6 Things a Day – 04/02/20

Welcome to April 2, 2020 – the sun is shining here in Saskatchewan. I am so thankful to be self-isolating with my Mom this past week and a half in Nipawin. The opportunity to pause and spend time with her has been precious.

The skiff of snow outside my window means that my Mom and I will be out shoveling as soon as my blog is posted. Getting outside is a great way to freshen our perspective and get some physical movement!

Enjoy learning and spending time together!

Daily Lineup – April , 2020

I have also included a great general site created by Girl Guides of Canada.

Dav Pilkey at Home

I remember when my son was younger, he LOVED the Captain Underpants series. The tongue-in-cheek humour was right up his alley. The author has created a website, Dav Pilkey at Home, where he is creating new art and literacy activities each week. This week he is focusing on his book Dog Man. Check back each week for a new set of activities!

Remember that you can listen to books for free on Audible, or access online from your public library.

Knock off the Clock for Math Practice

The great thing about this game is that you can play alone or with someone, and it practices different math operations.

What’s Inside?

I remember my cousin, Brent, and I terrorizing our parents when we would get ahold of a screwdriver and take something apart. We learned so much! And in fact, Brent carried that “take apart things” into adulthood when he became and Engineer and learned to “put things back together”.

A multi-head screwdriver is a good tool to have when you are taking things apart. It is important that adults identify things that you are OK with being taken apart JUST in case they don’t go back together again (I think I remember my cousin and I forgetting this step). Some ideas might include:

  • a piece of technology that you no longer use – camera, VCR, TV. You never know what is in the storage room!
  • a small appliance that you want to replace – hand mixer, toaster, coffee pot
  • an electric toy that you have outgrown

Once something has been opened up, try to identify the parts that make it work. For many things, you can learn more about how they work by doing an internet search.

For example, if you take apart a coffee maker, “How Things Work Coffee Maker” will give you videos and descriptions of how a coffee maker works. I would recommend doing the search only after you have tried to figure it out yourself!

Reading Tips for Parents

As we are reading with our children at home, it is helpful to know some tips for supporting letter and word recognition. Reading Simplified has posted a great video for parents on Facebook called “How to Help Your Child Read Words“. They also have a free blog post that is helpful “5 Proven Ways for You to Support Your Child’s Reading“.

Animal Walk

This is something for the whole family to enjoy. What type of animal walk can you do? A CBC parent blog post from 2017 outlines different “animal walks” for children.

I can remember doing crab walks in phys ed as a teenager across the gym, so I am thinking this is something the whole family might want to participate in for some physical activity!

Coping Calendar

Another example of generosity around the world is Melbourne’s Emotional Growth Family Psychology Clinic post with calming strategies for each day. If you and your family find things that are particularly helpful, consider making them a part of your daily activities.

A Great General Site

I had the opportunity to be a Girl Guide leader for many years in Langham, Saskatchewan. I SO appreciate the programming available. Girl Guides of Canada have just launched a site for Guiding at Home. The activities are well organized by age and can be enjoyed by both girls and boys.

6 Things a Day – 04/01/20

Welcome to my April 1st post for “6 Things a Day” – ideas to support learning at home. April Fool’s day is nothing compared to our “wish we were joking” every day!

But the silver lining in all of our reality is that I see so much generosity over and over again in our community. I continue to be inspired by my neighbours, friends and teacher colleagues.

Daily Lineup – April 1, 2020

I am also sharing a site with great general math ideas for instruction and practice.

Easter Salt Dough

Salt dough is easy to make and versatile! You can either bake it at low temperatures or dry it out in the sun before you decorate. Easter is coming up, so this is a perfect opportunity to use salt dough to make some Easter decorations.

You can find the Salt Dough Recipe, and keep in mind that you don’t want to use too much water! When you are kneading the dough, if you feel like it is too dry, just wet your hands and continue kneading. If you would like ideas for Easter crafts with salt dough, check out the Laughing Kids Learn Blog post.

Juniper Green for Math Practice

There are a number of games that can help keep math skills sharp. One of them is Juniper Green, which was invented by a teacher in the UK. This is an excellent game to practice multiplication and division facts. Students will need to be introduced to the language of multiple and factor, or the language of the game can change. The game board can be made to only go to 25 if only multiplication facts to 5 x 5 are being studied (grade 3). You can either play with counters/playing pieces to cover numbers on the board or put the printed game sheet into a plastic sleeve and use white board markers.

Play in Pairs

  • Player 1 selects a number that is even. This is marked off and cannot be selected again.
  • Player 2 selects a number that is either a factor or multiple of the first number. This second number is marked off and cannot be selected again.
  • Player 1 selects the next number that is a factor or multiple of the last number played.
  • The game is over when a player cannot select either a factor or multiple of the last number played.

You can see more practice ideas on my Johanson Consulting Workshop Blog post: Routines, Puzzles and Games for Math Fluency. If you scroll past the information on routines you will see a number of puzzles and games for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Freezing Salt Water

The great thing about our colder temperatures in Saskatchewan recently is that we can do experiments outside! Have you ever wondered why we put salt on the roads, and how much salt we need to make a difference? Here are two ideas for investigating salt.

  1. How much salt do we need?
    • Take four jars that are the same size and fill them equally with water.
    • Keep one jar without salt. Put different amounts of salt in each of the other three jars – the amount depends on the size of your jars, this might be 1 tsp, 2 tsp, 3 tsp… or it could be tablespoons.
    • Put the jars of water into the freezer, leaving space between each one. What do you think the salt will do to the time it takes to freeze the jar of water? Check back through the day.
  2. What does salt do the temperature of snow/ice?
    • A thermometer is a great tool for this experiment, but you can also test the temperature with your hand.
    • Fill a large cup with snow. Check the temperature of the snow with a thermometer or your hand. Pour salt (a few tablespoons at least) over the snow. What happens? Check the temperature over time.

After investigating salt, why do you think we use salt on our roads and sidewalks? You can read more on the site Mental Floss.

Harry Potter World

In another act of generosity, J. K. Rowling has created an FREE (I think until the end of April) site for kids to explore activities related to her Harry Potter series of books, called Harry Potter at Home.

You can download and listen to the series for free from Audible, or read them using your public library to access ebooks for free.

Home Restaurant

This idea is inspired by my friend, Ryan LeBlanc’s Facebook Post where he highlighted “Siena’s Master Chef Restaurant”, a creation of his daughter for their family. Ryan and his family dressed in formal clothes and had a lovely evening in! How fun! My teacher brain thought about what a great learning at home experience that must have been.

Some ideas for your family’s restaurant at home might include:

  • Menus and prices in English, Cree, French, Dene… whatever language works for your family.
  • Create a grocery list and estimate how much it would cost to serve a meal at your restaurant.
  • Cooking together is great fun and learning.
  • If you want to extend into mathematics, creating orders and table checks are great math. Don’t forget the PST and GST!
  • Practice table setting etiquette.

Ojibwe Language and Colouring

There are literally thousands of colouring pages available online, but these ones are absolutely stunning. I am an adult colourer (is that a word?) and I can’t wait to print these off for myself. Generously shared by the artist, Patrick Hunter on Facebook, these two books: Beautiful Words from Turtle Island and Things to Colour from Mother Earth include both Ojibwe phrases and beautiful artwork.

A Great General Site

Well, today’s general site is actually not completely general. I wanted to share Origo’s new Math at Home site. As a former math teacher and consultant, I am pretty picky when it comes to math sites, and Origo is a company whose math I respect. They are offering free access to families and teachers. Note that they have aligned their work with Australia (where they are from) or USA. If you go into the site, note that Canada would generally be closer to the Australian curriculum than the American curriculum.

6 Things a Day – 03/31/20

Another edition of 6 Things a Day to provide supports to families, caregivers and teachers. I appreciate all of the positive feedback and messages by email (terry@johansonconsulting.ca) or on my facebook page (Johanson Consulting) Today’s active learning idea comes from Leanne Lariviere, and the Lego Challenge posted a few days ago was sent to me by Loretta Harpham. Many of the ideas I am posting come from the FB groups and my Twitter feed, where countless people are sharing.

My tweet this morning was

“My children accuse me of always seeking a silver lining. Loving the absolute generosity of my community and our teacher colleagues as we pull together when this virus is threatening to tear us apart. #choosetoseegood #addingtothesilver

Daily Lineup – March 31, 2020

I have also included a site with distance learning resources for young adults with different abilities.

Create a Photo Message

The Breakwater Project is a creation of a Saskatchewan family, who is attempting to encourage others. They are hoping to gather photos of inspirational messages from around the world and put them into a video.

An example from the Breakwater Project Page

You can participate by going to the Breakwater Project page and share your photo. They have great examples to see what others are doing.

Mass Challenge

OK, as a former science teacher I have a hard time using “weigh” when I mean mass… most normal non-science teacher people woudl call this a Weight Challenge! Mass is something that is hard for many to estimate. How much do things weigh? Are our guesses accurate? Using a kitchen or bathroom scale, you can explore your house and find out! Try to either:

  • Find objects that have a given weight (find something that is 1 kg)
  • Guess how much objects weigh, then weigh them to see if you are close

You can create your own investigation or use the Mass Challenge sheet.

Sock Study

Have you ever wondered what type of sock will keep your feet warm in the winter? All you need is four different socks, some jars and hot water to find out.

  • Put four socks around four jars, fill with hot water.
  • Clip the tops of the socks closed and put the jars outside on a cold day or in the freezer.
  • Feel the jars of water after about 10 minutes. If you have a thermometer, you can measure their temperatures.
  • What do you notice? What do you wonder about your socks?

You can either create your own investigation or use the Sock Study sheet.

SK “Good News” News

I was inspired by John Krasinski’s Some Good News (SGN) Broadcast on March 29th.

It made me think about what kids might do if they created their own SK Good News Newscast? All they need is some feel good stories from their home and neighbourhood, a smart phone or tablet to record video and some “News” props. If you have kids that try this, it would be wonderful to post to Facebook with the hashtag #SKGoodNews – I would be grateful if you tagged me so that I can watch some good news!

Read Aloud: The Sharing Circle

There have been many celebrities reading stories out loud, but we also have many examples closer to home. Yorkton’s Society for Involvement of Good Neighbours (SIGN) has started posting one read aloud on their Cultural Awareness Page every Monday. They are embracing cultural identities, encouraging language, sharing traditional knowledge and joining in community, in order to connect and grow together. 

This Monday’s story is “The Sharing Circle”, which includes teachings of respect and community. If you scroll down to the bottom of the Cultural Awareness page you can see the directions for how to make a talking stick to use during the story and when you would like to hold your own Sharing Circle.

The Sid Shuffle

Who doesn’t love Ice Age? Join Sid as he teahces us the Sid Shuffle. A great way to have fun and stay active!

A Great General Site

There are so many caring and generous teachers creating resources online for their students, and then sharing them for the world to benefit. One such website is created by Brittany McGeough. Her post Distance Learning for Young Adults with Different Abilities features sample schedules, strategies and sites .

6 Things a Day – 03/30/20

Today is Monday and many teachers across Saskatchewan will be reaching out to families and students to reconnect and begin creating a new version of teaching and learning. I am hoping that this blog will help to support caregivers, parents and teachers by providing a very short list (6 things!) every day, including fun and educational activities.

If you have specific ideas that you would like me to include, please email me at terry@johansonconsulting.ca. If you are a teacher and looking for specific teaching ideas related to literacy, mathematics, planning or assessment, feel free to go to my main consulting website: https://johansonconsulting.ca/ where I maintain a workshop blog for teaching resources.

Daily Lineup: March 30, 2020

I have also included a newly created Trello site that includes many different links for teaching and learning.

Augmented Reality Silent Movies

A super-cool feature of many smart phones is that they will allow you to bring 3D animal into your home! This is a new (at least to me!) feature of Google.

  • Search an animal in Google on your smart phone. (I tried this on my iPad and it did not work there, but works on my iPhone).
  • A summary of that animal will come up. When I searched “Wolf”, this is what that Google search gave me. One feature is “View in 3D”:
  • Once you have the 3D animal on your smart phone screen, create a silent movie with a person in the picture. You can record video by holding down the red ‘record’ button at the bottom of the screen.
  • Discuss: What is the story that you were trying to tell with your silent movie?

Greg Tang Math: Kakooma

Greg Tang is a children’s author who brings the joy of math to life through stories, puzzles and games. His website, GregTangMath.Com is free and has SO many fun things to do. One great math practice puzzle is Kakooma. You can play Kakooma online OR you can go the Resources page. You will be asked to subscribe to Greg’s website (it is free!) and then you can download Kakooma puzzles for different math skills and different levels of difficulty.

Kakooma are puzzles that use a WHOLE lot of mathematics in one puzzle. Try the sample below:

  • In each 4-number square, find the number that is the sum of 2 other numbers. For example, in the top square, 6 + 3 = 9. The 4 is ‘extra’. Write the number that is the sum. In the top square this would be 9.
  • Do this for all of the 4-number squares.
  • Use all of the 4 sums to create 1 final 4-number square puzzle and find the sum. This is the final answer.

Kakooma puzzles are available for addition, subtraction, fractions and much more.

Shadow Hand Puppets

This activity is great for science to show the effect of changing a light source on the characteristics of a shadow. I was inspired by Picklebum’s Facebook Post that shows hand shadow puppets. I remember making these as a kid, and used to have my Physics 20 create them when we were studying light.

You can see more detailed hand positioning on the Hand Shadow Puppetry Clipart Gallery.

  • Once you have practiced making different shadow puppets, what happens when you do the following?:
    • move the light source further away and closer to your hands.
    • move your hands closer to and further away from the wall.

Wonderhub Storyscape

StoryScapes is a program developed by Nutrien Wonderhub to engage children ages 3-12 years through a variety of storytelling methods. The intent of this program is to inspire children to look beyond the book when learning or telling stories. This LIVE Facebook Event is happening from 10:00 -12:00 on Monday, March 30.

If you miss this event live, you will be able to watch the video on the the Nutrien Wonderhub Virtual Programming page.

Sock Bean Bag Fun

There are so many active things you can do with bean bags. What do you do if you don’t have any? A perfect way to use up your unmatched or too-small socks is to make sock bean bags. All you need are some socks and rice/lentils/beans to fill them with. Complete directions can be found on the Be a Fun Mum website. Some bean bag fun ideas are:

  1. Target Practice: Set out boxes or baskets and assign them different point values. Keeping score is great math as kids toss bean bags into each container.
  2. X’s and O’s: Make a large X’s and O’s grid on the floor or concrete driveway with tape, yarn, sticks or draw the grid on cardboard. Play in pairs and mark which beanbags are X’s and which are O’s. Take turns tossing bean bags to try to make a line before your opponent does.
  3. Bean Bag Bowling: Fill small water or pop bottles about 1/3 full of water and seal each with a cap. Set them up like the pins in 5-Pin Bowling. Use the bean bags to try to topple the bottles over. Each player gets three tries to knock over all 5 pins each turn You can use this bowling score sheet, and learn how to score bowling using these instructions.

Indigenous Art and Language – Make a Parfleche

Think Indigenous Online Education has been creating and posting Facebook Live videos for the past two weeks. They range from art to language to science to mathematics. One video published on March 27 features TJ Warren sharing his knowledge of indigenous languages in Saskatchewan and different art forms created by First Nations peoples, including a parfleche.

After viewing, if you want to create a parfleche, you can find the instructions on the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts website. Note that their link to the template does not work but you can find the template here. It can be made of fabric, leather or brown paper and decorated with paint, markers or chalk.

A Great General Site

Another act of generosity in Saskatchewan is Kelly Christopherson’s Resources for Teachers Trello site. You can view it OR if you would like to contribute to this ever-growing list of links, apps and sites, go to the site and contact Kelly.

6 Things a Day – 03/27/20

The weather promises to be sunny through much of Saskatchewan today. Take the opportunity to use the sun to create shadow drawings and bounce balls to show how a Supernova works! My hope when selecting activities is to have a balance of online and offline activities, and to make sure that each one is both educational AND fun. Learning is awesome, enjoy!

Daily Lineup: March 27, 2020

I have also included a great general website from North East School Division.

Shadow Drawing

This idea is inspired by a Facebook post from Jamie Brown. To create shadow drawings, find a sunny place in your home and line up figurines so that their shadows fall onto white paper. Sketch the shadow, then colour and fill in your drawing.

War(ish) for Math Practice

Many of us played war as we were growing up. There are many different versions that can all practice different math skills. It is easy to change the rules depending on the age and math comfort of players.

Ball Supernova

There is so much cool science in every day things. I was inspired by this video from Physics Girl, as it shows the energy that particles have when a Supernova is formed. It is supposed to be beautiful weather over the next few days in Saskatchewan. Take 2 or 3 balls of different sizes and try this experiment at home! If you have a smart phone or tablet, record your ball drop. What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Audible Stories

There is so much generosity being shown by individuals as well as companies. One example is that Audible is providing open, free access to their collection of online stories. Their website states that they will continue to provide free access as long as schools are closed. You can browse their collection and listen to a story on the Audible Website.

Online Fitness

It is important that we all stay physically active. There are many organizations offering free fitness classes online. One example is a Saskatoon personal fitness trainer, Ashley Paulgaard. She has been posting guided personal fitness classes on her Facebook page. These would be great to guide you and your family through a workout at home.

Lego Challenge

Lego is something that all ages can enjoy together. The 30 day Lego Challenge can keep you busy and engaged for hours! You can find all 30 days on Christian George’s Facebook Post on the Teaching Guide for Primary Parents Groups. Created by Charlotte Michelle.

A Great General Site

The North East School Division has been curating teaching and learning resources for years, and has always made it open for others to use. The NESD Curriculum Corner site organizes resources by grade. When you click on a grade level, you will find subject tabs. Within each you will probably find the “Supporting Documents” and “Websites of Interests” to be the most helpful wen learning from home.

6 Things a Day – 03/26/20

My third day of blogging to support learning at home! I am particularly excited about today’s post, as I am sharing ideas from across subjects that show that learning can be fun and playful. If you haven’t already guessed, I have a planning framework for my blog – I hope to find and share ONE idea each day related to: the arts, mathematics, science, social science/health, literacy and active learning. Because many of you are organizing playful learning across age levels, I hope to share ideas that are engaging for many age groups, including adults. If you are looking for MORE ideas, be sure to check out earlier posts.

Daily Lineup: March 26, 2020

I have also included a wonderful site for Homeschool resources for children with special needs.

Airband Quarantine Challenge

You may have seen this challenge on your social media feed. All you need is a music source, kids and a recording device such as a tablet, smart phone or camera. You can get some inspiration from Yoshi Styles on Facebook. The rules for this challenge are:

  • Solo or group acts.
  • Anyone that is currently self-isolating or in quarantine can participate. Or anyone that just wants to have some fun!
  • No edits to the video itself – one take only. You can overlay the music.
  • Costumes and props permitted and encouraged.
  • Post your video with the rules and challenge up to 10 friends by tagging them in your post. #airbandquarantinechallenge

Back to Back for Math Practice

You need to have three people to play this math practice game. This game can be played using any number operation. The directions below are for addition, but you can go through the same steps with other operations.

  • Start playing with numbers up to 10. You can use larger numbers as you get comfortable playing the game.
  • Two players stand back to back, each holding a mini white board or piece of paper. These players are the writers.
  • The third player needs to stand so that they can see what the writers are writing. The third player is the watcher.
  • The writers each write a number on their paper/board without seeing what the other person wrote. Each writer shows the watcher what their number is.
  • The watcher adds the two numbers up and says this sum out loud.
  • Each of the writers tries to guess what the other number is.
  • Switch roles and play again. You can make the game harder by using larger numbers or changing the operation being used.

Penny Boat Challenge

How might we design a boat that holds the most pennies? There are specific shapes and designs that float best. This challenge allows children to explore and figure out what that design is. You can see an example of a typical penny boat challenge, or read below.

  1. Cut three pieces of tinfoil for each design team. If you don’t have pennies, decide what small items you can use to measure how well your boats float. These might be small toys, stones or beads.
  2. Each team has 3 trials. They should design, build and test their first design before they try their second and then third so that they can improve each time.
  3. Design a boat that can hold the most weight (pennies).
  4. To test it, drop the pennies 1 by 1 into the boat in a pan of water or sink. Continue dropping pennies until the boat sinks. The last penny that sinks the boat counts in the number of pennies that the boat can hold.
  5. Once you have a number for your first boat, try it again with another piece of tinfoil to see if they can beat their first score. Do as many trials as you would like.

Celebrity Read Alouds

There are many folks who are being generous and reading out loud. You can find many with a simple google search or search your FB Feed, but here is a lovely list of six stories curated by Romper.

Photo Scavenger Hunt

I have been inspired by many different posts and sites like this one or this one that list ideas for a photo scavenger hunt. I decided to try my hand at making a photo hunt for young children and a photo hunt for pre-teen/teen/adults. You can either take photos with a smart phone or camera. The idea is to take a photo of each item on the list. This does not have to be timed!

I have uploaded each of these as Word Documents so that you can edit them to match what is available in your home.

Mindfulness for Kids

Our children absorb the energy around them. Mindfulness is something that can help reduce anxiety and focus on the moment. There are several sites and videos that walk you through a mindfulness exercise. This one from New Horizon might be a good way to start!

A Great General Site

Today I am highlighting a blog to help parents who are supporting the learning of children with exceptionalities. A Day in Our Shoes: 150 Homeschooling Resources for Parents | OT | PT | Special Education | All Subjects is organized by disability and topic.

6 Things a Day – 03/25/20

Welcome to my post for tomorrow’s 6 Things a Day! The following is a short list of ideas to engage the children in your care. Ideas in this post span math, literacy, science, active learning, humanities and art. If you have any ideas that you would like to share, please email me at terry@johansonconsulting.ca or fill in the contact form on this site. Enjoy!

Daily Lineup: March 25, 2020

I have also included a wonderful general teaching and learning site from Edmonton Public Schools.

How to Doodle

Learn how to doodle with Mo Williams from the Kennedy Centre. Mo Williams started hosting a lunch doodle time on Youtube on Monday, March 16. This link takes you to his first post, and you can watch any of the videos on his playlist.

Yahtzee(ish) for Math Practice

Original Yahtzee is a great math game that can be played by anyone who can add and multiply numbers (about ages 8+). If you have run out of score cards, you can find cards to print online. There are many other versions as well:

  • Power Yahtzee – is similar to original yahtzee, but uses an extra dice called a power dice. Suitable for Ages 10+
    • This can be made using a regular dice and marking faces:
      • 1, 2, 3 – keep these numbers on the dice.
      • Double
      • Power
      • Freeze
    • You can download the game sheet Power Yahtzee and Rules to play a great math game that practices addition and multiplication of larger numbers.
  • Place Value Yahtzee – is great to practice building numbers with different values. Suitable for Ages 6+
    • You can find out the rules for this game by Brittany Field on Games 4 Gains.

Build a Bridge

How strong can you build a paper bridge?

  • Choose a place where you have two surfaces with a space in between them. This is where you can build your bridge.
  • Watch the first 1 min 30 seconds of the “Design and Build a Bridge” video. Don’t watch the whole video, as it is better to explore on your own first!
  • Some rules to consider:
    • you cannot tape the bridge to the surfaces.
    • you can cut, fold, and roll the paper.
  • Test your bridge! See how many items your bridge can hold. Try using lego blocks, pennies (nickels?), toy cars, or some other small items.
  • Try building a different design to see if you can hold more items on your bridge.
  • Finish watching the video. How different was your design than the one shown?

Puppet Theatre

I was inspired by a video showing Grover reading a book about Grover! This is something that kids would love to recreate. All you need is a smart phone or tablet to record your puppet theatre.

  • Watch Grover’s video to show children how fun puppet theatre can be.
  • Have children choose a book they would like to read and decide who will be each character.
  • If you have puppets, use those. You can also make sock or paper puppets depending on what materials you have on hand. You can find some inspiration from Handmade Charlotte’s “7 Super Fun DIY Sock Puppets“.
  • Set up your puppet theatre on a ‘stage’ and record it using a smart phone or tablet.

Table Top Curling

With no curling on TV, this is a great way for children to learn to play the game! Full directions can be found on CBC’s Cool Game for Kids post from 2018. You can find the clear contact paper at many stationary supply stores, including Dollarama.

Cree Prayer and Medicine Wheel Teachings

Think Indigenous has created a number of online lessons from educators across Saskatchewan. You can learn about the Cree Prayer and Medicine Wheel Teachings from Cheyenne Fineblanket. This is a wonderful series that you can find by following Think Indigenous on Facebook.

General Teaching and Learning Site

There are many school systems who are creating general supports for teaching and learning. One example is from the Edmonton Public Schools Activities for K-12.

6 Things a Day – 03/24/20

Welcome to 6 Things a Day! I have been curating and creating activities that are fun and engaging for the children in our care. My goal is to publish a short list of ideas for caregivers and parents as we transition kids from school to home. This blog is not meant to replace teacher instruction and school. Rather, this is a daily list of fun and educational activities that you might want to try. If you have any ideas that you have tried at home, please email me and I can add them to my daily list! Please contact me at terry@johansonconsulting.ca or use the “Contact” form on this website.

There have been so many generous teachers, parents and caregivers publishing lists and links. I am hoping to credit everyone for their ideas as I share. Take care, have fun learning and above all stay safe!

Daily Lineup: March 24, 2020

And the sixth thing today is a general website with teaching and learning resources compiled by the Saskatoon Public Schools Staff Development Team.

Window Painting

This idea comes from Bryanna Lemieux, whose daughter posted her window art as part of an Easter Egg Hunt 2020 With Social Distancing Facebook Group.


  • Mix washable paint, such as Sargent’s washable tempera, with a few drops of dawn dish soap and water to make it semi-transparent. Test on a corner of your window to make sure it wipes off!
  • Use painter’s tape to mask off the lines of your art creation.
  • Paint the window between the tape with different colours.
  • Either keep the tape on the window, or remove to create clear lines.

Card Game: Making 10

We adults often take our base 10 number system for granted! But for kids, it is a topic that they spend a LOT of time learning about in early grades in school. There are tons of fun card games you can play that actually FEEL like a game, so even if you know your number system you can be entertained. These games are ideal if you have kids of different ages, or want to play along. You can see more ideas for games and activities that practice base 10 concepts can be found on Whitney Shaddock’s blog, First Grade Roundup.


Go on a Home Safari

There are many different zoos offering live safaris that you can go on from your home. One of the best is on the Cincinnati Zoo website. You can watch an episode live OR you can click on their YouTube video afterwards. The Zoo website even includes a hands-on activity for each episode.

Write a Message in Braille

The history of Braille is fascinating. Did you know that it was invented by a young boy named Louise Braille? You can learn about its origins and then try to create a message in Braille using the Braille alphabet.


Yoga at Home

Watch Cosmic Kids Yoga to experience guided exercise you can do at home!

Learn Hand Washing

There is a video online that shows a person covering their hands with black paint. This has inspired me to think about a fun hand washing challenge to try at home.

  • If you don’t have finger paint on hand, you can try making some with cornstarch. There are many recipes online, similar to the one on Amy Geroux’s website.
  • Watch the video together.
  • Set a timer for 20 seconds and give each person a dollop of finger paint in the palm of their hand.
  • Everyone closes their eyes and tries to cover both hands with their dollop of finger paint in the 20 seconds provided.
  • Everyone open their eyes and compare how well they covered their hands with the finger paint.

This activity how much of their hands they would have covered with soap when washing their hands for 20 seconds. If needed, try it again to see if they cover more the next time!

General Teaching and Learning Site

There have been so many teachers and systems creating wonderful websites to support teaching and learning from our homes. I hope to feature one of these per day, and would like to start with the Home Learning Supports created by Saskatoon Public Schools Staff Development Team. It is organized by subject and grade, and curates a number of sites and resources.