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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.
Dancing Snake with Static Electricity
We used the Smithsonian Maker Lab book for this activity. It is loaded with cool projects for kids of all ages. Fletcher loves any reason to blow up balloons so I knew this one would be fun for him.
Even though Fletcher is 4 years old, this could definitely be done with older kids by letting them design their snake and experimenting with different fabrics to find out which ones create static electricity.
“hahaha rub it on your hair now!” – Fletcher, after we rubbed the balloon on his hair
Blow up a balloon
The balloon is what will be used to created the static electricity that will make the snake dance. It also provides great entertainment for your child if they are too young to use scissors to cut out the snake. Let them play with the balloon while you get the snake ready.
Draw your snake
Lay the tissue paper out on a flat surface and trace a large plate or bowl with your marker or colored pencil. This will be the start of your snake.
Draw a swirl on the inside. Cut your swirl out to make your snake. You can use your colored pencils to draw eyes. Use a piece of scrap paper to draw a tongue, cut it out and tape it to the snake.
Swiftly rub your balloon on different surfaces to see what creates static electricity
To help make this a scientific experiment, we tried different surfaces to see what would make static electricity.
The blanket did not work.
Our hair worked better but didn’t quite make the snake dance. Fletcher did get a good laugh at seeing our hair stick up though!
Hmmm, I wonder how the wool sweater is going to do?
Make your snake dance from static electricty
The wool sweater worked! The snake was holding onto the balloon from all of the static electricity.
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!