Fantastic Camp for Science!!

Here Comes A New Idea for a Camp!

Signing up for camps, after school activities, and enrichment opportunities can be stressful. I have spent hours looking through the local town program guides, websites for camps in the area, scrolling Facebook for ideas, and asking other moms what camps they love or recommend. The great thing about our area is all there is to choose from but it can be overwhelming.

Well… on Friday, I decided to drop into a new science camp in the area- Crazbrain. I had met the owner a few weeks ago and wanted to see it in action. Last week, the students were doing a CSI camp! What??! I happen to love CSI shows and was curious about the activities.

IMG_5423

When we got there, the children had safety goggles, gloves, and were swabbing desks for blood (each desk represented rooms in a pretend house). They were really simulating being a real scientist- And they LOVED it! They quickly told me all about the activity and were eager to demonstrate to me how to use the solution to determine if there was “blood” in the room. Once the tested the q-tip for blood, they recorded the results and marked the rooms on the pretend floorplan a.k.a scene of the crime. At the end they had to come up with some theories about what happened at the crime scene.

IMG_5421 Kids love participating in hands-on activities and simulations. This camp is fantastic for budding scientists or curious kids.

Anyone Going Stir Crazy?

Snow day, again??!! I am not sure where everyone else lives but in NC we have not had a fun winter. It has been dark, wet, and dreary. To top it off, the past two weeks there has been snow. Maybe some people love snow, but I do NOT. Where we live, everything shuts down- schools, roads, grocery stores , etc. (maybe a touch of my sanity too). My kids are quickly running out of things to do and I think they have even gotten tired of fighting.

So today, I found a few ideas that I thought I would share.

Everyone has a different parenting opinion about technology… so no judgments. Here is a great list of STEAM apps.

 ipad

Another idea is creative story starters- you pull a sentence out of a jar and kids make up a story.

storytelling-prompts-398x600

GoldieBlox Zipline

Yesterday I wrote about a really neat new toys marketed for girls. I love that it encourages girls to be scientists and mathematicians. One of their toys that looks like so much fun is a zipline that the toy goes down. I really think I am going to get this toy soon for my daughter! But I think my son might like it just as much even if he won’t admit it.

Girls Engineering Toy!

Jordan-goldieblox

Recently a friend posted a link to this video about girl engineering toys called “Goldie Blox“. It was an interview of the founders ideas, dreams, and visions of toys designed for the girl mathematician. It supports an idea that statistically there are less women in the engineering field and maybe this is because girls were not encouraged or given role models growing up that showed girls can do this too? I am sure there is plenty of research that would support this or refute it. But I can tell you that I LOVE this idea for girls or boys. I love that there is a positive role model that shows how cool math and engineering can be for kids. I cannot wait to try one of these with students. The next few days I will be highlighting a few of the toys from the company.

What?! New Lego Sets!

OK- Again, I am confessing. I loved Legos as a kid and that was not a normal girl toy when I was growing up. And I never really had Barbies (NOTHING wrong with this) but I had tons of blocks and match box cars. 🙂

We have TONS of Legos at my house and I really enjoy seeing my son put them together. Watching him follow the visual directions and put together the set is worth the price. He saves up his allowance or earns extra money to get more.

Gifted #Education Daily posted this really neat new Lego set and I cannot wait to see it. These Legos make life like models of birds. Not Angry Birds but real birds. They look so neat!

Read more: Short review of the sets

Andy the American Goldfinch

bird legos

Last Minute Holiday Idea- Tapple!

One of my favorite AIG teachers recommended this game to me. It looks like so much fun! I am definitely going to get this for my fourth and fifth grade students. Each round is short and could also be a great time filler for teachers.

Description from the website:

Tap the Tapple Wheel!

Tapple is the award-winning, fast-paced word game that gives families & friends a rush of excitement as they compete to beat the timer! No need to spell  just say your word, tap the timer, and pass the Tapple Wheel. The last person standing wins the round!
Tapple will entertain your friends & family during holiday get-togethers, parties and more! The kids won’t even know they’re learning as they rush to tap the timer!
AGES 8+
2-8 players
10-20 minutes play time
MSRP $19.95

http://www.amazon.com/Tapple-Fast-Word-Fun-Everyone/dp/B00BBLI5CC

Need More Holiday Ideas??

zometool

One of my favorite teachers I have worked with sent me this link over the weekend with some great toys, apps and books listed for gifted children. It is definitely worth scanning through the list.

I LOVE this toy: Zometool for math or spatial gifted children. They have lots of resources posted on the website for the toy- including resources for educators. I think this might be a learning tool we buy.

I found a review of the toy that showed how the toy works and would be great for gifted children.

Another one of my favorites that I think would lend to some really great discussions with gifted children was titled: Where Children Sleep. I looked at the pictures posted on Amazon- super idea but out of print and over $400. So I did find a link to some of the pictures in the book by James Mollison. Because I can’t let stuff go… I emailed the author to see if there was somewhere to buy the book. But he lives in Italy and I am sure is very busy.  (Guess what?!! I did hear from the author. The book will be in reprint early next year. I will have to keep an eye out for it.)

Connectagons!

I think I just like saying the name of this toy!

One of my favorite AIG teachers (thanks Diane) recommended this game. She uses it with her before and after school kids and said they loved them. I think it looks like a great mulit-age toy and would be easy to take along on trips or store at your house. It has high reviews and there is even some cool you tube videos with instructions and structures you can make with them. They have several different sets: butterflies, under the sea, and just regular octagons.

The toy is sold by Hearthsong and I love lots of the toys on this website (check out the fairy homes if you have a girl).

On My Wish List

This recommendation comes from one of my favorite academically gifted websites (I will blog about his website soon).  He does a great job explaining the game and uses pictures. Over the years many of my gifted students have recommended the game to me. We definitely put it on our wish list for the holidays.

Thanks Ian Byrd from byrdseed.com for this recommendation.

quirkle gifted game recommendation

One of my best friends also highly recommended this toy! After I wrote this post she wrote me about the toy: Qwirkle is a good game of strategy. There are wooden blocks with six different shapes in six colors. Using the blocks, players try to score the most points by building lines that share the same shape or color. The player with the most tiles that share something in common (color or symbol) plays their pieces and wins points. The game is over when all the tiles have been played and all the points have been tallied.

Board Game for Beginner Programmers!

robot turtles

I hope I am not losing readers by now with all my game recommendations. But I am really enjoying looking at all the games and ideas that parents have told me about the past week. I especially love that this one was on Kickstarter.  The parent reviews are high and it looks fantastic for any young child that has the mind or desire for programming or coding. Reading through some of the reviews it does seem like a game for preschool to younger elementary age gifted children.