learning Archives - A Crafty Spoonful

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace

This DIY nebula in a jar necklace tutorial is a fun and easy way to get your daughter involved in STEM based crafts. 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace Tutorial

We’re pretty big on STEM learning here. With a passion for sharing the love of science, technology, engineering, and math with our kids, we’re always trying to figure out how to incorporate STEM activities in our daily lives. 

This craft was great for STEM learning because it opened up the doors of communication with my kids about space, stars, and constellations. Not only did we talk about where stars came from (nebulas – which lead to a whole other conversation about the birds and the bees) but we waited until dark to count the stars and find constellations. We also talked about the full moon and moon cycles since we just had a full moon. Let’s make some nebula in a jar necklaces!


DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace with stopper

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace

What you’ll need: 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace supplies

What you do: 

1. Cut cotton balls into small strips and set aside. 

2. Add water to the jar, about 1/3 of the way up. 

3. Using the small stick, add a few drops of one color paint to the jar then add some cotton ball pieces to fill up 1/2 of the jar. 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace - use a syringe to add water DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace - use a stick to add paint and cotton ball

4. Sprinkle some glitter into the jar. 

5. Add a few drops of the contrasting color paint and some more cotton. 

6. Fill with water but not to the top. Leave room for the stopper. 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace close up DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace add glitter DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace glue stopper to bottle

7. Grab the glue and the stopper with eyelet. Add a dab of glue to the eyelet and screw into stopper. 

8. Add glue to stopper making sure to cover all around the bottom 1/2 of the stopper that will be touching the jar when inserted in. 

9. Place the stopper in the jar and let dry for 24 hours. 

10. Add jar to necklace cord and put on! 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace craft

How do you promote STEM learning with your daughter? 

DIY Nebula in a Jar Necklace

Interested in more science-based crafts and activities? Check out these fun projects: 

For Preschoolers:
DIY Bouncing Ball Craft

DIY Bouncing Balls

For School Agers:

How to Inflate A Balloon Using Science

How To Inflate A Balloon Using Science

For Older Kids:
How To Make A Glass Vase Out Of A Coke Bottle with roses

How To Make A Vase Out Of A Glass Bottle

This article first appeared on A Crafty Spoonful on July 22nd, 2016. 

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine: Math For Screen Time

Today we’re sharing how we incorporate STEM into our daily routine. With help from Post-it® Brand, this sponsored post features how we use Post-it® Products to help our son with STEM learning.

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine Math For Screen Time

As we’re prepping our son for back to school, I wanted to make sure that he didn’t have a summer slump over break. We’ve been working on the curriculum he was learning at the end of the school year through his summer vacation so that doesn’t happen.

At the last PTG meeting I attended, we learned that a STEM curriculum would be added into the coursework for the new school year for all grades. Since my son thrives on those subjects this was music to my ears. And since he has an engineer for a father and a mother who loves math and science, we were hoping a little of that interest would rub off on our children.

But even though he loves math, science, and engineering, he seems to be using a lot more technology than the other three STEM subjects. He’s found Minecraft and it’s sucked him in.

It is important for parents to understand their child’s learning style and adapt STEM  study techniques to that learning style. Our son is a visual learner, so it is helpful for him to see information to absorb and understand it. In an effort to still make math fun, we’ve come up with some unique ways for him to earn more screen time and learn other STEM subjects.

Here’s what we did.

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine Math For Screen Time on Post its

Visual STEM Learning Project: Math For Screen Time

What you’ll need:

  • Post-it® Super Sticky Notes from the World of Color, Rio de Janeiro collection
  • Post-it® Flags from the World of Color, Rio de Janeiro collection
  • Pens or Permanent markers

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine - Post it products

What you do: 

1. Using the Post-it® Super Sticky Notes from the World of Color, Rio de Janeiro

collection, use one color for each part of the equation.

2. Leave the answer Post-it® Super Sticky Note blank to let your child fill in the answer.

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine - addition

3. On each of the colored numbers, use the Post-it® Flags and attach the same color to each of the numbered Post-it® Super Sticky Notes.

4. Have your child complete the equation.

One answered question equals 5 minutes of screen time. Please add or subtract minutes as you see fit.

Incorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine - Post it flagsIncorporating STEM Into Our Daily Routine Math For Screen Time practice

By creating a simple visual for my son to see the numbers on the Post-it® Super Sticky Notes AND see the Post-it® Flags on each number, he is learning quicker than simply seeing an equation on a piece of paper. In a study conducted by Post-it® Brand, results showed that 86% of parents think the best way for their students to learn STEM-subjects is through visual learning, like reading or seeing pictures. And I believe it!

We’ve been able to switch around the equations each day by rearranging the Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, and add numbers in to mix things up. Next on our list is to enroll him in a Minecraft programming class. Since he’s become so interested, we’re finding more ways to increase his interest in STEM subjects.

Before long, I may need to start taking classes at the local community college to keep up so I can help him with his homework!

How do you inspire your children to be more interested in STEM-related activities?

Find out more great ways to inspire your kids to jump into STEM curriculum with the help of Post-it® Brand by following them on Twitter and Instagram, visiting them on Facebook, or pinning a few of their ideas on Pinterest.

How To Keep Your Child Focused Through Free Play

How To Keep Your Child Focused Through Free Play

Over the past few years I’ve watched my children engage in free play just about every day. And I see their minds working and the wheels spinning. I love seeing them play and seeing how different each of them are when they play. From a son who talks and acts out scenes from his imagination out loud, to a daughter who quietly plays until other kids join in.

When you send your child off to “play” you are probably not aware of what you’re doing for their minds. A child who is involved in free play is building their brain power tremendously. Free play is more essential to a child than any adult could ever know. You can actually keep your child focused on learning through free play.

How To Keep Your Child Focused Through Free Play - imaginative play

Here are five ways to keep your child focus through “free play.”

How To Keep Your Child Focused Through Free Play

#1. Dress Up

Reading is one way to keep your child focused and to help them develop their imagination. However, dress up is one way you can keep a child focused through free play and also feed their imagination. Children love to dress up like princesses, super heroes, and so on. You can get involved by helping your child create a living room fort or an outside bunker. You may think you’re only getting your child to stay busy for a little while, but you’re actually helping them learn and focus!

#2. Puzzles & Music

Not everyone sees music and puzzles as a “play” activity, but it can do so much for your child’s mind. The great thing about puzzles is that a child can start putting these together at a young age. Playing music can also help a child stay focused and can also help build their brain power. Puzzles and music playing gives their brain a break from electronics and let’s them center in on just “playing.”

#3.Heading to the Park

Your kids probably get incredibly excited to go to the park and they should. Running, jumping, and playing are all ways to help keep your child focused through free play. If you don’t have a park nearby, consider creating an obstacle course in your backyard. Your child’s body needs this time to release stress, get exercise, and just be a kid (not to mention heading to the park also helps your child F-O-C-U-S).

#4. Make Believe

Did you know playing make believe is an excellent way to keep your child focused through free play? Make believe is awesome because your child can pretend to be or do anything they want. There are no rules when it comes to make believe either. A child can stay focused through playing make believe because their brains are processing, dreaming, and imagining. Make believe is something a child should be allowed because but they’re learning so much in the process.

#5. Play Dates

You may not understand the true value a play date has on your child. When playing with other children, they are accelerating physically, emotionally, and socially. Let your child have a say in whom and what they play with. Children can gain confidence and learn how to focus on one activity at a time through the free play at play dates.

All of the aforementioned activities can help your child learn how to focus. Free play is something natural your child can do without a terrible amount of initiation. If your child struggles to focus on anything, try out some of these activities.

Do you see your children growing and learning through free play?

How to Help Your Preschooler Learn The Alphabet

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How to Help Your Preschooler Learn The Alphabet

One of the biggest things we’re working on right now with our kids is learning the alphabet. From their curriculum at preschool to what is done at home, we’re always thinking of how to help your preschooler learn the alphabet.

Since my son is entering kindergarten in the Fall I want to make sure that he has every opportunity to explore the alphabet and get a head start on what he’ll be learning in the classroom.

I also need to make sure I’m making it fun for him too. Because if he isn’t interested, he isn’t going to participate at all!  [Read more…]

10 Best iPad Apps for Preschoolers

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10 best ipad apps for preschoolers

When my husband got his iPad for Christmas last year he had no idea that it would soon be commandeered by our two children. So this year when thinking of things to ask for from Santa, he thought it’d be awesome if Santa just brought the kids their own iPad mini. Problem solved!

Since the kids opened up their new iPad I’ve been on the hunt for great apps to load for them. Here is a list of the 10 best iPad apps for preschoolers that we’ve found and enjoyed over the past few weeks!

You’ll notice that quite a few of them are from PBS Kids. Since my kids love their programming, they also are much more interested in apps that include their favorite show’s characters. Plus, quite a few PBS Kids apps are free or low cost! And you can always catch up on your PBS Kids shows by downloading the PBS Kids app. [Read more…]

Learn the ABCs with this Free Alphabet Worksheet for Preschoolers + Printables

Free Alphabet Worksheet for Preschoolers

My daughter is obsessed with letters and spelling right now. She might only be two but she’s constantly asking me how to spell names of people, places, and things. So I figured I’d start going through the alphabet with her and to make it fun I’ve made this Alphabet Worksheet for Preschoolers that we can work through as she asks about different letters.

Today we started with the letter A.

Each week we’ll go through each of the letters and depending on her interest in each letter we’ll do a different activity. I’ve listed a few great ideas on how to use these worksheets below. You can also click on the image below to save and print your own worksheet! [Read more…]



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