April 2013 - momgineer

Kids bowl free!

We have participated in this wonderful program for the past few summers, and I have just signed us up again. If you haven't signed up before, your kids (ages 3-15) get 2 free games each day all summer long! You will need to rent bowling shoes as that cost isn't included (or you may bring your own if you have them!). This is a great activity on those rainy summer days or even the oppressively hot days; we hang out in the cool AC and still get our energy out!

Be sure to check the map for the closest bowling alley. I usually sign up for the family pass too so we can all bowl if we go on a weekend (you can save 10% with code DARIN10 at checkout). If your kids like math like mine do, bring some bowling score sheets for math practice!
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

QR code scavenger hunt

We recently borrowed this Max and Ruby book from our library, much to the delight of my recently-turned 5 year old:

Both H&F loved the idea of having a scavenger/treasure hunt so much that I made several for them this past weekend, but H's favorite by far was when I made clues using QR codes! This site creates QR codes for free. You just have to enter your text! Of course, you need a smart phone or tablet to do a hunt this way (install a free barcode reading app), but I think many of us have one or both these days! In any case, this was a lot of fun to create. What is even better, is that you can do this for pre-readers as well.

Here is one of the simple clues I made for the hunt (guess which of our Montessori map puzzles the clue was hiding in!):

What a fun way to give a tech makeover to a timeless game!

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Earth tri-hexaflexagons!

I love flexagons! They are very satisfying for fidgeters and bring the curiosity out of any kid! I hope you enjoy this one. Print it out (2 flexagons per sheet), color it, and then cut it out (click on the image, then right click-->View Image. You should be able to view/print full size). Do something a little different for your Earth Day crafts this year!
  1. Fold along the vertical axis and glue the uncolored sides together. 
  2. Wait for the glue to dry for a few minutes, then crease back and forth along each solid straight line.
  3. Fold back 2 triangles at a time to make the earth picture show.
  4. Put glue on one of the star flaps and then glue the two stars together.
  5. Start flexing! One way I explain how to fold it: “Fold together
    every other triangle.” After a few flexes it become much easier
    to do. You can go both “forward” and “backward” making the
    trees point in or out, and making the earth/flower or having the
    earth/flower pieces pointed to the outside.

For more Earth Day activities, including a life cycle hexaflexagon, please visit my TpT store for my Earth Helpers unit:


momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

earth day pointillism

I recently posted about exploring pointillism with rainbows, and with Earth Day coming soon I thought I would share. Print out a line drawing of earth here, dip a new pencil eraser into various shades of green and blue paint, there is our beautiful blue planet!

This would be even prettier cut out and mounted on black paper.

I have included this project as part of my Earth Helpers unit, great for Earth Day or any time you are looking for activities to celebrate our planet:


This resource also includes a fun tri-hexaflexagon activity I know your kids will love! You can read more about it by clicking the image below:


momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Lucky me!

I've been featured over at Mrs. Mathis Homeroom! Check out Renee's blog and her new Monday Math Game feature; she will be featuring math games from wonderful teachers each week!

Mrs. Mathis' Homeroom

Renee has a FREEBIES page as well, with resources in both English and French! Merci, Renee! For other math resources, click on the "math" label in the sidebar. Enjoy!
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

spring has sprung!

Nearly all of the snow is gone. We had a great winter, full of sledding, shoveling, and snowmen. I am so glad spring is upon us, though, because that means that garden fruit and vegetables will be here soon! Yesterday we sowed the first of the golden yellow snow peas as well as spinach and strawberry spinach. Inside, I have some tomatoes, tomatillos, and herbs started, and greens for munching on while we wait for spring to really kick in. This is what the yellow peas looked like last year:

It will be awhile before we are tasting their delightfully sweet crunch, but in the meantime we have plenty to do! Before dropping in seeds, we needed to till under the overwintering cover crop, rye:

I have planted hairy vetch as well but it didn't thrive like the rye did. We added compost as well. You can see the compost bins in the background here:

Above you can see where we cleaned up the blueberry patch. The kids fed and watered them. They helped feed our shrubs and bulbs out front as well as move compost around. I am so glad they know where so much of their food comes from and that we have the space to have a fairly extensive garden. We get to observe the life cycle of plants from seed to fruit, and then save the seeds again for the next year. We also get to watch the compost break down food scraps we can't use. I hope that when H&F grow up, they will have gardens to share with their own children.

It sure felt hot after so many hours of yard work, so I brought the kids out a treat:

Each year I try to grow something new and take a break from something else I've grown before. There will always be lots of herb; this year I am adding lime basil to the mix. In addition, I'll have the usual oregano, lemon basil, sweet basil, mint, thyme, sage, rosemary, lemon balm, dill, and possibly marjoram. I am growing strawberry spinach for the first time this year and ordered a new winter squash as well. Hopefully the squash vine borers will find someone else's garden to attack this year, but if not, I will have to deal with them as well. There will be June, yellow, and everbearing strawberries, tomatoes and tomatillos in many, many varieties, summer and winter squash, greens, radishes, and maybe brassicas again. I split the rhubarb off yesterday so hopefully that will grow happily. I am not going to grow beans or corn this year, and might skip carrots and parsnips as well. What will be growing in your garden?
momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Game Review: 10 Days in the USA

I wanted to share this geography game, 10 Days in the USA, even though it is a little on the challenging side for my kids (ages 5&6). What a great way to explore US geography! We have played this game in teams (1 grownup, 1 kid) and I love the strategy involved. I think we will be using this game in our homeschool classroom for years to come! You basically need to plan out a trip that uses 10 of the playing cards. You can travel by foot (bordering state), car (two states away), or airplane (fly to a state of the same color). There are also games for Europe, Asia, and Africa. I hope we eventually acquire all of them as I can always use geography refreshers as well!

Excuse the phone picture. Playing with their grandparents!

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!