Animal Tracker

Many animals leave signs that they have been around. This activity will have you identifying the signs that tell you what it may be and how you can track them.

You will need: Sketchpad and pencil or a camera
Optional: A pocket microscope

What to look for...

This activity suggests that you observe only. Touching is not recommended.

Insects: Look for plants and leaves that have been chewed. Trees with holes. Watch a patch of flowers being pollinated. Movement in the grass. Eggs under leaves. Various stages of larvae. Listen for them. Look for evidence of insect scat as well.

Spiders: Look for their webs between trees and under things. Each spider makes a unique web and can be identified by it if they are not present.

Birds: Look in trees for nests, listen for them. Make a bird feeder and bring them to you. Look up in the sky or on the ground. Watch them on the beach and near water too. 

Mammals: Look for tracks in the dirt, mud or in puddles, on the sidewalk, in the grass. Look for their scat, but don't touch it.

Reptiles: Snakes can be found sunning themselves at various points of the day. Approaching them is not recommended. Observe only.
Lizards can be found running around in gardens and sunning themselves in the morning.

Amphibians: Look on land and near water. Look for them at night near a porch light.

Fish/Sealife: Watch the water for signs of jumping, schooling and feeding. Some areas may have shrimp or crabs running during certain times of the year. Look for fins out of the water as well. You might be able to catch a dolphin surfing in some areas!

Places to visit...

The beach, a pond, lake, inlets, woods, your back yard, gardens, the park, near lights at night, etc..

Times to look...

Early in the morning, at dusk, early evening. Listen throughout the day.

Bring a friend!

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Pizza Project

Pizza History: Timelines, articles, & videos:

Bella Napoli: History of Pizza A Slice of History: Pizza Through the Ages

Life In Italy: History of Pizza

Wikipedia: History of Pizza

Cooking and Growing Pizza: 

Make your own pita pizza.

How does a Pizza Garden grow?

How to grow a Pizza Garden.

Fun and Games: 

Pizza Game - Pin the Toppings on the Pizza

Cut out 3 large circles from posterboard or construction paper, each an inch or two smaller than the other; make the largest brown (crust), the next red (sauce), and the smallest white (cheese). Glue them together.

Cut out pizza toppings from a magazine or store flyer, put removeable glue on the back of each piece and store them on waxed paper until you are ready to use them.

How to Play

Have the player remove a topping from the waxed paper and put on a blindfold. Spin them around a few times and head them in the direction of the pizza. Have them stick the topping to the pizza.

Tip: Play this game while waiting for pita pizzas to cook up or for the delivery person.

Pizza Activity - Dough Throwing


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Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!


Sun Bear

Bear Types

Wikipedia: List of Bears

Get Bear Smart Society: North American's Bears

Kid Zone: Bear Species - Kid friendly.

National Park Service: Types of Bears also Teachers & Kids

Activity Village: Giant Pandas

Bear Activities

DLTK: Bear Crossword Puzzle - Downloadable and printable.

Coloring WS: Bear Coloring Pages

The Word Search: Types of Bears

Cybersleuth Kids: Polar Bear Word Search


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Mount Pinatubo, Philippines in 1991

Volcanoes of the World

Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes of the World
Listed by country, includes volcano cams

Smithsonian Institution: Global Volcanism Program
Offers pictures of volcanoes by country.

Weather: 12 Volcanoes Around the World That Could Erupt At Any Time
News report

Wikipedia: Lists of Volcanoes
By country and area

Maps of World: Major Volcanoes
Map shows locations of major volcanoes

Historic Volcanic Activity

History Magazine: Volcanoes 
Ron Wild describes some of the major eruptions that have changed the course of history.

Volcano  Resources & Videos

Wikipedia: Volcano & Submarine Volcano

Enchanted Learning: Volcano Craft


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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Perhaps you've heard that a picture is worth 1000 words, I say a picture can be worth so much more than that because it is a wonderful way to inspire creative stories.
Use this picture to inspiration to your imagination.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Where does this little guy live and what's he up to?

Where is he going?

What is he looking for?

Who is he going to meet up with?

What do you think he does for fun?

Tell, draw, or write a story about this squirrel.

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Last One Standing

Nim is a strategy game that can be played with 5 to any number of
objects and there are two ways to play this version.

The last object chosen can be the winning or losing piece, it is up to players to decide before the game begins.

  • Start with any 5 items then add more playing pieces: Small candy or cereal pieces, straws, toothpicks, recycled bottles, seashells, rocks, pennies, playing chips, etc.
  • Decide if the last item will win or lose the game.
  • Decide up to how many objects can be chosen during the player's turn. At least one item must be taken. 
  • The player who takes the last game piece will either win or lose the game.
Here's an example of a game that is played with 5 pieces where the winner takes the last piece and up to 2 pieces can be taken during a turn.

Player 1: Takes 1 object.
Player 2: Takes 2 objects.
Player 1: Takes 2 objects to win the game.

Tips, Examples, and Resources...
  • If you start with 10 objects, have players take between 1 and 4 objects during their turn. As you play with more objects, increase or decrease the amount allotted to make the game more challenging.
  • Play with a 100 objects or more.
  • Play with multiple players.
  • Wikipedia: Nim- Learn about this centuries old strategy game, and find some other ways to play different versions of it.

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Heads-Up: Coin Flips and Tricks

For this activity, you will need a few coins, and paper and pencil

Heads or Tails: Before flipping a coin, decide if it will land heads or tails. Write down your prediction.

Roll a coin through your fingers: This is a great way to keep your fingers flexible! There's an instructional video below.

Disappearing and reappearing coin tricks: A fun way to break the ice! Video instructions below.


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Hoop Toss

Sometimes the simplest items can make the day more fun.
This activity requires only three items: a hula hoop, a length of yarn, and a ball.

Outdoor Play: Hang a hula hoop from a tree branch and throw balls through it. Adjust the height of the hoop to make it more challenging. Alternately, if the hoop is hung low, a beach ball can be kicked or rolled through the hoop.
If there are two players, have each player stand on the either side of the hoop and volley the ball through it.

To play inside, you will need a hula hoop, yarn, tape or a tack, and a balloon.

Indoor Play: Hang a hula hoop from a door jam with some tape or a tack and hit a balloon through the hoop.


For an added challenge put a container on the other side of the hoop as a goal.

Use multiple hoops.

Add a scoring system.

Distance and the weight of the ball makes this game more challenging.

Hang the hoop between two trees or posts.

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Carton Creations

For this challenge you will need:

A clean milk or juice carton

Craft supplies: Construction paper, scissors, glue, scissors, markers, ruler, pencil, paint, paint brush, etc.

A craft knife and another other things you feel you need to make your creation.


This is an open-ended activity, so pretty much anything goes.

The carton can be cut or used in any way.

No one can get hurt by the creation.

Younger children may need supervision while doing this activity.

More than one carton can be used for this project.


If a little inspiration is needed, consider the following ideas:

A game, building/town, planter, animal, catapult, instrument, bird feeder, diorama, lantern, vehicle, desk organizer, alien or another creative creature, etc.

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Pop & Play Dart Game

Carnival games are a lot of fun to play at any skill level. This version adds a bit of a twist to it that makes it a little more entertaining.

You will need: A large thick piece of cardboard, paint, paint brush, darts, staple gun, staples, and water balloons

Optional: Paper and pen.

Set-up: Paint your cardboard panel any way you like, blow up a bunch of water balloons, tie them off, and staple them to the board. Use the darts to pop the balloons.
Optional: Think of some fun activities or actions, write them on small slips of paper, roll them up, and put one in each balloon before blowing them up. After all the balloons have been popped, gather up all the papers inside and take turns reading and doing what they stay. Below, you will find a few ideas to get you started, I encourage you to come up with more. You can decide if ever balloon needs to have an activity in it. 
Here are some activity suggestions you can add to the balloons:
  1. Do 10 Jumping Jacks.
  2. Find something that begins with a certain letter of the alphabet.
  3. Find a certain object.
  4. Act like an animal.
  5. Sing/hum a few bars of your favorite song and ask others to guess it.
  6. Name 5 things that you see in or on a tree.
  7. Throw a ball into a container.
  8. Do a silly dance.
  9. Tell a joke.
  10. Make up a riddle.
  11. Play a round of the guessing game: I Spy.
  12. Name 5 object that are a certain color.
  13. Say a shape you see in the clouds.
  14. Juggle 3 water balloons (filled with water is optional).
  15. Play a round of: I'm thinking of...

Related Posts:

Fun With Balloons

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Roll 'N' Score

Here's a recycling project you can play with!

You will need: A clean milk or juice carton or a box, craft knife, craft supplies, scissors, marbles or small bouncy balls
Optional: Packing tape, a chopstick or unsharpened pencil, and pencil and paper to keep score

What to do: Cut off one side panel and decorate the rest of the carton or box. You will be making 3-5 openings in one side and adding a scoring system. Make sure your openings allow your marble or ball to roll through it.

Tip: If you don't like the shape of the milk carton, cut off the top and tape the side panel that you cut off there before decorating it.

How to play: Roll or shoot marbles, or small balls, into each opening and record the score you get after each turn. Play on a smooth surface.

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Think Quick Challenge: ABC Version

This Think Quick Challenge makes learning, and using, the alphabet much more fun and interesting. Plus it keeps you on your mental toes!

You will need: A plain set of alphabet cards, tiles, dice, blocks, etc., and a container

Letters can be written on index cards or printed from Activity Village.
Optional: Timer, pencil, and paper

Place all the letters in the container and have a player choose one to start the game, after you decide which version you would like to play.

Here are the challenge choices...

  • Have a player choose a letter and then say 5 words that start with that letter as quickly as possible (set fair time limits for the players that need extra time). Set the letter aside when the player's turn is over. The next player will choose a new letter and say 5 words in a the time allowed them. The play continues until all the letters have been used.  Alternately, one player can choose a letter and all the players can take turns saying a word that begins with that letter as quickly as possible until someone gets stumped. Offer a time limit of 3-5 seconds.
  • One player can choose a letter and all the players can write or draw 5 things that begin with that letter within 30 seconds or a predetermined time. Optional Challenge: Players can cancel out duplicate words as they share what they wrote or drew. Decide on a scoring system.
  • Choose a letter and find 2-5 objects around the house that begin with that letter as quickly as possible. Decide on a time limit and a point system.
  • Start with a category such as an animal, something that flies, a story, movie, song, country, etc. and say 2-5 things that begin with the letter chosen. Write, draw or take turns saying answers.\
  • Make up your own fun and challenging version and write down the rules so you can play it again later. Come up with a time limit and a scoring system to make the game more interesting.

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8 Ideas For Homemade Water & Nerf Gun Targets

If your kids enjoy playing with water or Nerf-type guns, it can be a lot of fun to
make your own targets with recycled items.
Tip: A spray bottle or a pom-pom shooter can be used as well.

Here are a few homemade target suggestions:

Water Balloons - Blow up a bunch of water balloons, tie a length of yarn to each one end and then to a tree branch or someplace it can hang down.

Spinning Disks - This uses recycled lids from bottles and containers. Pop a hole in the top of each lid and hang them with yarn. Alternately, a hole can be made in the middle of a lid, and a length of yarn can be strung through it to see how many shots it takes to get from one side of an object to another.

Recycled Cups & Cans - Stack them up in a pyramid shape and knock them down or string some cups between two objects and see how many shots it takes to get them from one side to the other.

Cardboard Tube - Cardboard tubes can be stacked or lined up and knocked down.

Beach Balls or Large Balloons - How many shots does it take for a beach ball, or a punch balloon, to get to the finish line?

Water Bottles & Ping Pong Balls - Shoot a ping pong ball off the top of a water bottle, then knock down the bottle!

Plastic Eggs - Hang plastic eggs to shoot at.

Make an obstacle course with any of these items or ones you come up with on your own.

Spark their creativity! Offer your kids some supplies and a challenge them to make their own unique targets to shoot at.

Please share your target ideas in the comments below!

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