Summertime Activities that Educate and Entertain

Summertime can be a time when children say, “I’m bored” – a lot. Answer that call with some fun and educational activities that will also fight the brain drain of summer. You may be surprised at some of the things you’ll also learn. These are activities you can do at home, but also expand to include learning experiences such as a field trip to a museum, reading a book on the topic, or going on outdoor excursions.

The first thing is to pick a topic that grabs your child’s attention and then dive into activities and resources that keep them engaged.

Several children from Dancing Moose Montessori School are joining us to illustrate activities they find interesting – four different topics that teach and entertain preschoolers and up.

Discovery – Be a Paleontologist and Discover Dinosaurs Activity — Find Dinosaurs and dinosaur bones in frozen ice OR in dirt - Ice: freeze plastic dinosaurs in colored water and, when fully frozen, allow kids to carefully chip away ice to “free” and discover the dinosaurs - Dirt: cook noodles (we use manicotti) and bury in a container of dirt, then let kids dig to find them and carefully brush dirt off to see “bone” details Extension Activity (older children) — Make bones out of salt dough, bury in sand, brush off and rebuild as a Paleontologist would Book — Any good Dinosaur book will work but there’s a good one for young children by National Geographic, Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs Field trip — Natural History Museum of Utah Resources — Salt Dough Recipe: https://www.learning4kids.net/2012/12/09/how-to-make-salt-dough-recipe/

Constellations – Become an Astronomer Activity – Marshmallow toothpick constellations – find a picture of a constellation, or at night find one in the sky, and recreate it on a paper plate with marshmallows and toothpicks Extension activity — Make a sundial by poking a pencil through a paper plate and placing it outside in a well-lit area. Starting at 7am, put a dot at the 7am mark where the pencil shadow is and then continue doing this every hour. You can then use the sundial as a clock each day. Book-- Discovering the Stars by Laurence Santrey Field trip—The Clark Planetarium Resources—Star app that shows the name and shape constellations real time from your phone! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/night-sky/id475772902?mt=8--

Rocks – Discovering as Geologists Do Activity – Growing crystals on pipe cleaners (“Crystal” recipe below) Extension activity – Searching for and hammering your own geode Book – Crystalize! by Scholastic Field trip — Head to Dugway, Utah to look for geodes in the wild or visit a Rock Shop Resources – https://rockhoundingutah.com/dugway-geode-beds/

Crystal Formations Recipe (Borax) Mix 3-4 tablespoons of Borax into every 1 cup of boiling water (it’s recommended to use about 3 cups of water total). Stir until the water becomes clear and the majority of Borax is dissolved.

You are creating a saturated solution, which means you need to add enough Borax to the boiling water that no more can be dissolved into the water. Keep adding and stirring until the water stops dissolving the Borax.

For best results, add enough Borax that you can see a small pile of it on the bottom of the glass after stirring, still keeping the water clear. NOTE: If you add so much Borax that the water becomes cloudy, your crystals will be cloudy as well. Add more boiling water!

Once you the solution is ready, make pipe cleaner shapes to dip into the Borax solution. Leave pipe cleaners in solution over night to form crystals.

Tinkering – Helping be “Handy” around the House Activity – Hammering and Sorting: - Hammering golf tees into Clay - Sorting screws by size, color, types of head (slotted or Phillips) Extension activity – Hammering nails into wood (with close supervision) Book – The Tool Book by Gail Gibbons Field trip — Home Depot Kids Workshop (1st Saturday each month) or other hardware store to help get supplies for an at-home DIY project (and assisting as possible) Resources – https://www.homedepot.com/workshops/#change_store

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What Our Parents Say

  • Jamie & Ken B:  We love that all the teachers and administrators are always smiling and positive - it sets the stage for a great learning environment for our child and let's us know that they truly care about all the children.

  • Keith W:  Moving here from the east coast, we were concerned about finding the proper level of education for our daughter. Dancing Moose was just opening and when we did our tour, Dr. Joyce impressed me with her professionalism,enthusiasm, and academic prowess. We started our daughter in the toddler class and never looked back. Now, four years later we have both our children in Dancing Moose and could not be more pleased. Not only is the education second to none, and I would apply that not to only Utah, but the entire country, the family atmosphere is phenomenal. I would recommend Dancing Moose to all toddler to 2nd grade children.  I can not understand why anybody would go anywhere else.

  • Alexis J:  Aislynn loves going to school at Dancing Moose, she's excited every day to tell me or any other adult near her what she did in school that day.  I love the flexibility the teachers are allowed, how every student gets to work at their own pace and none of them seem overwhelmed or bored.

  • Brandy G.:  Seeing how much the ENTIRE staff, not just their specific teachers, really care for my children is a delight and the first thing I share with prospective parents! 

    I LOVE Kid Reports because it lets me feel connected to my children while I have to be away. It also allows me to help continue my children's growth since I'm able to discuss what they did that day and continue with the concepts presented.

  • Brie S.: I am incredibly satisfied with our overall experience with Dancing Moose. We previously attended a different Montessori for the last two years. Moving to Dancing Moose was the best move that we could have made. The level of professionalism is excellent with every staff member I come in contact with everyday. The teachers are dedicated to their work and you can tell that they truly enjoy what they do. You can see that they love each and every student. My son loves his teachers and all of his friends, the hard part is getting him to want to leave school at the end of the day, he always wants to stay and that makes my heart happy. We absolutely love Dancing Moose. Thanks for all you do, you guys do a great job.

  • Shannon C:  We feel safe, comfortable and love coming to school everyday to learn from a FANTASTIC curriculum.  We also really enjoy the homemade food and organic gardening and most of all the consistent unconditional love from each teacher with our little ones!  Thank you Dancing Moose for providing my children a great early childhood educational experience!

  • Jenna D.:  We love Dancing Moose. Our children are thriving emotionally and academically. They are comfortable, safe, and most importantly they are happy! As a parent what else can you ask for? 

  • Kristin C.:  While driving to Moab for a weekend camping trip, the stars were shining bright. Completely unprompted, my daughter looked out the window and pointed out Orion’s Belt! She then proceeded to tell us all about how he is a hunter who lives in the stars. She THEN pointed out the North Star and told us how it’s used to help sailors crossing the sea know what direction to go. When we asked her how she knew all of this, she told us, “Ms Dorothy taught me that lesson!”

    Words can’t describe how proud and delighted we are that our FOUR year old not only understands what a constellation is, but can recognize them in the night sky!

    We want to commend you for the wonderful education you are giving our daughter. Thank you. Her future is bright, in part to the foundation you have given her these past two years in preschool.

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