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Activities with Fletcher
Stuck at home with the kids because of coronavirus? I am too! My four year old son, Fletcher, and I are making the best of it with easy activities at home to help keep him entertained and learning. Many of them are using things I already have on hand in our kitchen. What I want him to remember out of this is how many cool things we created and all of the fun we had.
We wanted to share our projects that we’ve done to help give other parents ideas! Fletcher is in preschool but many of the activities can be adapted for older kids as well.
Creating an Invisible Treasure Map
We used the Smithsonian Maker Lab book for this activity. It is loaded with cool projects for kids of all ages. This was my first pick because I had all of the ingredients already, it was SUPER easy to do, and required little supervision from me so I was able to get something else done while he worked. Plus, I was also making hummus so I already had lemons out ready to go. Win-win-win!
Although Fletcher is 4 years old when we did this activity, this could definitely be done with older kids that spend more time on the art and design of the treasure map. Fletcher’s interpretation was more of an abstract treasure map.
“Whooaaa, mommy! How did it do that!.” – Fletcher, after we took his map out of the oven
Draw your map
Dip the q-tip in the lemon juice and draw your perfect treasure map on the wax paper! Add anything you would like on your map. While the pirate artists are at work, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Put your map in the oven
When your oven is at 450 degrees, put the map in. The book says for 30 minutes but our first map was browned to a crisp so we did a second round and only left it in for 10 minutes and it came out perfect. It may depend on the type of wax paper you have so I would advise checking it every ten minutes to see when it is done.
Be amazed that you can now see your map
The acid from the lemon juice, when heated turns it to brown! Not only are you an artist that now has a work of art but you also just finished a super cool science experiment. Congrats! Show off your work by hanging it on your bedroom wall!
Supporting STEAM education initiatives and the Maker Movement, the National Parenting Publication Award-winner Maker Lab includes 28 kid-safe projects and crafts that will get young inventors’ wheels turning and make science pure fun. Each step-by-step activity is appropriate for kids ages 8-12, and ranked easy, medium, or hard, with an estimated time frame for completion. Requiring only household materials, young makers can build an exploding volcano, race balloon rocket cars, construct a lemon battery, make sticky slime, and more. Photographs and facts carefully detail the “why” and “how” of each experiment using real-world examples to provide context so kids can gain a deeper understanding of the scientific principles applied. With a foreword by Jack Andraka, a teen award-winning inventor, Maker Lab will help kids find their inner inventor and create winning projects for school projects, science fairs, and beyond.
Meet Alane and Fletcher
Alane has kept her 40 lb weight loss off since 2013, and created BurgerFit and Cooking with My Friends as a way to get her family eating better. Her health journey started in 2012 after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and obesity. Frustrated and determined, Alane decided to make small, sustainable changes in her diet so that it would be maintainable for a lifetime. Now Alane maintains a healthy weight range and has incorporated quick and easy recipes that keep her picky family members eating better!
Fletcher enjoys break dancing, cooking, sports commentary, and running really fast speed - anywhere and everywhere. He is an avid lover of music and plays harmonica, drums, and guitar. From a young age, he has loved being a part of whatever his parents, Alane and Micah, are doing. He has even started coming up with recipes of his own to test out. His dream is to own 10 coffee shops from Tennessee to Arizona to Minnesota.
Growing up together
There is no doubt that even as we get older, we don’t stop learning and that is what both Fletcher and I have done together since I had him. I’ve grown a ton raising him and watching him grow. I like to think we are both growing up together. I have tried to incorporate Fletcher in everything I do from to cooking and cleaning the kitchen, to practicing for media events, to traveling the world for speaking engagements. I try to make it fun so he keeps wanting to be a part of it. Not everything is a win but everyday is a new adventure!