Celebrations Program Chapter
Alternative Titles for Program
- Celebrate Nature
- Nature Unplugged
- Wilderness Fun Festival
Books to Share
- Fritz and the Mess Fairy by Rosemary Wells.
- Rocks in His Head by Carol Otis Hurst.
- A Rumbly Tumbly Glittery Gritty Place by Mary Lyn Ray.
- What's Faster Than a Speeding Cheetah? by Robert E. Wells.
Books to Show and Booktalk
- Anastasia Morningstar by Hazel Hutchins.
- The Big Science Fair by Dan Yaccarino.
- Ghoststalking by L. King Pérez.
- The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth by Joanna Cole.
- I Was a Third Grade Science Project by Mary Jane Auch.
- Serious Science: An Adam Joshua Story by Janice Lee Smith.
Wild World of Scientists
Highlight scientists by displaying pictures of them. Pictures may be removed from magazines and discarded sciences books and magazines. Some Web sites grant permission to print photos. Mount the photos on colored paper or insert them into paper frames. Include a brief paragraph with the scientist’s name and accomplishments. Variation: Highlight women in science, a specific period of time, or theme, such as discoveries in medicine or technology. Note: Check the Student Resource Center Gold database, available through Texshare. Many of the biographical entries include a photograph.
Ask a collector to share a rock or shell collection. Display the items. If possible, have some items that the children can touch and examine.
Highlight chemistry by making and serving tasty treats that involve science. Children can make butter by shaking cream in a tightly sealed jar. Talk about the conversion from a liquid to a solid, and then serve the butter with warm biscuits. Another fun, edible example of changing a solid to a liquid can be provided by giving each child a plastic bag with about 7 to 10 chocolate chips. Have children use their own body heat to melt the chocolate by holding the bag in their hands. When the chocolate is melted, cut a little hole in the corner. Have the children decorate a sugar cookie by squeezing the chocolate onto the cookie.
For a drink, prepare pitchers of Kool-Aid or lemonade in different colors. Let small groups of children mix their own drinks; mix them in advance for large groups or younger children. See what happens when you mix blue and yellow or blue and red. Another drink idea, which must be prepared in advance, is to juice red cabbage and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. Serve lemonade with the frozen juice cubes. When the ice begins to melt the juice turns green!
Libraries Rock Keepsake Button
Make buttons that say, “The Library Rocks!” Use a button machine or photocopy the patterns provided here (pattern 1, 2, 3, 4). Cut out the patterns and glue it onto cardboard. Glue a pin to the back, or punch a hole and tie a piece of yarn through the pattern to make a hanging medallion.
Or, hand out seashells for the children to take home. If you can’t find seashells at a local store, bags are available from Oriental Trading Co. and other craft suppliers.
Tell the fable of the sun and the wind. One version can be found in the book, The Wind and the Sun: An Aesop Fable retold by Bernadette Watts. This fable is also widely available on the Internet.
- Dish Soap (Joy and Dawn seem to work best)
- Glycerin (available at drug stores)
- Dishpans and other containers
- Items to create bubble blowers, such as chenille pipe cleaners, plastic drinking straws, and string
This is an outdoor activity! Mix a bubble solution by combining ten cups of water with one cup dishwashing liquid, and three or four tablespoons of glycerin. Pour the solution into dishpans and other containers. Make a variety of bubble blowers by bending wire and chenille sticks in different shapes. Another way to make bubble blowers is to cut a plastic straw in half. Cut pieces of string four times as long as the straws, and push the string through both pieces of straw. Tie the ends of strings. Hold the straws as you dip the string into the bubble solution. Slowly lift up, pull the straws apart, and blow. On a windy day, the wind will help to make the bubbles. Experiment with other bubble blowers, including ribbon reels, strawberry baskets, rubber bands, tin cans, six-pack rings, old tennis rackets, and slotted kitchen spoons. Completely immerse holes in the bubble mix.
- Ink pad
- Baby wipes or paper towels and water
Create bugs and animals by pressing fingertips on a stamp pad and then pressing the fingerprint onto the paper. Use markers to add details for bugs and animal figures. Provide paper towels or wipes for children to clean their hands.
Frog Eating Flies
- Frog pattern
- Paper plates
- Thin red ribbon
- Bug stickers, or rubber stamps and inkpads
- Markers (optional)
Use the pattern to copy and cut out frogs. Glue a frog onto a paper plate. Make a frog tongue by curling a piece of red ribbon and gluing it onto the frog’s mouth. Use a rubber stamp or stickers to place bugs all around the frog, or allow the children to draw them with a marker. The children can touch the ribbon tongue to the bugs and pretend to “catch” them.
Collect one or two rocks per child. Round river stones work well, but any stones will do. The children can create pet rocks by drawing on them with permanent markers.
Nature Touch-and-Feel Table
Collect a wide variety of objects from nature for the children to touch. Provide magnifying glasses and place small items in magnifying boxes. Items could include rocks, shells, turtle shells, peacock feathers, and anything else you can find.
Fill a clear plastic bottle with water. Add blue food coloring and vegetable oil and seal it tightly. When the bottle is gently tilted, the combination of oil and water resembles waves. Make a bottle and include it on the touch-and-feel table, or have each child make one to take home.
Experiments to Demonstrate
Select a couple of experiments and set them up on a table. As the children move around the program room, they can see the experiments in action. This is a great way to involve teen volunteers!
Place a yardstick on a table leaving about a foot of the yardstick hanging over the edge. Place a full sheet of tissue paper over the yardstick and smooth it down. Try to lift the paper by pressing down on the overhanging end of the yardstick. It’s not as easy as it looks!
Place a few raisins in a clear glass of light colored carbonated drink, such as Sprite™ or club soda. Watch the raisins magically move and groove.
Alkali (lime) reacts with acid (vinegar). Have a small dropper bottle of vinegar available. The children can then drip a few drops of the vinegar onto soft limestone and watch it bubble up. If you don’t have access to limestone, you can find some at any store that carries landscaping supplies.
Paper Clip Compass
Straighten out one end of a paper clip and rub it against a strong magnet. Tape the paper clip onto a square of Styrofoam and float it in a bowl of water. Which way is north?
Salt Water Buoyancy
Things float in salt water more easily than in fresh water. Mix 3 or 4 tablespoons of salt into a clear glass filled with water. Pour fresh water into another clear glass. Try to float various objects in one glass, then take the same objects and try floating them in the other. Some objects to try include an egg, a blob of modeling clay, an eraser, or an acorn.
Separate Salt and Pepper
Blow up a balloon. Spill some salt and pepper on a plate. Have the children rub the balloon on their hair. Hold the balloon over the mixture of salt and pepper. The pepper should jump onto the balloon.
Invite a local 4-H group or 4-H leader to present a program on one of their projects. Invite children to set up their science projects in the library. Ask a few of the creators to give short presentations on their work.
If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs to the children. Otherwise, display them for home use.
- Come on Rain. (12 minutes)
- Oceans in Motion. (24 minutes)
- The Digital Field Trip to the Rainforest.
- Eyewitness Encyclopedia of Nature.
- Eyewitness Encyclopedia of Science.
- The Magic School Bus Explores Inside the Earth.
- Eco Kids Online
- Discover cool things about science and nature, wildlife, environmental issues and more through games and activities.
- Environmental Education for Kids! (EEK!)
- This site is full of information and ideas about the earth, animals, and other neat stuff, including what kind of jobs are available for people interested in the environment.
- Freddo’s Pond
- The games and activities involving Freddo, an Australian icon, have been designed to provide discussion opportunities on environmental and safety issues.
Bubble Festival: Presenting Bubble Activities in a Learning Station Format by Jacqueline Barber and Carolyn Willard.