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!

Calling All Blasters: New Crew Ranks Revealed!

Congratulations to Math Masters for leading the pack with 67,439 trophies! With achievements like that, this stellar set of Blasters must have all kinds of out-of-this-world stories to tell! They better look out though, because the Gold Starz aren’t too far behind with 54,018 trophies.

9.12.14 crew leaderboard

Are YOU part of a Crew? They’re a great, fun way to play with other Blasters and take on challenges as a team! There are two ways to become a member of a Crew: you can either join an existing crew, or start your own and invite fellow Blasters and BFFS to join.

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Preparing to Head Back-to-School

This time of year for families with school aged kids can easily be described as something just short of chaotic. It’s the time of year where you need to prepare the kids to head back into the classroom while you figure out how to  facilitate managing lunches, schedules and more! How will you handle it all in the fall? Let us know at the Math Blaster blog and check out our tips for preparing yourself and the kids for the new school year.

Photo by: US Department of Education

Here are our top tips for staying on top of the back to school season:

Pick up the supplies: Your kids will need new gear before hitting the classroom. From clothing or uniform items to classroom supplies and the like, make sure you have a list from the school outlining the necessities. After all, you won’t want to go overboard with the shopping if you have a strict budget to maintain.

Plan out the meals: The key to having healthy meals for each day and kid in your household for that matter is by preparing ahead of time. Cook and pack meals during the weekend. – separating them into container for each day of the week (if you go by this route, make sure not to let anything sit for too long to avoid spoiling).

Create a family schedule: Once the kids are back in school, you’re going to have to coordinate pick up and drop off times. While doing this, it might also be helpful to research extra curricular activities that they might be interested in. That way if they are stuck on campus later in the day, you can plan accordingly or figure out the most efficient way to get then to and from off-site events.

Sharpen their skills: Have them get back into the swing of things in regard to their education by challenging them to play learning games or complete free learning resources like worksheets or activities that will make learning fun, interactive, and most of all effective. Swing by MathBlaster.com to find ones that fit their interests.There are a ton of great finds waiting for you at our Cool Math page!

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