up veggies (do the cutting once a week and have it ready to go) and a drink.

Quick and Easy Tortellini Meatball Soup | Creekside Learning  

Lunch Ideas for Days When You Are On-The-Go

Of course, these work for at home, too. They just happen to be portable.

  • Chicken salad with leftover roasted or grilled chicken alone or as a sandwich 
  • Lunchmeat and cheese rolled up in a lettuce wrap
  • Cheese and crackers 
  • Stuffed pita pockets with tuna salad

Lunch On The Go | Creekside Learning

  • Freezer smoothies with yogurt, fruit and veggies. Freeze small portions of smoothies. Defrost in fridge or lunch box. 
  • Healthy muffins: Zucchini, carrot, etc. Throw in greens. Freeze them in a big ziplock bag. Ready to go.
  • Homemade uncrustables and freeze them 
  • Bagel and cream cheese
  • Skewer lunches 
  • Hummus with pita bread and raw veggies
  • Hard-boiled eggs alone or in egg-salad sandwiches

 Tips and Tricks

  • Make thing like hard-boiled eggs for lunch while you make breakfast or the night before. 
  • Prep leftovers during dinner clean-up to be ready for lunch the next day. Dice chicken into cubes for chicken salad.
  • Double your dinner so that you have lunch portions to freeze or for the next day.
  • If you cook in batches and freeze dinner items, freeze lunchtime portions, too. Chili, spaghetti sauce, meatballs, soups, pizza dough, etc.
  • If you make meat balls, make mini ones. My kids love these. Every few months, my husband makes homemade meatballs and we make and freeze them. The mini meatballs are the size of large marbles. We throw them in soups, make them for lunch on their own or put them on top of pasta or rice. A quick and easy protein option. 

On The Side

Pair each of the above dishes with:

  • A side of fruit
  • A side of fresh veggies
  • A healthy drink. We’ve recently added Capri Sun 100% Juice and Capri Sun Super V Fruit and Vegetable Juice Drink to our lunch options.  I like that both these products have no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and the kids like that it tastes good. 

 Capri Sun pouches now have a clear bottom. They are available in four varieties:

  • Capri Sun Juice Drink
  • Capri Sun Roarin’ Waters Flavored Water Beverage
  • Capri Sun 100% Juice
  • Capri Sun Super V Fruit and Vegetable Juice Drink

 Capri Sun with clear bottom  For more information, visit the Capri Sun parents page and the Capri Sun Facebook Page.  What quick and healthy lunch does your family enjoy?

Service Project Ideas for Kids ~ Easy Ways to Help Kids Help Others

So simple. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before.  My daughter has been collecting food bank donations each month this summer, but August’s donations were low. How could we get more before our trip to the food bank to drop them off?  We’d already cleaned out our pantry and bought a few items with each weekly grocery trip and asked friends and neighbors for help. 

community service ideas for kids

You see, each time we drop off the donations, the staff and volunteers at the food bank weigh the items. They show you, on the scale, how many pounds of food you just donated. What a concrete way for kids to understand how much they are helping! My daughter loves it. And she set a goal for herself to make that number of pounds go higher each month.

So there we were in August with a few bags of donations, wishing we could give more. And then it hit me:  The dollar store. Stay with me here.

I gave my kids $20 and challenged them to buy the 20 most nutritious items they could find, that were also the best deal for their money.  A snack sized package of crackers or a whole box of pasta?  A package of 3 juice boxes or a big jug of apple juice?  

What about protein sources? They found canned tuna and peanut butter.  What about fruits and vegetables? We didn’t find fruit but we found lots of canned veggies. We found flour and cornbread mix. Cereal and honey. We had a cart full! 

Twenty dollars got us 4 bags of groceries to donate. We had been particularly concerned about donating to the food bank over the summer when donations are at a yearly low and more families are in need because kids who normally get free or reduced-cost breakfast and lunch at school now have to stretch their budget even tighter.

We learned some other really important things from this experience, too.

It only takes giving a few small items to teach your child about the importance of helping others,  to experience what it is like to make a difference.

And this:

One of my biggest challenges with my kids was dispelling the myth that people who need food from the food bank are not dressed in rags with dirty faces and no shoes, like in the movies. People who need food from the food bank look just like us.  

It’s a Daddy who lost his job, and he was the sole breadwinner in his family.  His family lives in a suburban neighborhood much like ours.

It’s our friend who just got divorced and is struggling to raise her two kids on her own.

It’s a family who came from another country where work was scarce and poverty widespread, just like my own great grandparents, and it’s hard to make a life here; To help your family here and try to send money to the ones left at home who continue to face the bleak circumstances you left behind.

It’s a family who manages to get by most of the year, but in the summer, when their kids don’t get breakfast and lunch at school, they can’t quite make it to the next paycheck. Then the car breaks down. And their tight budget is simply stretched too far. 

More Small Ways Kids Can Have a BIG Impact In Their Communities

What touches your child’s heart?  Start there and help them find a way to help others. We chose this activity because it was something my daughter cared about. I got swept up in her enthusiasm.  My oldest child loves dogs, so we found a way for him to volunteer, even at a very young age, with a rescue organization. 

Show kids how to use technology and social media to bring attention to their causes. Just mentioning what your child is doing on Facebook brings awareness to the cause close to their heart. We started an email account for my daughter so she could email family and friends explaining her service project and requesting donations. 

Designate your child’s favorite cause as your charity of choice when you shop on Amazon, using their Smile program. A percentage of proceeds will go to the charity you select. I rotate the charities my kids care about on a monthly basis so each one gets something, and then I make sure to tell my kids, “I bought some books today and some of the money went to the dog rescue.” 

For more unique service project ideas for kids, click here.

 

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Fine Motor Activities ~ Scissor Skills

Preschool and kindergarten work often includes fine motor activities such as scissor skills to strengthen little hands in preparation for writing, manipulating zippers and buttons and so much more. Here’s a fun activity for practicing cutting skills with some really big bang fun at the end.

Fine Motor Activities: Scissor Skills for Preschool and Kindergarten

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When my 5-year-old was getting extremely frustrated with a scissor skills worksheet, I knew we needed to take a step back. Offering him scraps of foam to cut freehand, not having to follow the lines on the worksheet took away the frustration factor.   Foam is very satisfying to cut. He became very intent on cutting the tiniest little pieces, turning the foam and manipulating the scissors. Yes! That’s exactly what I had in mind.

Fine Motor Skills: Working with scissors and foam.

We are using  left-handed scissors . All 3 of my kids are left-handed and when I was working with my middle child on scissor skills, it suddenly dawned on me that maybe her challenge with this activity had to do with using a right-handed scissors with her left hand. My oldest left-handed child actually prefers to use scissors and dribble a ball with his right hand. But once my middle child had a left-handed scissors, her cutting skills were the bomb. 

Left handed scissors for kids.

Once we had a good pile of confetti, we used a funnel to put some inside 3 balloons. We blew up the balloons and then I gave him a pin (with supervision, of course) to pop them. How fun to see this big confetti explosion! Sadly, I did not get a good photo of that but I’m sure you can imagine how delighted he was to do this.

And now I am going to show you an amazing object for cleaning up this big confetti mess, since I often get critical comments on some of my messier kid activities about how MESSY they are (except most of those are not worded so nicely so I delete them). 

Look. It’s called a Vacuum Cleaner. You can buy them on Amazon! I know! Isn’t it awesome? And here is a blurry picture taken with my phone of my child strengthening his gross motor skills by using this amazing invention. Isn’t that great? [end of sarcastic rant]

Don't be afraid of messy learning projects.

Messy Play and Learning Activities: Love Bug vacuuming up confetti NEXT TO our water table which is filled with sand. We are really living on the edge here.

 

For more ideas, messy and not so messy, follow along on Pinterest.

Follow Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning’s board Preschool: Learning is Fun! on Pinterest.

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