Wednesday, August 7, 2013

5 Days of Learning with Unit Studies - Hands on Activities


Glad to have you joining me again!  We have already picked our unit study topic and collected books to read.  We have also looked at some ways for our kids to document and display their work with lapbooking and notebooking.

Now, let's get talking about hands on activities.  Most kids love hands on activities, it's the fun stuff!  Kids seem to learn best, and retain more, the things that they can experience with their senses.

Here are some hands on activities that we do around here:

Play games - just today we played Made for Trade.  Little did they know we were having a history lesson. I am sneaky like that {wink, wink!}.  Games are also great for learning phonics sounds and memorizing math facts.  Last week, the boys and I played Phonics Go Fish, they had a great time while they were practicing their sounds. 

Cooking - this year along with our state studies we are trying to make at least one thing from each state.  For instance, for Maine we made a homemade blueberry pie, with homemade crust.  This week we are studying Pennsylvania and I plan on letting them make homemade pretzels.  We have been using Eat Your Way Through the USA and The United States Cookbook: Fabulous Foods and Fascinating Facts From All 50 States.
Building - at one time or another we have used Legos, Lincoln Logs, K'Nex, magnets, card board brick blocks, Tinker Toys, Popsicle Sticks, tooth picks, Play dough, and Salt dough to build and sculpt things we are learning.  When we studied the human body, the kids made a very cool skeleton out of tinker toys.  They have built forts and cities that we have studied.  

Dramatizing -  My kids love this one! They love to dress up and come up with skits and songs about things we are learning. 

I remember last spring when we were studying horses, the kids were asked to pick a horse, study it and do a presentation.  Well, they ran with the idea and did a whole cowboy show for the Hubs and I.  They had a grand ol' time and they learned a ton! 

Create Something - this can be a drawing, a diorama, a collage, a project or poster board.  Even an art or craft project that goes along with what you are studying. 

Back to the horse study I mentioned. I helped each child draw their breed of horse on a large piece of poster board, they colored it, labeled the body parts and gave us 3 facts about their horse.

Models & Kits - There are tons of great kits out their to make learning hands on and fun!  Like Snap Circuits for instance, we got these for the kids for the holiday and they still love them!  My only regret is not getting the larger kit.  

We have even done paper models.  We did this one of a Medieval Castle when we studied the Middle Ages, and I plan to do this
American Fort Model soon.

Experiments - is there a science experience that would go along with your study?  When we get to our study of the American Revolution I know that we are going to be learning about Ben Franklin.  A quick google search leads me to several experiments and games that the kids can do, like The Lemon Battery. 

We also have several of the Magic School Bus Science Kits & Young Scientist Club Kits that the kids love.  You could actually pick a science kit and do a unit study around it. 

As you can see there are lots of ways to kids to learn that don't involve a textbook or a worksheet.  I have found that hands on activities work very well when they compliment a book we are reading or a topic we are studying. 

Are there any other hands on activities that you could add to my list?  If so, I'd love to hear them.  

Don't forget to head over the check out what the other 89 TOS Crew members are talking about.  

Summer Blog Hop

Please note that I have included several Amazon affiliate links in this post.  If you like the things that I have suggested in this post, and you purchase them through my link I will receive a small compensation.  Thanks!



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