Hot Dogs

Hot Dog
July is National Hot Dog month!

You'll find an assortment of hot dog activities ranging from fun facts, to coloring pages, puzzles, and more below.

Hot dogs are made a variety of ways these days to satisfy many different diet choices and needs, and are versatile enough to be cooked a lot of different ways. One fun way to cook a hot dog is to put it in a homemade solar oven.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has a website for you to explore, and a free, downloadable brochure called, "Hot Dog Facts, Figures and Folklore" that you may enjoy reading online.

Summer Wordplay: Words Within Words 1

How many words can you find in the words...

Grab a piece of lined paper, write the words SUMMER NIGHTS on the top of the page, and then find, and write, as many words as you can using the letters provided. Each letter can only be used once, unless there is more than one of that letter. Use a dictionary/spell checker to challenge words or to make sure a word is ‘real’!

When playing the game with multiple players, have players take turns writing down words. Use a timer to give each player between 30 seconds and 1 minute to say a word. If a usable word can not be given, the player can pass his turn to the next player.

Decide how long the game will run or how many words need to be found before starting the game.

If you would like to find out some ways to make this game more challenging, please visit my post Words Within Words where you will find some interesting ways to play and links that will reveal the 'hidden words'.

FYI: More than 1000 words can be made from SUMMER NIGHTS!

Have a fun!
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Experiments You Can Do With The Sun

Have some fun with the sun by doing solar experiments!

You Will Need

 A hot sunny day, dark colored construction paper, various objects that won't melt: A key, leaf, pencil, scissors, etc., crayons, cookie sheet, potholder, aluminum foil, a glass jar, tea bag, old crayons, inexpensive XX-large garbage bags, rubber bands, scissors, 25+' string, and a wide open space

Plan A Family Picnic

'The Picnic' by Thomas Cole
Now that the nice weather is here, plan a picnic for the family!

You will need a small budget for this activity, paper and pencil, and answers to the following questions...

Where will you have it?

A park, beach, playground, near the lake, in your yard or somewhere else.

What foods will you serve?

Plan what foods you'll take with you, this way you can shop and prepare some of your family's favorite dishes before you go.

Here are some menu suggestions:

Cheese and crackers with cut up fruit and veggies.

Hummus, pita chips, and carrot chips.

Sandwiches, fruit and veggies, and chips. Consider stopping at the store on the way and get freshly made sandwiches to enjoy.

Cold chicken with fresh salads: Coleslaw, potato, macaroni, garden, etc..

Salsa, bean dip, and chips with guacamole.

Hot dogs with the works, chips or another quick snack. A lot of parks have grills you can use.

Don't forget to bring something to drink too!

Water, juice boxes, soda, iced tea, lemonade, etc..

What will you do while you're there?

Read - Find a shady tree, lay down a blanket, and read a book out loud together.

Play games - Frisbee, volleyball, tag, basketball, Hot Potato (don't forget the radio!), etc..

Other things to do - Plan a treasure hunt, blow bubbles, make up a game of Outdoor Charades, build a sand castle, etc..

I hope you and your family have a wonderful time!

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Make A Folded Hand Puppet

Have some fun transforming simple and advanced folding projects into hand puppets. There's a little something for all ages and stages of paper folding in the resource section, where you'll find video or written instructions. All you'll need to make these cute little puppets is plain copy paper, craft supplies, and a little creativity and imagination.

The Sun

The Sun

Did you know that as hot as it may be during the summer months, the sun is actually further from the earth than during the winter months? It certainly doesn't feel that way!

Here are some questions to consider...

Ten Fun Projects You Can Do With Symmetry

Something is symmetrical when one half of an object is the mirror image of the other. If you need a little more information about symmetry, the site LINKS Learning has a visual explanation.

Here are some examples of symmetrical things: A triangle, face, butterfly, bugs, and many leaves, flowers and sea shells.

Activity Suggestions

10 Creatively Cool Butterfly Activities

It's butterfly season! That means these beautiful flying creatures can be found fluttering all around your yard, neighborhood, park, and garden in all their colorful glory! If you like, or even love butterflies, then you may find one or more of the following activities really fun!

  • Make a butterfly poster. Base it on the butterfly facts you find most interesting or use a fun and whimsical theme.
  • Plan a butterfly garden. If you have a yard, deck, patio, or an area for a garden, design and plan a colorful garden full of flowers that will attract butterflies. You will need a small budget, lined and copy paper, and a pencil for this activity. Disney has some tips for you!
  • Make butterfly fact cards. Draw, use stickers or graphics, or take pictures of real butterflies, and make a fact card for each of the ones you find most interesting. You can use index cards or cardstock and drawing/craft supplies for this activity.
  • Create your own butterfly. Make a variety of butterflies in a virtual butterfly garden or draw your own one-of-a-kind butterflies. Make up some facts about each one. Ex: Where it lives, what it likes to eat, habits, etc..  
  • Grow your own butterfly. Kits can be found in stores and online. Make sure you get one for your area. You may be lucky enough to find one in your yard to observe as well.
  • Make a butterfly board game. Cut out a butterfly-shaped game board from cardboard, then design a game around it. Make cards, game pieces, and tokens with a butterfly theme as well. You will need craft and drawing supplies.
  • Make up a butterfly action game. Base the game on what you already know about butterflies from your observations. Consider making props from cardboard or foam for the game. Play inside or out.
  • Visit a public garden. Observe butterflies at a public garden, or any place there are flowers, to see how they behave. Consider grabbing a drawing or writing journal to capture the moment. Use a recording device as well.
  • Visit a butterfly house, farm, or garden. This is a great way to observe the different stages of life. Don't forget your journal or camera! A fee may be required for this activity.

Funschooling & Recreational Learning: Butterflies - Links to informative butterfly resources.

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Make A Flag!

June 14th is Flag Day - A day selected to celebrate the American flag.

If you would like to celebrate Flag Day by making and learning about the American flag, I have a post that has a lot of information here. In it you will find information and facts about the American flag, and an easy to make craft.

You may also want to make a flag of your own that represents you and/or your family. So grab some craft and drawing supplies and get creative!

French Fry Project

French Fries
Have you ever wondered where French fries got their start or how they are
made for commercial use? Keep reading to find out!

French fries have been around for centuries, and while no one is exactly sure who invented them first, we do know that they originated in either Belgium or France. There's an interesting history in the argument about who fried the potato first, and if you're interested in learning more about it, you'll find some information below.

What can you do with French fries other than eat them? 

Petals Around The Rose

Answer: 6

Supplies Needed: You will need 5-6 dice to play this game.

What to do: Roll 5 or 6 dice and say the answer. The object of the game is to figure out what the puzzle's pattern is.

Here's what you need to know:

5 Fun Vinegar Experiments

Vinegar may not smell all that great, but is a safe and fun way to explore some really cool chemical reactions!

For the following experiments you will need...

White vinegar, baking soda, a cooked chicken leg bone, 1-2 eggs, a recycled water bottle, balloons, measuring spoons and cups, a jar with a lid, a bowl, funnel, a spoon, a magnifying glass, a zip-top bag (sandwich sized), bathroom tissue and tape 
Optional: Dish soap, food dye, a length of yarn, scissors, and a ruler

Experiment #1: A Chemical Reaction

In this simple experiment, you will add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2T of  vinegar to a bowl and observe the results. You may have done this before, so to make it more interesting, add a few drops of your favorite colored food dye and a few drops of dish soap to the baking soda before adding the vinegar.
Experiment further to get the best reaction possible.

Experiment #2: Capture A Chemical Reaction

In this experiment, you are going to use a funnel to add 1 tablespoon of baking soda into a balloon and 1c of vinegar into a recycled water bottle. Carefully cover the top of the bottle with the open end of the balloon without releasing the baking soda into the bottle. When the balloon is in place, allow the the baking soda to fall into the vinegar and observe the results.

Tips: Talk about what you think is going to happen before mixing the baking soda and vinegar together. 
Measure how large the balloon gets with a length of yarn and a ruler.
 Try the experiment with different vinegar and baking soda ratios, and fresh balloons of the same size, and compare the results.

Experiment #3: Bend A Bone

In this experiment you are going to start by testing the strength of a leg bone without snapping it. Next, put it in a jar, add enough vinegar to cover the bone and close the lid. Check the bone in 3 days and test its strength. Compare the results to the day you added it to the solution. In another 4 days check the bone again and test its strength again. 
Put the bone back into the solution and check on it in a month.
What happened to the bone each time you checked on it? 
What was the final result?

Experiment #4: Rubber Egg

Put 1 raw egg in a jar and cover it with vinegar. Refrigerate the jar and check on it in 24 hours. Remove the egg carefully with a spoon and put it aside, then dump out the vinegar. Rinse the jar out, put the egg back in the jar carefully, cover it with vinegar, and refrigerate for another 24 hours. Remove the egg, rinse it off, and observe the final results with your hands and then with a magnifying glass.

What happened to the shell? Why did it happen?

Check out Imagination Station: How to make a naked egg to find out what happened and to take this experiment one step further.

Experiment #5: Cause An Explosion

You may want to do this experiment outside! 
Using two pieces of bathroom tissue put together, add 1T of baking soda to the middle, then fold it up to form a little packet. Use a piece of tape to keep it together.
Next add a 1/2c of vinegar to a sandwich sized bag. 
Add the baking soda packet to the bag but hold it away from the vinegar while you zip the bag closed. When you are ready, drop the packet into the vinegar, and give the bag a shake before putting it down on the ground. 
Step back and observe the results.
Try this experiment with different amounts of baking soda and vinegar and different sized bags.

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Hunt For June Bugs

June Bug by Fran W.

What is a June bug?

A June bug, sometimes called a May or June beetle, is a type of scarab beetle that can be found all over North America. They can usually be seen swarming lights at night in late May or early June.

Hunt for June bugs...

Look for June bugs around your porch light at night or grab a flashlight and look for them in trees and bushes. Collect a few in a clean jar with holes in the top and use tweezers to examine them gently. Normally these bugs do not bite, so you can pick them up in order to get to know them a little better as well. After studying them for a little while with a magnifying glass, snap a picture, then let them go. 

During the day, they can often be found walking in grass or dead in a bucket of water, a pool, or pool filter. If you find one, pick it up with tweezers so you can examine it more closely with a magnifying glass. 


Learn more about June bugs by reading and watching the information offered below.
Find out what they eat, how they develop, how long they live, where they can be found, and what sounds they make.

Observe how a June bug acts and what it looks like

Identify some of the other bugs and animals that are out at night in addition to the June bug.

Start a collection if you find dead bugs.

Draw a picture of a June bug and where you found or saw it.


Bug Facts: June Bug - Information about where June bugs can be found, what they eat, look like, and their stages of development.

Wikipedia: June Bug - Life cycle information. Also: Phyllophaga

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Summertime Fun - June, Volume 1

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Creative Inspirations #1

One of the things we like to do each month is to get creative with simple words. 
It is absolutely amazing what kind of stories and activities a person can come up with when offered an open-ended idea.

Supplies needed: Drawing & craft supplies

The two words for this month are:

 Butterflies & Sizzle  

What can be done with the words?