Halloween Math Activities

Photo by poppet with a camera, ©2014 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Photo by poppet with a camera, ©2014 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Halloween is in full effect all around us, so why not pull some spooky inspiration into your child’s math learning? Break up the routine of worksheets by incorporating some spook-tacular Halloween fun into new and exciting activities. Depending on your child’s math skills, try one (or more) of the activities below!

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Kitchen Math: Baking Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

You avoided using your oven all summer because it was too hot, right? Now that it’s October and cooler weather has started to roll in, take advantage of this fun and tasty opportunity to bring your child (and learning!) into the kitchen. Try making these delicious pumpkin cinnamon rolls over the weekend as a breakfast treat for the family! Baking and preparing ingredients can prove to be a fun and new approach to employing real world math skills.

Photo by VeganBaking.net, ©2010 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

Photo by VeganBaking.net, ©2010 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

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Amazing Autumn Days – Visit the Apple Orchards

Mark Engelbrecht, ©2013 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Mark Engelbrecht, ©2013 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Ask any kid what happens in the Fall and they’ll most likely tell you that the leaves change colors and fall off the trees. What many kids may not know is that Autumn also signals the beginning of the apple season! Pumpkin gets all the attention as a Fall crop, but apples are also a great seasonal fruit. If you’ve already taken your kids to a pumpkin patch and are in search for another fun Fall activity, round up the crew and head out to an apple orchard for the day! We’ve got tips for making the day a harvest of happiness.

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Fall Family Activities: Applying Math at Home

When fall swings around each year, more often than not you and the kids will find yourself looking for exciting seasonal activities to take on in preparation for the coming holiday season. Not only do these activities help increase the amount of quality time spent together, but they can also employ a few key math skills from the classroom! Not sure how that might equate? Here is how you can learn to apply math at home with a few fun and festive family activities, this season.

Baking seasonal treats – Math and science play a vital role is baking, there’s no denying that. There are chemical reactions that make baked goods rise and form and math involved in determining temperatures, ingredient measurements and more during preparation. How do you put a fall twist on this? Incorporate pumpkin to some of your favorite recipes – pumpkin muffins, bread, cupcakes, cookie, and more!

Calculating costs – Challenge your kids to help you balance that family budget this season. Whether you’re shopping for holiday items or simply heading to the grocery, invite the kids to calculate costs. For some extra practice with more complex concepts like percentages, you might even throw in a few items that might be on sale or for which you might have coupons.

Keeping time – Learning to tell time is a fundamental math and number related skill for youngsters and adults. Even in the digital age it is still important to have strong clock reading skills to develop proper time management skills, especially during busy holiday seasons. While at home, assign one of your kids with the role of the time keeper to not only keeps everyone on track throughout the day, but to also to help them practice this important skill.

How else might you incorporate math at home this season? Share some of your tried and true tricks with us today!

Family Health and Fitness Day is Coming!

Photo by: Evil Erin

Photo Strawberry Smoothie by: Evil Erin, ©2010 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License.

The last Saturday in September is designated as Family Health and Fitness Day by the Health Information Resource Center (HIRC) and the U.S. Surgeon General. Local organizations organize fun, health-related events at parks, schools, and communities across the nation to teach the whole family health and fitness basics. Whether you choose to participate in the organized events or want to go it alone, we’ve got some great fitness tips to get your family moving.


Get Everyone Involved

With children of different ages and at different skill levels, it can sometimes be tough to find an activity that everyone can participate in. One way to even out an imbalance is to pair younger children with older siblings and cousins or an adult. For example, try a three-legged race where pairs are comprised of one younger player and one older player. You can also play traditional games like hide and seek– your young ones might actually have an advantage here! Alternatively, take the family out for a walk or bike ride that everyone can enjoy!

Start With Basics

You don’t have to organize a full on basketball tournament or host the ultimate soccer showdown– help your children build their basic sports skills by practicing dribbling the ball down the court or having a goal kicking contest. Your older children can help their younger siblings improve by sharing their experiences and teaching them firsthand!

Keep Cool

September temperatures can be warm, so remember to stay hydrated and keep cool! Have plenty of water on hand and incorporate fun water activities into your day! Surprise the kids with a new water slide or bust out the squirt guns to start an all-out family showdown!

Most of all, have fun! Fitness is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and this is a great chance to show your kids that working out and being active is fun for the whole family! Whether you hit the park, the beach, the gym or the backyard, there’s family fun to be had for all this weekend! Now that you’ve read our fitness tips, head on over to the JumpStart blog for our post on how to celebrate the health aspect of this event!

Red Alert: Your Help is Needed!

red alert 1

Depending on your rank in the I.S.P., you might already know all about what to do when a Red Alert occurs. However, for some of our newer recruits, these Space Station moments might leave you frazzled. Have you been on board when the red lights flicker and Mission Control calls all Blasters to their stations? This is YOUR chance to shine, because the Intergalactic Space Station is under attack and needs your help!

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September is Fall Hat Month!

Did you know that September happens to be Fall Hat Month? Fall Hat Month is observed each year to mark the shift from Summer to Fall, referring to the transition of straw hats worn by many to guard from the Summer sun to more Fall-appropriate hats. After all, what’s more Autumnal than a fun and festive top hat, right? Get in the spirit and make a fun, tasty treat with this neat family activity.

Photo By: megacrafty.com

Supplies Needed:

  • Meltable White Chocolate
  • Colored Icing (the kind in tubes works great for this–we used red)
  • Large Marshmallows
  • Round Crackers (we used Ritz)
  • Wax Paper

Instructions:

  1. Assemble all of your supplies and prepare a cookie tray by covering it with wax paper.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring until smooth.
  3. Help your child dip a cracker in the melted chocolate, making sure to cover the entire top and sides in chocolate. Place onto cookie tray to cool.
  4. As chocolate is hardening, place a marshmallow in the middle of the cracker, forming the top hat. Repeat with as many crackers and marshmallows as you’d like.
  5. After the chocolate is fully cooled and hardened, gently pick up each top hat and pipe rings around the hat. Start with something simple, like three rings and a top on the hat, but feel free to improvise. You can do as many (or as few) as your child would like. Little hands may need help, so this may be a two person job, with one of you holding the top hat, while the other ices it.
  6.  Ta-Da! Stand back and admire your work …then dig in!
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