Find ingredients that can add a fun tactile experience and practice measuring them. Beans, sugar, chocolate chips, corn kernels… See what is in your pantry and grab a small sampling! Talk about why it may be easier to measure a cup of dry rice versus a cup of flour that needs to be leveled. Also, how should liquids be measured? What about a sticky substance like peanut butter?
Past the fun of getting messy and touching the ingredients, try working on the basic math behind measuring. Depending on your student's age, you can focus on the simpler measurements. For example: How many quarter-cups can fit into one cup? Or the more complex questions, such as: How many ounces is 15 teaspoons?
Grab O-shaped gummies, cereal and pretzels and let your student craft herself an edible necklace. She can play with patterns and styles while placing the pieces onto strands of cooking twine or other food-safe string. How chic and tasty!
Bring a bit of science into the kitchen with raisins. Grab a clear carbonated beverage, such as citrus soda or seltzer water, and a small handful of raisins. Pour the drink into a clear glass and drop a few raisins in. Your student may be surprised to see what happens! Because of the rough surface, the bubbles from the carbonation are attracted to the raisin, which makes it float. Once it reaches the top of the glass, the bubbles pop, which makes it sink. The process happens again and again!
With a little adult supervision, you can make a potato into a stamp — perfect for craft time! There are several variations of this project, including keeping an end to hold as a handle, but the simplest way is by using cookie cutters and potato slices. Clean and dry the potato, then cut it into slices — thin enough to push a cookie cutter through but thick enough to hold on to the sides of while using it as a stamp. Give your student a variety of cookie cutters and the potato slices you cut, as well as kid-friendly paint and paper, and see what she creates.
While you run the risk of teaching them a bad dinner-table habit, making glasses sing can be loads of fun. Grab your stemware — perhaps not your family heirloom items — and fill the glasses with varying levels of water. Teach your child to dampen her finger and run it around the edge to make a noise. Can she form a song? If she's a little older, you can even research the science behind why this makes noise, as well as Benjamin Franklin's glass armonica, an instrument formed to make the playing of glasses easier.
For more tips and strategies to help your student succeed in school, visit varsitytutors.com.
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