Friday, June 28, 2013

five on friday... summer activities for little ones and FREE printables!

happy friday, friends! it may be 10:00 on friday night when i'm posting this, but as usual - better late than never! :) 

this week's five on friday theme is stars and stripes in honor of our great nation! (side note: can y'all even believe that next week we'll celebrate the 4th of july?! usually i'm all about time slowing down, but being 40 years pregnant in this heat means i'm all for the next 2-3 weeks to zipping on by)

anyway, the activities this week will focus on the fabulous red, white, and blue and the country that we love! as always, the "week" is broken up into five days (assuming there will be an activity for M-F. we take the weekends off ;)) although they do not have to be done in conjunction with one another or completed fully in order for success. you can pick and choose as you please! :)

to see the five on friday activities from week's past, click HERE. (you'll even find a "flag day" unit that will correlate with july 4th this week). 

so many fun activities to do with red, white, and blue themes! 
*if your child is 2+ and learning to use scissors, making a collage is a great way to practice! give them old magazines, cookbooks, newspaper ads, etc and let them cut out pictures of items that are red, white, and/or blue. (hint: it will be much easier if the papers your child is cutting are "loose" - already separated from the book/newspaper)
glue the objects down in a large collage OR sort them by color and glue down on a chart (i.e - three columns: red, white, blue)
*you can sort paper stars, cut out stars from scrapbook paper, clip art, etc. practice sorting by size, color, pattern, texture, etc. you can also have your child use the stars to make their own patterns. feel free to use star stickers as well. 
*practice counting to 50 by counting the stars on the American flag. this is an excellent way to practice one to one correspondence (count each star once and only once) as well as a wonderful opportunity to practice counting by 10's! 

practice (or learn) reciting the pledge of allegiance. discuss the proper etiquette when doing so (hats removed, stand, hand over heart, etc.). learn to sing the star spangled banner. have your own patriotic parade around the house or neighborhood and kick things off with an opening ceremony where your child recites the pledge and everyone sings the national anthem. 

there are quite a few different options for making your own "fireworks" (singing katy perry's song while doing so is completely optional. although my girls cannot hear the word "firework" without breaking into song.)
first, the pipe cleaner fireworks - take three pipe cleaners, line them up, fold them in half, then twist to attach them together. arrange the ends to make an "asterisk" shape. dip in paint and stamp on paper. these were fairly easy for us to do and make a more bold firework. 
second, the straw fireworks - align 3-5 "bendy" straws together and attach them (you can use a pipe cleaner, tape, rubberband, etc). bend the bottom portion of the straws to form an asterisk/firework. 
dip in paint and stamp onto paper. we found that these made a lighter firework. however, if we spun the straws around each time we stamped them on the paper, it made a nice looking final result! 
third, another straw firework option - cut slits in the bottom of a straw and splay out the ends. dip in paint and stamp onto paper. these were fairly easy and made nice looking fireworks, the only "issue" was that they were pretty small in size. 
finally, putting a blob of watered down paint onto a piece of paper and using a straw to blow out the paint to create a firework. this worked, but i would suggest saving it for older children as it can be confusing whether or not they should exhale or inhale into the straw, which could present a small problem. ;) 
although all firework techniques have their own positives and negatives, it really comes down to a personal preference (and in our case, what's readily available in the pantry/craft closet) ;) 

*use cookie cutters as stamps to make stars OR cut out star shapes from sponges to use as stamps. have fun create star collages and designs. 
*film canister rockets: you will need film canisters (you can get these for free from any photo department), paint and star stickers (optional), alka seltzer. decorate the canister like a rocket if you choose. fill it 1/2 way with water. divide an alka seltzer tablet in quarters. place 1/4 in the canister with the water, put the lid on and place upside down (lid down). watch the "rocket" take off! (MAKE SURE YOU ARE OUTDOORS!!) repeat, repeat, repeat. ;) for older children, you can make hypotheses of what they think will happen before you place the alka seltzer in the water. discuss vocabulary words such as predictions, hypothesis, and conclusions.

edible sparklers are a fun (and easy!) treat. simply dip a pretzel rod in white icing (or cream cheese, yogurt, etc). next, dip it into red/blue sprinkles. if you are choose, you could also melt baker's white chocolate, then dip the pretzels - but this would require more work for the adult than the child. either way, you end up with a yummy (and patriotic!) snack!! 
enjoy! :) 
image via

here's this week's five on friday printable schedule:

STARS AND STRIPES (free printable) 

and in case you missed it, here are some FREE fourth of july printables to use as cupcake toppers or any other thing your heart desires.

don't forget, you can click HERE for all of the past five on friday activity posts and FREE printables. 

and nothing says, "TGIF!!" like a little "selfie"  :) 

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