You will construct the ultimate marble roller coaster using cardboard, paper, and paper plates. If you don’t have a marble you can use any small ball you may have laying around. Here are some directions and ideas to get you started.
Note: This was shared the Friday before spring break and is meant to take more than one day to complete.
The sun’s out today! Let’s experiment with some bubbles. The recipe on the right is for making bubbles, but is it the best recipe? Try it out and then adjust the numbers. Maybe you’ll find that adding less water or more soap will make bigger bubbles. If you don’t have a bubble wand at home already you can easily make one using things around your house.
First, you will need to find a ball to use. If you have a golf ball that is great, but really any small ball will do. Next, you need to plan out your course. Here are some ideas of the different courses you can make. The last thing you’ll need to do is make a club. You can use cardboard, paper, tape and anything else you find around your house to make your club. Now it’s time to play! After you make your course, challenge your family members to play it as well.
If you had to design your ideal pair of shoes, what color would they be? Would they be hi-tops or low-tops? What designs would be on them? Today’s your chance to design your shoes but with paper. Get out construction paper, printer paper, and cardboard and start building. If you need some ideas, check out Chris Woods’s class as they work on this project.
The days are getting longer and it’s getting warmer. It’s the perfect time to start growing some seeds indoors to move outside in a month or two. Gardening is a great way to relax and allows you to grow your own food. For this challenge all you need are some cups, dirt, and seeds. Most grocery stores sell seeds, but did you know that you can also harvest seeds from your own fridge? This website tells you how to get your own seeds from things like tomatoes and lemons that you probably have in your own home.
Another cloudy, gloomy day. Let’s go sailing! Use a piece of aluminum foil to build a boat. Next, fill up your sink, put your boat in, and see how it floats. You might notice places where your boat is leaking. Now’s the perfect time to make any changes to your design. Last, let’s see how many “passengers” your boat can hold. Find as many coins as you can around your home and slowly add them to your boat. How many coins can your boat hold?
You know what’s fun to do on a rainy day? Make patterns. The awesome people at Public Math have a set of digital coasters that you can use to make your own designs. Check out the project, view their photos, and make a copy of the digital template on their website
Go outside! I doubt your family will let you throw airplanes around the house. Today’s challenge is actually three different ones.
- First, how far can you get your paper airplane to fly?
- Second, how long can you get your paper airplane to stay up in the air?
- Third, how accurate is your paper airplane?
I hope you didn’t put your stuffed animal away from yesterday’s challenge. Today, you are going to build a chair for your toy or stuffed animal to sit in using only paper and tape.
For an extra challenge, can you build a paper chair that will support your own weight?
For this challenge find a toy or stuffed animal in your house. Next, you will need a piece of string, rope, or even two shoelaces tied together. Tie one end to a high point like a stair railing or cabinet handle and the other end to something lower like the back of a chair. Next, use materials around your house (e.g. cups, cardboard, paper) to create a holder that will carry your toy safely down the zipline. For an extra challenge see how fast you can get your toy down the zipline. Having trouble with your design? Check out the PBS Kids Design Squad for some extra help.
Go to musiclab.chromeexperiments.com and select Song Maker. Choose a nursery rhyme (or a popular song) and try to recreate it in the lab. Here is my version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. When you are done, play your song for other people in your home and see if they can guess the rhyme or song.
A rainy day is the perfect excuse to experiment with baking and make the best tasting cookie over. Use the small batch cookie recipe above to make 2-6 cookies. Then, repeat the recipe but change one of the ingredients. What happens when you add more flour? Granulated sugar instead of brown sugar? No baking soda? Only partially melted butter? Chill the dough for 24 hours? What is the perfect cookie recipe for you?
Since it’s going to be a rainy day, try making a stop motion video at home using things from around your house. Download iMotion (iPhone) or Stop Motion Studio (Android). On the right is a quick movie I made using Legos and my iPhone this morning. The apps are easy to use and come with tutorials to teach you how to use them. If you are having trouble thinking of what to make a video of, check out these story starters.
One of my favorite resources are are these frames curated and created by my friend and former colleague, Chris Nho (@nhoskee). I have a classroom set of them laminated in my office and like to take students on a shape safari of the rainforest mural on the first floor of our building. For today's activity, download and print the find the shape frames. Cut out the shapes and then try to find them in your home or during a walk outside. No printer? No problem! You can easily create your own cards with paper, card stock, or cardboard you have laying around the house.