Standard Deviants Accelerate: Holidays

Pot of Gold Craft for St. Patrick’s Day

Pot of Gold - Rainbow Twirler Craft for St. Patrick's Day from Standard Deviants Accelerate

Alright, here is a fun craft that is great for the coming of spring as well as St. Patrick’s Day! With a colorful rainbow, a fun twisty twirly motion, and a pot of gold at the end!

Pot of Gold Craft for St. Patrick’s Day

Supplies:

  • Plain white paper plate
  • Paint in a rainbow of colors (you could also use markers or crayons)
  • Black and yellow construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • String or yarn

Directions:

  1. Start by having your child paint (or crayon, or marker) rainbow stripes across the front of the paper plate.
  2. If using paint let it dry. (A hairdryer or fan are great ways to speed up the drying process.)
  3. Flip over and repeat step one on the back of the paper plate.
  4. Once both sides are colored and dry, take scissors and starting at the outside edge of the plate, cut spirals.
  5. Cut out a black pot of gold and glue it to the end of the spiraled plate. Glue some yellow circles on to the front of the black pot for the gold.
  6. Poke a hole in the top of the spiral (the opposite end of the pot of gold) and insert a string for hanging!

More St. Patrick’s Day Fun:

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10 Leprechaun Books for St. Patrick’s Day

10 Leprechaun Books for St. Patrick's Day from Standard Deviants Accelerate

While leprechauns might not be the center or reason for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, they are certainly a front and center icon for this holiday. Kids delight in the little impish creatures and their antics. Here is a list of leprechaun books to delight kids of all ages!

10 Leprechaun Books for St. Patrick’s Day

1. How to Catch a LeprechaunYou’ve been planning night and day, and finally you’ve created the perfect trap! Now all you need to do is wait. Is this the year you’ll finally catch the leprechaun? Parents and children will love starting a new St. Patrick’s Day tradition with this engaging and entertaining book!

2. The Night Before St. Patrick’s DayNatasha Wing puts an Irish twist on a Christmas classic. It’s the night before St. Patrick’s Day, and Tim and Maureen are wide awake setting traps to catch a leprechaun! When they wake the next morning to the sound of their dad playing the bagpipes and the smell of their mom cooking green eggs, they’re shocked to find that they’ve actually caught a leprechaun. But will they be able to find his pot of gold? 

3. That’s What Leprechauns DoWhat do leprechauns do? They bury a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, of course. But as Mrs. Bally Bunion’s ox, Miss Maude Murphy’s hen, and Old Jamie soon find out, they can’t resist having a little fun along the way. For, besides burying pots of gold, mischief is what leprechauns do!

4. Jack and the LeprechaunIt’s St. Patrick’s Day, and Jack Mouse is visiting his cousin Sean in Ireland. Sean tells Jack about the myth of leprechauns, and Jack is determined to catch one for himself! Children will delight in learning about Irish folk tales and traditions and the customs of St. Patrick’s Day

5. 10 Lucky LeprechaunsCount from one to ten as one little leprechaun looking for treasure magically becomes ten silly leprechaun friends at the end of the rainbow! A humorous, rhyming celebration of St. Patrick’s Day!

6. The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever!Share in this leprechaun family’s charming St. Patrick’s Day celebration, complete with a fun parade and an Irish feast!

“The St. Patrick’s Day parade is off to a very fine start.
The Leprechaun family is marching with lots of heart!
Share in their dancing, share in their fun.
You’ll have the luck of the Irish when this day is done!”

7. The Leprechaun’s GoldIn this classic Irish legend, two harpists — merry-hearted Old Pat and ill-spirited Young Tom — set off for a contest to name the finest harpist in all of Ireland. When Young Tom realizes that Old Pat is truly the better musician, he schemes to be the winner — but he doesn’t reckon with the clever trickery of a mischievous little leprechaun.

8. Clever Tom and the LeprechaunThis picture book version of “The Field of Boliauns,” found in several fairy tale collections, is retold simply and effectively by the author/illustrator of Momotaro the Peach Boy. The story concerns Tom, who traps a leprechaun into telling him where his pot of gold is buried under a bush in a field full of yellow-flowered weeds (the boliauns).

9. Too Many LeprechaunsOn St. Patrick’s Day, leprechauns are lucky. But on every other day of the year, they make for noisy neighbors — and they’re turning the entire town of Dingle upside down! Fortunately, Finn O’Finnegan always has a clever plan brewing, and this time, with a little luck of the Irish, it’s a scheme that just might fool even the cleverest of creatures.

10. The Leprechaun Trap: A Family Tradition For Saint Patrick’s DayA children’s book that tells the story of the naughty Leprechaun that comes to visit an Irish-American family every Saint Patrick’s Day and the damage he causes when the children try to trap him and get his gold. 

Other St. Patrick’s Day Fun

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10 Must Read Dr. Seuss Books

10 Must Read Dr. Seuss Books from Standard Deviants Accelerate

On March 2nd we celebrate the birth of Dr. Seuss. While he isn’t a great American hero he is a great American author. Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel and is  best known for authoring popular children’s books under the pen name Dr. Seuss. From board books for littles, rhyming, colors, mischief and more, Dr. Seuss is a household name.

In honor of Dr. Seuss, here is a list of must read Deuss books. Some very well know, and others possibly not so much, but all worth the time to read and share with the littles in your life!

10 Must Read Dr. Seuss Books

The Cat in the HatPoor Dick and Sally. It’s cold and wet and they’re stuck in the house with nothing to do . . . until a giant cat in a hat shows up, transforming the dull day into a madcap adventure and almost wrecking the place in the process!

Green Eggs and Ham“Do you like green eggs and ham?” asks Sam-I-am in this Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss. In a house or with a mouse? In a boat or with a goat? On a train or in a tree? Sam keeps asking persistently. With unmistakable characters and signature rhymes, Dr. Seuss’s beloved favorite has cemented its place as a children’s classic. In this most famous of cumulative tales, the list of places to enjoy green eggs and ham, and friends to enjoy them with, gets longer and longer. Follow Sam-I-am as he insists that this unusual treat is indeed a delectable snack to be savored everywhere and in every way. 

The Lorax“Unless someone like you…cares a whole awful lot…nothing is going to get better…It’s not.” Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty. 

Hop on PopLoved by generations, this “simplest Seuss for youngest use” is a Beginner Book classic. See Red and Ned and Ted and Ed in a bed. And giggle as Pat sits on a hat and on a cat and on a bat . . . but a cactus? Pat must NOT sit on that! 

Horton Hears a Who!Horton is back! After his first appearance in Horton Hatches the Egg, everyone’s favorite elephant returns in this timeless, moving, and comical classic in which we discover that “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” Thanks to the irrepressible rhymes and eye-catching illustrations, young readers will learn kindness and perseverance from the very determined and very endearing Horton the elephant.

The Foot Book – This is a classic to-tapping Seuss book for toddlers about opposites. “Left foot, left foot, left foot, right, feet in the morning, feet at night.”

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?Hears an introduction for babies to the wonderful mishmash world of sounds. Listen to the cow’s moo, the frying eggs’ sizzle, and the thunder’s boom boom boom. There are plenty of noises for everyone!

My Many Colored Days - WithSteve Johnson and Lou Fancher whose stunning, expressive paintings reveal such striking images as a bright red horse kicking its heels, a cool and quiet green fish, a sad and lonely purple dinosaur, and an angrily howling black wolf. Using a spectrum of vibrant colors and a menagerie of animals, this unique book does for the range of human moods and emotions what Oh, the Places You’ll Go! does for the human life cycle. Here is a wonderful way for parents to talk with children about their feelings.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” No holiday season is complete without the Grinch, Max, Cindy-Lou, and all the residents of Who-ville, in this heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit on even the smallest and coldest of hearts. 

Go, Dog. Go! From big dogs and little dogs to red, green, and blue dogs, dogs going up and dogs going fast . . . who knew dogs were so busy? And laughter will ensue at the repeated question “Do you like my hat?”

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Why We Celebrate Presidents Day {Includes Activities}

Why We Celebrate Presidents Day {Includes Activities} from Standard Deviants Accelerate

George Washington’s Birthday, also known as Presidents’ Day, is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of February. The day honors presidents of the United States, including George Washington, the USA’s first president.

About Presidents Day

George Washington was the first president of the United States of America. He served two terms as president: 1789-1793 and 1793-1797. Before becoming president, he played an important role in the military, leading the American Continental Army to victory over the British in 1783. Washington is often seen as the father of the United States.

The likeness and name of George Washington can be seen in many places in the United States. There is the portrait of him and three other American presidents (Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt) carved into Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. His image is also used on the one-dollar bill and the quarter-dollar coin. Many places are named after him as well like the capital of the United States, Washington D.C., Washington State and at least three universities.

Washington’s Birthday was first celebrated as a holiday in the District of Columbia in 1880. and was made a federal holiday in 1885. The holiday was originally held on the anniversary of George Washington’s birth, on February 22. In 1971, this holiday was moved to the third Monday in February.

Presidents Day Activities

1. Learn About Our National Currency – Take a look at our coins and paper bills. Can you identify the figures on each one? Are they all presidents? What significance did each person have that might have earned them their place on our currency?

2. Make A Presidents Day Book – Print out coloring sheet head shots of all the presidents (or pick a few major ones you would like to cover). Have your kids color the photos and then write some major facts about each president on the back.

3. Do a President Scavenger Hunt – Use the Internet to find places and things in the United States that are named after our presidents.

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Crayon Heart Valentine

Crayon Heart Valentine from Standard Deviants Accelerate

One of the most fun things about Valentine’s Day is making and receiving Valentine’s from your friends. Throughout the years my kids have participated in many fun Valentine exchanges. The ones they have loved the most are the homemade ones. There is always so much creativity and fun in them!

Crayon Heart Valentine

I have collected a large bag of stray crayons over the past year. They have been sitting in the cupboard just waiting for a project to use them in. Well, this is the project for stray crayon usage!

What You Will Need:

  • Silicone heart mold
  • Baking Sheet
  • Crayons

Directions:

  1. Place mold on baking sheet. This allows for a rigid surface and easy transport in and out of the over.
  2. Sort the crayons by colors that go together. For example: pink/purple, blue/purple, blue/green, yellow/green, orange/yellow, etc.
  3. Peel the paper off the crayons and break them into small pieces.
  4. Put the pieces into the heart mold.
  5. Bake at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes (or until the crayons are completely melted)
  6. Remove from oven and cool until they are hard and cool all the way through.
  7. Remove the crayons from the mold by pushing them out from the bottom.

You can also create paper cards to glue the hearts onto that say things like:

  • Hoping Your Heart Day is Colorful!
  • Color Your Heart Out!
  • Have a Colorful Valentin’es Day
  • For “Crayon” Out Loud, Won’t You Be My Valentine?
  • You Color My World
  • You Make My Heart Melt

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Ways to Get Back to Homeschool After a Holiday

Ways to Get Back to Homeschool After a Holiday from Standard Deviants Accelerate

One of the things I have always found to be difficult, from the first year I started homeschooling until now, is getting back to homeschool after a holiday break. It is especially difficult to get going again after Christmas because we take 3 weeks off.

Ways to Get Back to Homeschool After a Holiday

With all the years experience I have with this, the common thing I have found is that there isn’t one tried and true method that will always work, and work for everyone. Our kids vary in ages, we are at different stages and different places in life so it is not always the same things the works for me each year, or that will work for you.

Instead I can tell you some things we have tried. Each of these we have found success with, but may have also failed for us at one point in time. By having more tricks in your bag, you will be more equipped to change tactics if you find something isn’t working.

1. Jump in with two feet

I have found that starting in full throttle and super rigid can be a good method because it is like a shock to the system. The drastic change from super fun and easy, lazy sleepy mornings to back in to the swing can help provide the obvious transition and boundaries that are needed after a break.

2. Ease in slowly

This is something we often roll out at the beginning of a new year after our extended summer break. This can make for a more easy and smooth transition, but it can also drag out the inevitable. Using this methods means we will start in with a couple of subjects at first, and wait for the others until maybe the following week. It allows us the time to roll out of the more lenient schedule and into the swing of things again.

3.  Bite Sized Amounts

You can try doing a day or two on and a day or two off. Do a full day on Monday and then take Tuesday off. For me the big problem with this was scheduling. If you have programs that run on a 4 or 5 day week then doing this can mess this rhythm up. A way around this is to take the first week of work after a break and spread it out over 2 weeks.

4. Offer incentives

The kids can often feel like sludge after an extended break. One of the ways I get them moving again is by offering incentives. After Christmas is a great time to do this because they have new toys and things. You can offer up extra play time for children who are well focused and working hard on their school work.

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How Homeschooling Enhances Our Holiday

How Homeschooling Enhances Our Holiday from Standard Deviants Accelerate

I have to say that homeschooling has just plain enriched our lives. The time to spend as a family, the flexible schedule, the freedom to chose what we focus on and how, are just a few of the reasons it has been so wonderful for us.

How Homeschooling Enhances Our Holiday

Beyond all the aforementioned reasons, I would like to talk a little more specifically about how homeschooling enhances our holiday season.

1. It affords us time.

Homeschooling means we can be flexible with our time. We can plan for a longer holiday break. This is true for anything really. For example, for years we have planned and taken 2-3 weeks off in the spring to travel to warmer weather.

2. Topic Flexibility

During the holidays we can alter our studies to reflect the holiday. Especially when my kids were younger we would include tons of holiday books, stories, crafts, movies, etc into our homeschool plans.

3. Gift Making

Because we have the time we have been able to make lots of homemade gifts throughout the years without it becoming an added stress or burden. All of our kids have enjoyed researching and choosing gifts to make for friends, family, and coaches.

4. Holiday Parties & Celebrations

I used to school right up until Christmas week and it left us feeling as though we missed the holiday fun. Now we take extra time so that we can fully enjoy each and every holiday party and activity without feeling stressed about the work that needs to get done.

5. Baking

Baking always took a back burner as between our schooling and our busy evening sports schedules there wasn’t much time. Baking has been a part of the holiday we have been able to enjoy so much more as a family because we are home together during the day and can do the baking then.

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How To Have A Merry Christmas On A Budget

How to Have a Merry Christmas on a Budget from Standard Deviants Accelerate

This time of year is known for just as much stress as cheer. With family gatherings, parties, gifts for co-workers, classmates, and family to buy, we can all feel the stress of a tight budget. The thing is, with a little extra effort you can have a truly special and Merry Christmas On A Budget. With some smart shopping, a little crafting, and some smiles for all, it is easier than you think to stretch your holiday dollars!

How To Have A Merry Christmas On A Budget

1. First and foremost remember it is about the spirit, not the dollar amount.

We can easily get caught up in expensive gifts and filling the tree with mounds of them. But the truth is that isn’t necessary to make the season bright. If we lose sight of what Christmas means to us, weather that be about Jesus, or Santa, family and friends, giving, or maybe it is Hanukkah and not Christmas, then it doesn’t matter how much we spend, the season won’t be nearly as merry.

2. Try the 4 Christmas Gift Challenge

There is a simple little guide that has been floating around the Internet this holiday season (and I am sure many seasons before this too). The concept is to keep the Christmas gifts to just 4 items.

  1. Something they want
  2. Something they need
  3. Something to wear
  4. Something to read

This will help you spend less, and focus more on gratitude and the spirit of the holiday season.

3. Buy Used

I can’t begin to tell you how much more my children have been able to have simply because we don’t always purchase everything brand new. Shop thrift stores or look on your local Craigslist site to find some of those bigger want items at a much more reasonable cost.

4. Decorate

Decorating the house is one of the most loved traditions in our house. We each have our favorite decorations. Putting up the tree and reminiscing over where each of the ornaments came from is always a fun and special family time.

To add holiday decorations on a budget shop after the holiday season. Every year we save a little money to shop after Christmas for things like wrapping paper, lights and holiday decorations at a significant discount.

5. DIY Projects

From decorations to gifts you can save a lot of money, make lasting memories, and create awesome stuff in the process!

Making homemade gifts is something all of my kids have enjoyed each and every year. They make gifts for coaches, friends, and family members. We have multiple ornaments hanging on our tree that hold many precious memories of Christmas in the past.

You can often find many things to craft with at the Dollar Store and thrift stores. This makes it easy on the budget and big on the heart.

6. Create Traditions

You can spend little to no money to have wonderful holiday traditions that mean the world to you and your family. Every year we cut down our tree instead of buying a pre-cut tree. It is cheaper and we have many stories from those trips. We also make cookies with friends. Having more people pitch in supplies lessons the load on the budget, it offers a great activity to do together, and creates something tasty in the process!

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Button Wreath Ornament Craft

Button Wreath Ornament Craft from Standard Deviants Accelerate

Throughout all the years I have spent with my children, one of the many things we have always done is to make things at Christmastime. Homemade gifts, decorations, and ornaments are always fun to make and create a very personal and meaningful touch to the holiday.

Button Wreath Ornament Craft

What I love about this craft is that even younger kids can participate using slight variations. You can make these big or small and in any colors you choose! It makes each one unique!

Supplies

  • buttons in any colors you choose (for younger kids you can use bigger buttons that have larger holes)
  • crafting wire or pipe cleaners (Depending on the size of your buttons and the age of the kids you can use a variety of things to string the buttons together.)
  • ribbon
  • scissors

Directions

  1. Make a small loop at one end of the wire or pipe cleaner.
  2. Thread the buttons onto the wire or pipe cleaner until you have enough to form the size of the wreath you want.  (9 inch lengths of wire or pipe cleaners make nice sized ornaments.)
  3. Bend the plain end of the wire or pipe cleaner around the looped end. This will form the wreath.
  4.  Use the ribbon to make a loop for hanging the wreath; tie the ribbon in a knot about 3 inches above the wreath.
  5.  Tie a bow from a separate piece of ribbon  to decorate the wreath.

You can easily choose to do these in Christmas colors like red, white, green, gold, silver, etc. or make fun and funky ones with any colors you choose. My kids like to make ones of the colors of favorite NFL teams or the colors of the sports teams they play for. As gifts they might make a Christmas themed one or one that incorporates the favorite colors of the person receiving it as a gift.

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Classic Christmas Stories for Kids

Classic Christmas Stories for Kids from Standard Deviants Accelerate

Is it at this time of year when family traditions abound. We dig out the hot chocolate and snuggle up on the couch while watching the snow fall. We also have a large collection of Christmas books and movies to keep us entertained when it is too cold to head outside, or just because we want to sit and enjoy one. While the list of Christmas, holiday, and snow related books can seem endless, I have kept this list to a few of the classics that seem to have been timeless and popular throughout the years.

Classic Christmas Stories for Kids

  1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!”
  2. The Polar ExpressA young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . . Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.
  3. The Night Before Christmas – A classic poem done over and over in many variations. “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house…”
  4. Frosty the Snowman – Frosty the Snowman comes to life each year with his magic hat, button nose, and eyes made out of coal. Sing the song, watch the movie and read the book. Anyway you slice it there is fun to be had by all.
  5. The Gift of the Magi – He sells his prized possession to get her something she will love and she sells hers for him, rendering both their gifts useless. Only they find the true gift is in their love, sacrifice and giving to each other.
  6. The Nutcracker – Delight in this story by attending a performance of the ballet, watching a production on television or reading only of the many illustrated variations and watch Clara’s precious nutcracker come life!
  7. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer“You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
    you know Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, But do you recall, The most famous reindeer of all?”
  8. 12 Days of Christmas – We even made our own variation of this classic song that pertained to our family! This classic rhyme is a fun and fancy free book to read each year with your children and sing along to the classic song (or even the Disney version with Goofy that we love so much)!
  9. A Christmas Carol – Each year around Christmas we love watching all the many variations of this story on tv. Even though we know how it all ends we all delight in seeing that even mean old Scrooge can change his ways!

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STOP! And Enjoy The Holiday Season

STOP! And Enjoy The Holiday Season from Standard Deviants Accelerate

As a veteran homeschooling parent I can tell you I have tried many things, failed at many things, changed many things, and loved many things. One thing I am so glad I changed in our homeschool was the time that we take off for the holiday season. In order for us to be able to enjoy the Christmas holiday season more fully, we take 3 weeks off in December.

We used to take just a couple of days prior to Christmas Day through New Year’s off. What I found is that we didn’t have time to enjoy the holiday season. By the time we put school aside the holiday was already over, and we were stressed. We had been racing around to get cookies and decorating done, squeezed in an extra activity here or there, but we had not really been able to absorb and enjoy any of it! Those are the days past. We now STOP! And Enjoy The Holiday Season.

STOP! And Enjoy The Holiday Season

What you and your family do to enjoy the holiday season may be different from what my family does. But here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Cut down a Christmas tree.
  • Bake special holiday cookies.
  • Volunteer, do a service project to help those in need at this time of year.
  • Watch a favorite holiday movie. Or try a new one!
  • Read Christmas themed books.
  • Have a party!
  • Pick a DIY project that is holiday related such as making Christmas ornaments, wreaths, or decorations.
  • Take a fun holiday themed photo.
  • Go caroling. We have often arranged to do this at a local nursing home. It is inside out of the harsh weather and the residents love the company!
  • Learn to play a holiday song on an instrument. I taught each of my children a different song on the piano last year and then we all sand along.

Toilet Paper Roll Turkey Craft

Toilet Paper Roll Turkey Craft from Standard Deviants Accelerate

My kids have always loved making craft and doing activities that are holiday related, and when there is a great way to show them off, even better! We have loved making and using these toilet paper (or paper towel) roll turkey napkin holders to decorate our holiday table.

Toilet Paper Roll Turkey Craft

Supplies:

  • empty toilet paper (or paper towel) roll
  • construction paper (orange, yellow, brown, red)
  • wiggle eyes
  • pipe cleaner
  • glue
  • scissors

Directions:

  1. Cut toilet paper (or paper towel) roll so you have a 2 inch segment
  2. Use the colored construction paper to cut out a handful of different shaped feathers. Each feather should be between one and two inches long.
  3. Lay the roll down on it’s side and glue as many feathers as you would like to one side.
  4. To make the turkey’s head, cut a piece of brown construction paper in the shape of an oval, approximately 2-inches tall by 1-inch wide. Glue it to the toilet paper roll on the opposite side as the feathers.
  5. Glue wiggles eyes onto your turkey’s head.
  6. Cut a beak and waddle our of orange and red construction paper and them in place below the google eyes.
  7. To make feet for your turkey: Start by cutting two 4-inch pieces from an orange pipe cleaner. Fold each pipe cleaner piece into quarters and shape them into a smushed v shape.
  8. Glue the feet to the front edge of the turkey (the bottom of the roll beneath the head).
  9. Set aside and let glue dry.
  10. Add your napkin of choice and place at each table setting to decorate your Thanksgiving table.

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Halloween Candy Science Experiments

Halloween Candy Science Experiments from Standard Deviants Accelerate

Halloween has come and gone. Like many of you, we have more candy than we should ever eat! So why not use some of it for some science experiment fun? Not only can you eat some of the candy but you can learn some cool things too! It is a win win in my homeschool book!

Halloween Candy Science Experiments

Acidic or Not?

The word “acid” comes from “acidus,” the Latin word for sour or tart.

If something’s acidic, it will produce carbon dioxide bubbles when combined with baking soda. Carbon dioxide is the same gas you breathe out when you exhale.

Is sour candy acidic? Let’s find out!

Supplies:

  • Bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Water
  • Fruit-flavored or sour candy (Pixy Stix, LemonHeads, Nerds, WARHEADS)
  • Spoon
  • Baking soda

Directions:

  1. Dissolve the candy in a half-cup of water. (Pixy Stix will dissolve easily. Other candies will take longer. If the candy can be easily crushed, try that to make it dissolve more quickly.)
  2. Sprinkle a spoonful of baking soda into the candy-water mixture.
  3. Watch for bubbles.
  4. If you see bubbles, the candy is acidic.

Candy Rainbow
Candy makers turn candy into a rainbow of colors using dyes. Just like when you’re mixing paints , it’s takes a combination of dyes to create certain colors. Colors get mixed up. Did you know you can separate them again?

In this experiment, water and coffee filter paper will separate a drop of candy dye back into different colors. Brown candies work well. Why? Because they use a variety of colors together to make brown dye.

Supplies:

  • A white paper coffee filter
  • Dyed candy such as M&Ms, Skittles, or Reese’s Pieces (brown pieces work well)
  • A glass filled with a half-inch of water

What to do:

  1. Place a drop of water on a plate.
  2. Place a candy piece on the water and let color dissolve.
  3. Cut a rectangle out of the coffee filter. Use the flat part, not the sides.
  4. Fold the coffee filter paper rectangle vertically (long-ways). This will help it stand up in the glass of water.
  5. Measure up about an inch from the bottom and dab a drop of candy-colored water onto the paper.
  6. Fill a narrow glass with a half-inch of water.
  7. Place the filter paper rectangle in the glass of water so that the water line is below the colored drop of candy dye.
  8. Watch the water move up to the top edge of the paper.
  9. Check the paper at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 1 hour. You should see the different colors emerge on the filter.

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10 Halloween Math Problems

10 Halloween Math Problems from Standard Deviants Accelerate

Making math fun can really go a long way to helping kids learn it. Using holidays as a stemming point for interesting math problems can be a great way to work on math and have it seem less like work.

Halloween Math Problems

I have given a few examples of some math problems you can easily create to get your kids going. You can easily adapt these to create more problems to work with! You can even have them try to create some on their own.

Addition/Subtraction

1. Chloe and Megan went on a haunted hayride. They got scared by 5 monsters and 8 zombies. How many times get they get scared?

2. Connor and Nick went to a pumpkin patch over the weekend. Connor picked 3 pumpkins and Nick picked 4. How many pumpkins did they pick all together?

3. John’s mom made 25 Halloween cookies. John had his friend Joe over to play. John ate 2 Halloween cookies and Joey ate 4 Halloween cookies. How many cookies were left?

4. Cindy and Cathy are trick or treating. If Cindy has 15 treats in her bag and Cathy only has 8, how many more treats does Cathy need to have the same number as Cindy?

Multiplication

5. There are 26 children in Mrs. Jones classroom. Mrs. Jones gave each child 1 cupcake, 2 cookies, and  6 candy corns. How many Halloween treats did Mrs. Jones give out all together?

6. 8 children went trick or treating. Each child got 18 pieces of candy. How many pieces did they get all together?

7. As the witch was flying around on her broomstick she saw 12 different bats. She went out 4 times and saw the same number of bats each time. How many bats did she all together?

8. There are 10 pumpkins in the row you are in at the pumpkin patch. If there are 50 rows of pumpkins each with 10 pumpkins in it, how many pumpkins are at the pumpkin patch?

Pre-Algebra/Algebra

9. After trick or treating, Wendy’s dad told her to save 25 pieces of candy, consisting of chocolate, hard candy, and suckers. She saves 7 suckers and 10 hard candies.  How many pieces of chocolate does she save?

10. You have 15 candy bars. If you started with 5 candy bars, how many did you have to trade for to get a total of 15?

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5 Halloween Paper Plate Crafts

5 Halloween Paper Plate Crafts from Standard Deviants Accelerate

Plain old white paper plates can be turned into the most fun and creative things! Whether you choose to make a decoration or a mask you can make these simple and easy Halloween Paper Plate Crafts.

Halloween Paper Plate Crafts

Supplies:

  • plain white paper plates (The really thin cheap ones. We actually keep a stack in our craft supplies at all times because they can be used for so many different things!)
  • construction paper in various colors (black, white, purple, orange, green, red)
  • paint in various colors (black, white, purple, orange, green)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Yarn (This can be used to turn any paper plate creation into a mask to be worn for Halloween!)
  • black Sharpie
  • toilet paper

5 Halloween Paper Plate Ideas

1. Ghost

  1. To create a ghost you will need one paper plate, black and white construction paper, toilet paper and if you have it glitter.
  2. On the back of the plate glue on two large black eyes cut from the black construction paper as well as a large oval shaped mouth in a vertical direction.
  3. You can use glitter at this point on the eyes and mouth.
  4. Using 3 strips of toilet paper taped to the other side of the paper place, cut them down the middle to make smaller strips.
  5. Cut two arms out of white construction paper and glue to the backside of the ghost.

2. Vampire

To create a vampire you will need tan and black paint (we mixed white with brown and a little red to make a lighter skin tone), black, red, and white construction paper.

Start by drawing the outline if the vampire’s hair line and painting it black. Paint the rest with the tan colored paint.

Use the construction paper to cut out eyes, eyebrows, a mouth, teeth and a nose. You could also use paint for the facial features.

Cut out black pointy ears and a collar from black construction paper and glue on to the back, as well as a large red bow tie for the front.

3. Witch

  1. To create a witch you will need one paper plate, green paint, purple black orange and white construction paper, and a black Sharpie.
  2. Paint the paper plate green and set it aside.
  3. To create the hair you will trace your child’s hand on top of two pieces of orange construction paper folded so you will end up with 4 hands.
  4. Using black construction paper cut out the share of a witches hat and add a purple strip.
  5. Use white construction to cut out two eyeballs.
  6. Glue the hat on the paper plate with 2 hands on either side for hair.
  7. Use the Sharpie for pupils and to draw a nose and mouth.

4. Bat

  1. To create a bat you will need two paper plates, black paint, red and white construction paper and 2 brads.
  2. On the back of one plate draw two triangular shaped ears in the ribbing of the plate and cut around them to create ears on the top.
  3. Cut plate number 2 in half to look like bat wings.
  4. Paint all three pieces black and let it dry.
  5. Use the white construction paper to create eyes and teeth, and red to create a thin mouth and glue them on.
  6. Punch a whole in one corner of each of the half plates (wings) in such a way that one will attach to the left side and one to the right.
  7. Insert the brads in the holes to create moving wings!

5. Pumpkin

  1. To create a pumpkin you will need orange paint and black and green construction paper (you can even use a green or brown pipe cleaner if you have one).
  2. Paint the pumpkin orange and let dry.
  3. Cut out the eyes, nose and mouth in black construction paper and glue them on.
  4. Use green construction paper for stem and leaves at the top. This is were you could also add pipe cleaners as little curly cues from the top.

You can easily make these Halloween Paper Plate Crafts into masks but cutting out the eyes and adding yarn to either side to tie it onto your child’s head.

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